Cybersecurity Audit: Identifying and Eliminating Risk Effectively

White collar manager touching cybersecurity audit icon
Whether you are a security leader at a company or in a position where you can request a cybersecurity audit, it is important to understand the purpose and procedure.

In a report, it was mentioned that the number of vulnerabilities that are reported keeps getting higher. 

Not to be outdone, over 65,000 vulnerabilities were uncovered by ethical hackers in 2022, which is a 21% increase from 2021.

Companies can avoid this by conducting a full-scale cybersecurity audit at least once a quarter, which will keep you up to date with the latest cybersecurity technology.

In this guide, we will discuss how a cybersecurity audit can tackle the cybersecurity blindspots.

Cybersecurity Audit: Definition 

It is a thorough examination and testing of the IT infrastructure, policies, and practices inside an organization. 

An audit ensures that the company follows regulations and finds and puts a screeching halt to cyber dangers and policy errors. 

During the cybersecurity audit process, auditors confirm hardware component access for security and other administrative matters.

Many companies have vulnerabilities and problems hidden during regular online activity, making them open to cyberattacks. 

A cybersecurity audit has a major influence on the security posture of a company.

With an audit, organizations can streamline existing operations so that nothing holds them back from achieving their goals.

Internal and external parties are both capable of conducting audits.

Speaking of external and internal cybersecurity audits, let’s take a look at the types.

Related Blog: 5 Cybersecurity Frameworks For Threat Detection and Prevention

2 Types of Cybersecurity Audits

A table explaining cybersecurity audit types

A cybersecurity audit has only two types, which are mentioned below:

Internal Cybersecurity Audit

To assess the network’s internal controls, rules, and cybersecurity procedures, the internal audit team works on-site. 

A strong foundation in internal auditing aids in evaluating both mandatory and current security measures.

An internal cybersecurity audit has the following advantages:

  • Affordable 
  • Provides greater control 
  • Identifies redundancies 
  • Finds human error 
  • Accesses compliance
  • Suitable fit for existing security systems
  • Check the cybersecurity environment of the company

External Cybersecurity Audit 

Third-party security experts review company network security policies, regulatory compliance, and security vulnerabilities during an external audit. 

External auditors guarantee that the cybersecurity audit process achieves the organization’s goal by assisting in the defence against ever-evolving threats. 

They are highly skilled and qualified to spot vulnerabilities, sensitive data, and network assets. 

Among the advantages of external auditing are:

Independent, seasoned auditors with official training and certificates. 

  • Effective
  • Identifies mismanagement
  • Provides valuable suggestions 
  • Helps with budgeting 
  • Guarantees strict adherence to regulations
  • Recognizes weaknesses and strengths of structure and operations 

Working with a Cybersecurity Service

A cybersecurity service easily handles, appraises, and evaluates data with time-saving methodologies. 

Knowing how to operate this equipment guarantees they can digitally document their results. 

A cybersecurity service has technical auditors to shed light on a business’s cybersecurity and data security procedures.

Cyberattacks contribute to decreased sales and revenue, which impacts critical areas of continuity. 

That’s why, by the end of 2022, analysts predict that the entire amount spent on cybersecurity will exceed $172 billion

Cybercrimes can stop daily activities which businesses can’t afford. 

As technology has developed, more complex hacking techniques have emerged. 

Even the most sophisticated cybercrime can be expertly handled by an IT team with extensive knowledge, tools, assistance, and strategies.

Learn more: IT Consulting Services for Small Businesses: Weighing the Costs and Benefits.

Steps for Conducting a Cybersecurity Audit

A chart on how to conduct a cybersecurity audit

When there are more systems and intricate processes, there is an elevated cybersecurity risk.

Additionally, a cybersecurity audit needs to be carried out by organizations each time they implement major operational adjustments.

1. Define the Scope

Listing the assets and grouping the sensitive data for the best possible cyber security audit is the first step. 

Establish the perimeter of security for everything after the assessment. 

In this manner, auditors will know what to include and exclude from the auditing process.

For a cybersecurity audit, concentrate on the following specific elements:

  • IT infrastructure, comprising components for networking, hardware, and software 
  • Migration, storage, and security of sensitive data
  • Practices for physical security
  • Methods and policies for cybersecurity
  • Standards of compliance

Once the audit’s scope has been established, record the requirements for each cybersecurity audit separately for consistency with future audits.

2. Figure Out the Risks

Conduct a thorough risk assessment to find any dangers, weak points, and hazards unique to your company. 

That entails examining elements, including the importance and sensitivity of data. 

It also includes the consequences of possible breaches and the probability of various cyberattack scenarios. 

You can focus the cybersecurity audit on the most important areas and assign resources.

The risks that a company may be vulnerable to are:

Fake Traffic: The Distributed Denial of Service Attacks direct fake heavy Traffic to the server, due to which the website may face downtime.

Stolen Passwords: Employee personal information, including passwords, may have been made public by previous data breaches. 

This publicly accessible information is easily obtainable by cybercriminals, who can use it to breach company accounts and steal data.

Zero-Day Exploits: An unpatched security flaw that the developer is unaware of and that hackers use to access internal systems without authorization.

Malware: It has different types where a file or program hinders the operation of computer systems. The most common example of this is Ransomware.

Shadow IT: Employee use of hardware or applications that aren’t under the control of the IT department.

Social Engineering: Tricking workers into disclosing private information that can be exploited in a cyberattack. Phishing is an example of this kind of cyber attack.

Inserting SQL Code: For gaining nonpermissible access to the data server, the attackers may use SQL injections into a web application’s user input.

3. Formulate an Action Plan

After determining which risks are impacting the cybersecurity of your company, you need to prepare an incident response plan

The plan to mitigate risks highlighted in the cybersecurity audit must have the following aspects:

Systematic Approach 

A system for ranking hazards according to importance and outlining corrective actions, like software patches, improved security design, and network segmentation.

Implementation of Security Measures 

A business continuity plan to guarantee disaster recovery after implementing all available security measures for the occurrences discovered while identifying potential threats.


Keeping a record of the security system protection measures’ preventive, detection, and reaction mechanisms.

Effective Communication 

A communication strategy that includes tools for staff awareness and training.

By proactively communicating the cybersecurity risk mitigation mechanisms, companies can make the cybersecurity audit process seamless.


What is included in a cybersecurity audit?

Operational, system, physical, data, and network security are all checked by a cybersecurity audit.

What is the fundamental difference between cybersecurity assessment and audit?

With a cybersecurity assessment, an organization can check the efficiency of the cybersecurity controls. Whereas a cybersecurity audit addresses risk assessment, finding vulnerabilities, code reviews, and conformity to regulations. 

How often does a company need a cybersecurity audit?

Every day, new security flaws and weak lines can emerge. Hence, carrying out at least one cybersecurity audit annually is vital.

In Conclusion 

A cyber attack can be devastating and disruptive for organizations of all sizes. That’s why choosing the right type of cybersecurity audit is compulsory.

Thankfully, Q4 Gems is there to help your company by protecting it from unwanted access and data tempering.

We offer an exhaustive list of IT services to make sure your company doesn’t fall victim to any type of cyberattack.

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