Network security audits are very important for organizations as it will help you in analyzing your security systems. It will help you in fixing faults proactively and designing a better IT security plan. In this article, we are going to share a checklist that you can follow for performing a network security audit.
Definition of a network security audit:
It is a technical evolution of your entire business network. This audit will help you in checking your operating systems, applications, and applications for security risks and faults. IT specialists perform a network security audit for analyzing these aspects of your network:
- Network management practice
- Network performance
- Network control Implementation
A network security audit will help you in finding issues in your network which you can fix after the audit. These audits can be performed manually but most companies are using automated tools now. There are various automated tools available in the market that uses CAAT software for analyzing your systems.
Advantages of Network Security audit:
Some of the benefits of performing a network security audit are:
- It will help you in identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities in your system.
- Will ensure that you can protect your valuable data and information.
- It will help you in finding hardware problems in your network.
- You can improve your weak company practices and policies.
- It will help you in finding network inefficiencies.
These are the main security benefits of conducting a network security audit. A security audit will also help you in making better business decisions. Regular security audits will help you in finding better applications. Thus, you can save a lot of money by optimizing your network.
You can hire a third-party provider for assessing your network security. If you are opting for in-house assessment, then you can follow this network security audit checklist:
Define the scope
First, you should identify all the devices that are connected to your network. It is important to ensure that you are accounting for both unmanaged and managed devices. Unmanaged devices belong to your employees or visiting guests. However, managed devices are owned by your organization.
It is important to find all the endpoints in your network. This will help you in defining a network security perimeter. You should also determine all the access layers like VPN, wireless, and wired connections.
Determine potential threats
You should create a list of all the potential threats that can affect your network. This list will include physical data breaches, attacks on IoT devices, DDoS attacks, insider attacks, phishing attacks, and malware.
Review your internal security policy
You should review your internal policy as it will help you in finding gaps in your policy. Some of the policies that you should check are:
- Encryption Policy
- BYOD policy
- Internet access policy
- Remote access policy
- Security policy
- Communication policy
You should try to fix all the issues in your policy. There is always some room for improvement. Thus, you should focus on editing your internal policies.
Review your password strategy
You should also check your business password strategy. Make sure that your employees are using strong and long passwords. Also, they should use different passwords for different sites. You should enable multi-factor authentication as it will help you in protecting your employees from attackers.
Protect your sensitive data
You should find all the sensitive data that you are storing in your systems. Attackers are generally going to target this data. Thus, you should focus on protecting this data.
Make sure that only limited people have access to this data. Also, you should use the least privilege concept for protecting your data. This concept will ensure that only your important employees can access your data. You can even store your sensitive data in different storage devices. This setup will help you in using extra security controls for protecting your data.
Examine your training logs
Your entire network can get compromised due to some human mistake. Thus, it is very important to train your employees. You should check the depth and scope of this training process. It is important to use policies that will prevent your employees from opening phishing links and emails.
Update your network software
You should check all your network software and ensure that they are up to date. It is important to install the latest updates and patches for protecting your network from the latest attacks.
This will help you in testing your network for security gaps. You can use static tools for reviewing your code. It will help you in understanding your applications and systems. Static testing is performed when your applications are not running. However, dynamic testing is performed when your programs are running. Thus, these tests will help you in finding additional bugs in your network.
Check your backup strategies
Every business must have a backup strategy. This strategy will help you in backing up your critical data. You should review your backup strategy for finding shortcomings. This will ensure that your backup strategy will actually work during a data disaster.
You should ensure that you are monitoring event logs. A good way to protect your applications is by regularly checking your log files. You should set up software that will help you in automatically checking new devices, firewall installments, security patches, and updates.
Firewalls will help you in protecting your network from common threats. You should search for vulnerabilities in your intrusion detection systems and firewalls. Make sure that you are reviewing the logs and current rules. If there is any weakness in your IDS, then you should fix it.
Safe internet access
Make sure that your employees have secure internet access. You should use data encryption for protecting your data. Also, make sure that you are checking all the content for malware. You can use port blocking for protecting your network devices. Up-to-date technology will help you in protecting your wireless networks. If you are still using WPA technology, then you should upgrade to the latest WPA2 technology.
You can use this checklist for performing a network security audit but it is going to be a very time-consuming process. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire will help you in assessing your network security. They will help you in improving your organization’s network security. Thus, you don’t need to worry about hiring security professionals for protecting your network. You will get access to a large IT team. If you need more information regarding network security audits, then you can contact Bleuwire.