Cyber Security Audit
A normal burglary can be caught or physical mischief can be prevented with the help of law enforcement bodies and the stolen thing can be retrieved with little bit of efforts but when it comes to the digital space the theft or mischief can be done from any place, any territory and even across borders and retrieval of the stolen data becomes almost impossible. Therefore, it becomes very important for any organisation to keep a check on its security arrangements to prevent a cyber attack. A cyber security audit must be done by these organisations at regular intervals to prevent any of such attacks in future and keep its data intact.
With the pandemic hitting across all the sectors of the economy, the businesses especially the ones running their operations digitally have transitioned to work-from-home while others have been outsourced. The operations of these organisations have been exposed to unprecedented risks which must be taken care of before the control over the digital assets of the organisations get compromised. In order to avoid such a situation, it is advisable that these companies undertake cyber security audits on regular intervals.
What is Cyber security Audit?
A cyber security audit is an exhaustive analysis of the existing digital infrastructure, firewalling and security apparatus of either a product, company etc. against a prescribed standard to determine the fault lines within the system and its vulnerabilities against any future attacks.
The cyber security audit also paves the way for devising new risk prevention plans for ever evolving cyber attacks in future.
What is the need for cyber security audit?
Usually companies working in the digital space have their internal teams taking care of their cyber security systems. However, a cyber security audit usually is done by independent third party organisations which are usually recognised by a government authority and their job is to find out possible threats to the client’s critical data and cyber security infrastructure of the organisation.
Extent of cyber security audit
The extent of cyber security audit is wide and takes into account a comprehensive and all round view of the security infrastructure and risk aversion plans.
- It checks company’s data getting into unwanted hands and further prevent corruption of data and analyses the existing data encryption techniques employed by the company.
- It identifies the critical data and finds the vulnerabilities of the operations keeping in mind attacks from the criminals.
- It checks the leakage of data from the networks used by the company such as firewalls, VPN, email security etc.
- Reviews the physical protections to the company’s hardware apparatus from physical events such as rains, floods, theft etc.
- It also checks the systems’ efficacy to fight the attacks in the form of updating the security and anti-virus software, email security etc.
Benefits of cyber security audit?
- Identifies fault lines: Depicts the vulnerabilities in the security infrastructure for the company to take measures to fill those fault lines which can be taken advantage of.
- Comparative analysis of internal and external auditing mechanism: Client gets a reality check of the effectiveness of existing security infrastructure and further improvements to be made in the system.
- Edge over criminals: It keeps the company ahead of any potential attacks and simultaneously improving the existing framework with the ever evolving digital environment.
- Builds confidence: The cyber security audit builds confidence of all the stakeholders i.e. owners, clients and even employees with respect to the safety of their critical data.
- Increased use of technology: The company understands the value of superior technology and how to incorporate the same within the system.
Recommended best practices for cyber security audit
It is the practices adopted by the client and the third party auditor which results in the success or failure to reach the desired results expected out of a cyber security audit. Some of the best practices that should be adopted while conducting a cyber security audit include the following:
- Understanding the policies of the client: Before the client offers a contract for a cyber security audit to an independent third party organisation, the auditor must understand and review the policies with respect to the client’s confidentiality, security, integrity.
- Limiting the scope of audit: It is very important for the auditor that the scope and extent of audit is defined with respect to the data and the equipment which needs to be audited so as to determine the time, workforce and the budget that will be required to complete the audit.
- Extending assistance to the auditors: The auditors will ask questions from the heads of departments and will be requiring the relevant documents and evidence. Therefore, it is important the client appoint the persons of contact with whom the audit team shall be asking questions. Therefore, those persons must be asked to cooperate with the audit team for the process to go smoothly.
- Apprise the audit team with the relevant compliance standards: The audit team must be apprised with the relevant compliance standards which apply to their industry which makes it easier for the auditor to focus on the areas which are actually required to be checked.
- Fault lines within the systems and networks must be reported: The existing defects and fault lines that exist within the systems and networks of the client must be reported to the audit team which makes it easier for the team to identify the gaps that exist and the extent of damage it can cause to the company.
- Conduct regular cyber security audits: It is advisable by the experts in the industry to conduct cyber security audits minimum twice a year. Though it is not mandatory but with the pace at which the cyber space is evolving, the audits must be done on a regular basis.
Time frame within which cyber security audit must be conducted
Before pursuing with the audit it must be understood what a cyber security audit actually specify. It specifies the efficiency of a cyber security infrastructure of the company, product etc. at a given point of time when the audit is being conducted and not beyond that. So it does not in any way indicate the future cyber security management of the company. Therefore, it is recommended by the experts to get the cyber security audit done at regular intervals.
An ideal time frame within which the cyber security audit must be done is biannually. However, there is not a strict time frame to be followed by the companies. It ultimately depends on the complexity of the systems of the company and the budget which the company is willing to spend on checking health of their cyber security infrastructure.
The digital world with multiple dimensions is replete with threats and challenges and before these prevailing threats become full-fledged attacks directed towards your business, it’s important that your company should engage professionals for a cyber security audit.
Enterslice can give you overall advisory and assistance in getting your Cyber security audit as we are a team of highly skilled & dedicated professionals. We specialize in providing cyber auditing services.