What is an IT Security Audit?
An IT security audit is the process of assessing and evaluating the security of an organisation’s information technology infrastructure. The main goal of conducting such an audit is to identify any weaknesses that could be exploited by a cybercriminal and fix them before they can cause any damage.
What should an IT Security Audit include?
There are several components to an IT security audit. Let’s break them down:
Threats and vulnerabilities assessment – A threat is any potential danger that can exploit your system or data, while vulnerability refers to the weakness in your network’s defences against such threats. During an IT security audit, you have to identify all these possible dangers and find ways to patch up the vulnerabilities.
Policy and procedure review – A big part of ensuring your organisation’s security is having a set of written policies and procedures that everyone follows. During an IT security audit, you have to make sure these are up to date and effective.
Technical scan – This is where you use various tools to find all the possible vulnerabilities that are lurking in your network.
Risk assessment – You have to determine how serious a threat or vulnerability is, where it’s coming from and who could be affected by it. This part of an IT security audit helps you prioritise which ones should be fixed first.
How to perform an IT Security Audit: Our Checklist
Now that we know what goes into an IT security audit, let’s take a look at how to conduct one.
Gather all of the information you’ll need about your company’s IT infrastructure. This includes data like:
- Which systems are in use?
- What software is installed on each system?
- What are the credentials to access all these systems?
- What are the network configurations?
With this data in hand, we begin the IT security audit process.
To start, have a clear idea of your company’s security policies and regulations.
- Reduce room for human error by training employees with the best IT security practices.
- Assess log-in credentials and harden them if necessary.
- Identify the devices and operating systems dealing with sensitive data.
- Check that all devices are updated and have an antivirus installed.
- Review your network infrastructure and check if network penetration testing is required.
- Assess what’s at risk.
- Limit access to sensitive data.
- Use an updated firewall.
- Scan for vulnerabilities and malware.
- Conduct penetration tests.
- Monitor your traffic and user activity logs.
The best tools for conducting an IT Security Audit
There are many tools out there that can help you with this, but some of our favorites include:
Nessus – This free tool scans for vulnerabilities in your network and gives you a full report on what they are. It also offers a way to patch these up.
Nmap – This is a free network scanner that can detect vulnerabilities and malware on your system. It also shows you the open ports, which systems are connected, and more.
*Nikto *– Nikto cross checks your website against a database of recognized vulnerabilities with this tool. It also lets you know if there is any outdated software that needs to be updated.
Metasploit – This tool is a hacker’s dream, but you can also use it for good. It lets you simulate actual attacks on your system to see how it would hold up.
Burp Suite – This is a comprehensive tool that helps you test the security of your web applications. It’s possible to examine all of the traffic that passes between your browser and the web server using it. This is great for debugging and finding vulnerabilities.
There are many other great tools out there, but these should get you started. Perform an IT security audit today.