Computer security audits can be crucial for identifying opportunities for improving your organization’s cybersecurity. These audits can also be crucial for adhering to certain security compliance standards—such as for financial institutions operating under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).
The question is: “Are you ready for a computer security audit?” Preparing for a security audit may be second nature for some organizations, but it can prove to be difficult for organizations that don’t specialize in IT security.
To help you get ready for your next security and compliance audit, here are a few tips you can follow—your security audit and compliance team will probably thank you!
Make a Complete List of All Your Network Assets Before the Security Audit
While one goal of a security audit is to identify potentially unknown assets on your network, you can help smooth out the audit process by assembling a list of all the known assets on your company’s network. You can take this a step further by creating a network diagram that shows how all of the different assets on your network communicate with one another.
This network diagram makes the compliance auditor’s job easier. It can also help you demonstrate your compliance with specific network security requirements by showing the compliance auditor some of the specific access controls you use to protect information.
Create a Document Detailing All of Your Security Policies
Many compliance auditors will want to see a comprehensive list of your company’s security policies. Having documented security procedures is a key requirement for compliance with several regulatory standards (such as GLBA).
So, one key step in preparing for a security audit is to compile all of your company’s security policies and procedures into a comprehensive document. Even outside of a compliance audit, having a document detailing all of your security policies can be incredibly helpful for onboarding new team members, making sure they know what’s expected of them for security purposes, and periodically double-checking that security policies are being correctly enforced.
Compile a List of All the Compliance Standards You Need to Meet
Your security auditor will want to know which regulatory compliance standards your business needs to meet before they begin their audit. Having this information helps them tweak their computer security audit methodology to better ensure compliance.
So, before contracting a compliance auditor, compile a list of the different security standards your organization has to meet. It can also help to highlight specific areas of concern regarding some of these compliance standards. For example, if you’re using an alternative means of securing account access for payment card industry (PCI) compliance, you may want the auditor to take a closer look at your solution to verify that it meets the requirements for an alternative security measure.
Ensure Consistent Deployment of Security Settings to Network Endpoints
One of the biggest challenges in maintaining compliance with any security standard is verifying that every endpoint on the network has the correct security settings enabled. This is especially tough if each endpoint’s security settings were custom-coded manually. With manual coding, it’s hard to keep up with important changes in compliance standards and worse, there is no way to ensure your code will stay configured - making preparing for a security audit is even more difficult.
Here, having a security configuration tool that allows you to remotely monitor your security endpoints and verify whether they’re properly configured, in need of updates, or offline can help. For example, Kandji for macOS allows users to create security blueprints for different iOS device types with one-click on/off controls for more than 130 security settings. When a new device is added to Kandji, it can be assigned to a blueprint immediately to ensure it has all of the correct security settings enabled. This eliminates the clunky process of trying to create custom code security configurations for each new device—saving time and making the deployment of security settings more consistent.
Multiple blueprints can be created to enable role-based security settings as well. This way, users will only have to deal with the security configurations that are most relevant to their role in the business.
To further ensure that someone cannot change the security configurations on the security endpoint, the locally-installed software will run a check of the macOS device’s security settings against a local database once every 15 minutes—even while offline. This prevents tampering with security settings to maximize security compliance.