Managed Cybersecurity: What to Review During an Audit
February 3, 2022 at 5:00 AM
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An audit, aka a complete examination of your current security situation, is often recommended by managed ITs Managed and other cyber security experts. The possibility that a malicious attack could compromise your organization's capabilities is examined and potential threats to your organization or industry are examined during an audit. An attack can be internal or external, so it’s important to approach a cyber security audit from both points.

An audit can reveal security weak points before an attack happens and we recommend that these audits are performed at least twice a year. Here are some of the things to know and expect from your managed cyber security expert during and after an audit.

1. Uncovering vulnerabilities

Extensive research will be done to uncover where your business or organization might be vulnerable to attacks. Key risk areas will be defined. Unknown risks in your network, devices, databases or other assets will be detected. These vulnerabilities will be discovered using internal and external scanners that include network scans, wireless scans, and database scans. Any discovered vulnerabilities will also be prioritized based on the level of the threat they pose to your business and network.

2. What is a vulnerability scanner?

A vulnerability scanner is an automated tool that identifies and creates an inventory of all IT assets connected to a network. These assets can include servers, desktops, laptops, etc. Cybersecurity experts use vulnerability scanners to uncover security vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, applications, and procedures. A vulnerability scanner enables organizations to monitor their networks, systems, and applications for security vulnerabilities. There are many vulnerability scanning tools available and It’s Just Results uses leading industry tools to scan your network and uncover hidden vulnerabilities.

3. Penetration testing

After vulnerabilities have been discovered, it’s time to simulate a real-life cybersecurity attack. Penetration testing is exactly that – a staged cyber attack against your organization’s infrastructure, services, and systems. It targets, identifies, and corrects vulnerabilities.

Penetration tests should be conducted at least annually and both external penetration testing and internal penetration testing should be done. External penetration testing tests the externally facing assets of an organization where the penetration testers will attempt to gain access into the internal network. Internal penetration testing usually follows external testing. During it, a tester tests how far an attacker can move within an organization’s network after successful external penetration testing is concluded.

4. Post-audit goals

Once vulnerabilities have been uncovered and an attack simulated, our team creates a clearly defined post-exploitation goal. It can include accessing confidential information, escalation of privileges, system pivoting, denial of services, and occupation of systems. Recommendations for new technology and cybersecurity policies are also made to help protect critical data, identify security loopholes, create new security policies and track the effectiveness of security strategies. An incident response plan may also be suggested as part of your post-audit goals.

5. How to prepare for a cybersecurity audit

There are a few things your business or organization can do to prepare for a cybersecurity audit. Doing an inventory of what is connected to your network, giving auditors information about businesses networks and 3rd systems, and choosing key stakeholders are a few of the steps you can take to prepare.

How It's Just Results can help

In an evolving threat network, we have the expertise and experience to help clients assess their security, threats and vulnerabilities, risk, compliance, and maturity. Our Washington, D.C-based firm can get your organization ready for audits from its clients. This includes getting the business ready for an audit by security professionals, compliance specialists, or auditors. Too often cybersecurity audits are done after an attack has happened and damage has been done. We aim to empower our clients to mitigate the risk of an attack and strengthen their cybersecurity through our comprehensive audits. Contact us to schedule your audit before an attack takes place.