A security audit is something that every single company with an internet connection, and that handles customer/individual data should be concerned with. Without elaborating more than necessary, recent regulations makes it, if not mandatory, at least strongly recommended to audit your IT security to ensure compliance.
Conducting a Security Audit
Security audits are usually divided in 4 phases:
- Process audit - Understand how security is implemented and if best practices are respected. This phase can also be used to identify if security policies are in line with regulations.
- Pentest audit - Assess the cyber resilience of your IT system to all potential types of attacks.
- IS audit - Ensure that systems deployed are up to date and secured as they should be.
- Application audit - Detect software vulnerabilities or weaknesses such as buffer overflow or CRLF/SQL injection.
These audits will help you to identify vulnerabilities and pain points of your IT infrastructure. Obviously, implementing and following best practices can help you to go through the audit process without too much damage.
Security Best Practices to Streamline IT Audits
A simple way to increase the resistance of your IT infrastructure to security audit.
- Identify the location of your sensitive data and ensure you are following all relevant regulations to store and
- Verify that the most recent security patches are deployed
- Run through your security policies to verify that they are being followed, and ensure that your privileged users have only the rights they need ("least privilege")
- And well, ensure that the basics are respected: is access to your critical systems secured well enough?
Cybersecurity Pitfalls: Password Management
One of the recurring problems IT administrators face resulting in security audit failure is how privileged users manage their passwords.
Because, let’s be clear, you can have all the protection in the world, but if 4 hours (the time required to break a basic string of 7 characters) are sufficient for someone to crack the password of anyone in your system, then all your efforts are in vain. Discovering such a password can be achieved overnight and then this hacked system will be used to escalate intruder privilege and to bounce to other systems.
Therefore, implementing password management policies alongside other robust security tools is critical in preventing users from using the same password on multiple targets, using weak passwords, or ultimately, just avoiding the need to provide them with the direct passwords of critical systems.
Bringing in appropriate password automation tools can save you from major setbacks in security audits and definitively help you to dramatically increase the strength of your infrastructure in a security audit.