One step in the network security cycle you should never skip is a security audit. Doing so puts your RIA at risk of cyberattacks and data loss. Read on to understand how security audits can make or break your system integrity.
Auditing and the security strategy
Audits are necessary to maintain system integrity and uphold quality. These system checks help identify security gaps and guarantee business stakeholders that the company is doing everything in its power to ensure that all its information is uncompromised.
The three key procedures of an audit are: assess, assign, and audit. Having a methodical way of auditing helps you avoid missing important details. It is also crucial that each stage is treated with the same level of importance to ensure thorough and comprehensive auditing.
During the assessment phase, have your IT partner look at the security system you have in place. All your business computers and servers need to be checked, as well as every program and every user. Doing an assessment should give you an overview of how secure your business currently is, along with any weak points that need to be improved.
After the assessment, you may begin assigning solutions and solution providers. Ask your IT provider about solutions they can provide for each of your network/system gaps. And for issues that they can’t handle (perhaps because certain machines and software are highly specialized), ask your IT provider for their whitelist of partners.
Finally, you conclude your audit cycle with an “audit” — one last look-around before releasing the system back into the wild. Make sure that installations, patches, and upgrades are integrated properly and working seamlessly. For future reference, you’ll also want to take down notes just in case you need information about software and hardware improvements done during this audit cycle.
What exactly should be audited?
When conducting an audit, there are three factors you should focus on:
The state of your security – Security — especially digital security — is never at an impasse, and it is always in flux. Why? Because according to the Clark School at the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds. And that’s not even accounting for other cyberattacks such as phishing, ransomware, and malware. This means that system security has shorter and shorter expiration dates nowadays, which makes audits even more crucial to accomplishing your security strategy.
The changes made – The key to having long-term data integrity is a continuity plan — and not just one that addresses severe business disruptions caused by calamity or disaster. A true continuity plan tries to address every conceivable risk realistically, especially those that can trip up business operations, such as cyberattacks. This can only be possible if you know what kind of hardware and software comprise your system, as well as their respective updates and improvements.
Who has access to what – Data systems — even proprietary ones — should allow administrators some control over who sees what. Total accessibility is a very dangerous prospect, especially since business nowadays is increasingly hinged on internet presence. An audit will let you check on user access so that you can make necessary adjustments to protect your data.
If you are looking for help in developing a security strategy for your business, contact us today to see how our managed solutions can help.