Strengthen your cyber resilience with maturity assessments: A guide for SMEs

April 26, 2024

The first step to making real progress on your quest for cyber resilience: assessing where you're at.

But how do you gauge your current level of maturity (without it becoming a complex or expensive task)?

In this post, we're exploring the ins and outs of maturity assessments, why they're important for organisations of ALL sizes, and how you can seamlessly integrate them into your cybersecurity strategy⎯without blowing the budget.

Security and privacy assessments: What are they?

Security and privacy assessments are like a health checkup for your organisation's cyber resilience. They provide valuable insights into your current standing across various domains of security and privacy practices. These assessments help identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, allowing you to take proactive measures to enhance your security posture.

The concept of maturity levels

  • Levels of advancement: Maturity levels represent stages of advancement in security and privacy practices, from foundational basics to sophisticated measures.
  • Progression, not failure: There's no failing in maturity assessments—each level signifies progress and areas for growth, guiding your organisation's journey towards improved resilience.
  • Incremental improvement: The goal is progression—to systematically address gaps and implement necessary measures to enhance security and privacy practices.

"Maturity levels provide a roadmap for organisations to progress and strengthen their cybersecurity posture."Phil, founder & CEO of Onwardly

The factors influencing your maturity level encompass a wide range of security and privacy practices. These can include the use of password managers, backups, physical security measures, policy implementation, employee training, and business continuity planning.

By evaluating each domain, you gain a comprehensive understanding of your organisation's security and privacy landscape.

Integrating assessments effectively

To derive maximum value from security and privacy assessments, it's essential to integrate them seamlessly into your organisational processes. This involves regular assessments to track progress, identify emerging threats, and adapt to evolving circumstances.

Collaborating with IT providers and leveraging frameworks like CERT Top 10, Essential 8 or NIST can further streamline the assessment process and guide your security initiatives.

Establishing an assessment cadence

The frequency of assessments depends on factors such as organisational size, industry regulations, and evolving threat landscapes. While real-time assessments offer continuous monitoring, conducting assessments every three to six months or annually provides valuable snapshots of your security maturity. This cadence allows you to measure progress, demonstrate improvement, and adapt to changing needs effectively.

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By understanding your current maturity level, identifying areas for enhancement, and following a structured approach to improvement, you can navigate the complexities of cybersecurity with confidence.

Regular assessments, strategic collaboration, and a commitment to continual improvement will empower your organisation to stay ahead of threats and safeguard your digital assets effectively.

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Winner of 2021 iSANZ Best Startup

"We wanted a solution that was fit for purpose, reflecting our age and stage, while delivering the outcomes we wanted for our customers and people. After looking at what was available, Onwardly stood out as serving this purpose perfectly."

Kendall Flutey

Founder & CEO