Security Stats: 5 Things an Audit and Risk Assessment Can Reveal About Your Cyber Security

Whether you’re running a small business in Boise, launching a tech startup in London, or providing IT managed services in Melbourne, cyber security is going to be one of your top priorities. Regardless of how big, small, or tech-focused your business is, an audit and risk assessment can help you gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your system, ensuring your data is as secure as possible. 

Here are five of the most valuable specs an audit and risk assessment will reveal about your cyber security:

1. Unpatched Software

An audit and risk assessment can quickly identify any software that has not been updated or patched with the latest security fixes. This is especially important if you have multiple users with access to different parts of the system, as unpatched software can be an easy target for malicious actors to exploit. If you’re operating on a remote or hybrid model, you’ll need to conduct these checks across all devices that access your system remotely. 

2. Weak Passwords

Weak passwords are one of the most common vulnerabilities in any system, so it’s important to ensure all of your passwords are unique and secure. That goes for your team members and any freelancers you work with as well – all it takes is one lazy password and one motivated hacker for your entire system to come crashing down. 

An audit and risk assessment will check for weak passwords that could be easily guessed by hackers. If your IT team or Managed Services Provider (MSP) know what they’re doing, they’ll also be able to uncover passwords that have been reused from other accounts and credentials that have already been compromised. 

3. Poor Access Controls

Access controls refer to the measures taken to control who has access to specific parts of the system or data sets within it. An audit and risk assessment can help identify areas where your access controls could be improved, such as limiting certain users’ ability to view sensitive information or restricting access to specific applications or servers. 

Here, physical security can be just as important as cyber security. For example, your audit may reveal the need for a biometric access control system to restrict access to parts of your premises that store sensitive information. 

4. Outdated Firewall Rules

Firewalls provide a critical layer of protection against malicious actors trying to gain access to your systems, so it’s important to keep them up-to-date with current security rulesets. Firewall rules are an access control mechanism that protects your network from unauthorized access and harmful applications. An audit and risk assessment will check for outdated firewall rules, which may leave networks vulnerable to attacks from external sources. 

5. Lack of Encryption

Encryption is another crucial component in protecting your data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals or organizations. In the simplest possible terms, encryption involves the use of mathematical models to scramble your data in such a way that it cannot be accessed or understood without the appropriate key or code. An audit and risk assessment will check for areas where encryption is lacking or inadequate, allowing you to take corrective action before any damage is done. 

As you can see, having an audit and risk assessment conducted on your cyber security system can reveal a lot about its strengths and weaknesses. The process will also give you peace of mind that your data is safe from attackers. In a world under assault by an increasing number of cyber-attacks, such peace is priceless. 

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