Theft, attack, and loss of data is now the leading form of crime facing organizations. It has overtaken physical theft, which until 2017, was the most rampant type of crime against companies for over a decade.
What does this mean for your business?
Simply put, you need to invest more in anti-cybercrime measures. But with technology rapidly changing, simply having such measures isn’t enough. You need to update your systems through periodical security audits to seal any loopholes that may develop as a result of technology advancements.
But what exactly does a security audit entail?
More importantly, what are the advantages of a security audit for your business?
Read on to find out.
What Is a Security Audit?
During a security audit, an IT specialist examines a company’s IT infrastructure. This will help identify its strengths and potential vulnerabilities. They use specialized tools to gather information and draft reports detailing the strengths and potential security risks of existing systems.
Network security auditing services also provide recommendations for bolstering the various security systems. They prescribe the measures to be enacted immediately as well as in the long run.
Most service providers usually follow the steps below:
1. Platform and Device Identification
The first thing a security auditor will do is to identify the devices using your network and their operating systems. This step allows them to identify all the threats facing your systems.
2. Review of Security Policies and Procedures
At this stage, the auditing service provider conducts a detailed review of your business’s security policies. The aim here is to find out whether existing policies are up to the standards needed to effectively secure your systems and data assets.
For example, the auditor can find out who has access to what type of data and whether they really need that access.
3. Evaluation of Security Architecture
While policy review evaluates your existing policies, architecture review examines the actual security technologies and controls in your company.
This step builds off the information gathered in the first step to provide a detailed analysis of existing cybersecurity measures.
4. Risk Assessment
Here, the security auditor conducts several examinations to characterize your security systems (application, function, and process), pinpoint threats, and scrutinize the existing control environment.
This allows them to find out your security risks and their effect on your business. With this information, the auditor can then prioritize the various risks from the easiest to fix to the hardest.
5. Review of Firewall Configuration
While the network firewall is covered in the evaluation of security architecture, it’s usually given extra attention in this assessment stage. That’s because it’s the technology that’s directly involved in protecting your business against external threats.
Here, the security auditor examines your firewall’s rule-based analyses, topology, configuration, and management processes. They also evaluate the policies governing remote access and check whether your firewall is updated with latest patches.
6. Penetration Testing
Penetration tests act as some form of stress test for your existing security infrastructure. Here, the auditor tries to breach your security architecture to find out whether there are any existing loopholes that they may have missed.
In case of any issues, they address them immediately to ensure that you have an impenetrable security system.
7. Drafting of Audit Report
With the security audit complete, the auditor drafts an in-depth report detailing the findings of the assessment.
This final step outlines the state of your existing systems, the security risks you’re facing, and the possible fixes. It also identifies high-priority fixes so you can address them with the necessary urgency.
Why You Should Get a Security Audit
Security audits might be costly, but their benefits warrant the extra expense.
Here are the advantages of a security audit for your business:
One of the main benefits of a security audit is to ensure that your company’s cyber-defenses are up-to-date and well-equipped to deal with the various cyber-threats.
It allows you to identify your security vulnerabilities before cybercriminals exploit them. Thus, providing better protection for your information and assets.
That’s especially true for growing businesses, which are constantly adding new hardware to their systems. When you introduce new hardware, you create new security endpoints. These endpoints create new vulnerabilities which expose your business to cyber threats.
This also applies to new software programs, regardless of whether they’re running on “on the cloud” or individual devices.
Through security audits, you can upgrade the security of new hardware and software. You also need to provide the security guard services to your physical data centers. This is to prevent unauthorized physical access to crucial IT infrastructure and information.
Optimizing the Flow of Information within the Organization
Data is one of the key corporate assets that need top security controls.
If you choose the right IT support company, you’ll be able to determine your data type, how it moves within your company, and who accesses it. You’ll also be able to review your anti-data breach measures to prevent data loss, theft, or misuse.
And if you have any problems with data flow, the auditing team will provide a framework for the necessary improvements.
Every company has information that it’s legally obliged to keep secure and private. In the event of a security breach, the privacy of that data gets compromised and exposes your company to lawsuits.
With a security audit, you can prevent this from happening and save your business tons of money in legal expenses.
Proper Allocation of Resources to Systems Security
Ideally, the kind of technology you use should match your company’s level of security needs. Through a security audit, IT experts can help you choose the right tools for your security needs.
This way, you won’t overspend or underspend on your security systems, and your company resources will be properly utilized.
Get a Security Audit Today!
Given the constant evolution of technology, cyber protection is now more complex than ever. New threats are surfacing each day. Thus, a periodical security audit is the only way to ensure that your systems are up to the task.