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How to Conduct a Cybersecurity Gap Analysis for Your Tech Business

Posted August 20, 2020

Running a tech business means being hands-on with matters concerning security in your network systems. This calls for the implementation of cybersecurity safeguards, failure to which could result in the loss of client’s confidential information, financial penalties as well as the loss of reputation. Effective cybersecurity programs that focus on gap analysis processes are what you need given their effectiveness in keeping up with changes in the tech world. With this practice, you get to understand what your business needs and how to achieve your target goals. Here is what security gap analysis is all about and how it can streamline your cybersecurity program.

Defining Security Gap Analysis and Processes Surrounding It

Cybersecurity gap analysis refers to a process that helps organizations determine the difference in their current state of information security to specific requirements. By conducting a gap analysis process, you can identify how far away you are from the industry’s best standards, such as ISO 27001. Note that while gap analysis is often used interchangeably with risk assessment, the two are different. A gap analysis report cannot identify cybersecurity threats. As such, a risk assessment comes in handy here to help you evaluate which security controls prove useful in safeguarding your business from potential harm. A gap analysis process will, however, help you identify which security systems are in place.

Here are the essential steps that you need while implementing a gap analysis report.

1. Identify a Specific Industry Framework

Choosing an industry security framework is the first step in your gap analysis process. By doing this, you can determine which direction you are headed. Industry frameworks act as benchmarks that you can compare your network systems against. An ISO 27001 will, for instance, ensure you cover practices detailing access controls as well as physical security. To get the best comparisons of your gap analysis process, go for external consultations. Your security team is accustomed to your current controls and may not be able to identify any differences in your ideal standards with objectivity.

2. Evaluation of People and Processes

The next step of the gap analysis process requires you to vet your team and IT processes. Here, your cybersecurity experts collect information on elements such as your IT systems, applications usage, security policies as well as your workforce. By paying attention to these details, your security experts can identify areas prone to risks, breaches, and lagging on your chosen frameworks.

Interviewing employees will identify how secure your network controls are. Reducing risks and scaling up to industry standards means understanding whether your workforce is adequately trained to handle potential breaches such as phishing in emails. This second IT security gap analysis also helps evaluate whether your business has the right controls to mitigate future security needs.

3. Data Gathering and Analysis

Next comes the data gathering stage. Here, your organization’s security controls are subjected to comparison tests. Frameworks such as ISO 27001 or the NIST are used to evaluate your technical controls such as network applications, server applications and security controls. This cybersecurity gap analysis step allows you to get a preview of how your security protocols will hold up in case a breach occurs. It also helps you to identify if there are any weaknesses in your systems. It is one of the most crucial stages when it comes to identifying the most effective security processes best suited to your organization.

4. Gap Analysis

Lastly is the gap analysis step. The gap analysis stage consolidates your cybersecurity controls, with findings identifying where your weak links lie as well as your secure areas. The result is a gap analysis report with actionable steps on how to move forward in areas such as your staffing needs, technical assessments and the time frame for implementing your improved security measures.

What Gap Analysis Means for Tech Businesses

A gap analysis process requires businesses to adhere to controls such as the ISO 27001 and the NIST, which comes with benefits like;

  1. The ability to venture into different verticals, allowing you to improve your sales process.
  2. Better returns. With ISO 27001, you get to work with an efficient tool that improves your business processes. The result is increased investment, ensuring you get more revenue and growth.
  3. Prevention of fines and losses due to loss of customer information.
  4. Promotes regulatory compliance.
  5. Allows for a comprehensive and well laid out plan for risk mitigation.
  6. Improves your organization’s internal processes and strategies, leading to better business operations.
  7. Improves company image and reputation.

Why Should Tech Businesses Conduct a Security Gap Analysis?

A gap analysis process is a highly valued component in the tech world, due to:

  1. It helps you identify your organization’s security risks. By performing a gap analysis that pays attention to NIST controls, you can identify potential threats and risks.
  2. You get to understand areas that need more attention and resources. This includes staff training, and areas that need more investment for security systems, such as replacing various network systems.
  3. It helps to improve cybersecurity systems needed to attract new and retain customers. Your clients need to know that their information is protected and this only comes with an effective cybersecurity gap analysis. By adhering to measures like the ISO 27001 standards, you are assured of tight controls, the result of which builds customer confidence while working with you.

The Importance of Pairing a Gap Analysis with a Risk Assessment

As previously mentioned, a gap analysis process differs from risk assessment practices. However, they can be used together and have been found effective in understanding how controls will prove useful in the long run. For instance, they will allow you to evaluate which cybersecurity systems to implement, especially those that will help attain the ISO 27001. You can also use risk assessment measures to determine the probability and the extent of damage, while a gap analysis report identifies the maximum security controls necessary. Simply put, pairing these two measures allows you to identify feasible alternatives needed for maintaining the highest cybersecurity practices.

Navigating the tech world means adopting agile processes, top of which includes reliable cybersecurity systems. A security gap analysis is an essential step in any cybersecurity program. When choosing a gap analysis solution, it is critical to work with professionals for your needs. GreyCastle Security are experts in cybersecurity gap analysis reports for businesses in the tech sector. To learn more about how our gap analysis services can benefit you, contact us today for a consultation.

Technology Solutions

GreyCastle Security is the industry’s leading provider of cybersecurity risk assessment, mitigation and certification readiness services.

We are the premier authority on cybersecurity services in the U.S., comprised exclusively of highly certified technology cybersecurity professionals. We can assist with a variety of technology platforms and systems, including Saas, Iaas, PaaS and IOT.


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