Cyber Cops

Network Audit: A Major Necessity

Network Audit: A Major Necessity

“Discipline is only possible with regular checks”

In the technological world, as businesses grow, the need to scale up the IT network with the latest guidelines and requirements also increases. It helps the network to provide a wide range of capabilities. Somehow many businesses do not update themselves because they think it is not needed. This could lead to fatal disasters because malpractitioners never fail to update themselves with the most updated technology. These upgrades include appropriate management activities, performance optimization needs, and security measures.

This is where Network auditing has helped many businesses stay up to date with the latest guidelines and policies while making them immune to vulnerabilities. Let's take a leap directly into the world of Network auditing and its significance in maintaining a healthy digital presence.

What is a Network Audit?

Network Audit provides an in-depth evaluation of a company’s internal network to assess the health of networks and check for security vulnerabilities. Networks are a vital element for any enterprise. If it is to function effectively, the network must be protected and secure. It should be immune to all sorts of unauthorized access and vulnerabilities.

An IT network audit helps in the prevention of all these risks. The objective of a network audit is to identify security loopholes and vulnerabilities. It helps the network management team to take the necessary steps needed to repair the faults.

There are some factors that need to be taken care of while auditing

  • Network management
  • Network performance
  • Network availability
  • Network implementation
  • Network security
  • Overall performance

A network audit provides the complete picture of their network and gives insight into potential security gaps that might cost businesses in the long run.

An audit identifies the issues and allows businesses to fix problems before the malpractitioner exploits the loopholes and causes significant damage.

An audit can be done manually by hiring a cyber security company or by software. Although it can be done via internal audits, a professional eye can catch the minor gaps that might cause bigger problems in the future.

During a network audit, professionals typically perform a variety of tasks such as mapping the network topology, analyzing network traffic, reviewing network configuration settings, checking compliance with industry standards, and assessing the overall network security posture.

Eventually, the goal of an IT network audit is to make sure that the network is operating efficiently and securely. It helps in identifying any issues that may affect the performance or expose the network to potential threats. By conducting regular audits organizations identify potential issues before they cause a major setback.

Hereunder is a checklist that makes sure that the network is secure

  • Document all the devices and software on the network
  • Assess network security and identify potential vulnerabilities
  • Ensuring compliance with all internal and external policies
  • Procure areas where network performance can be optimized
  • Create a baseline for future improvements

Why is Network Audit Important?

Businesses continuously add new hardware and software to their systems. Every new addition to the system brings fresh security vulnerabilities to the business. That is why cyber security internal audits are so important. Audits give a complete picture of the overall network security posture to rectify all cybersecurity issues before they impact business productivity.

Nowadays remote working has emerged as a new culture in organizations. It has saved organizations huge sums of money; however, it has increased the risk of cyber-attacks. Organizational networks are now much more scattered and exposed to external threats.

Remote working culture has exposed networks to malware, unauthorized hardware, and unknown third-party apps, which results in data loss and increased attacks by malpractitioners. That is why it is important for network administrators to regularly monitor and have an extensive overview of the networks. It helps in the identification of security weaknesses within networks.

After learning so much about network audits, let's see how an efficient audit is performed.

How to Perform a Network Security Audit?

An audit involves a review of all cyber security policies that are required to protect the network. A formal audit report is made after identifying the threats which is sent to the management and other stakeholders for review.

Create a Network Device Inventory

The first step is to identify and document all the devices and operating systems in the network. It includes all managed and unmanaged devices. A detailed investigation helps IT teams to create an in-depth analysis of the systems and locate their vulnerabilities.

Identify Network Policies

The auditor checks the network policies and controls to ensure that they match industry-set standards. This helps auditors learn about the health of devices and gives them an idea of what changes need to be made.

Identify the Threats

Creating a list of threats that have a tendency to hamper the workflow is necessary to create measures for prevention. Some common threats to the network are

  • Phishing attacks
  • Ransomware
  • Rogue Security Software
  • DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service)
  • Malware like Trojan, spyware, viruses and rootkits

These are just some of the threats. The complete list can be prepared while performing a risk assessment.

Perform a Risk Assessment

Several risk assessment tests are done to identify major threats that have the potential to identify key threats to the network. A risk assessment provides the auditing team with a holistic view of the network portfolio and gives an idea of potential risks the organization might face.

Examine Secure/Sensitive Data

This step includes identifying sensitive data and taking measures to protect it. Some best practices to protect the data are

  • Minimize the number of people having access to sensitive data.
  • Wherever possible, allow read-only access
  • Use data encryption

There can be various other steps depending on the niche of the organization. However, these practices should remain constant as they act as the first line of defense.

Perform a Network Penetration Test

Network penetration testing is the best way to find vulnerabilities in a system. While doing a network pen test, you test the network from all possible angles to ensure it is secure. Generally, auditors run two types of pen testing:

  • Static: Reviews the system
  • Dynamic: Test the program while it is running
Report any Findings

Reporting the issues is the final phase of the process. The audit team shares its findings with the organization's stakeholders. The report highlights the existing problems and recommends solutions. It helps the management discover internal and external risks.

How Does it Help?

Organizations often overlook conducting regular assessments and audits of their networks. This leads to fatal crashes and breaches that cannot be overcome by organizations. It is the most disastrous thing that can happen to an organization. A network audit is a valuable addition to a core security strategy. When an organization identifies loopholes in security, it can take care of the vulnerabilities before it is identified by any malpractitioner.

How Can Cyber Cops Help?

It is totally understandable that an audit does not feel like an easy job. However, it is often advised that one can seek help from professionals.

Cyber Cops is one such professional company that has expertise in the realm of cyber security. We have performed various audits for different organizations and created a full-fledged report for them. We also guide our clients throughout the process and make sure that they adhere to all the industry-set provisions.

As a leading cyber security company, we feel it is our moral responsibility to keep everyone updated about all the latest security concerns that hamper the workflow of organizations. We envision a safe and secure cyber space for all because as our name suggests, we are the cops of the cyber world.

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