Cyber security risk assessment template

What if you could build a cyber security risk assessment tool to assess and advise, accurately and objectively?

Cyber security risk assessments are the first step to prevent disruption or even irreparable reputational damage to your business.

Pointerpro is the 2-in-1 software that combines assessment building with personalized PDF report generation.

An example of a cyber security risk assessment template question and personalized feedback report

What is a cyber security risk assessment?

A cybersecurity risk assessment is a tool to identify, analyze, and evaluate potential threats and vulnerabilities to an organization’s information technology systems, networks, and data. 

The primary goal of a cybersecurity risk assessment is to understand the organization’s exposure to various cybersecurity risks and to develop strategies to mitigate or manage those risks effectively. Cyber security can be assessed at different levels. Cyber security questionnaires are an effective way to map out what an organization needs.

3 reasons to use Pointerpro as a cyber security risk
assessment tool?

3 reasons to use Pointerpro as a cyber security risk
assessment tool?

Number 1

Interactive user experience

With the Questionnaire Builder you get to create an engaging assessment. How? With numerous design and layout options, useful widgets and countless question types.

Number 2

Refined, score-based analysis

Our custom scoring engine helps you quantify the cyber security risk levels. The result? An objective and very nuanced assessment of your respondents’ situation.

Number 3

Automated feedback in PDF

Thanks to your setup in the Report Builder, respondents instantly get a detailed PDF report: with helpful charts, a personalized analysis of risks, and actionable tips.

Interactive user experience
Numerous design options, useful widgets, and countless question types.
Refined, score-based analysis
Custom scoring engine helps you quantify cyber security risk levels in any (sub)domain.
Automated feedback in PDF
For each respondent! With helpful charts, a detailed analysis, and actionable tips.

1.500+ businesses worldwide build assessments with Pointerpro

How to do a cyber security risk assessment

Cybersecurity risk assessments are crucial in the process of identifying, evaluating, and mitigating potential security risks to your organization’s information systems and data. Here are some indispensable steps to conduct comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessments.

Preparational work:

The assessment itself and what it should divulge:

When you build your assessment, you should use scoring capabilities to do risk calculation and prioritization. You should attribute scores to the assets and potential threats you’ve identified. That way you can calculate what risks require the most immediate action.

The cyber security risk assessment report:

A cyber security risk assessment will give you a clear view of the as-is situation. But of course, what matters ultimately are the actions taken to improve that as-is situation. The report you generate with your assessment could (and in many cases should) cover the following:

Note on continuous improvement:

Regularly review and update your risk assessment to account for changes in technology, threats, and the organization’s evolving needs.

Remember that cybersecurity risk assessments are an ongoing process, not a one-time task. Regular updates and adjustments are essential to maintain an effective security posture and protect your organization from emerging threats. It’s also a good practice to engage with cybersecurity experts or consultants to ensure a comprehensive assessment.

8 cyber security risk assessment template tips

No matter what questionnaire you’ll be setting up as a cyber security risk assessment, there are several essential cyber security strategy questions to ask yourself when you start developing a cyber security risk assessment template for your organization:

20 cyber security risk assessment example questions

Here are 20 of the best cyber security risk assessment example questions divided into 2 categories:

10 essential cybersecurity risk assessment questions for an IT manager

These cyber security risk assessment template questions focus on gaining a comprehensive understanding of an organization’s IT infrastructure, its current security posture, and its ability to manage and mitigate cybersecurity risks. They could be used by a cybersecurity consultant and allow an IT manager to provide a thorough overview of the organization’s cybersecurity practices, helping the external consultant assess current risks, vulnerabilities, and security measures. The information collected serves as the foundation for developing recommendations and an action plan to enhance the organization’s cybersecurity posture.

10 cybersecurity risk assessment example questions to measure end-user awareness

The overall approach of the cybersecurity behavior assessment, based on these 10 questions, aims to evaluate employees’ awareness and actions regarding cybersecurity practices within your organization. 

These cyber security risk assessment template questions cover a range of critical cybersecurity areas, including training, incident reporting, password management, data protection, physical security, and more.

How to assess a zero-trust security posture: Safeguarding the 5 pillars

Assessing a zero-trust security posture involves evaluating an organization’s readiness and implementation of the five fundamental pillars of zero trust. Zero trust is a security framework that operates under the assumption of no inherent trust in any user, device, or network, even if they are inside the corporate perimeter.

These are the key principles to follow:

To assess these pillars effectively, a combination of methods can be employed, including surveys and interviews with relevant teams, review of documentation, technical assessments, and compliance checks. 

The ultimate goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how well the organization has implemented the zero-trust framework and to provide actionable recommendations for improving its security posture based on the assessment’s findings.

10 cyber security risk assessment example questions to assess a company’s zero-trust posture

When conducting a take-in assessment to evaluate how well a company has implemented a zero-trust security model, a cybersecurity consultant could present the following 10 questions in an assessment:

These cyber security risk assessment template questions help a cybersecurity consultant assess the maturity of the company’s zero-trust implementation across various key areas, including identity verification, access controls, network segmentation, continuous monitoring, and data protection. The responses will help identify areas for improvement and provide a basis for recommendations to enhance the organization’s zero-trust security posture.

What Pointerpro clients are saying

Cyber security vs. cyber security compliance

Cyber security and cybersecurity compliance are related concepts. The primary focus of cybersecurity is to protect an organization’s information technology (IT) systems, networks, and data from threats and vulnerabilities. It encompasses all the technical, administrative, and physical measures that an organization employs to safeguard its digital assets. Cybersecurity compliance, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with adhering to external regulations, standards, and industry-specific requirements related to information security. It focuses on meeting specific legal and regulatory obligations and industry best practices.

The goals of both are ultimately the same. However, the main goals of cybersecurity are to actively prevent security breaches, mitigate security risks, protect sensitive data, maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information, and ensure business continuity. Cybersecurity compliance, on the other hand, aims to ensure applicable laws and standards are followed in order to avoid legal consequences, protect an organization’s reputation, and maintain customer trust. 

Therefore the methods and responsibility for both tend to differ in an organization:

These templates can be adapted and customized to suit your organization’s specific needs and risk management requirements. It’s essential to regularly review and update these assessments to account for changing business environments and emerging risks.

Example: NIST cyber security framework

NIST stands for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce. NIST’s mission is to promote and maintain measurement standards, as well as advance technology and innovation to enhance economic competitiveness and improve the quality of life.

NIST is known for its work in developing and publishing standards, guidelines, and best practices across various fields, including cybersecurity. NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework and Special Publications provide guidance and standards for securing information systems and data.

NIST cyber security compliance example questions:

NIST provides a wealth of resources, including a framework and a series of special publications to help organizations improve their cybersecurity posture. To check if an organization is compliant with NIST cybersecurity standards and guidelines, it can ask a series of questions and assess its practices against NIST’s recommendations. Here are some typical questions to consider:

These cyber security risk assessment template questions can help organizations assess their cybersecurity compliance with NIST guidelines and identify areas where they may need to make improvements. It’s important to consult NIST’s specific publications and guidance documents for more detailed and tailored recommendations.

Create your cyber security risk assessment today

Recommended reading