By Bill Minahan | August 26, 2020 | 24 Comments
- What is a cyber security audit?
- What does an audit cover?
- How often do you need security audits?
- Cyber security audit checklist
- Free cyber security audit tool
What is a cyber security audit?
A cyber security audit is a systematic and independent examination of an organization’s cyber security. An audit ensures that the proper security controls, policies, and procedures are in place and working effectively.
Your organization has a number of cyber security policies in place. The purpose of a cyber security audit is to provide a ‘checklist’ in order to validate your controls are working properly. In short, it allows you to inspect what you expect from your security policies.
The objective of a cyber security audit is to provide an organization’s management, vendors, and customers, with an assessment of an organization’s security posture.
Audits play a critical role in helping organizations avoid cyber threats. They identify and test your security in order to highlight any weaknesses or vulnerabilities that could be expolited by a potential bad actor.
What does an audit cover?
A cyber security audit focuses on cyber security standards, guidelines, and policies. Furthermore, it focuses on ensuring that all security controls are optimized, and all compliance requirements are met.
Specifically, an audit evaluates:
- Operational Security (a review of policies, procedures, and security controls)
- Data Security (a review of encryption use, network access control, data security during transmission and storage)
- System Security (a review of patching processes, hardening processes, role-based access, management of privileged accounts, etc.)
- Network Security (a review of network and security controls, anti-virus configurations, SOC, security monitoring capabilities)
- Physical Security (a review of role-based access controls, disk encryption, multifactor authentication, biometric data, etc.)
Unlike a cyber security assessment, which provides a snapshot of an organization’s security posture. An audit is a 360 in-depth examination of an organization’s entire security posture.
Benefits of a cyber security audit
A cyber security audit is the highest level of assurance service that an independent cyber security company offers.
It provides an organization, as well as their business partners and customers, with confidence in the effectiveness of their cyber security controls. Unfortunately, internet threats and data breaches are more prevalent than ever before. As a result, business leaders and consumers increasingly prioritize and value cyber security compliance.
An audit adds an independent line of sight that is uniquely equipped to evaluate as well as improve your security.
Specfically the following are some benefits of performing an audit:
- Identifying gaps in security
- Highlight weaknesses
- Reputational value
- Testing controls
- Improving security posture
- Staying ahead of bad actors
- Assurance to vendors, employees, and clients
- Confidence in your security controls
- Increased performance of your technology and security
At aNetworks, we offer a 360 cyber security audit for organizations. Our audit consists of multiple compliance and vulnerability scans, security and risk assessments, and a myriad of other cyber security tools used to conduct an in-depth examination into an organization’s cyber security.
If you are interested in performing a cyber security audit for your company, then please contact us for a free quote.
How often do you need security audits?
How often you will need to perform an audit depends on what compliance or security framework your business follows.
For instance, FISMA requires federal agencies to have audits twice a year. If you work with a federal agency, then you also must comply with FISMA.
Failure to comply with laws that require cyber security audits can result in fines and penalties.
Other compliance regulations require annual audits. Some require none. How often you perform audits is entirely dependent on what type of data your company works with, what industry you are in, what legal requirements you must follow, etc.
However, even if you are not required to perform an audit, most security experts recommend you perform at least one annual audit to ensure your controls are functioning properly.
If you are unsure whether you require an audit, then contact us and we will get you squared away.
Cyber security audit checklist
Your audit checklist will depend on your industry, size, and compliance framework. Therefore, each organization’s checklist will vary.
However, there are some basic categories that every audit should include. Specifically, the following are essential categories to review:
- Inventory and control of hardware assets
- Inventory and control of software assets
- Continuous vulnerability management
- Controlled use of administrative privileges
- Secure configuration for hardware and software on mobile devices, laptops, workstations, and servers
- Maintenance, monitoring, and analysis of audit logs
- Email and web browser protection
- Malware defenses
- Limitation and control of network ports, protocols, and servers.
The above checklist is just a start. It’s a beginner’s guide to ensure basic security controls are both present and effective. If you don’t have these controls in place yet, then don’t worry. Cyber security is a marathon, not a sprint.
Something is always better than nothing.
Use our free cyber security audit tool
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to evaluate your security posture, then check out our free cyber security audit tool. Our free cyber security audit tool allows you to identify and understand weaknesses within your policies and procedures.
It also provides a list of recommendations and insights into your current security. As a result, your team can use the report to benchmark your current security posture and benefit from a list of actionable insights.
Our free audit tool is a less rigorous, affordable alternative to a comprehensive third-party cyber security audit. Nonetheless, it is still an extremely effective way for organizations to identify vulnerabilities. If you’re interested, then you can begin here.
If you are interested in a comprehensive cyber security audit from an independent third-party, then please contact us for a free consult and quote.
Otherwise, you can call us directly at 855-459-6600.
Furthermore, if you are looking for more information, then please check out our resource center.
Category: Cyber Security
Tags: Cyber Security, cyber security audit, Cyber Security Awareness, cyber security tools, IT security audit
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- Inventory Your Existing Assets.
- Identify the Potential Threats and Vulnerabilities for Each Asset.
- Identify Existing Security Controls & Areas for Improvement.
- Understand What the Auditor Is Looking For.
- Make IT Risk Assessments a Continuous Process.
A cyber security audit is a full-scale review of your IT network. It will assess your policies, procedures, and controls, and determine if they are working appropriately. A cyber security audit will identify weaknesses and opportunities for improvement to prevent a data breach from occurring.What is included in a cyber security audit? ›
A cybersecurity audit involves a comprehensive analysis and review of the IT infrastructure of your business. It detects vulnerabilities and threats, displaying weak links, and high-risk practices. It is a primary method for examining compliance. It is designed to evaluate something (a company, system, product, etc.)What are the best practices for cyber security audit? ›
- Review your information security policy. ...
- Consolidate your cybersecurity policies. ...
- Detail your network structure. ...
- Review relevant compliance standards. ...
- Create a list of security personnel and their responsibilities.
- Determine the reason for the audit. ...
- Notify internal and external stakeholders. ...
- Take inventory (hardware/software) ...
- Get the audit checklist before the audit. ...
- Review your policies. ...
- Perform a self-assessment. ...
- Preschedule tests or deliverables.