What Is A Cyber Security Audit?

As organisations embrace cloud computing, data analytics and workplace mobility, they have to navigate through an increasingly complex world of data privacy mandates and legislature and sophisticated attack vectors.  A security audit is now a critical component of modern business and its purpose is to assist the executive team in developing a strategy for managing cyber security. 
 
In the current threat landscape, enterprises face a monumental task to maintain security and regulatory compliance. Not only do they need to protect themselves from cyber criminals, but they also have to contend with internal security threats, commercial, individual and government hacks.
 
Regular security audits help companies test and assess their overall security posture. This approach provides an opportunity to identify and resolve new vulnerabilities. It also goes a long way in helping businesses stay a step ahead of threat actors while avoiding hefty fines.
 
Depending on the system, cyber security tools work well separately or together. However, you have to be careful in selecting the right tools to ensure that they don’t conflict with each other.
 
Threat actors don’t rest, so neither should you. As cybersecurity threats evolve rapidly, organisations need to take a proactive role in protecting their sensitive digital assets. Cyber security audit means assessment and implementation of cybersecurity guidelines and standards. It helps the organisations to manage cyber threats. It also addresses possible risks and how to deal with it. The auditor monitors security operations and takes actions if needed. It is essential for organisations to get aware of all the risk factors and security controls.
 
The threat from cyber-attacks is significant and continuously evolving. Many audit committees and boards have set an expectation for internal audit to understand and assess the organisation’s capabilities in managing the associated risks. 
A cyber security audit is designed to be a comprehensive review and analysis of your business’s IT infrastructure. It identifies threats and vulnerabilities, exposing weaknesses and high-risk practices.
 
Increasingly, many companies are recognising the need for a third line of cyber defense in the form of an independent review of security measures and performance by a cyber security audit function. 
 
These audits should play an integral role in assessing and identifying opportunities to strengthen enterprise security. The audit should inform the board of directors that the controls for which they are responsible are in place and functioning correctly, a growing concern across boardrooms as directors face potential legal and financial liabilities.
 
Regulations such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) can impose hefty penalties in the event of a breach that results in exploited data. 
 
A cyber security audit will help mitigate the consequences of a breach and demonstrate that your organisation has taken the necessary steps to protect client and company data. 
 
Our Cyber Security Specialists can advise on the best course of action to vastly improve your cyber resilience, securing your data and protect your business.
 
Cyber Security Audit Overview
 
The audit itself is divided into two distinct phases, a Gap Analysis and a Vulnerability Assessment. The Vulnerability Assessment service assists in preventing network attacks by identifying the vulnerabilities and configuration issues that hackers use to penetrate your network.
 
Who is the cyber security audit designed for?
 
Cyber security audits are a valuable tool for organisations that haven’t yet documented their internal and external risks, vulnerabilities and threat exposure. It is also applicable to businesses that have expanded, implementing various software and security controls but are inevitably overwhelmed by the volume of data being processed in daily communications.
 
External auditors are consummate professionals. They use a wide-ranging selection of cybersecurity software, such as vulnerability detectors and they’re able to bring a tremendous amount of knowledge to the table in order to find gaps and security flaws in your systems. The biggest drawback, however, is the fact that they often don’t come cheap, and finding a professional with the necessary qualifications and expertise can often be complicated.
 
In addition to this, the success of your audit will depend heavily on the lines of communication between yourself and the auditor. If an auditor cannot get access to your data in good time, the audit will take longer than necessary, which bloats costs and produces inaccurate results.
 
This makes external audits something of a luxury, rather than an ongoing option. They are an excellent option to undertake once a year, should you have the resources to invest in it. Internal audits, on the other hand, are far easier to manage, and as already mentioned, they can offer you an opportunity to gather data and set your own benchmarks.
 
Below is a list of frequent threats that you should be considering during this step:
  • Careless Employees – Your employees need to be your first line of defence; any weak link in this chain is enough to undermine the whole process. How well trained are your employees? Are they trained to notice suspicious activity and follow security protocols to the letter?
  • Phishing Attacks – Breach perpetrators are regularly using phishing attacks to get hold of sensitive information.
  • Weak Passwords –Weak or stolen passwords are the most common method used by hackers to gain access to networks.
  • Insider Threats – No one wants to think about the idea that someone on the inside of their business would do anything to hurt their business either maliciously or accidentally, but unfortunately it is possible, and it does happen.
  • DDoS Breaches –  A distributed denial of service attack does exactly what it says on the tin. Multiple systems flood a target (usually a web server) to overload it and render it useless.
  • Employee Devices – Do your employees connect their smartphones to the Wi-Fi or use their own USB stick? If so, you need to take these into account as it substantially weakens your security position.
  • Malware – This encompasses several threats, such as worms, Trojan horses, spyware and the persistent and increasingly prevalent ransomware.
  • Physical Theft or Natural Disaster – While neither of these things is especially likely, the consequences of not being prepared could cost your organisation a massive sum of money.
It’s often the case that internal auditors will often lack the experience of a professional and therefore would need some help to begin the process.  Cyber Security Intelligence can help you make the right decisions. 
 
For free advice and to get connected to the right source of assistance, Contact Us at Cyber Security Intelligence.
 
Quora:           Cyfor:        Deloitte:         ITGovernance:        :
 
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