What is the Significance of a Network Security Audit for a Business
Mobile wallets and mobile banking have no doubt made our lives easier. With the advent of technology, we no longer need to carry money wherever we go. Mobile apps and finance management apps have taken this hassle out of our lives. However, it has also raised concerns regarding cybersecurity for both businesses and individuals. Government, retail, and technology are three of the hot targets for cybercrime. they make almost 95% of breached records. Therefore, while planning for your new business venture, you need to take cybersecurity seriously from the very first step.
It is hard to streamline your IT processes and secure your data unless you have a complete picture of your IT infrastructure. The best way to get an overview of your IT infrastructure is to conduct a network security audit. A network security audit enables you to see what works for your business and what is that needs to be improved. It not only prevents glitches within your system but also improves its performance.
So, if you are ready to launch your business and want to know how to keep it on track and secured, this article is for you. Today, we are going to discuss what is network security audit and why is it important. So, let’s get started.
What does a network security audit mean?
A network security audit is commonly known as an information security audit. It is a technical assessment of the IT infrastructure of your business. This audit is conducted by a professional IT company. IT experts use digital solutions and physical processes to decide whether or not your business network environment is safe. The firm also assesses the quality of your network to make operating systems and applications securer. Choose an IT firm with extensive experience in conducting security audits for renowned businesses to secure your critical business information.
For a business, managed IT services offered by professional IT consultants are as important as mechanic services for your car. It is a fact-finding step for the business which allows it to get a grasp on what’s going wrong and how to fix it. Initially, auditing requires investment but long-term, it saves your business money and protects your reputation. “Network security audits protect businesses from information leaks, online scams and ransomware attacks,” says Julia Markle of ClothingRIC.com. “We make a weird comparison of these to coupon codes because just like audits, there are great money-savers.”
By thoroughly auditing your network security, the managed IT firm provides you a complete picture of your business. It allows you to identify the loopholes in your business’s security which makes it more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
What should a network security audit include?
There are various aspects of network security that need to be reviewed to ensure secure IT operations. Some of these aspects include:
The foremost step of conducting a network security audit is to review firewall configuration. Your IT partner needs to assess it for potential security gaps. Once identified, he should patch these vulnerabilities with required firmware updates. To secure the infrastructure, the process should be conducted regularly.
- Anti-virus/malware software:
Your IT consultant will ensure if your servers and systems are secured with up to date anti-virus and anti-malware software.
- Active directory
Businesses use Microsoft active directory to manage users, systems and security policies on Windows domains. These directories need to be maintained on a regular basis to smoothly run your business. Active directory management means eliminating those accounts and computers that have been inactive for a while. This step allows you to manage the security threats stale accounts with access to the network hold.
- Password approach
For any business, an effective password policy needs to be in place. The network security audit assesses how effectivity the password policy of your company is. To keep your company’s IT infrastructure secure, you need to prompt your employees to use strong passwords. Moreover, make sure they change them routinely. A network security audit makes sure that you deactivate previous employees’ accounts right away. A limited password approach is one of the most important components of cybersecurity.
Businesses require a process that backs up business-critical data. This process needs to be tested on a regular basis. If the process is interrupted, you might end up losing years of record and crucial data. With a network security audit, you can identify the shortcomings that put your important data at stake. You can overcome these vulnerabilities to secure your information in the best way possible.
The above-mentioned are some of the major aspects that decide how strongly secured your company’s crucial information is. Security vulnerabilities can wreak havoc on your business. This makes it important to hire a professional IT consultant who identifies the gaps in your data sharing approach, remote connectivity and internet filtration as well.
How network breach can cause millions of dollars of loss?
A cyber-attack is made every 39 seconds on average. When cybercriminals get access to your business’s crucial information, they can blackmail you into doing whatever they want. The majority of the time, cyber-attackers ask for quick cash by holding your important data hostage. They make you pay a ransom in exchange for your business-critical information.
