The world within the internet can be scary, especially if you run a business on it. New and more potent cyber threats are coming daily, and companies must prepare for the worst.
With the growing cyberattacks and data breaches, you must assess how IT infrastructure can fare against the latest cyber threats. There is only one feasible way of achieving this: to use a cybersecurity audit to determine gaps and optimize your various internal and external operations.
What is a Cybersecurity Audit?
A cybersecurity audit involves systematic analysis of your company’s IT systems to detect potential vulnerabilities or cybersecurity threats. It considers various factors necessary to ensure seamless business operations, including identifying weak links and risky practices.
The systematic analysis also identifies issues concerning your network infrastructure, software apps, and other digital processes. In short, cybersecurity audits help you with accurate risk assessment, identify potential vulnerabilities, and fix them before they affect your business operations.
Reasons for Employing Cybersecurity Audits
You may wonder what role cybersecurity audits play in your business, especially if you are convinced that you have enough security measures in place for your business. However, cybersecurity audits have numerous benefits. Here are some compelling reasons to employ cybersecurity audits for your business.
Identify Potential Vulnerabilities
No matter how well you set up your business’s IT infrastructure, it will always have potential vulnerabilities. Without conducting a cybersecurity audit, you won’t even know such a vulnerability exists in your IT infrastructure.
The tricky part is identifying these potential vulnerabilities before malicious actors do and using them to track your organization. Cybersecurity audits pinpoint the vulnerable aspects of your IT infrastructure so your organization can take the necessary precautions to protect your data.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Several industries, including healthcare and finance, require businesses to adhere to specific regulatory frameworks and their relevant cybersecurity standards. Take HIPAA, for example. Healthcare organizations can never reveal a patient’s sensitive information. More often than not, these regulations come with hefty fines for non-compliance.
That’s not all. You could be liable to legal prosecutions, which can cost you money and time. Imagine sitting through numerous legal proceedings simply because you didn’t fix an issue you could have easily identified using a cybersecurity audit. We advise that you seek help from managed IT services in Philadelphia for conducting a holistic cybersecurity audit and optimizing your IT infrastructure.
Create a Risk Management Strategy
The cybersecurity audit can help you assess potential risks to your organization’s IT infrastructure. You can use the data from the audit to determine the possible effect these risks can have on your business.
It will help you create a customized risk management strategy for your organization. The plan outlines how to distribute all your resources strategically in case of high-priority threats. As a result, you can reduce the overall exposure to risks and protect your various operations.
Protect Brand Reputation
Another compelling reason for employing a cybersecurity audit for your organization is to protect your brand reputation. Imagine defending your company’s name against a lawsuit for a data breach. It could severely impact your brand reputation and change how people view it forever.
Moreover, it can have a domino effect where the result is that customers lose trust in your brand. You can avoid all this by conducting a holistic cybersecurity audit and making the necessary resolutions. With regular audits, you can ensure the security remains solid and steady.
Make Steady Improvements to Your Business
As you know, the online landscape is constantly changing, and your cybersecurity needs to adjust accordingly. Moreover, new cyber threats are arising every other day, and the only way to prepare for them is through regular cybersecurity audits.
Cybersecurity audits allow you to access valuable insights, including industry trends and emerging risks. You can use this information to prepare your organization and optimize its IT infrastructure with steady improvements.
8 Steps to Prepare for a Cybersecurity Audit
The primary purpose of the cybersecurity audit is to reveal any potential risks in your IT infrastructure. There are steps you can take to prepare for a more effective cybersecurity audit and weed out any risky elements in your IT infrastructure. Here is how you can prepare your organization for a holistic cybersecurity audit.
Step 1: Establish Clear Objectives for the Audit
Companies or organizations don’t usually conduct a cybersecurity audit simply because “it’s about time.” More often than not, companies search for a cybersecurity audit due to one of the following four fundamental objectives.
- Meeting regulatory compliances
- Identifying gaps and vulnerabilities
- Meeting new policies and updates
- Response to a cyber breach
Step 2: Send Notification to Stakeholders
A holistic cybersecurity audit can be a long and challenging task. Sometimes, it may require the auditor to work with people in leading or management positions. Hence, it is ideal that you notify all (internal and external) stakeholders. It helps to streamline the audit process, which may often require the auditor to collect essential documents for the company officials.
Step 3: Take Inventory
A comprehensive cybersecurity audit requires the auditor to understand your organization’s assets clearly. It means you should take inventory of your hardware and software assets, which can cause significant delays to the audit, and ensure the process is clean and smooth.
Step 4: Obtain an Audit Checklist Before the Audit Date
Every professional IT team can have its unique cybersecurity audit process; the best way to prepare for it is to ask for an audit checklist. The audit checklist comes directly from the auditor to simplify and streamline the process. You can then be ready with all the necessary documentation to facilitate the audit and minimize the time it needs.
Step 5: Review Your Existing Policies
You can help streamline the cybersecurity audit by accurately documenting the operational policies of your organization. It provides the auditor with valuable information for the audit, such as acceptable use of data, privacy policies, etc.
Step 6: Conduct a Self-Audit
Once you finish setting up everything discussed in the previous steps, you can self-audit your IT infrastructure. An honest self-assessment can reveal all security gaps and make the job easier for the auditor, effectively minimizing the project time and cost.
Step 7: Schedule Necessary Tests and Deliverables
As a final touch, you should schedule tests, including risk assessment, before the audit. Similarly, you can conduct a penetration test and submit all the results to the auditor before their comprehensive audit. It provides the auditor with ready-to-use data for a streamlined process.