An audit is an independent examination of the present state of anything. An auditor is a person who performs the task of an audit. The auditor uses the concept of professional skepticism to perform various audits. Independent examination of a business’s cybersecurity is known as cybersecurity audit. A cybersecurity audit helps to understand that the company’s security policies and controls have been taken correctly. Various cybersecurity policies are followed in a company. Cybersecurity audit helps to know that these are working effectively.
The purpose of a cybersecurity audit is to assess the company’s security posture to the customers. It avoids the cyber threats which a company can face in the future. It highlights any weaknesses that are found in the company’s security. Various cybersecurity standards are used and followed to perform the task of the audit. It also ensures that all the compliances of standards are met. In performing the cybersecurity audit, various evaluations are done, such as data security, operational security, system security, and network security. It also states that all the departments of the business are following the proper documentation.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber Security is software that protects our mobiles, data, computers, servers, and other electronics devices from malicious attacks. The security of such devices is ensured by prohibiting unauthorized access to them. It is also termed Information Technology Security. There are various threats such as Cybercrime, Cyber-Attack, and Cyberterrorism against which the system is protected. Malware, phishing, trojans, spyware, and botnets are some of the common methods which are used to threaten Cyber Security. You can protect against cyberattacks by updating your entire system, using an Antivirus, or setting strong passwords for your system.
Cyber Security Audit
Due to the advancement of technology, the risk of cyberattacks grows for an organization. Digital innovation has increased network complexity and creates network gaps for cyber adversaries. If they are ignored, they can undermine the objectives of an organization. Therefore, it becomes crucial for the organization to have cybersecurity programs.
Conducting a regular Audit for such security programs can help to overcome these risks. The organizations can also evaluate other various regulations and laws. Because of a well-established audit program, an organization can effectively monitor its networks and systems.
Cyber Security Audit ensures that the organization has a proper security mechanism in place or not. It also makes sure that the security mechanisms are in line with the relevant laws and regulations. A third party performs these audits, which ensures that the audit is performed with independence of mind.
Why should you have a Cyber Security Audit?
Cyber Security Audit helps to identify the risks associated with the network structure of your company. It also tells you the changes required to protect your business from such risks. It focuses on compliances, standards, policies, and guidelines. It helps to review data security during the storage and network access control. Operational security provided by the audit can help to review the procedures and security control. A cybersecurity audit is the highest level of assurance that a business can offer. It gives a sense of confidence to the customers that the cybersecurity controls of the business are effective. Cybersecurity offers protection to the networks against data breaches. It helps to prevent unauthorized user access. It addresses and highlights the weak spots in your business network.
Methods of performing Audit of Cyber Security
When it comes to the network structure, an organization has various security risks associated with it. Security failures like malware or human errors can ruin the reputation of an organization. But, cybersecurity audits can help to protect their network system.
- Check your data security policy
An information security policy must be present in an organization. It must establish the rules for handling sensitive employee and customer information. You must go through this policy once before starting the actual audit. Have a check on which employees have access to the critical information and to whom they can disclose it. Auditors can interrogate the employees on data security protocols. Providing more data information can help evaluate the compliances in a better way.
- Consolidated Cybersecurity Policies
This consolidation process helps conduct the audit process smoothly. Providing a list of compliance policies can help to gain an understanding of an organization’s security practices. It helps to understand and identify the potential gaps.
- Network Diagram
Providing a network diagram of your organization can help gain a clear view of the IT infrastructure of your organization. Prepare a list of your network assets and how they work to make a good network diagram. It makes it easier to identify the weaknesses of the network system.
- Check Compliance Standards
Review which of the compliance standards are vital for you to follow. This information must be shared with the audit engagement team. Compliance standards help to align the audit assessment procedure. You must provide proper clarification on any of the questions asked you.
- Conduct Employee Interviews
Various security personnel are often interrogated in the audit process to gain a better understanding of the security architecture. You must make a proper list of responsibilities of members of the security staff. Make a list of your key stakeholders who you think can play an essential role in the process. You can also ask the auditor who they will need to talk to. Fix a meeting with those stakeholders to have a good discussion with them. Every employee of the company must have a detailed knowledge of the security information policy which is being implemented in the company.
Ensure that the audit is conducted properly. You must define the scope of your security audit. Make a list of all the assets like sensitive data and other equipment. Now determine which assets or materials to be used in the audit process and which are not. You must select the most valuable assets for audit, and the primary focus should be on them. Organize all the essential documents regarding security policies which can be helpful in the audit procedure.
Identify all the vulnerable items in your network system which can have an impact on your business. This requires an understanding of the compliance risks of each system that applies to your business. You must also assess the possibility of each attack on the system. Check whether your business can defend against such attacks or not. Evaluate your performance and security policies also.
Find out the possible ways by which you can respond to the security risks and the best methods which suit your business. Focus on the risks which can cause more damage to your business. Before the actual start of the audit, you can have a quick self-assessment as a trial to review your policies and procedures. You must conduct such cybersecurity audits at least twice a year. You can also perform these audits quarterly or monthly based on your business size. The most successful businesses conduct such cybersecurity audits regularly.
Cyberspace is filled with risks and threats, but this doesn’t mean that you have to be scared. You must be fearless. You can protect your business from cyber-attacks by regular cybersecurity audits. It eliminates the risk of damaging your network system. Your cybersecurity management system must be effective so that it can deliver greater productivity and minimize downtime.
A cybersecurity audit program must not be considered as an all-end solution. Due to the inherent limitations of the audit, most of the audits don’t give an accurate and fair view of the security controls. To get some more effectiveness, you must conduct a cybersecurity assessment tool after the audit procedure. Cybersecurity rating must also be used to gain some more knowledge of cybersecurity effectiveness.