December 29, 2020

Top Security Checks And Audits Every Business Should Conduct On Regular Basis

Bones Ijeoma

CEO and co-founder

Businesses whether large scale or small scale, are finally understanding the significance of cyber security practices

Businesses whether large scale or small scale, are finally understanding the significance of cyber security practices. While they are opting for other means to protect their company’s, businesses are also focusing on security auditing to get an insight regarding the strengths and weaknesses of their businesses. There are several different types of physical security audits that businesses should be carrying out, but risk assessment, vulnerability assessment, penetration testing and compliance audit comprise a personal cyber security checklist that cannot be ignored at any cost. Make sure that you have your team on board and comfortable about the phases of information security audit and then proceed by hiring none other than the best security and assessment audit company for your business’s audits. Once the security audit steps are complete, make sure that the results are analyzed and the audit is followed by a strategic planning session so that the business can be safeguarded and protected.

Businesses should always take security very seriously. Protection of assets, data, information of not only the business but also that which is related to other stakeholders like clients and employees etc. requires protection so that these resources cannot be used to harm the business in any case.

Security audits and assessments are extremely important in this regard as they allow businesses to get an insight about all the potential threats that their business might be exposed to. Therefore, businesses should always be vigilant and conduct security checks and audits on a regular basis.

Audit Prerequisites:

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Before we dive in deep and discuss the security audits and assessments that you should be conducting for your business, it is very important to cover the basic pre-requisites involved.

Many businesses make the mistake of jumping right into the process and beginning the business audit process. In reality, you have to be clear about a couple of things before you begin the process.

You need to establish the goal of the security audit.

  • What are you looking for?
  • What is the purpose of conducting the security audit?
  • How will you utilize and make use of the results of the security audit to benefit your company?
  • And last but not the least, what is the cybersecurity audit scope that you are looking for and preparing for?

These questions will serve as a baseline and help you move in the right direction when you choose to proceed with an audit for your business. By the end of this session, you will be left with a cybersecurity audit checklist that will help you go ahead and conduct the business audit with ease and

Once you are clear in your mind about the direction, purpose and scope of the audit, now comes the part where you are supposed to go ahead and find an auditor that can actually carry out the audit for your business. Many businesses make the mistake of appointing someone from their team and asking them to do the audit for the business. If you want to ensure that the audit is thorough and transparent, it is best that you hire an external auditor for this purpose.

The external auditor will be a third party person who will be able to see through the business model and identify loopholes that would have otherwise been ignored. At times, the people working for a business or a project are unable to realize the shortfalls of the business. Therefore, it is advised that you trust a third eye that can truly critique the work and highlight the areas that require hard work and improvements.

Make sure that you select the right person or company for this task. Company audits are a sensitive matter. After all, the auditor will be exposed to your entire business model and will also be aware of the loopholes and weaknesses of the system. You want to find a reliable and trustworthy expert who is well aware and educated about how to audit cyber security. The person should also be reliable so that he does not misuse the audit results to exploit the company and cause any sort of harm to the business.

Lastly, it is very important to prepare your team for the audit. It is human nature to be sensitive and protective about their work. Therefore, most of the time, a company’s workers can be uncomfortable by the thought of someone auditing their work and pointing out the weaknesses.

Take your team on board and make them realize that the feedback of the cybersecurity audits is not personal. Rather it is aimed at improving the company’s overall performanceThe audits are meant for the company’s good and will not be used as a measure to determine the performance standard of the employees. Make sure that your employees are comfortable and do not feel uncomfortable or threatened by the thought of an external auditor coming for the purpose of small business security audit.

Types of Security Audits:

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There are many different types of security audits. Each audit has its own goal and objective. Some audits are even especially relevant for a certain business model and might not be needed for your company. However, there are some types of IT audits that are relevant for all businesses and companies. Here are the four main security audits that every business should be conducting on a regular basis:

1. Risk Assessment:

As indicated by the name, the purpose of risk assessment security auditing is to identify the different types of risk that a business might be prone to. It is an undeniable fact that no matter what your business is, it will always be prone to some risks. And you cannot be prepared to face the risks or avoid them if you are not even aware about them in the first place. Therefore, risk assessment audits are extremely important as they help businesses identify their weaknesses and vulnerabilities so that the businesses can come with effective strategies to tackle them.

