Frustrated businessman

5 Signs You REALLY Need a Security Risk Assessment

The cost benefit analysis of performing a network security risk assessment may seem prohibitive. After all, the risk of a security breach can’t be that high, can it?

You might be surprised to learn that more than 80% of US companies have been hacked. Smaller companies are more vulnerable than larger ones. They’re less likely to take steps to protect their networks.

Around $400 billion each year is lost by companies around the world through cyber crime. Hackers don’t just steal data. They empty corporate bank accounts too, either directly or through the use of ransomware.

Faced with this information, the idea of hiring an IT security specialist to perform a security risk assessment might not seem so bad. The cost involved in eradicating a Trojan, or the loss of revenue caused by a denial of service attack, can be eye-watering. You might even find you have to rebuild your network from scratch, which is plain demoralizing.

So much for prevention. Here are five signs you really should have gotten a security risk assessment weeks ago:

Your PC is Still Booting Up at Midday

Malware slows down your operating software. For a Windows OS, launch Task Manager and check out your CPU usage under Performance. Depending on what programs are running at the time you might see the occasional spike at 80 – 90%.

If it’s flat-lining along the top of the graph and the processor fan keeps kicking in, your network’s probably caught a nasty bug. Especially if you’re only running Minesweeper.

You Frequently Get the Blue Screen of Death

That flurry of white text on a blue screen we all love to see is usually down to a hardware or software incompatibility.  It’s probably caused by something you’ve installed recently. If you’re getting the Blue Screen so often that your co-workers think it’s your new wallpaper, however, you might want to run a malware scan next time you boot up.


Your web browser displays a ransom note, something along the lines of: “Attention! All your files have been encrypted. Restore your files is simples. Buying decryption password in Bitcoin only. One week no paying we destroy all you data forever. Boom!”

Don’t expect the ransomware note to win awards for grammatical construction. It’s likely to have originated outside of an English-speaking country.

Your Mouse Has a Life of Its Own

Well, not exactly your mouse, but the cursor. If your mouse is moving around, you need to hire an exorcist, not an IT security specialist. If your cursor is whizzing around the screen, however, opening files and programs, then your network’s been hacked. Some black hat has got inside and is remotely accessing your PC, which leads us to:

You Find Yourself Waiting in Line at Your Local Unemployment Office

Thank you, unknown hacker. He’s just emptied your company’s bank account by accessing it through the network. And the money stolen isn’t always recoverable, especially if your bank decides the breach was due to YOUR company’s negligence.

60% of small hacked companies go bankrupt within six months. That’s a sobering statistic. And it might just make you think about getting that security risk assessment done. Talk to Affinity. We’ll help keep you from all the nasty situations listed above.