It can be hard to believe, but there’s one thing that’s more important to your business than its revenue: it’s information. In today’s markets, information is everything, and without it, your company will be left dead in the water. It will not be able to compete, and you may end up losing your business.
That’s why every business owner should invest in cybersecurity, including network security auditing. Cybercrime is on the rise, and it cost the world more than $600 billion last year. That number is only expected to rise, and as it does, more companies will fall victim to hackers.
And once they have control of your information systems, hackers will be able to make your company do anything. Most of the time, they hold your information hostage for quick cash, expecting you to pay a ransom. Some hackers are more creative though and will use your company’s information to hurt it.
By investing in cybersecurity and performing regular network audits, you can stay ahead of hackers and protect your company. And to learn more about how important network security auditing is for your company, keep reading below!
Network Security Auditing Guarantees You’re Safe
The field of cybersecurity is about doing one thing: staying ahead of the bad guys and avoiding a security breach or other security event. Most cybersecurity companies hire criminal hackers who put their criminal past behind them. That way, they can benefit from the expertise of someone who has performed cybercrimes.
Cybersecurity is about protecting your systems from vulnerabilities in systems and programs. It creates a barrier between your company and the rest of the world, to ensure nobody who may hurt your company gets into it. To protect against vulnerabilities, it needs to find them first.
To do that, most cybersecurity firms perform audits. Security audits detect security risks. They pretend to be hackers, who are looking for opportunities to exploit your company, and they find ways into secure systems. With these audits, you can find ways hackers could get in before they do, so you can do something about them!
And to learn more about how auditing fits into any security plan, just keep reading below!
It’s The Final Step of Any Security Plan
Auditing is usually the final part of any security system. If you hire a cybersecurity firm to protect your company, the last thing they will do is perform audits on your company. After installing your cybersecurity systems, they will try to break them through auditing methods.
These methods typically involve trying to break into your company’s private network so they can glean sensitive information. If hackers have access to your company’s network, they also have access to everything that passes through it. That can include passwords, client information, management processes, and financial information.
To access your network, they may try to break through by using brute-force attacks, or by hijacking your company’s website. And if your security systems work, it will hold auditors at bay and do the same with legitimate attacks.
Security Audits / Security Assessments Should Fail
It can seem weird to want something in your security plan to fail, but a failed security audit is a good thing. If auditors can’t break into your systems, that means your security is holding up well and doing its job. A failed security audit means you can trust your security.
Yet, if auditors manage to bypass your security, then you have an issue that must be immediately addressed. Waiting to patch your security just gives hackers more time to strike. And patching your security just means repeating the process that you used to create your security system originally.
You may need to add another tool to your security suite, or you may need an entirely different approach to your company security. However you patch your systems, and however much work it takes, it will always be worth!
As assessments come, alongside your security audit/security assessment comes as risk assessment. A risk assessment will take into consideration an overall level of security vulnerability. Computers, networks, and servers aren’t the only thing on your network. Most employers forget to take into account: their employees. Employees are always part of the security assessment.
Each business has it’s own set of minimum requirements for industry compliance. If you’re a storefront and accept credit/debit/benefit cards, you’re required to maintain some type of PCI/DSS compliance. Keeping your data and your clients’ data safe is what the purpose of compliance requirements are about. Credit/Debit/EBT cards aren’t the only types of things that need compliance. Consider doctors – they’ve required compliances called HIPAA. HIPAA protects your protected health information. HIPAA compliance requires doctor’s offices and the like to secure your data from every direction. Data breaches happen, and when your business meets and/or exceeds minimum compliance requirements, your data and your clients’ data is in a position to be safer than if compliance regulations are skirted.
Securing the Network is Just the First Step
While your company’s network is fundamental to its daily operations, it isn’t the only thing that should be secured. There are other systems in your company that handle sensitive information that deserve just as much protection. And finding ways to protect those systems is important.
Network security is different from device security, and it’s far different from physically protecting your company. And to learn more about how network security differs from other kinds of security, keep reading below!
Endpoint Protection is Vital for Any Situation
Endpoint protection is just another term for protecting individual devices. When someone performs a network security audit, they are trying to gain access to the network because through the network, they can access specific devices. Then, they can leech information back to their device.
Endpoint protection protects individual devices from network attacks, as well as other kinds of security threats. Even if your network or access point is compromised, endpoint protection will detect if a strange device tries to connect with your company’s devices. It can protect information by giving hackers another obstacle to get past after breaking into your network.
Most of the time, endpoint protection comes in the form of basic firewalls and antivirus software. Yet, you could also cover cameras or hide screens to physically protect information. Not all of your company’s cybersecurity needs to be digital!
Network Penetration Can be Hands-On
Network security auditors don’t always try to break into your company’s network digitally. Sometimes, they take a hands-on approach and try to physically break into your company. Most of the time, this means employing social engineering techniques to convince your employees to break basic security protocols. Most engineers take the security posture that their employees are unbreakable stones. That’s not always the case. Occasionally security issues start with bad employees. An employee can unintentionally divulge too much information without knowing they are. There’s even one story of an employee who remotely gave access to a hacker who demolished their operating system doing an audit of a local court system.
For example, penetration testers may sometimes try to convince your employees to plug a flash drive into their computers. While they may claim it’s to access a file on it, the drive may automatically upload a rootkit that gives them access to the device. From the device, the auditor will be able to access your whole network.
Make sure they don’t succeed by educating your employees about how to stay secure. Employees aren’t truthful 100% of the time. If your employees understand basic security principles, your whole company will be secure!
Your Network is Your Most Valuable Asset
Your company depends on the free flow of information within it. Employees should feel free to communicate about projects and sensitive details to get things done. If your company isn’t secure, then hackers may grind your company to a halt. Yet, if it’s too secure, you won’t be able to get anything done.
Too much security may harm your employees’ abilities to work with each other. And when they can’t work together, they can’t work at all. With network security auditing, your company can balance its professional responsibilities with its security. And for help with that, reach out to us!
Our managed IT services will help you make sure that your company stays secure while also staying ahead of the competition