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Table of Contents
Performing a comprehensive security overview on a regular basis absolutely critical to ensure your organization is as secure as it can be. This means checking that your software is up to date, that all employees are aware of the proper procedures, and that you have effective disaster recovery solutions.
Should your organization’s security be weak, this can be an opportunity to bolster your defenses.
Conducting a Security Assessment – The Process
Regardless of the size of your organization, you should be auditing your security at least once a year. This can mean bringing in a third party to perform the audit. Either way, there are certain processes you should insist on being done.
The first is to create a baseline for security. If this is your first year performing these assessments, then these checks should become your baseline. Otherwise, any results you find should be compared against your established baseline..
When you’re conducting an audit, you should clearly label and follow through on whatever objectives you’re trying to meet through your audit. This can vary quite significantly from business to business but you should have hard-set goals you’re aiming to meet.
Choosing who to perform the audit is a difficult task. You’re going to want to ensure that you pick someone who has real security experience. Be very thorough in your process. Reach out to your network and track down past clients of theirs to see what they’re actually like. You should also insist on specific details when you’re meeting with them.
In addition, you’re going to want to be very clear about what your goals are. If your auditor completes an audit but hasn’t touched on a system that got attacked in the past, then you probably didn’t provide good enough objectives.
Once you’ve selected the right person for the job, make sure they fully comprehend every requirement that you have for a successful audit to be completed.
For many organizations, it can be a good idea to hire two separate auditors. This way, you can compare their results to try and get as accurate a picture as possible.
There are many more parts of a properly completed audit. You should ensure that you’re up to date on everything that needs to be done, and are prepared to handle it.
The Human Element
Often the biggest security weakness in an organization are its people. All the security in the world doesn’t matter if someone who has access to the network clicks a bad link or downloads an infected file. As a result, the most important step is to ensure your employees understand the risks posed.
Education is paramount as well. You can explain how clicking something is bad, but many less technologically savvy employees won’t absorb it. Instead, you need to work with them to improve their basic level of technological literacy. For larger organizations, workshops can be a great way to get this done.
An effective way to tackle this issue is to create a computer security charter. This is a great way to outline exactly what is and isn’t allowed, along with enforcement of punishments for those who breach the terms of the charter. By creating this, you ensure that every single person knows exactly what they can and can’t do, removing ignorance as a possible excuse.
Even with all this, an organization’s biggest IT security weakness is still probably its people. Many people will create weak passwords, and when made to change passwords, will either make a new one that is based on a previous one, or write it down. In either case, the password is essentially compromised.
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Check Your Backups
Part of your security assessment process should be focused on checking the integrity of your backups. With the rise in ransomware, the value of having good backups cannot be overstated.
Your backups should not, in any way, be connected to your system. If they are, then their integrity cannot be guaranteed. More than that, they should also be located in a different location, ideally far enough away that natural disasters cannot realistically hit both.
Assess Your Network’s Perimeter
You should have already placed a variety of protections along your security perimeter when you first implemented a security strategy. Defenses such as firewalls, VPNs, and basic software updates should be maintained.
If these items are neglected, you may be extremely vulnerable. As a result, you should absolutely assess them when you perform a security audit.
How to Conduct a Physical Security Assessment
The physical security of your organization’s devices is extremely important. For instance, if someone leaves their computer unattended, anyone can walk by and either read or copy sensitive information.
Further, if you’re not using the cloud, your data servers must be vigorously defended. Very few people should be allowed any kind of access, and that access should be monitored closely. It doesn’t matter if you have the best security in the world if someone can simply walk into your business and get access to whatever they want.
In order to audit this, you should work closely with your organization’s leaders. You’ll need to get a picture of how people use their computers and if they leave them unattended and unlocked.
How Logixx Security Helps
The auditing process is extremely difficult. You need to accurately evaluate multiple different moving pieces. Not only that, but you also need to effectively manage the damage that ignorant employees can create. By creating a list of goals and rigorously going through the process, you can help find any potential vulnerabilities in your organization’s security.
Identify and fix vulnerabilities in your security framework with an experienced partner. Logixx Security helps small businesses, commercial offices, manufacturing facilities, and transit companies safeguard their business. Talk to us today.
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