How to perform a cybersecurity audit
The ever-changing evolution of the digital and technological world drives companies to keep taking more precautions regarding computer security, no matter how big an organization is.
The digital transformation that businesses are experiencing —often, in a way that is fast and furious— shows a future of constant renewal and new challenges. This exponential growth of the digital age and network connectivity, without a doubt, also compromises the security systems of structures and organizations.
This wild reality still finds a great number of companies at an immature stage in terms of computer security, whereas threats have a more sophisticated planning and even better execution each day. The data speaks for itself: according to Interpol, in just a four-month period of 2020, a private business associated with that office detected 907,000 junk e-mails, 737 malware incidents and 4,000 malicious URLs, all of which were generated after COVID-19. "A further increase in cybercrime is highly likely in the near future. Vulnerabilities related to working from home and the potential for increased financial benefit will see cybercriminals continue to ramp up their activities and develop more advanced and sophisticated modi operandi", states Interpol.
What is a security audit?
A cybersecurity audit is a mechanism that identifies the chances of there being a potential vulnerability in an organization's IT infrastructure. The process includes an audit of all assets, networks and data flows; an analysis of the overall perimeter security plan; and an assessment of all hardware and software, including their update policies, to build a technical proposal aimed at obtaining a full-fledged improvement.
Considering the ever-changing evolution of the digital and technological world, experts recommend that a security audit be performed biannually. The audit report also needs to specifically list what measures are recommended to optimize the company's computer security, as well as come up with one or several protocols to follow in case of an attack.
How to perform a cybersecurity audit
A cybersecurity audit comprises different phases depending on the company's infrastructure.
It is meant to discover what level of security is set for the website and its corresponding server: if it is vulnerable to a virus attack and its subsequent propagation when someone enters the site, for instance. It also checks if the site uses the https:// protocol indicating a secure server and if there is any bug (an error in the code of a software or system) that may lead to a security breach.
This refers to testing the quality of the code used by a company's applications, whether they were developed in-house or by third parties. The aim is to identify vulnerabilities.
It is a mock —and authorized— cyberattack designed with hacking techniques to determine a system's level of vulnerability to this type of attack.
This involves the evaluation of the Internet connection and mapping of the company's network. Its purpose is to understand how cyberpirates could find their way into the network to attack it. Once this information is available, the next step is to replace any obsolete devices, perform a firmware update of all mobile devices and operating systems, and applying security filters (firewalls, WLAN, WPA2, among others).
A great number of cyberattacks succeed because of negligence or excessive trust from employees. In the digital environment, opening a virus-infected file is like leaving your door keys in the lock. Lack of knowledge is often fertile ground for phishing or malware, attacks designed with advanced social engineering to breach into personal or work devices. These techniques involve deceiving people into sharing personal and confidential information on the web, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
More often than not, users choose vulnerable or extremely basic passwords so to be able to remember them. Nowadays, any hacker can decipher an insecure password in just a matter of seconds. This is another aspect to be evaluated in a company, which includes its collaborators.
Where does your company stand in terms of cybersecurity? Every organization, regardless of its size, needs to undergo cybersecurity audits. At Awkbit, we can help. Get in touch.