A good business is always prepared for a breach or an attack on its IT systems. To ensure maximum security, a routine security audit should be conducted on a regular basis. An annual security audit prevents the chances of data breaches by ensuring you have the proper protections in place and that they are working as you would expect in the case of an attempted security or data breach. You can have a strong business or even extra security detail at every entrance, only to have one cyber-breach knock you flat.
So how do you avoid being compromised? The easy answer is to ensure you conduct a regular security audit. This will help to protect your business information, credit card information, passwords, and customer information – keeping you locked down and secure. Here are a few reasons why your business needs an annual security audit:
- Assessment of new risks
- Identifying vulnerabilities in your defenses
- To stay ahead of the constantly evolving world of cybercrime
- Prevent legal disputes relating to leaks in information
- To implement new security practices and regulations
A new study suggests billions of dollars are lost annually due to cyberattacks. Over the years, we have witnessed major cyber-attacks on businesses worldwide. Many of these episodes could have been avoided. Most companies tend to implement a security audit after being attacked, which is obviously not the best time to be learning where your weaknesses are located.
Cyber-related theft is more complex than the average theft we know. If someone breaks into your house or steals your phone, you will notice it immediately or within hours. However, in cybercrime, it can take hundreds of days before you realize that you have been compromised, and by that time, the damage is already done. One way to cope with the unpredictable world of cyberspace is to keep your company protected through a regularly executed security audit.
Who Is an Auditor?
An auditor is responsible for conducting a security audit. He or she is responsible for identifying and assessing risks that can affect businesses and producing procedures to address those risks. Companies tend to appoint an internal auditor to conduct internal audits. At the same time, some hire external experts to conduct the audits.
Often, employees get uncomfortable at the thought of auditors visiting. Even business owners can be tentative about bringing in someone from outside to evaluate their systems. But auditors are not there to point out flaws in employees; they are there to arm your employees with the necessary ammunition to protect your systems and your business in the best way possible. When looking for a good auditor, you might want to look at their history and certifications; you do not want just anyone having access to all that information.
How Do Security Audits Work?
When conducting a security audit, strategic steps are put in place which help the process run smoothly. These are identification, risk assessment, planning, and monitoring. One of the reasons why a security breach happens is that these key steps are not thoroughly processed to the end. Once risks are identified and assessed, the planning and monitoring steps are left to gather dust on the shelf.
This is the first step in the security audit process. Speaking of risks in general, the hazards in our personal lives include health, financial, and safety risks. So, the question is, what do we do about these risks? We certainly do not just let them be, but we try our absolute best to assess them, see how they can affect our lives and how to best prevent them from happening. For example, if you start to feel sick, you immediately seek help to get better.
Like our health, our businesses can also suffer through risks; you must identify these risks and find a doctor to help you, and no, I do not mean a dentist or a neurosurgeon; I mean a business doctor or an IT security auditor.
The backbone of a security audit is risk assessment. Risks must be filtered to eliminate the low stakes. Some risks tend to be high-impact with low probability, while others are low-impact with high probability. Periodic assessments can make a real difference, but companies tend to go for risks that are most likely to happen and tend to overlook some more minor threats. These risks are then swept under the rug and then grow more severe without anyone noticing, providing a gateway for a catastrophic attack.
Once these risks are assessed, the next step in the security audit is to develop solutions and plans to deal with each threat. This includes taking action to mitigate the risk, reducing its chances of happening or hopefully minimizing the total impact. A wise man once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
This is yet another crucial step typically overlooked. Risks need to be re-evaluated annually, semi-annually constantly, and even quarterly. Skipping this security audit step can lead to the creation of more chances.
Companies realize that basic security measures and hiring extra muscle are not cutting it. A data breach is more likely to happen through your computers than a physical breach. With the evolution of technology, cyber crimes have also expanded. Fortunately, technology has provided means by which companies can seek out these attacks and data breaches before they happen and have ways to bounce back if they occur. The need to invest in security systems and conduct a regularly scheduled security audit has never been more important. Security is credibility.
How PulseOne Can Help
Now that you know what a security audit is, who an auditor is and the steps involved in security auditing, are you going to wait around for an attack? Or are you going to build your audit strategy and protect your business? The best thing you can do for your business is to put up defenses, today not tomorrow!
PulseOne is the answer to your auditing needs. Our team of experts will utilize insight and experience in IT management solutions to work for businesses like yours. Receive enterprise-level IT support from a company that passionately works for your success. Start by contacting us.