Do you want to audit your computer security? Watch for the vigilance points below during your company’s IT security audit. You can also call on a company that specializes in IT audits.
The most important points of an IT security audit:
To strengthen the security of the information system (IS), the security audit must meet a number of conditions:
- The scope of the audit must be well defined: the scope concerned must be specified because the information system comprises different components;
- The audit must make it possible to assess the state of play of the security of the IS;
- It must also make it possible to improve the security of the information system;
- The security audit must be carried out by an external auditor;
- The audit must include a staff awareness stage;
- The audit budget must be defined beforehand;
- The security audit must be carried out on a regular basis.
Delimitation of the scope of the IT security audit
Does the audit carried out cover only the network or the entire information system of the company? Does its scope concern hardware or data storage?
First, draw up a list of your objectives according to the needs of the IS. The auditor then draws up specifications for the security audit so that it runs smoothly.
Assessing the risks facing the company’s IT security
The audit must make it possible to assess the level of risk that could affect the security of the IS. To do this, the auditor carries out a risk assessment and tries to detect any flaw that could compromise the integrity of the IS.
The threat can be of different types:
- Natural disaster ;
- Malicious personnel risk;
- Cybersecurity risk, in particular, hacker attacks;
- Denial of service or DDoS attacks;
- The intrusion of malware;
- Threat related to handling error;
- Industry-related threats.
The evaluation of these threats makes it possible to define the priorities in the action to be taken and also to put in place preventive measures.
Control and reinforcement of information system security
To implement preventive measures, the auditor must also analyze the various elements related to the company’s IT security.
- Security of the operating system, applications, and software;
- Backup of company data (both against natural risks and those related to computer threats such as malware, ransomware, etc.);
- Hardware security (computers, servers, etc.);
- Effectiveness of antivirus and firewall;
- Control of access to data and the computer network.
To carry out these various checks, the auditor notably carries out an intrusion test with the IS personnel.
Choice of an auditor and establishment of clear specifications for the audit
Although the audit can be carried out by a team from your IS, it is wiser to use an external auditor specialized in IT security.
Indeed, it is a full-time process that requires resources. With this in mind, remember to choose the right auditor by finding out about their experience in the field. Proof of certification can also help you choose, but this criterion alone is not enough to find the right provider.
Once this step is done, ask the IT auditor to draw up specifications that indicate the methods or processes used in the context of the audit. The latter must also detail the scope of each tool he uses.
Awareness and information of staff on computer security measures
Staff must be trained in computer security procedures in order to strengthen the protection of the IS against various potential threats. This also involves informing employees by explaining to them the risks that the IS and the company, in general, may incur. Your company’s personnel should also learn and follow safety procedures.
Establishing a budget for the IT security audit
Another point of vigilance, you must determine the budget allocated to the IT security audit. Auditors differ in their pricing methods. This can, for example, be fixed, based on the number of days of the audit, or on the complexity of the audit.
Ensure that the audit is carried out on a regular basis
Like technologies, threats, and risks are constantly evolving. Vulnerabilities are even regularly detected in software. Thus, you must ensure that your company’s IT security audit is carried out on a regular basis. Have an annual audit of the IS carried out.
FAQ: learn more about IT security audits
What is an IT security audit?
Faced with growing threats and the need to strengthen cybersecurity, carrying out an IT security audit is essential. It makes it possible to assess the security of the information system and to check whether it corresponds to the security standards in force.
What are the prerequisites for the security audit?
The auditor must notify the staff and the IS manager of the possible need to access certain data. He must also warn them of the possibility of organizing meetings. Both parties must then agree on these points. Finally, the auditor must find out about the IT security policy of the company for which he is going to work.
Why carry out an IT security audit?
Cybersecurity is a priority for every business, regardless of size and industry. The audit brings the information system into compliance with current security standards (ISO 27001 and ISO 27002) and with the GDPR recommendation. A proper security audit also guarantees access to cyber insurance.
Do you want to do a cybersecurity audit?
For a proper cyber security audit, hire an external auditor. It is able to detect every flaw and risk present in your computer network.