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Four types of security audit your businesses should conduct

Posted by Michael Houghton | 03-Jun-2021 14:01:59

It Governance reports that UK businesses lost almost £13 billion due to cybercrime in 2019. When also factoring in financial penalties, asset damage and lost productivity that number skyrockets to £87 billion. The growing concern for cybersecurity is understandable, but for many small and medium businesses, proper protection feels overwhelming and out of reach.

A cybersecurity audit is a systematic and fully comprehensive review and analysis of your company’s information technologies infrastructure, which highlights any weaknesses or opportunities cybercriminals have of penetrating your systems. Highlighting these threats allows time to proactively amend these issues before any serious damage is done.

There are four core cybersecurity audits any business should conduct regularly:

  1. Risk assessment
  2. Vulnerability assessment
  3. Penetration testing
  4. Compliance audit

Risk assessment

Performing risk assessments will help recognise and prioritise risks and help identify different types of threats that your businesses could be vulnerable to. Following a risk assessment checklist, such as the AZTech Cybersecurity assessment checklist, will help educate companies on what they should be looking out for, as well as configure strategies on how to overcome these weaknesses.

Furthermore, for some businesses in heavily regulated industries, risk assessments can aid with compliance issues.

Download The IT Security Assessment Checklist

Vulnerability assessment 

Similarly, to a risk assessment, a vulnerabilities assessment works to identify weaknesses and possible risks, however, more specifically looks into a business’s security procedures, design, implementation of internal controls. A vulnerabilities assessment will reveal areas that could be exploited to harm a business.

Vulnerability testing can be conducted by your IT team or an external expert who will test various systems to see if they are in danger of causing a security breach. These tests can include running specific software to test for vulnerabilities, accessing the network from a remote network and testing from inside of the network.

A businesses vulnerability is ever-changing, especially if a company is growing. Therefore, vulnerability assessments should be conducted regularly to ensure the maximum amount of security.

Penetration testing

Penetration testing simulates a hacking attempt. An expert will act as a ‘hacker’ and attempt to break into your company’s security system. By using different techniques, the hacker will attempt to bypass the security systems, which will highlight areas of the businesses IT security that needs improving/upgrading.

You can conduct internal and external penetration testing. Internal penetration testing focuses on internal systems, whereas external will focus on areas that are publicly exposed such as email systems or WIFI. To maximise the benefits of penetration testing a hybrid of both should be conducted.  

Compliance audit 

Compliance audits are necessary for businesses such as retail, finance, healthcare, or government who must comply with certain regulations. Compliance audits are to show that a company meets the laws required to conduct businesses safely in their industry.

Without a compliance audits, your company can be susceptible to fines and can lead to clients leaving to work with companies who are fully compliant. Compliance audits for cybersecurity will examine if regulations are being followed, access controls and company policies.


If you have any questions about what type of cybersecurity audit your business should conduct, or if you have any concerns about your cybersecurity, we offer a free cybersecurity assessment performed by one of our experts here at AZTech, or you can download our cybersecurity assessment checklist. View our full range of cybersecurity services here. 

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Topics: IT Security, cybersecurity, work from home, Security Assessment, Return to work security, hybrid working security

Written by Michael Houghton

Technical Director

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