What Is Cyber Security Audit and How It Is Helpful for Your Business?

cybersecurity audit

How long has it been since you did a complete cybersecurity audit? We are asking about an in-depth audit of complete cybersecurity management, not a simple scan. If it has been longer than you remember, then you are probably at risk of being a victim of cyberattacks. As cyber incidents continue to flourish worldwide, there is no sign that cyber risks will fade away soon.

What did your organization do for cybersecurity management to secure the information while most of your workforce is working from home? This is where the cybersecurity audit plays its role.

A security audit aids you to find whether there is any number of cybersecurity challenges and risks to your business and technological operations. Once you are armed with the importance of an IT audit, you can find the right cybersecurity services company that can assess your company’s security strengths and loopholes concerning them.

Now, the time has come to get the information about security audits in cybersecurity and the support you need with this blog.

How Would Your Business Cyber Risk Management Perform If You Hit by An Attack Tomorrow?

Because cybersecurity risks for businesses are upsurging high during this pandemic. There were 1448 COVID-19 themed threats filed in Feb 2020 and 8319 threats in March 2020, according to Bitdefender. Many of these cyber threats succeeded through a phishing attack, which targets your company’s as well as employees’ sensitive information.

Hence, it is vital to ensure that your cybersecurity management measures are effective — because inadequate or slow response against an attack hurts your reputation and bottom line.

It is not adequate to have security plans in place; they must be audited consistently. When was the last time you revised your business’s cyber risk management plans? Are the security documents up-to-date and do they meet the requirements of each department?

If you are still unsure, then it is the right time for a cybersecurity audit.

Top Indicators that you’re Falling Behind

  • Out of date technology not packing up against new challenges — Being dependent on older technologies like old software, old hardware, outdated policies & practices, and outdated services can leave you vulnerable to emerging threats.
  • Risks flowing widespread over opportunities — You should experiment and innovate with new technologies. If you’re feared adopting new technologies with the concern that new tech will leave you exposed to new threats, then you need a cybersecurity audit.
  • Thinking your business is “Too small” for cybersecurity Audit — Considering that only large-scale companies require cybersecurity Audits? Think Again! Most companies, regardless of size, are increasingly outsourcing services, which enables third parties to have a close look at your critical systems and practices. Organizations of all sizes can benefit from a cybersecurity assessment.

What is a Cybersecurity Audit?

A cybersecurity audit involves a comprehensive analysis and review of the IT infrastructure of your business. It detects vulnerabilities and threats, displaying weak links, and high-risk practices. It is a primary method for examining compliance. It is designed to evaluate something (a company, system, product, etc.) against a specific standard to validate that the exact needs are met.

Cybersecurity is not just about technical resilience or IT security; it is about Information and Data security. Misguided assurances from the internal team or a cybersecurity company and a false sense of security are the major reasons why hackers are succeeding in their attempts. They target your processes, people, procedures, and weakest links.

Cybersecurity audits ensure a 360-degree in-depth audit of your organization’s security postures. It detects vulnerabilities, risks, and threats that organizations face and the influence of such risks causing across these areas.

  • Data Security — involves a review of network access control, encryption use, data security at rest, and transmissions
  • Operational Security — involves a review of security policies, procedures, and controls
  • Network Security — a review of network & security controls, SOC, anti-virus configurations, security monitoring capabilities, etc.
  • System Security — This review covers hardening processes, patching processes, privileged account management, role-based access, etc.
  • Physical Security — a review that covers disk encryption, role-based access controls, biometric data, multifactor authentication, etc.

Beyond these, a Cybersecurity audit can also cover cybersecurity risk management, cyber risk governance, training & awareness, legal, regulatory & contractual requirements, technical security controls, business continuity & incident management, and third-party management.

Cybersecurity audits are generally performed by the cybersecurity services company to eliminate any bone of contention. They can also be performed with in-house security auditors.

External cybersecurity audits are performed by experienced professionals and equipped with appropriate software and tools to perform a thorough audit. The auditors possess an adequate understanding of all security protocols as well as well-trained to detect flaws in your cybersecurity risk management.

Outsourcing security audit to the cybersecurity services company has significant value, though it is quite expensive for smaller companies. To get better value from the external security audit, you must find the right and affordable auditing company, set expectations for auditors, submit relevant and accurate information and implement suggested changes.

Despite the benefits of external audits, many organizations opt for internal cybersecurity audits due to their cost, efficiency, speed, and consistency. An internal security audit is done with an in-house team, they can be done more often. Moreover, collecting and sorting relevant information is streamlined as it is not being shared with an audit vendor.

