Security audits are a tedious, but essential part of a company’s agenda. They should be performed regularly to weed out vulnerabilities and close gaps between the company and industry standards. Regular security audits entail benefits like the elimination of certain core vulnerabilities and the prevention of a catastrophic IT event.
As a business, it’s in your best interest to carry out a security audit regularly. Without it, you will leave your business open to hackers, malicious cyber-attacks, or worse, ransomware attacks. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose if you perform a security audit. After all, what is a security audit, but a chance to improve your security standards? Here are 6 benefits of a security audit to help you see things clearly.
1. Identification of Vulnerabilities or Non-Compliance in Your Current System
Literally, the first step in a security audit is finding out which areas of the business are non-compliant with standards. These could be areas where software or hardware hasn’t been updated, or even installed. It could also be areas where the proper protocols aren’t being followed or authentication standards aren’t up to code.
Identifying these areas allows a security audit team to locate where the gaps in information security are. The team works according to laws and standards that are set by federal regulation and by private regulatory bodies. These standards have to be upheld to protect against constantly evolving malicious software, hacking attempts, intrusions, etc.
Regular audits ensure that any potential issues are discovered before they snowball into non-compliance problems, hacks, data breaches, etc.
However, it’s not all just updates and standardizing. The security audit team will also advise you on what you could do to stay ahead of the curve. They will give you guidelines that you can adhere to, to avoid non-compliance in the future. Security audits can actually help your company function better.
2. Analysis of Internal/External IT Practices
Security audits don’t just touch on which hardware or software you have installed. They also touch on your everyday practices and how that affects your cyber security. For example, you may have a multi-factor authentication system in place, but not have a firewall active. You may be using the latest software, but not have it configured correctly, etc.
An analysis of these practices is essential if security audits are to be effective. While this may not change the entire behavior of your employees, it will at least provide some much-needed gap-closing.
3. Gaining Access to Tools/Training to Close Gaps
As stated above, security audits don’t simply give you the bad news; they tell you how to fix problems. Security audit teams give you important tools and training that help close non-compliance gaps, not just now, but in the future.
Audit teams will also not recommend a one-size-fits-all solution. They will recommend solutions that save costs and tighten cyber security. That’s one of the best security audit benefits. They will help to develop a document management strategy and advise thorough training for your employees.
The latter is a necessity to prevent or even identify data breaches during their initial stages. Employee training also benefits the company by identifying risky actions like answering suspicious emails or downloading suspicious files, etc.
Other benefits include document management strategies, retention and destruction schedules, recommendations for efficiency and consistency improvements, etc.
4. Evaluation of Data Flow Within Company
If you’re an online business or even one with a limited online presence, data is everything. It needs top security controls not only to safeguard it, but to limit, monitor, and restrict its flow. Security audits also analyze how data flows in and out of your organization and who has access to it.
By restricting or limiting access to that data, security audit teams can reduce the risk of breaches significantly. Managing data flow will reduce the chances of it being misused, mishandled, stolen, etc. This will reduce the chances of any legal disputes with customers.
5. Recommendations for Methods to Leverage IT in Business Security
Not every single corporation on earth will have data of the highest importance. The data at a healthcare facility will be much more critical than that at a company that sells tires. This is why security audits recommend the right tools to assure security for your business.
Auditors will determine whether you need to centralize security solutions across devices or isolate risk areas. They will also advise you on whether you are spending too much or too little on security. Hence, you can allocate resources better or even save costs depending on what your ambitions are. Their job will be to determine which tools are optimal for every business based on risk and potential loss.
6. Creation of a Retention/Destruction Schedule for Important Documents
As stated before, a retention and destruction schedule is one of the many security audit benefits you will get. This schedule allows you to classify data that should be kept for a certain number of years depending on the type. This doesn’t just include technical documents or employee records; it also includes tax records, and contracts.
Certain records that you’re producing regularly should be deleted or destroyed regularly as well. Others that are extremely important should be retained. There are several reasons for this. The first is simply to preserve storage space. The other is to improve security standards. Storing too much data can actually compromise its safety.
Security audits can save companies from titanic losses not only to their accounts but to their reputations. Regular security audits benefit organizations not just by preventing potential hacks and cyber-attacks. They can also change the attitude of a company concerning security and improve security practices in the future.
If you’re looking for professional security audits, contact Cyber Tech Connection.