Are you confident in your digital infrastructure and assets’ security against the constant onslaught of cyber-attacks? Modern-day businesses have a sprawling digital footprint with countless endpoints and attack vectors that cybercriminals can take advantage of.
It’s like playing a game of whack-a-mole – there are only so many endpoints that your team can protect on their own.
Not to mention the fact that internal audits are highly susceptible to biases that might overlook system vulnerabilities. All it takes is one weak endpoint for a breach to occur. This is why the industry’s standard practice is hiring a cybersecurity audit services provider.
An external auditor can investigate potential fraud, abuse, and non-compliance with industry regulations. They work on your behalf to prevent catastrophic network breaches. An expert cybersecurity auditor won’t just focus on system vulnerabilities but will enable you to fix the security loopholes and achieve compliance.
Let’s explore a few reasons why you might want to hire a cybersecurity audit services provider.
Regulatory compliance is a key reason why businesses hire external auditors. Depending on the niche or industry, a company may be required to comply with industry regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS, and others. An external cybersecurity auditor can detect compliance issues so they can be rectified sooner rather than later.
It’s an efficient way of meeting ethical and professional standards in accordance with applicable laws. Failing to comply with certain regulations could adversely affect relationships with clients and vendors. Moreover, it could expose the organization’s digital assets to data breaches.
Having an external cybersecurity audit shows to the outside world that your organization is striving to achieve the best industry standards possible. It shows that you are confident enough to have an outsider scrutinize your security posture. This is perhaps even more important when the business involves investors and shareholders.
An external auditor can inspire confidence in third parties that may have a stake in the business and ensure that it is safe from outside threats.
Identify Weak Areas in Security Systems
An external audit can reveal vulnerable areas and loopholes in your digital infrastructure and processes. It can highlight the effectiveness of your security protocols. The reports will reveal if your security procedures and policies provide the level of safety needed.
External auditors will also provide solutions and feedback to guide the organization in making necessary changes to existing policies, technology stacks, and security systems.
A cybersecurity audit is an excellent way of ensuring that your digital assets are protected from vulnerabilities due to numerous endpoints. The audit can reveal weaknesses with all endpoints that you can work to improve.
Endpoint protection is an excellent way of keeping legacy systems secure. It may not be possible for organizations to apply security patches and updates immediately, either because it would interfere with work or it would diminish their productivity. It is also likely that the software or legacy system may have reached its end-of-life and lost it’s technical support.
An external endpoint cybersecurity audit will support legacy systems and prevent the exploitation of software vulnerabilities.
Investigate Data Flow Security
Data flow security is an important step for compliance with regulations such as DPA and GDPR. An external audit will thoroughly inspect the use of data in your organization and produce a data flow map to identify areas where data resides.
This information will be used to minimize your risk of a data security breach. Data flow security audits provide visibility into how data moves throughout your digital assets, improve data classification, and identify areas for contractual updates with vendors. The end goal is to reduce the likelihood of data breaches and privacy-related risks.
Social Engineering Audit
Social engineering audit is used to learn about employees’ level of awareness about cyber security risks. Given that the vast majority of cyberattacks take the form of social engineering tactics, it is important to understand how employees respond to such situations.
An auditor will simulate the same attacks that a malicious social engineer would employ to breach security. Employees may receive specific training to become more aware of social engineering attacks.
Provide Feedback on New Security Policies
The main goal of any audit is to provide actionable feedback so that organizations can improve their security posture. This feedback is generated at the end of the test and is often referred to as a cyber security audit report.
The cybersecurity audit report may contain various sections that contain information about audit scope, timelines, details discoveries, recommendations, and the testing process. The recommendations section will contain details about the mitigation of a security risk.
The solutions will depend on the type of vulnerability. For example, organizations can mitigate a ransomware attack by storing secondary copies of data in removable media and devices. Or they could implement SSL certificates to encrypt data to prevent hackers from intercepting information.
Cybersecurity audit reports also contain information on how employees respond to social engineering attacks.
Readiness and Incident Management
External auditors will investigate how quickly your organization can detect data breaches, minimize their impact, and restore services. Auditors will investigate how incidents are identified and resolved promptly.
Properly creating, managing, and updating incident response planning is also important. Auditors may provide recommendations on addressing suspected data breaches in a series of phases. These phases include:
Finally, the auditor will highlight whether your organization is prepared for emergency situations such as cyber security breaches.
Most companies will schedule security audits at least once a year. But we recommend doing them once a month or at least quarterly. Different business units within your organization can have different audit schedules depending on the data and application used.
Remember, the goal of a cybersecurity audit services provider is to improve your security posture and not to embarrass your employees. An external audit gives you the peace of mind that your organization needs to see if it is on track in relation to its digital assets.