2. Vulnerability Assessment:

Just like the risk assessment helps businesses identify possible risks, the purpose of the vulnerability assessment is to showcase the areas of the business’s security that are vulnerable and can be exploited to do harm to the business. During the vulnerability audit, the security audit companies indicate the aspects of the business that are weak and thus can be used to cause significant harm to the business.

The business’s vulnerability keeps changing as the business grows and flourishes. Therefore, vulnerability assessment is a type of security audit that should be repeated on a regular basis so that the business owners are truly in touch with the weak links of their businesses and can plan the proper strategies to cover up and conceal these weaknesses to prevent any sort of exploitation.

3. Penetration Testing:

One of the major cyber security issues that businesses always have to face include hacking attempts. This is where penetration testing comes in. Penetration testing is a form of data security audit in which one of the auditors acts as a hacker and attempts to bypass the company’s security system. The hacker may use different hacking methodologies and attempt different techniques to highlight the areas of the business that require a security upgrade. This helps businesses gather data which can then be used to strengthen the business’s security system and ensure that the business is strong and can withstand any unauthorized attacks.

Penetration testing can be further divided into internal penetration testing and external penetration testing. In case of internal penetration testing, the business’s internal security fortress is put to the test whereas the external penetration testing checks the business’s overall security protocols. There is no way to label one of these penetration tests as better than the other and businesses should always opt for a hybrid approach where the auditors perform both internal as well as external penetration testing so that a comprehensive analysis of the company’s security infrastructure and its reliability can be drawn.

4. Compliance Audit:

Almost all businesses have to abide by a certain set of rules and regulations. This compliance is necessary for the business’s legal status. The set of the compliance rules is quite extensive and it also keeps changing and updating depending on the overall circumstances of the economy and the business community.

Although it is necessary to abide by these regulations, it is nearly impossible for a business to figure out whether it meets all the rules or not. This is where IT security audit companies like AllSafe IT come in. The company will go through the rules and regulations and confirm whether your business follows them all or not. The company will also indicate any changes that the business has to acknowledge. This takes a lot of load off of the business’s shoulder as the compliance audit can be extensive and tedious. But when the experts handle this matter, the results are reliable and the businesses can be assured and have a peace of mind that they are headed in the right direction.

Cybersecurity Audits- Best Practices:

There is no doubt about the fact that cyber security audits are extremely important and crucial. Plus they come with a long and lengthy checklist that has to be completed to ensure that the audit is reliable and its results will bear some fruit for the business.

Many companies, although spend time, money and other resources to get an audit done, yet they are unable to put the results to good use. Bear in mind, that the audit itself is a process that is meant to indicate and highlight the areas of your company that are vulnerable, at risk and exploitable. The auditors job is done once he has indicated these weak points. Now the real task for the company begins as the team has to get together to analyze the weak areas and come up with an action plan and formulate strategies so that the business can be safeguarded and the overall performance can be enhanced.

Thankfully there is a change in the trend and businesses and companies are now taking their cyber security seriously. But still, there are some businesses that are unaware of the significance and the need of conducting a cyber security audit. Small scale businesses feel as if this would be a waste of their resources but in reality, you should consider the money and time spent on the audit of the company as an investment. Imagine the extent of the monetary loss that your company would face if it would not be prepared for the challenges properly. Plus, statistics have clearly indicated that small scale businesses are at a higher risk of falling prey to cybersecurity attacks. Therefore, be aware of the need of conducting top security checks and audits for your business and schedule them on a frequent basis so that you can fill in any gaps in the business’s performance that may lead to any sort of loss or damage in the future.

Finding The Right Auditing Company:

There are plenty of companies that can help you with security audits and assessments. But are all of the companies truly as reliable and trustworthy as they seem to be? Absolutely not.

As already mentioned throughout this article, a business audit is not a piece of cake, It is a serious matter that has to be dealt professionally and carefully. If you end up trusting the wrong auditing company, imagine how prone your business would be to exploitation. Therefore, rather than trusting any audit company blindly, always do ample research and only trust the most reliable and renowned service providers. AllSafe IT is one such company that has always provided its clients with nothing but the best.

From professionalism to putting their clients first, they have every characteristic that you should be looking for when in search of a good audit company. They perform the audits carefully and present findings in a way that the business can truly understand its shortcomings and thus come up with effective measures to overcome the weak areas.