Every industry faces cybersecurity regulations since any of us can fall victim to cyber-attacks. Even though technology has advanced rapidly in the past few decades, the threats have also increased. That is why it becomes necessary to conduct cybersecurity audits. These audits are systematic and independent research and examination of any business’s cybersecurity.
A cybersecurity audit is a verification process to make sure that your company has the right kind of cybersecurity policies and processes in place to protect information assets. That includes ensuring data privacy and being protected against sudden breaches or attacks.
ISACA (the Information Systems Audit and Control Association) states that the audit universe includes “all control sets, management practices, governance, risk, and compliance or GRC provisions in force at the enterprise level.”
Auditing can also include third-party services or private devices. Nowadays, the work done on the internet is not just carried out in the company’s internal server systems.
Ideally, a third-party organization should perform a proper cybersecurity audit to remove the chances of being biased. Still, many companies usually have an in-house team that conducts these studies independently.
If your company is getting ready for a cybersecurity audit, you must be well-prepared beforehand. Remember that a cybersecurity audit is different from a cybersecurity assessment. In the former, there is a cybersecurity audit checklist that makes sure you have verified and passed a specific parameter or not. In an evaluation, the main goal is to check the risks to see how well the cybersecurity measures are being implemented.
Here are a few ways you to ensure everything is under control on the audit days.
Unless you review and go through the current cybersecurity policies, you won’t understand if anything is amiss or not. You may have to update or create new policies if required. Some of the most important ones that should be on your checklist are:
Every activity of every employee has an enormous impact on your business. So you need to check if they have proper access to your cybersecurity policies and whether they can understand them or not.
For example, employees should not open or view websites containing sensitive or offensive content, such as gambling sites. They should also refrain from storing content that violates company policies.
If any employee has to conduct personal business or communication, they should use only their personal email IDs and not the ones provided to them by the company.
Make sure you are aware of the assets that you have and how they are connected and organized. To do that, there needs to be proper network topology.
For example, if you wish to segment your work, the servers meant for finance should not be grouped with those meant for research and development of human resources. That will help you identify the assets, not in your scope and make it easier for the auditor to understand your network.
Segment all these networks meant for different areas of your company into smaller zones. That will also strengthen your security since the sensitive information has now been divided into various compartments. Also, ensure the security firewall tools are all in their proper places.
Review the standards that your company falls under and make sure you follow all their rules and regulations. Some of the subject regulations may include GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI. These cybersecurity standards have been developed, keeping in mind the applicable laws.
Speak thoroughly with your auditor regarding the guidelines you follow and cross-check with them if something is missing. One of the best ways is to have adequately documented evidence.
There are numerous data dashboard tools in the market that can be easily used to assess cyber security risks in your company. They do this by letting you visualize the loopholes in your network, their order of priority, and unexpected changes.
To keep track of your progress through your data dashboard, you can take periodic screenshots to make sure everything is in order instead of checking it manually.
With Stillio, you can capture full-page screenshots and save them to your drive or cloud for later use. It even has an automated feature that auto-captures the screenshot, saving your time and effort.
If you think a data dashboard can be a suitable tool for your team, please check our guide on data dashboard archiving.
Before any external audit, it’s always best to conduct an internal one to detect non-compliance and security gaps. A dry run internal audit will be your best option here. That will include a manual review of the security policies, processes, and controls and automated reviews of important infrastructure or security systems. An internal audit reduces much stress regarding unexpected mishaps during the final external audit, as you can detect those weaknesses beforehand.
Documenting every process takes effort but is necessary nonetheless. That includes training, policies, and everything else involved in cybersecurity data protection. This can be done with screenshots to gather evidence of your work that you don’t necessarily have to take manually.
With Stillio, this entire process becomes automated and much more straightforward! You can take screenshots of policies on your website, of your employees’ training completion, and archive versions of your website to make sure everything’s in place.
During an external audit, make sure you’re honest and transparent. Please don’t be reluctant to share information with them. If you think something is incorrect in your data, tell them truthfully. On the other hand, if your preparation is correct, the entire auditing process will go smoothly.
A cybersecurity audit is a straightforward process and nothing to be afraid of. If you have prepared according to the rules and guidelines, auditing will help your company become more resilient and secure. Get on board with Stillio to help you in the process!