Five reasons to conduct a cyber security audit ASAP

With an increasing number of cyber attacks on UK businesses being reported every week, it’s likely that a robust security plan is at the top of most IT Directors’ agendas. The serious aftereffects of a cyber attack include financial ruin, reputational damage, and data theft. Putting a security plan in place can protect the business from the worst of these outcomes.

Knowing what security measures and polices need to be implemented is the first hurdle to be overcome, and this largely depends on what the business does and the kind of data it handles. Businesses that handle large amounts of money and confidential data are understandably at a higher risk of attack, and therefore need to invest more in their defences. Other weak points in a business’ security amour may include a high staff turnover, or sudden changes to working practices (as we have seen in recent months as many made the shift to home working).

Conducting a cyber security audit is a good starting point for identifying weak points, along with analysing the way data flows through the business and where it needs to be protected. Regular audits are important as business processes are constantly changing, bringing with them new risks.

Five ways a cyber security audit benefits business

It delivers an in-depth analysis of internal and external IT practices

A cyber security audit provides an in-depth report of potential problem areas, compliance with industry standards, security policies, and the quality of security controls. By compiling every element of the business’ cyber security coverage into a single report, it’s easier to see any gaps that need to be filled to improve defences. Including external contributors, such as Managed Service Providers and any other contracted parties with access to business data, is an important part of the process to ensure data is protected at all times.

It evaluates how data is accessed and moved around the business

Now more than ever, data is a key asset for any business, requiring top security controls. A major part of a cyber security audit determines the type of information held by the business, how it flows around the organisation, and who has access to it. All technologies and processes related to anti-data breach measures need to be reviewed to make sure that no data will be lost, stolen, misused, or mishandled. This has the added benefit of helping the business to avoid legal disputes with customers, regulators or other affected parties.

It identifies vulnerable points and problem areas

The combination of hardware, software, data and procedures in place mean the environment is vast and the potential for problems is high. Taking a systematic approach to auditing the environment means vulnerabilities can be pinpointed and dealt with more easily. In some cases the business may already have all the tools they need in place, but may not have configured them properly. This is simple and low-cost to fix but can make a big difference to overall cyber security.

It recommends how technology can be used to improve security

As we covered in the introduction, the level of security necessary will be different for every business. As organisations increase in size and data capacity they will need extra protection. However, it can also be the case that a business has invested in multiple different security tools and not allocating them in the most efficient way, resulting in overspending on an incomplete security solution. Auditing all the tools in one go will enable decisions to be made about if resources are being allocated correctly.

It determines if the correct policies are in place

Gathering together all policies and procedures alongside the technical side of the audit means it will be easier to spot any updates that need to be made. For example, if a new piece of software has been implemented the data security policy may need to be updated to include this. The correct polices need to be in place for regulatory purposes, which will differ depending on the industry and regulatory body. If a data breach does occur, having security policies and a Disaster Recovery plan in place can make all the difference.

TiG have years of experience conducting cyber security audits and implementing security solutions to protect businesses. We have specialists working within the financial services sector and are able to advise on polices and procedures that meet global financial standards. Our audit process is in-depth and covers every element of business cyber security. For an idea of what it involves and a free template to conduct your own audit download the guide on this page.  For more information contact us.

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