There are several reasons why an organization would have a cyber security assessment done.
First, even the best cyber security program should be evaluated to see if there are any gaps. A third-party assessment can identify those gaps and if/where there are any open ports through which a cyber criminal can access your system before it’s too late. While it may identify one or two devices on your network that need updates, even if 0.1% of your devices are not secured, you are open to attack. All it takes is one weak point.
Additionally, by having a third party run a penetration test, you can vet how resilient your system is to a hacking attempt. The testers are looking not just at vulnerabilities but also whether a real threat exists to exploit that vulnerability (that is, whether a bad actor can get into the system).
Cyber security is similar to wargaming. The more testing and exercising you do to identify weaknesses, the stronger you become and the better prepared you are to defend your system.
Another reason for a cyber security assessment is to evaluate where your level of security currently is so that you can identify what you need to do in order to improve. That is, to create a roadmap of improvements on your journey to security. In cyber security, you can NOT just “set it and forget it”.
This basic initial assessment will identify what your assets are (create an inventory), what your architecture is, if all devices have the latest security patches, etc. Since you cannot protect what you do not see, this is a critical first step.
Not only can this assessment help to identify a security roadmap, it can also provide a plan for how to bring in new devices to connect securely as well as identifying physical security protocols and processes/procedures your employees must follow to maintain your security.
The next step would be to implement these changes to include continuous monitoring to ensure that no cyber criminals are getting in. And most importantly, to ensure your policies are followed and your employees are trained.
While your organization may outsource its cyber security to a consultant, that does not mean that your employees do not need to worry about it. Cyber security is everyone’s job!