A cybersecurity audit offers the highest level of assurance for your cyber risk management process in place. It adds a line of sight to evaluate as well as enhance your security management. Significant benefits of IT security audits are:

  • Highlight and address weak spots
  • Delivers in-depth analysis of internal and external security practices
  • Identify gaps in your defense
  • Determines whether you must enhance your security posture or not
  • Recommends how to leverage technology in business security
  • Testing controls
  • Staying ahead of cybercriminals
  • Reputational value
  • Assurance to employees, clients, and vendors
  • Increased technology and security performance

8 Best Practices for A Cybersecurity Audit

Either you choose an internal or external security audit; you must look into the following steps to ensure you are conducting the audit properly.

1. Start with defining your Cybersecurity Audit

The first job in a cybersecurity audit is defining the scope of your audit. You need to list down all your assets like sensitive data and computer equipment. Once you made the long list, define the security perimeter to segment your assets — assets you’ll need to audit and things you won’t. Shortlist your most valuable assets and focus 100 % on those assets.

2. Share the Resources They Need

The auditor will need to connect with a subject matter expert to get a complete view of your cybersecurity management. Before the audit begins, introduce the point of contact; they will be required to talk. It would be better to conduct a meeting where the auditors should show up with the tools, they need to access your network. This will smooth out the audit process and save time.

While the auditor interviews your subject matter experts to grasp the security, he will understand what your cybersecurity managements are in the first place. Organize all the documents regarding your cybersecurity policies in an easy-to-read single resource.

3. Audit relevant compliance standards

Before the security audit begins, review the compliance standards requirements, which apply to your business and industry, and share with the audit team. Understanding the compliance regulations helps to align the audits with the requirements of your company.

4. Detail your Network Structure

One of the main goals of a security audit is to disclose security gaps on enterprise networks. Providing your auditors with a detailed structure of your network gives them a broad overview of how your IT infrastructure is structured, aiding them to head start the vulnerability assessment process and identify the security gaps and edges. The detailed network structure is a diagram showing an overall view of what assets are there, how they are linked, and what are the existing protections between them.

5. Detect and Record Risk and Vulnerabilities

Identify all vulnerabilities in your system, which could affect your business. This requires the understanding of technologies, business processes involved, the compliance risks of each process, possible attacks, and laws & regulations, which apply to your business. Once you comprehend the complete range of risks your business faces, assess the possibility of each attack, the motivation behind it as well as the level of influence.

6. Assess Existing Cyber Risk Management Performance

Now that you have got a list of vulnerabilities and their impacts, you have to check whether your company can defend against them. Evaluate the performance of the current security measures, which includes the evaluation of the performance of yourself, your department, and security policies.

Maybe you are equipped with vulnerability scanning tools to monitor your network, but are your workforce up to date on the current methods used by attackers to hack your systems?

This is one phase where a cybersecurity services company can add more value as they have no internal preferences which affect the outcome of cybersecurity audit.

7. Prioritize Risk Responses

The final step in a cybersecurity audit is to pinpoint the possible ways to respond to the security risk and prioritize the best methods which suit your business and industry. Also focus on the risks, which are more likely to cause more damage to your organization. To prioritize threats, weigh the damage of a threat versus the possibility that it actually can occur and assign a risk score to each.

8. Ensure Regular Audits

New types of cyber risks and attacks are constantly emerging. How often do you perform a cybersecurity audit?

It is suggested that in-depth security audits are carried out at least twice a year. Based on your business size, you could do audits quarterly, or monthly. You can do audits for business as a whole or per department if it severely disrupts workflow. Most successful businesses are proactively doing cybersecurity audits regularly.

Cybersecurity Audit and Cyber Risk Management Services for Business

At Indusface, we offer a 360-degree cybersecurity audit with multiple vulnerability scans, risk assessments, and a myriad of advanced security tools to perform an in-depth security audit in cybersecurity. Our security team supports companies to safeguard their businesses, customers’ critical data, and assets with comprehensive cyber risk management services, which includes:

  • Measuring the existing security program against proven industry standards
  • Audit security policies and procedures
  • Internal & external vulnerability scanning
  • Unlimited scanning to ensure comprehensive risk detection
  • Business logic vulnerability checks
  • Zero false positive assurance
  • Malware monitoring & Blacklisting Detection

We are a one-stop-shop for all your cybersecurity audit services and vulnerability assessments and will offer suggestions for protecting your data assets.

The Closure

Cyberspace is ripe with threats and risks, but this doesn’t mean you’ve to live in fear. By identifying security vulnerabilities and gaps in your security solutions with regular cybersecurity audits, you can defend your business from cyber-attacks.

Ensuring an effective cybersecurity management system in place can deliver greater productivity by reducing costs and minimize downtime.

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Originally published at https://www.indusface.com.

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