How to Perform a Security Audit?

Security audit is a valuable activity, which helps to understand the potential risks with reference to the organization’s assets. Here are the key steps on how to effectively do an audit on the security systems of a business. 

1. Define the Scope 

Before getting down to the actual security audit, it is advisable to define the areas that will be within the audit’s purview to make sure that little or no region of the organization’s infrastructure is left uncovered. 

  • Decide, what systems, networks or applications are to be audited. 
  • Determine the particular security policies and procedures that it should examine. 
  •  The goals of the audit must be clearly defined and put down on paper. 

2. Gather Necessary Documentation 

Gather all necessary paperwork to have a clear picture of what is going on. 

  •  Collect network diagrams and configuration, and ACLs. 
  •  Secure legal requirements or standards of conduct and rules on security incidents’ handling. 
  •  Speaking of recent audit reports and findings, it is recommended to analyze previous audit reports . 

3. Identify Potential Threats 

 Learn about a threat that may affect your organisation. 

  •  A threat analysis should be performed to determine potential threats. 
  •  Think about factors from outside the company as well as those within it. 
  •  Analyze the probability and consequences of each threat. 

4. Assess Current Security Measures 

 Assess security to see the shortcomings that are existent in the organization’s current state. 

  •  Check firewalls, anti virus, and intrusion detection/prevention. 
  •  Take the changes to access controls, the usage of authentication and encryption methods as well. 
  •  Check for the appearance of physical security including locks, surveillance equipment, and key cards. 

5. Perform Vulnerability Scanning 

  Continually employ software to search for weaknesses in the networks. 

  •  Perform Vulnerability Scanning on the networks and applications in use. 
  •  Establish where specific organizational applications may be out of date, where systems have not been updated with security patches where there may be flawed configurations. 
  •  Record all notes for further analysis for each of the initial research findings. 

6. Conduct Penetration Testing 

Conduct covert attacks to measure the efficiency of the implemented security enhanced schemes. 

  •  The company may hire professional penetration testers or may have potential in house employees for the task. 
  •  Check for the basic flaws like SQL injection, Cross Site Scripting and Cross Site Request Forgery. 
  •  Record and evaluate the outcomes with the respective techniques that we could utilize to enhance the current status. 

The above outlined steps will help you get through the security audit hence improving the security of your organization. To get deeper knowledge on the topic, one may refer to such sources as Essential InfoSec to be aware of tendencies in the sphere and current threats.

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