What is an IT security audit?

 

IT security audit: An overview

Why is an audit so vital for the security of your business?

Find what you need to know from the experts at Cheeky Munkey.

An IT security audit involves an IT specialist examining an organisation’s existing IT infrastructure to identify the strength of its current security arrangements and pinpoint any potential vulnerabilities.

Using specialist tools to gather data from the various systems that a business uses to carry out their digital day-to-day tasks, whomever is carrying out the audit will conclude by putting together an in-depth report that covers the aspects where the infrastructure is strong and where it is perhaps more vulnerable.

This is followed up with a number of recommendations to bolster the business’ network security arrangements, with tasks identified to be carried out in the short, medium and long term.

Why do you need an IT security audit?

Principally, an IT security audit is needed to ensure that your cyber-defences are as up to date as they can be, in order to effectively respond to the threats posed by hackers and other such criminals who manipulate IT systems for their own ends.

Should an IT system’s defences be found wanting when compared to the cutting-edge approaches used by hackers, then everything your business has worked for could be at risk. Just a single vulnerability can lead to not only your bank details and subsequently your cash being stolen, but also your personal data that you wouldn’t want being made public knowledge.

 

Small businesses in particular are a tempting target for cyber-criminals, as the thinking is that whilst they have significant cash reserves due to being a commercial entity, they are unlikely to have a sizable team or level of resources solely dedicated to IT protection. Due to their attention being diverted elsewhere, an infiltrator can go about their business without being detected, whereas a larger company with greater manpower would be able to quickly detect that something is amiss.

How often is an IT security audit needed?

Seeing as technology is ever evolving and software is constantly updated, it’s worth investing in an audit on an annual basis. Waiting until you think you’ve been attacked to get professional help in is no good, as by then the damage may have been done and on an irreparable scale.

It may also be worth commissioning an audit if you’ve recently undergone a major adjustment to your IT hardware or infrastructure, or have integrated an all-new system into your network. Unlikely as it could be, a change of such a magnitude may have had unforeseen consequences that whilst not visible, has had a major internal impact which requires addressing.

What should you do after an IT security audit is completed? 

Once your audit has been carried out and the subsequent recommendations are delivered, your next step should be determined by what this package of advice contains. If there are major and looming threats to your organisation, then – budget permitting – implementing measures to tackle these concerns should be of paramount importance.

It should be kept in mind that, on occasion, the cost of patching up your defences may in fact be greater than the level of risk you are exposed to. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be willing to make needed changes if they seem to be expensive, but if for example you find out that many other companies have had similar issues with a certain piece of technology, you may be better off looking for an alternative that can provide you with a better user experience.

If you feel as if your IT security systems are in need of an expert assessment, get in touch with our team today to discuss your options and how we can help ensure your business remains safe, secure and up to date with all the latest apparatus and software.

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