Following minimum compliance requirements does not protect an organization from all security risks. But conducting a security risk assessment allows the company to gain knowledge about where their highest risks are, which helps them understand and prioritize their security spending. This knowledge, in return, results in a reduced likelihood that certain events will jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the company’s data. Additionally, the results of a risk assessment are critical for defining, evaluating, and improving the company’s information security strategy.
Furthermore, conducting security risk assessments are required by several regulations, security certifications, and audits, including HIPAA, SOC 2, ISO27001, HITRUST, GDPR, and PCI DSS. Companies that have these compliance requirements must conduct periodic security risk assessments. While conducting annual risk assessments is a common practice — and often a compliance requirement — risk assessments should be conducted every time changes in business processes, technologies, data flows, or regulatory requirements occur.