What is a Network Security Audit & Why Do I Need One?
Most of the employees may cringe when they first think of the word ‘audit.’ It typically means that an external team comes in to review everything and provide them with feedback on anything that may go wrong. Usually, the audits are conducted in the business accounting field, but the network security audit ensures that every business operation remains secure.
Since most of the enterprise allows employees to work from home, it is essential to secure a secure network. Doing this will require businesses to perform a network security audit.
There are two ways to conduct the audits – manual and automatic. A manual network audit by managed network service providers will review internal and external processes, analyze employee vulnerabilities, monitor remote access, network access, and even the endpoint operating systems. On another end, the Computer-Assisted Audit Techniques (CAAT) are used in an automated audit.
The audits analyze vast volumes of data and security policies in the categories of static and activity-related data. For instance, static data is based on policies, systems, password regulations, and activity data that focus on changed or transferred files, access to data, and where and when network users are connected.
It is ideal for businesses to conduct a risk evaluation of an organization’s safety procedures, IT facilities, software, and operating systems. Unless an annual audit is carried out, businesses are left vulnerable to severe security risks that expose confidential information. Conducting regular compliance audits and consistent control of policies and business regulations is highly recommended to avoid potential vulnerabilities and data loss.
Audits help in discovering hardware issues.
Hardware will last for years, such as servers and workstations. However, they can fail in a moment. This will hold up the activities, leading to delays in order execution, signing new customers, and other essential tasks. Hardware inspections show issues until they become issues with a business network audit.
Unearthing Security Vulnerabilities
Businesses deal with a lot of data and critical information that demands top-notch security necessary to operate successfully. Ideally, this is something that you will need to discuss with the network consulting service providers before running the network audits. Any observed vulnerabilities are noted during these inspections. Availing such audits plummets the risk of losing out on data due to thefts and leaks.
Ensuring Robust Security
The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can kill network infrastructure, and it is an added issue for the auditors. Although firewalls can mitigate harm, businesses need to consider adopting broader, more robust data protection strategies for such network vulnerabilities. While firewalls can serve as strong protection against external attacks, network monitoring and security can affect a company’s response times and threat assessments, positively impacting the financial standing.
Also, penetration testing that the cybersecurity expert may carry out to determine the feasibility of organizations’ security systems and the auditor will carry out a “hack” examination to verify the status’s safety measures. Such a network security and monitoring process are likely to trace down the possible attacker and help an auditor identify safety vulnerabilities. This is a great way to have the network security and monitoring mechanism informing businesses on introducing more robust network security programs.
They May Find Network Inefficiencies and Errors
Network assessments concentrate more on compliance concerns than on security problems. They are also searching for errors in performance, such as bottlenecks. When Network issues like this sneak in, you can stop it at the source to not let it interrupt your business. Resolving the bottlenecks will set the course of action and when the errors are fixed, making it critical for key business processes to ensure timely networking audits.
If a formal network security audit on your network has not been performed yet, now is the time to start.
Here are the advantages of running timely networking audits
Routine safety assessments and intrusion detection tests may be required in some businesses, especially those working in the government or health department. You will have to comply with the newly implemented SHIELD Act if you are using it in New York.
Finding hidden vulnerabilities
Even though the network is protected against all known threats, other risks can be blurred in a clear view. A security network audit can identify and fix previously unknown vulnerabilities.
Improving protection for the cloud storage account
Performing a structured network security evaluation will increase stored files’ value and security as the organization moves to the cloud.
It is creating a compromise between optimal security and employees’ efficient access. It is not easy to find the right balance between network protection and accessibility, but a competent network review will help.
Remember, you are not a technology expert but an expert in conducting your business operations. You have access to the specialized skills required to keep you and your data secure when scheduling a network security assessment. Hiring audit experts would mean removing your employees as the first line of defense and pivoting their skills to improve deliverables.