IMPORTANCE OF IT SECURITY AUDIT | Audit. Tax. Advisory
The importance of IT security Audit

Data and Security.

Every organization and individual is prone to a cyber attack regardless of the security measures deployed. It is therefore important that security assessments are carried out more often to ensure that there are proper up-to-date controls and mitigation measures in the case of a cyber-attack.

An organization should also conduct a special security audit after a data breach, system upgrade or data migration, or when changes to compliance laws occur, also when a new system has been implemented or when the business grows by more than a defined amount of users. These one-time audits may focus on a specific area where the event may have opened security vulnerabilities. For example, if a data breach just occurred, an audit of the affected system can help determine what went wrong. 

Why IT security audit? 

There are several reasons to do a security audit. Please find the six main goals for carrying out an IT security audit: 

  1. Identify security problems and gaps, as well as system weaknesses.
  2. Establish a security baseline that future audits can be compared with 
  3. Comply with internal organization security policies 
  4. Comply with external regulatory requirements 
  5. Determine if security training is adequate 
  6. Identify unnecessary resources 

Security audits will help protect critical data, identify security loopholes, create new security policies and track the effectiveness of security strategies. Regular audits can help ensure employees stick to security practices and can catch new vulnerabilities. 

Security audits are often used to determine compliance with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Sarbanes- Oxley Act and the California Security Breach Information Act that specify how organizations must deal with information. 

Security audits measure an information system’s performance against a list of criteria. A vulnerability assessment is a comprehensive study of an information system, seeking potential security weaknesses. Penetration testing is a covert approach in which a security expert tests to see if a system can withstand a specific attack. Each approach has inherent strengths and using two or more in conjunction may be the most effective approach. 

Organizations should construct a security audit plan that is repeatable and updateable. Stakeholders must be included in the process of the best outcome. 

How often do you conduct security audits?

Organizations that handle a lot of sensitive data such as financial services and healthcare providers—are likely to do audits more frequently. External factors such as regulatory requirements, affect audit frequency, as well. 

It is advisable to carry out security audits at least once or twice a year. Nevertheless, they can also be done monthly or quarterly. Different departments may have different audit schedules, depending on the systems, applications and data they use. Routine audits—whether done annually or monthly – can help identify anomalies or patterns in a system. 

What Data security audits at Entail; 

  • Network vulnerabilities 
  • Security controls /segregation of duties 
  • Software controls 
  • IT governance and information governance 
  • System development audits (SDLC audit)
  • Trainings 

Have you experienced a security issue such as an invasion of a virus into your system or emergence of emails on your spam box? It is time you get our expert advice on cybersecurity and vulnerability assessment. 

Feel free to reach out ☺

Related: ZERO-DAY ATTACKS; Definition, Examples and Best Practices

Related: Taxation of digital economy

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