Top 10 Network Security Audit Considerations


Network security audits help organizations identify security risks to systems and data, meet compliance requirements, and provide peace of mind to the organization and its customers.  The Top 10 network security audit considerations include:
  1. Purpose Identify the purpose of the network security audit.  Is it to provide peace of mind to management?  Did a customer or client request the audit?  Has your organization experienced a security breach?  Do you need to meet compliance requirements?
     
  2. Frequency Identify the frequency of the security audit.  Security is not a one-time event with an on and off switch.  Threats are on-going and hackers continually find new ways to breach systems.  To ensure systems and data remain protected, most organizations choose annual security audits.  In addition to protecting against security breaches, annual security audits help protect the organization's image and reputation.  One-time security audits are typically performed immediately after a major change (e.g. new servers, major application release, etc.) to the environment.
     
  3. Scope Identify the scope of the audit.  Security audits can evaluate one or more of the following:
    • Technical Safeguards: server configurations, firewalls, Wi-Fi networks, password strength,  patching, anti-virus, encryption, etc.
    • Physical Safeguards: access controls to data centers, locking cages, logging, and monitoring systems
    • Administrative Safeguards: policies, procedures, agreements with service providers, job descriptions, Incident Response Plans, Security Training Plans, etc.

  4. Budget and Timeframe Prepare a budget and projected dates for the network security audit.  Some important questions include:
    • What is the time period to recover from a security breach?
    • What is the financial impact on your organization if there is a breach?
    • What is the damage to your image and reputation?

  5. Auditors Select a Certified Information Systems Auditor for your audit.  The Certified Information Systems Auditor designation is a globally recognized certification for information system audit control, assurance, and security professionals. Certified auditors have audit experience, skills, knowledge, the ability to identify and assess vulnerabilities, report on compliance, and identify remediation/corrective action needed. The independent auditor's reports are impartial ensuring a completely unbiased approach with recommendations that are in your best interests.
     
  6. Support After delivery of the audit reports does the auditor provide you with a support period to answer any questions you may have regarding their findings and recommendations?
     
  7. Remediation Ensure remediation is performed in a timely manner.  Remediation includes your corrective actions to address the vulnerabilities identified in the security audit report.  Corrective actions may include implementing or enhancing your Technical Safeguards, Physical Safeguards, and Administrative Safeguards.
     
  8. Follow-up Audit Many organizations request a follow-up audit after their remediation/corrective action.  The purpose of having a follow-up audit is to ensure:
    • The issues identified in the initial audit were sufficiently addressed.
    • No new vulnerabilities were created when the organization remediated systems.
    • No new security issues have been identified.
     
  9. Security Awareness Security risks can come from a variety of sources.  Be aware of security threats such as mobile devices connecting to corporate systems, Ransomware attacks, and inherent risks related to the size of the organization, culture, and type of business.
     
  10. Risk Management Ensure all  important assets are properly identified with appropriate preventive, detective, and corrective security controls to reduce or eliminate risks to systems and data.

Network security audits help your organization identify, manage, and reduce your network security risks.  The above steps will help your organization implement a network security audit process that ensures your security controls are sufficient and effective.



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Certified Auditors

Certified Information Systems Auditors
Altius IT's auditors are board certified to audit your systems and issue reports and opinions on your security. We help you identify, manage, and reduce your risks. Our comprehensive audit service uncovers gaps in your existing defenses so that you can better:

  • Fortify your network infrastructure
  • Comply with regulatory requirements
  • Protect your valuable assets

Contact us for more information on our network security audit services.