In today’s modern day and age, it is crucial for companies to take their Information Technology systems seriously to avoid the possibility of cyber-attacks and data breaches. A great way for companies to ensure their Security remains up to date and compliant is to perform regular IT Security Audits.
What is an IT Security Audit?
To begin defining an IT Security Audit, we can examine the formal definition of an Audit as provided by the Institute of Internal Auditors: “independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisation’s operations. It helps an organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.”
An Information Technology Security audit is a comprehensive review of your company’s entire IT infrastructure. This includes a full review of your IT systems, management, applications, and data uses amongst other processes. The purpose of this audit is to evaluate the overall safety of your network. A good comprehensive audit would suggest improvements and identify any weaknesses in your system, to ensure greatest operating efficiency and cybersecurity.
What are the Benefits of IT Security Audits?
Companies should perform regular IT Security Audits to determine if their infrastructure properly is able to secure the company’s data and assets. There are many benefits to performing these audits regularly:
- Reducing Expenses – IT Audits can help you uncover which services you no longer need as well as outdated software and help your company save money in the long run.
- Ensuring Compliance – Regular IT Audits will also ensure that your company’s Information Technology platform and systems are up to date with your country’s standards. This will help avoid any legal disputes and fines down the line.
- Verify Security Effectiveness – Certified IT auditors will use various tests to verify how effective your current cybersecurity processes are.
- Improve Communication within the Company – Regular IT audits can enhance the communication between different departments with the Information Technology department.
Types of IT Security Audits
There are four main types of security tests in an IT audit. These include: Vulnerability Tests, Penetration Tests, Risk Assessments as well as Compliance Audits.
Vulnerability tests are performed to identify any loopholes or risks in your IT system’s design, to reduce risk. Penetration tests are used to stimulate disruptive conditions and break into your system, such as sending email links with malware. These are great for improving employee security training and testing antivirus software. Next, Risk Assessments are used to identify and eliminate risks associated with using your company’s IT systems. When risks are identified, the next step for companies is to determine what investments should be made to eliminate those risks. Lastly, Compliance Audits ensure that your company’s IT systems adhere to the legal standards in your country or industry.
Regular and successful IT Audits will ensure that your company’s IT systems are well protected against modern threats, and compliant to regulations. The best way to protect your company’s security in today’s technological society is through expert auditors.
By: Joanna Ambros, MBA