Security audits are an excellent way to gain assurance about your organization’s security arrangements and make tangible improvements. An in-depth security audit looks at your defenses in both the physical and digital realms, looking at access controls to your office, your applications, network security arrangements and security policies.
Types of Security Audit
There are different types of security audits – each of which has its place in an organization’s approach to security. Here is a brief overview of each type:
1. Internal Security Audit
An internal security audit is run by employees within your organization. It’s a self-governed audit with no external help or support. These audits are useful for assessing your IT assets and gaining an understanding of your security controls at a high level.
However, for small and medium-sized businesses without internal IT expertise, internal security audits can be challenging to conduct. Even in larger organizations, only 53% of audit departments are highly confident in their ability to provide assurance over cybersecurity detection and prevention risks.
Due to the complexity of running internal audits, many organizations choose to look to external experts for assistance.
2. Second-Party Security Audit
In a second-party audit, you – or a consultancy working on your behalf – audit the security practices of a supplier to ensure that they do not present a supply chain security risk.
Supply chain security threats are on the rise. Today, more and more organizations use several suppliers and share sensitive data with them. If one of these suppliers suffers a data breach, their customers could also be impacted. It is out of this risk that the need for second-party security audits has emerged.
3. Third-Party Security Audit
A third-party security audit is also called an external audit. In this scenario, you hire a third-party organization to review your security posture or that of your suppliers. The external audit team will use their expertise and knowledge to assess your security practices and provide tailored recommendations for improvement.
You may ask for a third-party security audit yourself to gain a deeper understanding of your level of security maturity. If you work with suppliers, they may also ask you to take part in a third-party security audit on their behalf.
Why Should I Consider A Third-Party Security Audit?
Third-party audits are sometimes required out of necessity. For example, some data security regulations and information security accreditations require audits for compliance. You may also need to engage in third-party audits as part of fulfilling supplier contractual obligations.
Saying this, third-party security audits are about more than just compliance. They also have several other benefits, as we will explore below:
1) Ensure Your Data is Secure
A security audit is a foundational part of an effective security program. If you’ve never conducted an audit, your data could be vulnerable to leakage or theft – and you won’t even know it. By conducting an audit, you’ll gain a better understanding of where your data is, why it’s vulnerable and how to improve security.
2) Optimize Your Processes
When a third party conducts an audit of your information security systems, they’ll help you to gain a deeper understanding of your IT infrastructure. Perhaps you’ll find that you are using cloud storage instances that you aren’t paying for, or that you could better structure your files so they are more secure and easier to access.
3) Improve Your Approach to Security
One of the most valuable outcomes of an audit is tailored security recommendations that you can use to enhance your company’s security. The audit will help you to identify any gaps in your security posture so you can take immediate action.
4) Benefit From External Expertise
An independent IT audit enables your company to tap into the expertise and insights of qualified, unbiased IT professionals, who can offer you excellent advice on how to use cybersecurity solutions and processes to enhance your business’ defenses and improve efficiency.
What Are The Costs of a Third-Party Security Audit?
A comprehensive IT audit can vary in cost. The price will depend on factors such as the size of your company and the complexity of your IT infrastructure.
You may also find that some auditing companies are more expensive as they are geared towards larger organizations.
Our advice is to ask for quotes from a few companies before signing anything on the dotted line.
It’s worth noting, too, that once the audit is over, there may be additional costs you need to consider. Some auditing companies will advise you to implement expensive security solutions to plug the security gaps they have found.
While some solutions may be necessary, you should also be wary that some third parties will have special relationships with vendors, and will therefore highlight their solutions over others.
Get Unbiased Security Advice Today!
B-Comp Services can assist your Denver area business with a review of your information security assessments and help you with making tangible improvements at the price that’s right for you.
Contact us today to discuss the security of your It systems. Call at 303-282-4934.