If you typed in the phrase “security audit” in your search engine, then you are one of two individuals – an up and coming tech person who wants to know anything they can about the topic or you are someone who works in the IT industry and looking for companies who offer this service.
This article aims to provide basic information on this subject so if you are looking for advanced technical terms, then, unfortunately, you need to be more specific in typing your search engine phrase. For the rest of you, let’s hope you keep reading. Let’s break it down into three main topics.
The word “security” means that this involves assurance to a person, structure, business, company, or even a whole nation against dangers such as crimes or other bad intentions. These bad intentions can range from a minor hacking about changing a few codes on a harmless computer software to shutting down entire buildings and putting people’s lives at risk. Having security would be a good thing then, as you can probably imagine.
“Audit” is more frequently connected with accounting or the monetary industry, in general. In simplest terms, to conduct an authorized check of a person’s or a company’s resources; whether it be financial accounts, personnel issues, and yes, even technology resources.
Therefore, a security audit is a methodical evaluation of the security of a company’s data operation by estimating how properly it adheres to an assortment of established standards. In other words, this process is done to ensure that the organization’s security is not compromised and the resources are protected from those that want to do something harmful.
An auditor is then needed to start the process. This auditor is either a retainer of the company so he is available whenever he is needed and called upon or they could hire from a security company who offer this kind of service. The security audit is divided into two main categories.
First, there is a manual assessment. This is where the auditor interviews the employees and asks them multiple questions pertaining to the issues at hand. This should be done as often and as random as possible to make sure that those planning to do something harmful are caught red-handed.
The second part of the process is the automated assessment. This includes the reviewing of the company’s security systems as well as potential weak links. This is also where they talk about past incidents and where the preventive measures can be applied and improved. This usually involves the company IT officer and everyone else in the department.
Most companies don’t have a full-time security auditor. If you’re a billion-dollar tech conglomerate then it would be a good idea to have a team of security experts at your disposal. Otherwise, the best way to go about it is to outsource to an organization who are specialists in this area. Make sure they are licensed with the proper groups (government included) and they have had extensive experience in this field. I’m not saying that newbie companies are no good, they still need to get more experience. And you wouldn’t place the security of your company to someone who can’t prove they spent some time studying this area.
There are many different ways that auditing companies use and the packages that they offer range from a simple interview-based method to a thorough search-every-nook-and-cranny investigation. This all depends of course on the amount a company is willing to spend on its security. Some organizations do a thorough security check every couple of years but medium-strength auditing on the other random checks. Another wise thing to do is to change the outsourced hiring every now and then so they don’t get lackadaisical.
The main thing here is that your company security is up to date and above industry standard. Before hiring someone to do your security audit, do some research first on a few options and ask other companies for suggestions and recommendations. This should get your full attention all throughout the process. So gather all the information you can about the best security audit companies and secure away.