The importance of cybersecurity to businesses has grown tremendously over the past two years due to the increased adoption of remote working spaces. With the digital infrastructure of companies holding more information, hackers are encouraged more than ever. Companies’ losses during data breaches have evolved beyond financial — trust is broken, and business info is made public.
Unless companies take preemptive measures to buff their online security, it will be a cycle of losses and data breaches. One of the most proactive steps to securing the digital real estate of businesses is by a security audit.
What Is a Cybersecurity Audit?
Cybersecurity audits comprehensively evaluate and assess an organization’s defense mechanisms and structures. In other words, an establishment must first have security frameworks installed before an audit is carried out to ascertain the threat level. An effective audit procedure typically involves several processes and layers of checks. A cybersecurity audit is a prerequisite in specific industries to determine the company’s compliance levels with rules.
Types of IT Security Audit
There is no straightforward answer to the types of cybersecurity audits because it is category dependent. This type of methodology category comprises five audit types. They are:
- Penetration testing
- Compliance audits
- Risk assessments
- Vulnerability tests
- Due diligence questionnaires
5 Benefits of Conducting an IT Security Audit
Like your users’ information, the benefits of periodic cybersecurity audits cannot be quantified. Here are five reasons you should perform an organizational IT audit:
1. Grading Present Security Status
Understanding what level of defense your IT infrastructure is capable of is fast becoming a qualification status for specific business deals, transactions and partnerships. Because sensitive information is traded during these business activities, companies now demand detailed audit reports before any deal is brokered.
Cybersecurity audit results are mandatory for insurance liability coverage and claims. Based on audit reports, insurance companies can determine if businesses observe specific security measures and comply with industry standards before okaying insurance policies. Some of the demanded metrics include vulnerability scans, annual PEN testing and two-factor authentication.
2. Assesses and Protects Data Flow
As stated earlier, monetary losses are the least of companies’ problems when hacks occur. Confidential information, such as a business correspondence shared within and between partners, can be catastrophic in the wrong hands. This makes monitoring and protecting data shared within the organization critical. With the information channel audited, the required fail-safes are installed to prevent data theft and mismanagement.
3. You Stay Ahead of the Hacking Curve
Several security updates pop up every now and then — either due to a general security update or as a result of the discovery of a flaw within the preexisting security framework. Hackers are known to exploit such system flaws to remotely access your systems. However, if you regularly audit your security systems, you will be a step ahead of hacking threats because your systems are advanced and updated.
The technicalities of preventing data breaches receive the most attention. However, the non-technical aspect serves as the initial line of defense (i.e., prevention). When you are provided with info like the frequency of software updates, you can work out policies and strategies to control when and how updates are made.
4. Enhanced Responsiveness to Data Breaches
With the right cybersecurity companies in Boston, you can simulate data breaches and evaluate your IT employees’ response time and strategy. This exposes your team to the replica of real-time hacks. As a result, you can easily score your business’ readiness if a data breach occurs.
The audit report can measure other metrics, including strategy and data recovery. This allows you to determine what part of your strategy needs fixing and how much training your employees need to reach the competency level sufficient for your organization.
5. Ensures Operations Are Industry-Compliant
To protect vendors and small businesses from malicious actors, several industries and regulatory bodies have a set of laid-down rules that must be followed, depending on the industry and body. Some demand compliance before beginning operations, and others withhold certification.
Typical of any system, entrepreneurs and execs may be motivated to exploit administrative flaws to achieve certification. But the idea and knowledge that regulatory bodies will conduct audits to find out make it safer for the general public to deal with business.
Systems Assessed by Security Audits
Cybersecurity audits assess three main systems, the organization’s network infrastructure, software run by the computers and the devices. These systems are examined to check for the following:
- Network vulnerabilities
- Data encryption and security
- Architecture management and efficiency
- System security and development
- Software systems
In a scenario where any of these systems is left out, your organization may come under attack and become part of the statistics of data breaches resulting from human error. Systems are audited based on the results of the previous audits, goals and scope of the organization.
How Often Is an IT Security Audit Needed?
If your business frequently handles sensitive information, is large, and has had hack attempts in the past, it should be audited more than the recommended once yearly. This is due to the sky-high hacking attempts made by hackers in such companies. Regulatory bodies and budgets also influence the frequency of audit processes.
Contact Welsh Consulting for Your Auditing and Cybersecurity Needs
A good number of cyberattacks occur as a result of human error. With more sensitive information taking digital format, data breaches are becoming more costly for both business owners and clients. Welsh Consulting has extremely effective and efficient cybersecurity processes and strategies. Each solution is crafted to suit your budget and business needs. Call us at (617) 695-9800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to begin consultations for your audit.