The Importance of Performing an IT Security Audit

The internet started in the 1960s as a collaboration between academic institutions in the US, the UK, and France. With the launch of the first website in the early 1990s, internet usage grew rapidly, helped along by the rapid rate of technological advances during that time. Today, it is rare for organizations not to have an online presence. Cybercrime incidents have increased as well, even with the technology used widely for nefarious means, including hacking through secure networks. In 2020 alone, cybercrime rose by 300%, with each data breach costing an organization an average of $3.86 million. From $3 trillion (about $9,200 per person in the US) in 2015, it is estimated that cybercrime will cost organizations $10.5 trillion (about $32,000 per person in the US) annually by 2025. To help mitigate the threats posed by cybercriminals, organizations have a wide array of measures at their disposal, including IT security audits. This article discusses IT security audits, including their benefits and how to perform them.

Definition of an IT Security Audit

An IT security audit helps an organization assess how secure its network and systems are against potential cyberattacks. Both physical and software security practices are evaluated during an IT security audit.

Physical security is reviewed based on access to hardware and other equipment. Building and site security should be more than adequate. If anyone can gain access to your sites and hardware with ease, measures are taken to ensure that these gaps are addressed. As for software, vulnerability scans and penetration tests, among other methods, can be undertaken.

Organizations can be confident with their security practices if they pass IT security audits without raising any red flags. However, if an audit finds security practices to be inadequate, steps are taken so that the organization can pass the security audit the next time around. In addition, compliance issues are addressed immediately to avoid potentially costly fines.

With regular IT security audits, organizations can understand the gaps, if any, in their network and systems. They can then strengthen their networks and systems accordingly.

Types of IT Security Audit Assessments

There are four types of IT security audits that your organization should undertake on a regular basis. They are the following:

Best Practices for an IT Security Audit

To ensure accuracy of your IT security audits, make sure to follow the best practices below:

How to Perform an IT Security Audit

The typical IT security audit involves the following:

During the entire course of the audit, you can run into any number of difficulties, including poorly defined scope and requirements, people pushing back against the audit results, or a lack of focus on risk. Be mindful that the audit is there to uncover risks to your operation, and have the will to implement the required changes when needed.

Benefits of IT Security Auditing

There are a myriad of benefits to regular IT security audits, including:

Security Audit vs Test vs Assessment

The idea of an audit is distinct from other procedures like exams and evaluations. An audit can confirm that a company is following internal security policies and procedures as well as those specified by standards organizations and regulatory bodies.

A test is a technique to ensure that a certain system is operating as it should, such as a penetration test. IT experts doing the assessment are searching for openings that might lead to vulnerabilities.

A scheduled test, like a risk or vulnerability assessment, is called an assessment. It considers how a system ought to function before contrasting it with the system’s actual state of functioning.

Parallels RAS: A Secure VDI Solution

The typical virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) involves deploying virtual desktops to on-premises datacenters. However, a VDI often groups servers and applications on the same infrastructure, opening your organization to potential risks. Other components of the VDI, including hypervisors, virtual machines (VMs), and the network itself, can pose risks to your overall security posture as well.

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a user-friendly and secure VDI solution for your corporate data. It works with major hypervisors and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and offers robust yet affordable protection for your enterprise security concerns. Parallels RAS also helps secure your data from data leakages and other malicious activities.

Additionally, Parallels RAS provides the following benefits:

Download the trial to start using Parallels RAS for your VDI.

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