That’s not all. Some creative hackers have other malicious plans for your business. They might be planning to use this information to hurt your company’s reputation. If you want to stay ahead of hackers, you need to invest in cybersecurity. You need to perform regular audits to secure your company and its critical data.
Why your business needs a network security audit?
“We will in the age of information,” says Julia Markle of ClothingRIC. “With the advent of technology, securing your business’s data has become the most important.” Without having a system that ensures data security your business will be left dead in the water. Losing this data means losing your business.
Therefore, it’s very important for big to small businesses to invest in cybersecurity which includes network security audits. With technology, cybercriminals are also evolving. They have access to the latest technology that allows them to breach into your network and access your critical information. The world lost over $600 billion in 2017 to cybercrimes and the number only seems to rise. This means more companies are prone to fall victim to these crimes in the future. Be it big or small, if you want to secure your business, you need to get it audited by professionals regularly. Following are the reasons why your business needs a network security audit:
Guarantees your network’s security
Cybersecurity ensures that you stay ahead of cybercriminals and prevent security breaches. You might be surprised but a lot of cybersecurity companies hire former cybercriminals. This way they make the most of the abilities of someone who has been involved in cybercrimes. Network security audits identify the security risks your network is faced with. It shows you the vulnerabilities within your programs and systems by testing your network. They try to breach in just as a hacker would do. It helps them identify the potential ways hackers would use to break within your network and access business-critical data. The identification of these threats allows you to strengthen your cybersecurity measures and prevent security issues.
- Completes your security plan:
No security plan is complete within a network security audit. Cybersecurity firms finish off your security plan by performing audits on your network’s security. Once they have installed the cybersecurity systems, they try to break in to ensure that the network is completely safe and secured. The cybersecurity specialists use brute-force attacks or hijack your website to test its security. If the security system endures these attacks, it indicates it is completely secured to face similar legitimate attacks.
It is important because when hackers break into your private network, they get access to everything that goes through it. This sensitive information includes clients’ data, passwords, management processes, financial data and a lot more.
- Makes it easy to meet compliance requirements:
There is a set of minimum industry compliance requirements every business needs to follow. For a storefront that accepts payments from credit, debit and benefit cards, it’s important to comply with some type of PCI or DSS. The main purpose of compliance requirements is to secure you and your customers’ crucial data. It’s not just the credit or debit cards that require compliance. Every industry has to maintain some sort of compliance. For example, doctors need to comply with HIPPA. It is that industry compliance that secures patient’s health information.
Data breaches will keep on happening. However, if your business keeps up with the minimum compliance requirements, your business-critical data will be much safer as compared to when no such compliance is regulated.
- A failed security assessment is a good sign:
To ensure the maximum network security your security assessments should fail. That’s because if the auditors fail to break into your systems it means the network is secure and cybersecurity is holding up well. It means you can trust the security of your network as it doing its job well.
However, if the auditors succeed in bypassing your network’s security, it means there are some security gaps in your network that need to be addressed immediately. You need to fix these issues right away. Don’t wait to patch these gaps as it gives cybercriminals more time to make strikes.
To strengthen your network’s security, you may have to add a more advanced security tool to your security suite. Sometimes you need to switch to an entirely new approach to secure your business-critical data. No matter how much work it takes for you to patch your systems, we assure it will be worth it.
One of the most important things startup should know about cybersecurity is for any business, its network is its most valuable asset. That’s because your business operations depend upon the flow of information it carries. A secure network is important to enable the employees to communicate about projects and discuss sensitive details in a carefree manner. If your network is not secure, it can grind your business down to a halt. Therefore, you need to get your network checked for security to prevent potential loss that losing your critical information can cause.
It should be kept in mind that too much security may make it difficult for your employees to communicate. It can hinder their ability to work together. When you get your network security audited, you can ensure your security measures align with hassle-free uninterrupted communication between the team members.