An IT security audit is important for organizations of all sizes and across all industries, as it gives clear insight into vulnerabilities, areas of strength, and what action steps to take next. While it isn’t a cure-all, it does provide a neutral view of your organization’s technical strengths and weaknesses.
Between the rise in cyberattacks, insider intellectual property theft, and even domestic data breaches, companies of all sizes have to get more serious about ongoing information security.
No organization is immune to the potential for security breaches, even if they aren’t a large organization.
In fact, it can be argued that the smaller organizations face greater risk as cybercriminals assume those smaller organizations have fewer resources to defend themselves than their larger counterparts.
Here are the five best reasons why your organization needs an IT security audit.
#1 – The IT Security Audit Provides a Good Snapshot of Real-Time Data
What is a security audit handling, if not looking at your organization’s real-time data and defenses in action? The best way to bring in better security controls is to have the data to back up those decisions in the first place.
Proper security starts by conducting tests and looking at several aspects of the system. For example, has your organization chosen the right operating system, or are they woefully out of date? What about active directory access?
Is data backup a priority within the company? Using network security audit tools is a great start, but there are multiple discovery questions that should come into play as well.
Static testing is only one aspect of the process, but it’s very important to test these elements and build a report that reflects the true face of the company. From there, new suggestions and strategies can develop with ease.
#2 – Generates Better Management Processes via the Security Audit Checklist
Conducting a thorough risk assessment benefits more than just improving security controls or the technical health of the company’s systems. Indeed, better management processes stem from good audits.
Arming the leadership team with strong data to make decisions is at the heart of the audit. For example, what insights can be had from a network security audit? Well, the current system may reveal not just vulnerabilities but a lack of upgrades that led to those issues to begin with.
Tracking changes in a management system can provide historical context for system upgrades, which in turn will help prevent security issues from turning into real events for data loss and even penalties.
#3 – Strengthens Your Organization's Security Audit Checklist viaSecurity Compliance
In order to protect your organization, all hands have to be on deck. However, before your organization can mobilize the proverbial troops, it makes sense to collect good data for future decision-making.
Security compliance takes the entire organization, but team members can’t take action without knowing what they’re up against. In this vein, the IT security audit is the gateway to unlocking unique insights about weaknesses in the system.
According to a recent Gallup poll, employees are actually more interested in staying with one organization rather than giving in to the common “job hopping” narrative.
Therefore, employees that want to stay and build value are also open to protecting your organization. They just need to understand how to do that within the scope of their position.
It’s more than just a good audit; cyber security is about education for the long term, focusing on staying as agile as possible throughout the entire process.
#4 – Reduces the Element of Human Error in Your Routine Security Audits
While companies can use more robust data security,network security, and better general practices to address technical vulnerabilities, the reality is that the element of human error still remains.
By following the security audit checklist, you address the human element within your organization.
This is everything from educating end-users to be wary about clicking links in emails all the way up to being truly mindful of what it means to have access to sensitive data.
The security audit log can turn up areas of vulnerability that can be addressed through changing access control as well as limiting employee networks access where appropriate. Unfortunately, corporate intellectual property theft is on the rise.
According to the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, intellectual property theft is a $500 billion dollar industry, with international players lining up to feast upon proprietary corporate data and trade secrets by any means necessary.
#5 – Helps Keep an Up-to-Date Security Audit Log Through Vulnerability Assessments
For many organizations, it isn’t a question of if they will become a target for cybercriminals, but a matter of when. This is why vulnerability assessments are a key part of the security audit process; companies need to know where their weak spots are.
While it’s true that some companies can indeed conduct this work on their own, the reality is that most of the business day is devoted to the core strengths of your organization, not conducting different types of security audits.
A DDOS attack, for example, can catch the company off guard. What plans are already in place to address this?
Schedule Your IT Security Audit
Ultimately, an IT security audit should not be viewed as a one-time event. Ideally, scheduling them quarterly or even more frequently helps keep your organization in line with the best information security practices as well as understanding how to really implement the spirit behind the security audit checklist on an ongoing basis.
Contact Attentus Technologies for more information on conducting an accurate and effective IT security audit.