6 Best Practices to Perform a Cybersecurity Audit
Considering the rapid increment of cyber-attacks and vulnerabilities in the tech world, CyberSecurity seems to be only growing in demand!! Even as per the reports, most of the businesses have already disrupted in the last few years due to cybersecurity incidents. Moreover, if we take a look at a few prominent cybersecurity stats such as:
- The global market of Information Security is all set to reach around $170 Billion by the year 2022.
- The Security breaches have increased by nearly 12% within just the last 2 years.
- The Ransomware attacks are annually growing with a rate of more than 300%.
These facts & figures notably show that CyberSecurity solutions are the need of the hour!!
But here the catch is that you’re not only required to adopt cybersecurity solutions for your organization but there is also a need for a regular cybersecurity auditing process to ensure that the implemented cybersecurity measures & strategies are effective and functioning well as per the requirements. As the people behind such malicious activities are getting smarter day-by-day, hence you’re required to stay updated with the latest cybersecurity practices to prevent your organization from any kind of cyber-attack.
Now the question arises – What is Cybersecurity Audit…?? A cybersecurity audit is concerned with the detailed assessment of the security system of any organization to identify any vulnerable spot in the IT infrastructure. In general, an effective CyberSecurity process helps you to analyze the security status of the organization’s infrastructure. A comprehensive audit helps you to remain in compliance with the data security laws. Meanwhile, whether you’re performing an audit with the help of third-party vendors or by an in-house team, you need to follow several efficient practices making the auditing process more effective & worthwhile.
Here, in this article, we’ll let you know 6 best practices that you should consider to perform a successful Cybersecurity Audit in your organization:
1. Define Clear Objectives
First and foremost, you need to identify the specific goals that you or your organization are aiming to achieve through the audit process. When you clearly define the audit goals, it helps you to perform the audit process fluently without wasting extra time & resources on unnecessary or inapt things. You can identify the clear auditing goals by preparing a comprehensive checklist or questionnaire consisting of several prominent questions such as What do you want to audit – digital infrastructure, business operations, or any other? Are you concerned about several specific cybersecurity risks? Do you want to administer cybersecurity audits by third-party vendors or the internal team of the organization? etc.
2. Plan the Audit & Collect Required Information Priorly
Once you’ll get done with defining clear audit goals, now you need to work on audit planning and subsequently collect all the required information and data to make things more convenient & efficient. If you’re going to perform a cybersecurity audit in your organization with the help of external auditors, you can directly ask them what information they’ll require from your side. Also, if the audit will be performed by an in-house team you need to determine the roles & responsibilities of the team members along with the tools & technologies that’ll be used. The required information can be related to security architecture & design, system & network management, security policies, etc. However, you must ensure the reliability and confidentiality aspects with the auditors before handling them all these crucial insights.
3. Get all the Team Members On Board
It is one of the basic yet most ignored practice while doing a cybersecurity audit. Indeed, there is a need for all the employees in the organization to know about the upcoming audit process. It is necessary to make all of them aware of the necessity of cybersecurity solutions in the organization, how they can maintain all these at their levels, what kind of risks can be expected in the organization’s digital infrastructure, etc. It will help them to become more concerned about the security aspects of the organization. Also, when each and every potential employee knows about the upcoming audit, it becomes easier to organize resources such as time, money, etc. conveniently for the audit.
4. Perform the Auditing Process
Here comes the core part – perform the auditing process. According to the goals, planning and information gathered in the above-mentioned steps, now it’s time for the auditing team to conduct the audit work. The process can include various tasks from minor to major level as per the required goals such as scanning database servers, user access rights, system configurations, file-sharing services, and many more. There can be several additional tasks such as discussion with employees regarding the company’s security policy and physical inspection of devices & network structures. Meanwhile, once you’ll get done with performing the audit process, you’re required to document all the findings & outcomes of the audit work in a report format for further steps.
5. Analyze the Audit Report
Now, once the audit work is done, you need to thoroughly analyze the documented audit report along with the management and IT team of the organization. The reports should consist of all the findings of audit work such as security risks, vulnerabilities found in digital infrastructure, etc. Furthermore, you need to conduct a meeting or discussion with all the employees to summarize the outcomes of audit work and what actions will be required to be taken accordingly. Also, you can work upon arranging the required resources and services, ideal backup plans, staff training, and other aspects related to audit report based actions.
6. Take Appropriate Actions in accordance with Audit Results
Finally, you’re expected to take necessary actions based on the audit work report. For example, if there is a vulnerability found in the organization’s digital infrastructure after the audit, you need to work for its remediation. Similarly, if the data system is out of regulatory compliance, you’re required to fetch it into compliance. Moreover, obtaining the latest tools & technologies and adopting several additional cybersecurity practices strengthening the existing security environment of the organization can also fall under this phase. In addition, you’re also recommended to come up with practical guidelines for all the employees of the organizations based on the audit report for better results.
So, these are the several must-follow practices to perform a successful Cybersecurity Audit in an organization. Also, you need to remember that a cybersecurity audit is not a one-time process and it needs to be performed regularly to prevent your organization from any kind of cyber-attack or malicious activity. Hence, do follow the above-mentioned audit practices and ensure the digital security of your business and organization!!