Worldwide losses from cybercrime were projected to surpass six trillion dollars by this year. Ransomware, malware, phishing and spearing, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are not only on the rise but are evolving to meet increased cybersecurity. So many organizations are hiring IT service professionals to conduct a cybersecurity audit of their organization. What is a cybersecurity audit, and how can you prepare for one?

What Is a Cybersecurity Audit?

Just as an organization might conduct a financial audit to check compliance and verify that the account is in good standing, a cybersecurity audit or assessment checks an organization’s compliance and assesses risk. It may reveal vulnerabilities or gaps that could be exploited by cybercriminals, but its main purpose is to arm an organization’s administrators with the information they need to make decisions and create a plan for meeting the evolving threats to cybersecurity.

Types of Audit

There are various approaches to a cybersecurity audit, each with a specific goal. The following are some of the main types of audits that can be performed internally or by industry professionals.

  • Vulnerability assessment. The goal of this audit type is to look for gaps in an organization’s security that could be exploited. Often, the security vulnerabilities involve people. According to one report, 35% of breaches are attributed to human error. As businesses evolve, vulnerability evolves too. Therefore, this type of audit should be done routinely.
  • Risk assessment. The purpose of this type of audit is to identify cybersecurity risks. Once risks are identified, decisions can be made and implemented to mitigate the risk. This type of assessment should also be done regularly.
  • Penetration testing. In this kind of assessment, the IT personnel, whether in-house or outsourced, act as the criminal and try to bypass the existing security infrastructure. Their rate of success would serve to assess the level of security against real-time threats.
  • Compliance audit. This type of audit assesses whether an organization is in compliance with local and state laws and regulations. In meeting cybersecurity issues, certain legal requirements must also be carefully considered, and due to the constant changing of such laws and regulations, it can be hard to maintain compliance. An audit done by IT professionals who stay abreast of pertinent regulations can provide helpful assistance in maintaining compliance.

How to Prepare

The outcome of your audit is largely determined by the effort made to prepare for it. Before ordering an audit, first establish the goal and purpose of the assessment. Then consider how the information provided by the audit will be used by your organization. Based on these parameters, you may then need to decide:

  • Will it be conducted by internal IT staff or outsourced for an objective approach?
  • What is the scope of the audit? Is it just for a specific portion of your organization’s system or more general?
  • How can it be scheduled to reduce the impact on the organization’s performance?
  • How can the personnel effected prepare for the audit?

Getting Reliable Results

Remember that the goal of an assessment is to reveal risks and vulnerabilities. So don’t be disappointed if it does. Instead, objectively analyze the results in order to close the gaps and improve security. Of course, having professionals with experience guide you through the process is a definite advantage and would most likely provide you with the most objective results. Robust Network Solutions offers experienced staff and professional solutions to help you get the best results from your next cybersecurity audit.