You can’t improve your IT processes and keep your data secure without a complete picture of your IT infrastructure. By conducting a network security audit, you’ll understand what is working and what needs to be improved so you can proactively get ahead of issues and improve your systems.
Cyber security threats are on the rise. Small businesses need to take cyber security seriously.
A network security audit, sometimes referred to as an information security audit, is a technical assessment of your IT systems. It’s conducted by a professional IT firm that uses physical processes and digital solutions to assess the quality and security of your business network environment, including your operating systems and all your applications.
When you work with a managed IT services or IT consulting company, a network security audit is an important fact-finding step, akin to a look under your car’s hood by your mechanic. It’s a way for the managed IT firm to get a complete picture of your business and spot potential holes in your security that could leave you vulnerable to hackers.
As part of a network security audit, your IT partner may conduct an IT infrastructure audit—an assessment of your IT architecture that covers areas beyond cyber security, such as performance and cost-savings opportunities. Both processes are complicated and technical, but the results don’t have to be. Your managed IT partner should be able to present its findings in plain English and recommend easy-to-understand actions based on the report.
A network security audit should include review of the following:
The IT partner should review your firewall configuration, check for security vulnerabilities, and make sure it is being patched regularly with the necessary firmware updates.
- Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software
The audit will determine if all systems, including your servers, are protected by updated anti-virus and anti-malware software.
- Active Directory
Microsoft’s Active Directory is a centralized way of managing all the users, computers, and security policies on Windows domains. Your business should be managing its Active Directory on an regular basis, which means removing inactive computers and user accounts from the system as needed. This helps reduce security threats posed by stale accounts with network access and passwords that never get updated.
- Password Approach
The audit will determine the effectiveness of your company password policy. For example, are you prompting your employees to use strong passwords and routinely change them? Are you deactivating previous employees’ accounts promptly? These are crucial components of cyber security.
Every company needs a process for backing up business-critical data and testing it regularly to ensure effectiveness. The audit will review your approach and pinpoint any shortcomings in your strategy.
These are just some of the aspects of a comprehensive network security audit. To identify all security vulnerabilities, your IT partner will also review your approach to data sharing, remote connectivity (how your employees access company assets when they are home or traveling), and internet content filtration (whether you block sites that violate your company’s internet policy).
Why a Network Security Audit Should Include an In-Person Assessment
The network security assessment should pave the way for a blueprint of your IT security plan. At Anderson Technologies, our experts use the audit to identify critical risks and help our clients prioritize their resources.
When conducting a network security audit, Anderson Technologies installs a sophisticated software tool on the client’s server to probe the network, gather information, and compile findings. Additionally, its experts go onsite to review the client’s setup in person. That is the only way you can truly assess the health and performance of IT equipment and ensure systems are wired correctly. For example, a software probe can’t tell you if too many systems are running from the same power source or if someone has plugged a space heater into the same surge protector as the computers, a common mistake in the winter months.
Next, the firm analyzes all the digital and on-the-ground findings and boils them down to key takeaways and prioritized action items for business owners. That is when the network security audit really proves its value—when it helps a business and its managed IT services partner find ways to stay safer and improve the business’s IT infrastructure.
Anderson Technologies is a St. Louis managed IT services and IT consulting company that performs network security audits and IT infrastructure audits for clients. It specializes in making meaningful recommendations based on findings and working with clients to improve their approach to cyber security. For more information on the company’s services, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314.394.3001 today.