5 reasons to conduct a cyber security audit for your business before it’s too late
Since 2020, businesses have had to cope with a transition to remote and hybrid working environments. This trend has been a welcome gift to cybercriminals who have spotted the opportunity to target vulnerable networks and IT systems.
Ransomware attacks have become more sophisticated and prevalent and reports have shown that in 2021, businesses experienced 50% more data breaches each week compared to previous years.
The upshot is businesses (particularly SMEs) are more vulnerable than ever and are increasingly prioritising their cyber security, starting with an audit.
But why is a cyber security audit so important in protecting your business before it’s too late?
Table of Contents
1. A cyber security audit is the first step in protecting your data
Every business has sensitive information to varying degrees. That said, not all businesses have systems in place to keep data safe and secure from prying eyes.
Whether it’s employee data, financial records, bank details or even business plans and strategies, a cybercriminal that stumbles across your information won’t waste a moment in taking it.
The consequence of data breaches and ransomware attacks can range from financial – you may have to pay huge ransom fees to retrieve your data – to reputational damage if cybercriminals get hold of privileged information that could harm your brand.
Either way, as a business owner, a cyber security audit is the starting point for identifying the gaps in your security and opportunities to tighten up and protect your data.
2. It helps you understand your security processes
The process of conducting a cyber security audit can in itself provide a clear understanding of what security process you have in place at what an ideal security strategy looks like.
When you create your security inventory, it gives you the opportunity to evaluate your business operations and processes, and identify where your vulnerabilities lie.
Your audit will provide a full picture of what your actual security health is – all your IT infrastructure’s faults and risks, compared to what it could be.
When done effectively, a security audit will highlight the list of threats and their risk level, along with recommendations on how to deal with the problem. Not only will this provide a short-term action plan to keep your systems secure, but will form the basis of a solid cyber security strategy for the future.
3. Prioritising cyber security will give you credibility
All businesses prioritising their cyber security will be doing it to give themselves peace of mind. But more than this, by auditing your security, you start the process of building your credibility as a business.
You don’t need to be a company dealing with highly sensitive data – such as a bank or an e-commerce business – to be focused on cyber security. By setting yourself high cyber security standards, you’ll help to develop the trust factor among your partners, clients and customers.
On a more intangible level, a business that takes cyber security seriously is one which is tapped into the prevalent market, its threats as well as its opportunities. By prioritising regular cyber security audits, you are demonstrating that your values are relevant to your customers’ concerns.
4. A cyber security audit keeps you up-to-date on regulations
Depending on your industry, you may or may not be legally bound by cyber security regulations.
If you’re obliged to perform cyber security audits, you will be on a schedule determined by external regulators, whether that be monthly, quarterly or annually.
If your business isn’t held by external regulatory standards, it’s recommended that you perform at least a 6-monthly cyber security audit to keep your business in line with current trends and threats, as well as what’s new in monitoring, responding to and mitigating attacks.
The benefits are cumulative. Every time your business performs a cyber security audit, its threats and vulnerabilities can be fixed in time for the next audit, letting your security profile go from strength to strength.
5. A cyber security audit will give you clear direction
We suggest discussing that readers will get fresh, expert eyes on the entirety of their business. Mention also that he will receive a list of compliant solutions that will protect against threats specific to his business and help provide direction
When you carry out regular cyber security audits, you get to reassess your business priorities, especially if you carry it out with an external IT resource. In fact, when you hire an expert IT support company to conduct your cyber security audits, you will benefit both from an objective view of how your IT is supporting your business goals, but also from an expert-led set of solutions for your security vulnerabilities.
With this in mind, your audit can provide the cornerstone of where you plan to go with your business, and how you will ensure that your roadmap adheres to the highest standards of security.
Final thoughts: Should you choose a provider for a cyber security audit?
Unless you have a dedicated IT resource in-house, it’s worth hiring an external cyber security provider to carry out your cyber security audit for you.
Not only will it save you time and resource managing it in-house, but you’ll undoubtedly get better results. You’ll benefit from a whole team of experts, all with their own specialities, and you’ll know that they are up-to-date with both the latest tricks and tactics used by cybercriminals, as well as the systems and software that will anticipate threats ahead of time, and mitigate issues to avoid lasting damage or data loss.