What is an IT Security Audit and How Can It Protect Your Business?
40% of cyber-attacks are targeted to small businesses with little-to-no IT security systems.
What is an IT Security Audit?
An IT security audit is conducted by IT support companies to assess the overall security of your IT infrastructure. There are many ways to run an IT audit, with various IT companies providing audit packages based on business requirements and resources.
Tailored IT security audits help businesses of varying sizes to maximise their budget and cover the businesses objectives from their IT team or external resource.
Typically, the process of running an audit involves an IT specialist assessing your current IT setup and cyber security structure, and detecting any potential weaknesses that could be exploited.
There will be a set of criteria based on your IT security objectives and the expert will assess your IT systems security to understand any vulnerabilities within your infrastructure.
Types of Security Audits
The names used for IT security audit types will vary; however, three kinds of IT cybersecurity audits are most commonly used.
One-Off Security Audits
One-off security audits are undertaken by IT experts when a one-off event occurs within the IT infrastructure – this might be the installation of new software or an IT relocation project being rolled out within the business.
An example of this could be for a small business that requires the installation of a new cloud-based piece of sales software to improve the efficiency of managing their sales flow. Here, an IT support team would audit the current sales-flow and assess the measures required to safeguard the new sales software against harmful attacks to the company’s security.
Yes or No Security Audits
Yes or No security audits have a yes or no outcome. The criteria for these IT audits is to determine whether a company can go ahead with including a new process into their IT workflow. This audit is about finding potential blockers that cannot be overcome and would be detrimental to the company’s IT security.
Regular Infrastructure Assessments
Regular assessments are taken between 1-2 years to ensure that a business’s IT security is still compliant with best-practice cyber security and to assess whether they are still adequate for the business needs.
Additionally, these types of audits look to ensure that processes are being adhered to by teams within the business and that there are no risks that could hinder the overall performance of your company’s IT security.
IT Security Audits Keep Your Business’s IT Safe
You may not think that an IT audit is a necessity within your business. However, recently, we shared that 40% of cyber-attacks are targeted to small businesses with little-to-no IT security systems. Cyber attacks are on the rise too, with 20% of companies that have employees who work from home being targeted.
Unfortunately, the cost can be catastrophic to small businesses, with the average cost of a cyber security attack resulting in £65,000 – £115,000 in damages. Sadly, this can often spell the end for the company.
Ask yourself, can you afford this sort of outlay without your business going under as a result? If the answer is no, then implementing an IT security audit and Business Continuity Disaster Recovery plan are two critical measures to ensure you keep your company’s intellectual property safe and secure.
How IT Audits Benefit Businesses
There are many benefits of implementing an IT security audit within your business, for example:
- Audits allow you to scale your IT security by understanding where you are under or over-servicing your IT infrastructure needs. This can create cost efficiencies by streamlining IT system processes where applicable.
- IT security audits ensure that your team are up-to-speed with the required training needed to keep your cyber security systems running smoothly. Alternatively, outsourcing to an IT support company might be a better option here due to their expertise and requirement to upskill frequently.
- Finding efficiencies by removing/updating/repurposing redundant software or hardware.
- Finding vulnerabilities within an IT system’s infrastructure and providing actionable solutions that a company can roll out quickly.
How IT Security Audits are Run
Security audits for IT infrastructures use a simple Plan-Identify-Report process. Naturally, there are lots of small tasks within these three phases, but for businesses trying to understand security audits, these are the three steps that are undertaken for IT security audits to run smoothly.
The Planning Phase of the Audit
The planning phase of the IT security examination looks to determine the criteria for which the assessment is run. This outlines aspects such as:
- The business’s IT systems objectives
- The goals of the IT system audit
- Identifying the success criteria
- Identifying tools and processes to run the audit effectively
- Agreement on a plan and reporting process for the security audit
The Identify Phase of the Audit
The identify phase of the audit is the implementation of the security audit. This phase of the audit covers tasks such as:
- Deep dive into historical data and assess current IT security versus modern data
- Monitor audit and accuracy of data findings
- Provide project management, on-going communication and reporting progress to the businesses
The Reporting Phase of the Audit
The reporting phase of the audit is a more detailed report and analysis of the IT infrastructure based on the security audits findings.
Here the reporting phases identifies:
- Immediate actions required to ensure the safety of IT security
- Items and task-list based on priority for maintenance of security systems
- Other items that require solutions after immediate fixes are in place.
Requesting an IT Security Audit
To apply for an IT Security Audit, or to learn more about the service, simply visit our IT Security Audit page. Or alternatively, to find out more about our IT Support Services here at FirstLine IT, or how we could support your business, we welcome you to contact us today.