person doing audit

5 best practices for IT security audits

A security audit is nothing less than a necessity for a company of any size. During this assessment, cybersecurity experts will scrutinize your digital infrastructure and business operations to find weak points.

Some audits are limited in scope, examining only a few aspects of a company’s cyber defenses. However, for the best results — especially if you haven’t had an audit in a while — go for a total inspection.

After all, potential vulnerabilities are everywhere. Perhaps your employees neglect web browsing safety practices; maybe your antivirus software is out of date, or perhaps any number of other things are going on with your network.

Here are some best practices for a successful and insightful audit.

1. Hire outside experts

You don’t want in-house IT pros handling this process. It’s like when people defend themselves in court; it almost never works out well.

Someone who works for you may be reluctant to be too critical, which could mean an incomplete report. Furthermore, when you inspect your own workplace, it’s easy to have blind spots and overlook problems.

Instead, seek excellent outside IT consultants to run the audit for you. Look for extensive experience with corporate security projects and enthusiastic references.

2. Get everyone on board

Call a company-wide meeting and let all of your employees know about your upcoming audit. You can explain why their full cooperation is essential, answer questions, ease concerns, and prevent rumors.

Also, you can find out if your staff members have any needs that you’ll have to work around. For instance, if one of your managers is showing a potential client around next Thursday morning, you could ask your auditors to show up after lunch that day.

3. Gather info beforehand

To expedite the process, ask your auditors ahead of time what information they’ll require. Then do your best to collect it all.

That info may include your network topology map as well as a list of your mobile devices, antivirus programs, app providers and so on. You might also need to provide them with an indemnification statement in case your network flags their activities as suspicious.

What’s more, ask your auditors for a copy of their official policies. That way, you can be sure that you’re comfortable with their tactics before you let them in.

4. Study the report

Once the audit is complete, the security pros will put together a customized plan for your company. Study that document carefully with your leadership team, and ask the IT experts for help with any parts you don’t understand. Afterward, organize another meeting with every employee to sum up the results and announce what will be changing.

Your IT consultants can then supply you with the hardware, software, monitoring services, staff training, and data storage on the cloud that you need. And they can formulate an ideal backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan for your organization.

5. Don’t let up

Remember that one security audit isn’t sufficient. Rather, an annual audit is wise considering how rapidly technology-related dangers change.

For sure, cyberattacks are scary. They happen frequently, and they strike mom-and-pop stores and international conglomerates with equal fury. They expose customers to identity theft and other serious crimes. They often put companies out of business within months if not days.

The only way to stop cyberattacks is with a layered, coordinated and high-tech defense system. And the best way to organize such a defense is to receive full audits from outstanding IT specialists.