A security audit is the methodical and comprehensive evaluation of an enterprise IT system from a security standpoint. A full audit will generally assess the security posture of a system by evaluating the system’s physical configuration and environment, software running in the enterprise, information handling processes, and end user behavior. Security audits are a useful tool for both fortifying an enterprise’s level of security and for achieving or maintaining compliance with a variety of legislation.
The Basics of an IT Security Audit
At TCB, we base our security audits on six components: Network Management, Network Topology, Network Security, Server Infrastructure, Network Services, and Network Applications. The grading of these six components allows TCB’s analysis to cover a variety of focal points, from internet connectivity to financial management. By basing our findings off of these factors, we are able to effectively find an IT solution that will best benefit your company. The combined score of each section reveals your Network Health Index and determines how stable and effective your system is for the public to access. Using these components, TCB goes through a strategic process in order to provide businesses with the strongest course of action moving forward.
The process of how this data is collected is done in four steps. It begins with an on-site consultation, which leads into on-site data collection. The data collected in this second step is imperative to the overall ITA. TCB will examine your current software and hardware and compare them against proven systems. Once the comparison is complete, we will compile a report to include an executive summary on your company’s specific Network Health Index. This will outline data analysis, best practices, and recommendations. TCB will meet with you to review the results and suggest the next steps to protect your IT systems.
Why Are IT Security Audits Important?
If you have seen headlines depicting the latest devastating data breach or ransomware incident, then you should already be somewhat familiar with why security audits are so important. Security audits are an invaluable tool for determining risk for security incidents. Regular IT security audits identify new or emerging vulnerabilities, pinpoint the effects of changes to enterprise technology, and maintain compliance with a variety of legislation, including HIPAA and GDPR. Consistent security audits are important because they help businesses to identify weak points in their security posture, repair security gaps, and lessen security risks.
IT Security Audit Benefits
Validate your current security strategy and make the business case for security
Every security strategy comes with its pros and cons. Security audits can help to quantify risk scores, allowing security experts to clearly articulate how effective their current security architecture is performing, where security gaps might exist, and what the ramifications of those gaps might be. This helps security teams articulate the business case for security investment and demonstrates the need for additional spending that will help to prevent costly data breaches.
Verify end user training effectiveness
One of the unchangeable truths of IT security is that regardless of security investment or controls, ultimately security is going to rely on the end user. To illustrate, according to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, approximately 22% of data breaches involved phishing. Training end users in safe security practices and behaviors and how to identify potential attacks like spearphishing, is a vital part of effective IT security.
Identify redundant hardware or software
As businesses add technologies to their security stack (point solutions, in particular), many are not reviewing to see if they are buying security features or capabilities that are already present in their security stack. IT security audits identify where features or capabilities are being unnecessarily duplicated and identify the software or hardware responsible.
One of the primary advantages of a security audit locating redundant hardware or software is the cost benefit. Once those pieces of the security stack have been identified, an evaluation of those components determines which offers more benefits to the business, or how individual capabilities could be purchased less expensively.
Identify flaws in the security stack
The addition of technology into a security stack may result in interoperability problems. Technology from one vendor may not operate with technology from a different vendor if it hasn’t been properly configured to work optimally within the stack. A security audit can identify flaws and provide remedies in new solutions.
Audit trails and compliance
Another benefit of a security audit is the existence of an audit trail. This documentation is vital for proving compliance with a variety of security, privacy, or legal obligations, especially for the healthcare and finance industries. Audit trails can help businesses prove compliance with requirements such as HIPAA and GDPR.
Speak with TCB Today for More Information
Keeping your IT systems up-to-date and effective doesn’t have to be a daunting task; by running regular IT assessments, your company can stay sharp and competitive. For more information, contact our expert IT consultants today.