What is a cyber security audit and how does it work?
A cyber security audit is a thorough examination of your company’s information technology infrastructure and systems. Using it, you will be able to identify any flaws in your security protocols, discover any vulnerabilities in your software, and identify any high-risk practises in your company’s information technology use.
The ability to clearly identify this information allows you to compile a list of areas that require attention and develop a strategy for achieving those goals.
In order to identify gaps in your company’s cyber security systems and ensure that you are protected against cyber security threats and attacks, a Cyber Security Audit is essential for small businesses to conduct.
Learn how to conduct a cyber security audit for your Brisbane business in this guide.
Step 1: Prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Although it is not a particularly positive sentiment, a cyber security attack is unfortunately a predetermined outcome for the majority of Brisbane businesses. It is a question of when, not if, this will happen. So, in order to ensure that your company has the most stringent cyber security measures in place, assume that it will happen and plan to be prepared.
Step 2: Evaluate your current information technology infrastructure and security protocols.
When you conduct a thorough review of your information technology network and systems, you will have a complete picture of your information technology architecture. This review will assist you in understanding the scope of your network as well as the systems that are in place on your network.
The extent of your network’s reach can be determined by compiling a comprehensive list of all applications and program you use, all users who have access to your systems, and the entire suite of hardware and devices available to you.
In this way, you can gain an understanding of every possible touchpoint that could be compromised by cyber attacks.
Step 3: Carry out a vulnerability analysis.
When conducting a cyber security audit for your Brisbane company, the vulnerability assessment is probably the most important step you can take. You’re checking your current security practices and determining whether or not they’re up to par; and reviewing your cyber security software to ensure that it’s patched with the most recent security updates when performing a vulnerability assessment. You should include your critical antivirus software as well as your firewall in this list.
If you have any hidden flaws or gaps in your existing security systems, this step will allow you to identify and uncover them. It will also allow you to identify any weaknesses that could be targeted and exploited by cyber criminals.
In all cases, a cyber security professional should be enlisted to perform this task. In addition, they have the specialised software and knowledge to scan your system and security protocols for vulnerabilities, as well as the ability to test for weaknesses from both within and outside of your company’s network.
Step 4. Determine the location of network access points
A vulnerability assessment allows you to identify any potential points of entry into your company’s information technology network. Once you understand what is vulnerable and how it can be breached, you can determine the best course of action to take.
Step 5: Penetration testing of the network
Network penetration testing is the process of putting your information technology security systems through their paces.
During network penetration testing, an IT cyber security expert will pretend to be a cybercriminal and attempt to compromise the information technology security systems of your company. They’ll employ the most up-to-date hacking techniques and processes to probe your security system and identify vulnerabilities and weak points throughout your entire network. Included here are your operating system, antivirus software, suite of business applications, cloud infrastructure, as well as any other devices that are connected to your network.
This is used to determine how easy it is to exploit the vulnerabilities in your network—and you’d be surprised at how easy it is.
Step 6: Conduct a risk assessment of your entire information technology system and network.
Having mapped out your entire IT infrastructure and identified all potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses, you’ll be able to assess the level of risk associated with each individual component of your network.
Whether it’s the threat of cyber security attacks, system or hardware failure, vulnerability to natural disaster, or simply human error, you can evaluate each risk in terms of its potential and estimate the likelihood and impact of each risk based on its potential. You’ll be able to identify which assets are most at risk, as well as which assets are more important to protect as a matter of priority.
Step 7: Recommendations are made
You’ll be able to compile all of the data and results from your cybersecurity audit of your IT infrastructure and create a report with recommendations for how to address the issues that have been identified in your network after you’ve completed it.
This provides you with a roadmap to follow as you strive to improve the IT security of your Brisbane-based company. It is up to you when and how you implement these actions; however, the important thing to remember is that you have taken the first step toward improving the security posture of your company.
How To Conduce An It Security Audit?
Let’s go over the steps to conduct a security audit.
- Examine your current IT security status
- Identify and priorities improvement opportunities
- Define the state you want to protect your IT security
- Track your progress toward your IT security goal.
Complete the checklist described above as the first step in the IT Security Audit. To complete step 1, you can use the spreadsheet at the end.
Once you have completed the checklist, your IT security status will be accurately assessed. Each “No” answer indicates that you are a potential threat. You now need to prioritize the threats on this list. This can be done by calculating the threat each threat poses for your business. Risk is the combination of the potential impact of a threat on your business and the likelihood that it will actually occur.
Risk = Impact x Likelihood
Numeric values can be attached to indicate impact, ranging from 0 for no impact to 5 for very high impact. You can also use 0 to indicate “not likely to happen” and 5 to indicate “very likely to happen”.Let’s take, for example, the answer to “Are antivirus and malware protection installed in all computers and mobile devices?” as no.
- Medium-sized business can be affected by a virus or malware infected device.
- The likelihood of such an infected occurring is high, as we say 4.
- This means that your risk score for this threat would be 3 x 4.
You can now objectively rank the threats according to their risk score. For a better understanding on the “Impact” & “Likelihood” scores, refer to the spreadsheet at the end.
Once you have a good idea of where your security is, it’s time to decide what state you want. The following information will help you determine your target security level.
- Current industry trends and best practices
- Compliance and regulatory requirements
- Trends and best practices in IT Security
You now have your baseline. Your current security status and your target security level. You can track your progress towards your goal by regularly performing security audits with this checklist. It is also important to check the checklist every time you use new technology or change your business processes.
That’s it! This is the entire process of an IT security audit. Audits are an iterative process that requires continuous improvement and review. This step-by-step guide will help you create a consistent process to ensure security for your business.