What is a Network Security Audit and Do You Need It?

Network Security Audit

Do you know the last time you had a Network Security Audit? If not, you may be in for a surprise. With the threat of cyberattacks being real and imminent, we must do everything to protect ourselves.

A Network Security Audit or analysis is recommended as the first line of protection for any company. Unfortunately, some business owners are in denial, believing that it could never happen to them. Perhaps they think that they are too little to be hacked and do not have the information that hackers need. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth, as hackers are opportunists and attack the weakest link. We’ve seen enough victims experience this situation to know this is the case. Although “audit” has a negative connotation, it is merely a technique to look for vulnerabilities and red flags within your network. Next, you’ll need to check your policies and procedures, as they could be what is putting your business in danger of cyberattacks.

The following are the primary components of a Network Security Audit:

  • Inventory – The first step of the audit is to identify all of the nodes and assets on your network. These include the operating systems, applications, users (in-house or remote). This is a crucial step in ensuring that all dangers are brought to light.
  • Infrastructure Items such as cabling, internet, switches, power, Battery backup, Temperature control, the physical location of the servers,  etc.
  • Firewall Configuration Review – In-depth review of Firewall configuration and policies. It includes the topology, rules, open ports, VPN, remote access policies. Wireless management processes/procedures and configuration. Also, check to determine if the firewall has the most recent patches installed.
  • Security Policy Review – Look at your company’s security policies and procedures to see if they comply with government or other regulations and mandates such as HIPAA or simply if they match up to the standards required to protect your data effectively. These include access and permission (who has access to what, and do they need that access?). Password policies, is it complex and regularly changed? Wireless policies and remote access policies. Also, document the procedures in the event they fall short of anything. 

What are other components to aid in a Network Security Audit?

  • Employee Awareness Training – Reviewing employee awareness training, if it exists or not. Are there drills or simulations?
  • Security Architecture Review – The architectural review examines the actual controls and technologies in place instead of the policy evaluation, which evaluates your published regulations. This expands on the device and platform identification process to provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your cybersecurity measures.
  • Risk Assessment – Upon completion and analysis of all evaluations, a report is prepared that identifies threats and calculates your risks and their possible impact. This information is then used to rank the patches in importance, starting with the most severe dangers and working down to the smallest. A workstation, for example, may hold a client’s social security number or open ports in your firewall.
  • Penetration Testing – Pen tests are stress tests for your network’s security architecture. Testers try to “break” it to find and fix previously unknown faults. We offer you a full report detailing the findings after the audit. This stage is particularly significant since it assists you in identifying the risks that your firm faces so that you can prioritize the most critical remedies.

Why You Should Undergo These Audit Regularly:

Network security audits are crucial because they help you discover your company’s major security threats so you can make adjustments to safeguard them. They will need regular attention at least once a year because your environment is dynamic. For example, things frequently change as your office grows or shrinks, and your people work from home. In addition, you may purchase new software or add new hardware and forget to upgrade a legacy operating system. All these changes or lack of updating can become a security vulnerability for you. And the more chances you have, the easier it is to lose track. 

Audits are excellent, as they become routine and provide peace of mind that your data and valuable and sensitive information will be under a watchful eye. The cost of a proper test can start from $1500 per day. Keep in mind this all depends on the complexity of the environment. Some good guidelines are provided in this article via the IRS. You can also click here for even more information regarding Network Security Audits done by CEO Computers.

How we can help:

At CEO, we offer a free Network Security Audit that gives you a preliminary look at your network. In addition, we have the option of performing a high-level audit that is certified for HIPAA and other regulatory agencies. For an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact 818-501-2281 or email info@ceocomputers.com.

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Posted in IT Blog