Because cybersecurity threats for organizations are skyrocketing as a result of the epidemic. According to Bitdefender, there were 1448 COVID-19 related attacks registered in February 2020 and 8319 threats filed in March 2020. Many of these cyber risks are successful because of a phishing assault, which targets your company’s and workers’ sensitive information.

As a result, it is critical to ensure that your cybersecurity management systems are successful – since a sluggish or inadequate reaction to an attack harms your reputation and financial line.

It is not enough to have security plans in place; they must also be audited regularly. When was the last time you reviewed your company’s cyber risk management strategies? Are the security papers up to date, and do they fulfil each department’s requirements?

If you are still hesitant, it is time to conduct a cybersecurity audit.

Top Warning Signs That You’re Falling Behind

Outdated technology is not prepared to face new problems – Being reliant on antiquated technology such as old software, old hardware, outdated rules and processes, and outdated services might expose you to growing dangers.

Risks outnumber possibilities – You should explore and develop with new technology. If you’re afraid of adopting new technologies because you’re worried that they’ll expose you to new hazards, you need a cybersecurity audit.

Thinking your company is “too tiny” for a cybersecurity audit — believing that only major corporations require cybersecurity audits? Consider again! Most businesses, regardless of size, are increasingly outsourcing services, allowing third parties to examine your vital systems and procedures. A cybersecurity evaluation may help organizations of all sizes.

What Is a Cybersecurity Audit?

Cybersecurity audits are used to determine compliance. According to SecurityScorecard, agencies that undertake a cybersecurity audit will “be able to determine whether or not they have the right security procedures in place while also ensuring they comply with relevant rules.”

Companies that do cybersecurity audits may then take a “proactive approach when creating cybersecurity policies, resulting in more dynamic threat management,” according to the business.

According to SecurityScorecard, third-party suppliers execute cybersecurity audits to eliminate any conflicts of interest. “They can, however, be administered by an in-house team as long as they function independently of their parent company,” according to the policy.

“All control sets, management practices, and governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) rules in place at the enterprise level” are included in the cybersecurity audit universe. According to IT governance and certification organization ISACA, “the expanded audit universe may include third parties bound by a contract incorporating audit rights in specific situations.”

What is the main objective of a security audit?

Cybersecurity is about more than simply technological resilience or IT security; it is also about the protection of information and data. Misguided promises from an internal team or a cybersecurity business, as well as a false sense of security, are the primary reasons hackers succeed in their endeavours. They concentrate on your processes, people, procedures, and weak connections.

The Scope of a Cybersecurity Audit

A Cybersecurity Evaluation’s Scope Cybersecurity audits offer a 360-degree in-depth audit of your organization’s security postures. It detects vulnerabilities, hazards, and threats that businesses face, as well as the impact these risks have across various domains.

Data Security entails an examination of network access control, encryption, data security at rest, and transmissions.

Operational security includes an examination of security policies, processes, and controls.

Network Security — an examination of network and security controls, SOC, anti-virus setups, and security monitoring capabilities, among other things.

System Security — This evaluation encompasses procedures such as hardening, patching, privileged account management, role-based access, and so on.

Physical security — a look at disk encryption, role-based access restrictions, biometric data, multifactor authentication, and other topics.

A Cybersecurity audit may also include cybersecurity risk management, cyber risk governance, training and awareness, legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements, technical security controls, business continuity and incident management, and third-party management.

Internal Cybersecurity Audit vs. External Cybersecurity Audit

Cybersecurity audits are often undertaken by a cybersecurity services business to eliminate any potential points of disagreement. They can also be carried out with the help of in-house security auditors.

External cybersecurity audits are conducted by qualified specialists who are outfitted with the necessary software and instruments to conduct a complete assessment. The auditors comprehend all security standards and are well-trained to find vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity risk management.

Outsourcing security assessments to a cybersecurity services firm provides great benefits, but it is relatively expensive for smaller businesses. To get the most out of an external security audit, you must first locate the appropriate and most economical auditing firm, then define expectations for auditors, present relevant and correct information, and implement advised adjustments.

