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Published On: July 13, 2021 by Blake Schwank

The Importance Of Cybersecurity Audits For Colorado Springs Businesses

The growing threats in the cybersecurity space have prompted government involvement in advocating for detecting and preventing cybersecurity attacks. On June 2, the White House released a memo urging corporate business leaders to focus on cybersecurity, especially forestall attacks such as the infamous SolarWinds attack.

Notably, cybersecurity attacks now spill over into infrastructure and personal lives. Business heads can no longer take a back seat in cybersecurity. Therefore, it’s crucial to perform regular audits to check for gaps in cybersecurity and IT infrastructure.

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White House Memo To Corporate Executives and Business Leaders

On June 2, 2021, the White House under President’s Biden leadership released a memo directed to corporate executives and business leaders. In the memo, the White House urged businesses to protect themselves against ransomware to increase the United States’ resilience from cyberattacks.

The government points out that it’s taking measures to boost cybersecurity and prevent ransomware attacks. Some of these measures include disrupting ransomware networks, developing policies towards ransomware payments, enabling rapid tracking of criminals and attacks, tracking virtual currencies, and working with international partners to hold cybercriminals accountable for their actions.

However, the government insists that the private sector has a critical role in protecting the nation against cybersecurity threats. All businesses should know that they can be targets for ransomware attacks. Even if you run a small business, you are a ripe target to cybercriminals.

However, organizations can take several measures to protect themselves and other stakeholders in their network. First, business executives should understand their business risk and corporate security posture at all times. Second, businesses should view ransomware attacks as threats to their core operations instead of passing risks that they can quickly recover from.

What Can Businesses Learn From Famous Cybersecurity Attacks?

Notably, the government is still learning and recovering from ransomware attacks that have rocked government agencies. For example, the SolarWinds cyberattack is one for the books. Malicious hackers used a regular update in the company’s Orion IT software to distribute malware. The attack on software compromised the security of SolarWinds’s clients, including federal agencies.

While federal agencies and organizations have taken measures to remove infected software, it’s unclear if the attack is part of a larger ransomware attack. The report estimates that up to 18,000 customers are still vulnerable to attack.

It’s important to remember that malicious intruders used SolarWinds as the Trojan horse. Therefore, businesses need to stay vigilant to protect themselves and their networks.

Why Businesses Need Cybersecurity Audits

It’s critical to audit your network security to check what your IT team is doing and identify gaps in performance. Notably, auditing is not exclusive to cybersecurity.

If you have a construction project, you need audits to check if the utility systems are done correctly. Accountants also perform audits to confirm that all company cash flow is accounted for. Moreover, federal agencies such as the IRS also conduct audits to ensure that companies are doing things right. It, therefore, holds that the same audits should apply in IT.

Cybersecurity audits check for compliance. The third-party agency that performs the audit checks if your business has the proper cybersecurity measures in place and if your business complies with existing regulations. You can then use the audits to bolster your cybersecurity and create cybersecurity policies that allow more dynamic cybersecurity management.

Many business leaders often ask, “Why should you hire a third-party firm to conduct cybersecurity audits?” Of course, this is a crucial question, especially if you have a functional internal IT team. Unfortunately, the truth is that your team has a conflict of interest. A third eye is the best way to ensure an unbiased audit.

How often you perform a cybersecurity audit depends on the size of your business and the kind of data you handle. Audits twice a year ensure compliance and limit gaps in cybersecurity. However, you can opt to have regular audits to protect sensitive data or reduce the frequency if the audits interfere with business operations.

Generally, businesses with more hardware and software are at a higher risk than businesses with fewer devices and software in their network. Also, the type of computing you use (cloud vs. on-premise) and type of information (personal identifying information (PII) is sensitive) determine the number of audits you need.

What Are The Best Practices For a Cybersecurity Audit?

The auditors check your control practices, management, risk and compliance, and other vendors bound to audits. There are several best practices your organization can take before a cybersecurity audit.

  • Review organizational data security policies on data confidentiality, availability and integrity. Confidentiality pertains to who has access and to what information. Integrity pertains to your organization’s measures to ensure data accuracy, while availability refers to standards your business takes to control how data is accessed.
  • Centralize your security policies into one cohesive document that makes it easier for auditors to understand and review your security practices. For example, auditors review policies on access controls, configuration management, asset and data management, risk assessment, business continuity, disaster recovery, vendor management, among others.
  • Provide a network architecture or diagram for auditors to help them identify gaps in your network security.
  • Review compliance standards relevant to your organization, and ask your IT team to check if you’re compliant.
  • Create a list of security personnel and details their roles, responsibilities and access to company information. Auditors often review company employees to get a better understanding of your security architecture.

Why Should You Outsource Cybersecurity Audits?

At Colorado Computer Support (CCS), we work with external vendors and have clients engage them to perform security audits and then prepare a report to point out existing gaps in cybersecurity. External audits help us identify if our team is doing the right thing and reassure our clients that their IT network is secure.

In most cases, audits provide a reliable checklist of items to apply in improving security. We encourage businesses to take the same approach to protect their networks. Hiring a third party, such as CCS, helps you audit your infrastructure and boost your security.

You can count on CSS for all your IT support and security needs. Contact us to find out how we can help you perform successful network audits, ensure compliance and keep your IT network’s secure.

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