Surely, you’ve been offered a “free” cybersecurity risk assessment at one point. This is a popular marketing tool used by cybersecurity providers in Nashville looking to expand their client base. In exchange for information and a chance to connect with a potential new customer, managed IT services providers (MSPs) conduct a free risk assessment of the client’s technology and digital environment. The goal of any risk assessment is to identify gaps in security and areas of weakness, then present the potential client with a plan for how the MSP can improve its approach to cybersecurity risk management.

While offering free assessments may be an excellent way for MSPs to build their client base, what’s in it for the potential client? We’ll lay out the differences between free and paid cybersecurity risk assessments and explain why we prefer to offer paid assessments to our prospects.

Why opt for a Free Cybersecurity Assessment?

There are many reasons why businesses may opt for a free cybersecurity risk assessment.

  • The cost: Nothing beats getting something for free, and for small or newly emerging companies, this may be the only way they can afford to explore cybersecurity risk management.
  • Rapid results: Typically, MSPs offering this free risk assessment can provide a quick turnaround since the process is largely automated. For businesses that just want answers now, this is a substantial benefit.
  • It’s an easy place to start: If your business is starting from square one, a free risk assessment typically provides a plan that can be easily implemented simply by hiring the MSP. If you don’t have any existing IT support, getting someone on your side immediately can help companies feel more cybersecure.

While there are potential benefits to be gained from free cybersecurity risk assessments, it’s critical to be aware of the possible drawbacks.

Why “Free” is NOT Better Most of the Time

Companies offering free risk assessments are more likely to provide an unbalanced report, emphasizing what needs to be fixed without pointing out anything your company is doing right. Their goal is ultimately to engage you as a customer – not to make you feel good about the approach to cybersecurity risk management practices you’re already following.

Their free report will typically highlight all the ways the MSP can help your business, and the information they offer is less likely to be objective.

The Benefits of Paid IT Assessments from Cybersecurity Experts

In contrast, paid assessments are offered by cybersecurity experts who understand that they provide a valuable service to clients. The cost of a paid cybersecurity risk assessment varies, but most businesses feel the information obtained in exchange is a fair trade of services.

Here are some of the benefits of a paid assessment:

  • A more balanced approach: Typically, paid assessments are more balanced. The companies offering these paid assessments will be reimbursed for their services, so they’re more likely to give you information on what’s going right as well as which areas need improvement.
  • Fewer scare tactics: IT services providers hoping to get your business are much more incentivized to use scare tactics to make you feel like the situation is more urgent than it really is. Their goal is to get your business, not ensure you’re cybersecure.
  • Actionable insights that anyone can use: Most MSPs follow up their paid risk assessment with a plan of action that lays out issues as well as potential solutions. While you could work with the MSP that provided the assessment to implement the solution, this approach is not mandatory. If the assessment reveals issues that can be easily dealt with by your in-house team, it’s easy to use these insights and take action without hiring an external MSP.

Sign up for Your Cybersecurity Risk Assessment with Tech Squared

While a free cybersecurity risk assessment may seem like a great deal for any business in Nashville, your cybersecurity deserves more.

Opting for a paid assessment may cost more upfront, but you’re more likely to walk away with actionable insights about the true health of your network security. This can lead to lower long-term costs since you’re getting a more objective expert opinion on what measures you can take to become more cybersecure.

Want to get more value for what you pay for? Sign up for a cybersecurity risk assessment with Tech Squared today.