Over the years, the online business landscape has evolved due to rapid advances in computer technology and the introduction of cloud-based resources that have provided organizations with a viable IT environment to help them manage online operations efficiently. However, as companies build their online infrastructure, they open themselves up to various cyberthreats that can adversely impact their bottom line. Cybercrime and new hacking techniques have steadily increased over the last decade, which is why IT security audits are important.
What is an IT security audit?
An IT security audit is a thorough evaluation of the cybersecurity measures of your organization. Performing IT security audits will help you identify and assess vulnerabilities in your networks, associated devices, and applications. It involves scanning for security vulnerabilities and performing penetration tests to determine how well your IT infrastructure can defend against various cyberattacks. The results of these tests will help you customize security policies and achieve compliance.
Types of IT security audits
There are two forms of IT security audits, namely:
- Internal audit
In an internal IT security audit, a company uses its own resources and auditors to conduct the assessment. The organization conducts an internal audit to determine if its systems and cybersecurity policies are compliant with its own rules and procedures.
- External audit
An external audit is carried out by a third-party. External audits are performed when a company needs to ensure that it's complying with industry standards and government regulations.
Why is an IT security audit important?
An IT security audit provides a roadmap for your company's key cybersecurity vulnerabilities. It shows where your organization is meeting important security criteria and where it doesn't. IT security audits are essential for creating risk assessment plans and prevention strategies for businesses dealing with sensitive and confidential personal data.
What does an IT security audit cover?
During an IT security audit, every system an organization uses will be checked for weaknesses in the following areas:
- Network vulnerabilities
Auditors identify vulnerabilities in any network component that cybercriminals could use to access valuable information or cause systemwide damage. This includes unsecured access points, instant messages, emails, and network traffic.
- Cybersecurity controls
In this part of the audit, auditors will check how effective an organization's security controls are. This includes assessing how well the company has implemented existing policies and procedures to protect its information and infrastructure. For example, an auditor will evaluate an organization's existing security policy on data breaches to determine if the proper measures are in place and if everyone is strictly adhering to those measures.
- Data encryption
This will verify that your company has controls in place to manage the data encryption process effectively. This is to ensure that digital data is kept confidential and protected while being stored on site, in the cloud, on portable devices, and while it is in transit.
If you need help in conducting an IT security audit for your business, contact us today to see how our managed solutions can help.