Network security is among the security measures that must be placed in order to protect the usage and integrity of your network, including both hardware and software technologies, and the data that such network contains. Network security works by combining layers of defense making sure that each layer has its own policies and controls for the strengthening of your protection.
With this, conducting regular audits are necessary in ensuring data is protected from hackers and unauthorized parties. Scheduled process of assessment and ascertaining whether security measures implemented are in compliance with what is written in your privacy manuals is of importance in order to isolate security threats and to easily trace data breaches.
Numerous data breaches occur all over the world affecting not only small companies but even big ones. No one is safe from breaches nowadays given our continuously evolving world into the digital age.
This article will provide for 5 ways in order to have a successful network security audit.
- In conducting the audit, it is first important to have an inventory of the type of data that you will be processing for your clients – may it be personal information, sensitive information, and privileged personal information. By knowing what kind of personal data you store, you may then assess on how you handle, use, and store those data that you have collected within your system.
- After having an inventory, the second way to have a successful network security audit is to make sure that you limit the access of your data only to identified individuals who are required or who are given exclusive access to. This is to prevent unauthorized disclosure of such personal data to those personnel not given permission.
- To strengthen the security even more, one of the best practices that a company may practice is the usage of firewalls and antiviruses. If in physical security measures, it is recommended to place files inside cabinets which are isolated from crowded places, or inside cabinets that are fire or ever waterproof in order to prevent loss and destruction of such personal data contained therein, in technical security measures, installing anti-viruses will grant you an extra layer of protection from hackers and viruses that you may or may not knowingly and mistakenly install inside your computers and/or laptops. With the existence of these firewalls, you have already built a great foundation for your network security which will later on be useful when auditing is being done.
- The fourth way in order to have a successful network security audit is the proper training of your employees with regard to possible data breaches. Having a strong network security itself is not enough. The most important factor, which is the human error, should also be kept in mind. Your employees are the ones who will determine if your company indeed has proper security measures put in place. Adopt policies that would train your employees not to access malicious websites, or download suspicious files, or even click on sketchy links. Your employees should likewise know whether a certain email is considered to be a phishing email or a legitimate email from a legitimate source, otherwise, your employees, which are the backbone of your company, might put the whole company in risk. Hence, they should know and be kept aware of how you safeguard the network that you have.
- Lastly, one of the best ways of preparing for your security audit is monitor your network beforehand. Make sure that you know who are currently logged in, who are those who have access, what information has been collected, until when are the information needed, and until when is the retention period for those personal data that has been collected. Every audit question can be easily answered by making sure a log book is being used and being filled up by those who access such security network.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Hence, by preparing for your network security audit and following these 5 ways in order to make your audit into a success, valuable assets are identified, threats are exposed, and effective safeguards are quickly implemented.