Despite the advantages of external audits, many firms choose internal cybersecurity audits because of their lower cost, efficiency, speed, and consistency. Internal security audits are performed by an in-house team and can be performed on a more frequent basis. Furthermore, because the information is not shared with an audit vendor, gathering and organizing it is expedited.

How a Cybersecurity Audit Can Help Your Business

A cybersecurity audit provides the greatest degree of confidence in your existing cyber risk management procedures. It offers a point of view to review and improve your security management. The following are significant advantages of IT security audits:

Highlight and address flaws

Provides an in-depth examination of internal and external security measures.

Identify weak points in your defence.

Determines whether you need to improve your security posture.

Recommends how to use technology to improve enterprise security.

Controls for testing

Keeping a step ahead of hackers

The importance of reputation

Employee, customer, and vendor assurance

enhanced technological and security performance

Cybersecurity Audit Best Practices

Whether you are picking an internal or external security audit, you must consider the following measures to guarantee that the audit is carried out appropriately.

1. Begin by outlining your Cybersecurity Audit.

The first step in performing a cybersecurity audit is determining the scope of your assessment. You must make a list of all your assets, including sensitive data and computer equipment. After you’ve produced a long list, construct the security perimeter to segment your assets – those that need to be audited and those that don’t. Make a list of your most significant assets and devote your entire attention to them.

2.   Share the Resources They Need

To acquire a thorough picture of your cybersecurity management, the auditor will need to consult with a subject matter expert. Introduce the point of contact before the audit begins; they will be compelled to speak. It would be preferable to have a meeting at which the auditors should arrive with the tools required to access your network. This will make the auditing process go more smoothly and save time.

While the auditor interviews your subject matter experts to understand the security, he will first discover what your cybersecurity management is. Organize all of the documentation about your cybersecurity rules into one, easy-to-read resource.

3. Examine applicable compliance standards

Before beginning the security audit, evaluate the compliance standards criteria that relate to your company and industry and discuss them with the audit team. Understanding compliance standards aids in aligning audits with your company’s needs.

4. Describe your network structure

One of the primary objectives of a security audit is to identify security flaws in company networks. Giving your auditors a clear network topology offers them a wide understanding of how your IT infrastructure is constructed, allowing them to jumpstart the vulnerability assessment process and detect security holes and edges. The detailed network structure is a graphic that shows an overall picture of what assets are present, how they are linked, and what current safeguards exist between them.

5. Identify and document risks and vulnerabilities

Identify all vulnerabilities in your system that may have an impact on your business. This necessitates a grasp of the technology involved, the business processes involved, the compliance risks of each process, potential threats, and the rules and regulations that apply to your company. Once you have a thorough understanding of the threats that your company confronts, evaluate the likelihood of each assault, the motive behind it, and the amount of impact.

6. Evaluate Current Cyber Risk Management Performance

Now that you have a list of vulnerabilities and their consequences, you must determine if your firm is prepared to protect against them. Evaluate the present security measures’ performance, which includes your own, your department’s, and security policies’ performance.

You have vulnerability scanning tools to monitor your network, but is your staff up to date on the latest ways used by attackers to penetrate your systems?

This is one point when a cybersecurity services firm may bring greater value because they do not have any internal prejudices that influence the conclusion of a cybersecurity audit.

7. Make risk responses a priority.

The final phase in a cybersecurity audit is to identify all viable responses to the security risk and prioritize the best techniques that are appropriate for your organization and sector. Concentrate on the risks that are more likely to bring more harm to your firm. To prioritize threats, consider the severity of the danger vs the likelihood that it will occur, and assign a risk score to each.

8. Ensure that audits are performed regularly.

New sorts of cyber threats and assaults emerge regularly. How frequently do you do a cybersecurity audit?

It is recommended that thorough security audits be performed at least twice a year. Audits might be done quarterly or monthly, depending on the size of your company. Audits might be performed for the entire company or certain departments if they significantly interrupt operations. Most successful firms conduct cybersecurity audits regularly.

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If you would like to know more, do get in touch as we are happy to answer any questions. Looking to improve your cybersecurity but not sure where to start? Begin by getting certified in Cyber Essentials, the UK government’s scheme that covers all the technical controls that will provide the protection that you need to help guard against criminal attacks. Or just get in touch by clicking contact us

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