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External Security Audit FAQ

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External Security Audit
What is an External Security Audit?

An External Security Audit is where you have your IT Security and Network Security checked by a third party remotely. The purpose of an External Security Audit is to highlight vulnerabilities and configuration issues that you may not be aware of. This is done to help educate and to help protect companies from cyber security issues such as internet hackers. The external security audit also makes sure that all the services your company uses are fully configured correctly and with security in mind. One of our trained ethical hackers will carry out this external security audit using penetration testing software and the same tools hackers do to give a realistic view of your business through the eyes of a hacker. Unlike a ‘black hat’ hacker the ‘white hat’ ethical hacker will then highlight and test weakness and vulnerabilities. Using the results from the IT security audit, you will be able to make changes and approve your business security to make it less appealing to internet hackers.

Why do I need to be Security Audited?

If you have an IT Security Audit it can highlight lots of issues that have been missed or overlooked as your business network has grown and become more complex over the years. If you have an internal IT team that is very busy and overloaded with help desk calls and tickets day to day, they often don’t find time to give your network the TLC it requires to keep it up to date and secure. Devices are easily configured using software wizards but these wizards don’t always configure the device correctly and often just configure the bare minimum to get the system running. It is good to get an impartial view so from a third party for your own peace of mind. With the new ICO rules (information commissioner office), there are high fines for anyone losing client data. If you have had regular IT Security Audits from a third party this can significantly reduce the impact of the ICO fines in the event of a data breach.

What are the benefits of having an External Secuirty Audit?

The benefits of having an IT Security Audit are that it highlights potential business critical issues that could cost the business thousands of pounds if left in their current state. It follows the government best practise of having your systems tested regularly. It ensures you have mitigated the risk of hackers easily breaking into your system. It gives you peace of mind knowing an independent has double checked everything is working as it should. It also gives you faith in your existing IT team or IT Support company that they are doing their job correctly and have all the necessary security in place.

How long does an External Secuirty Audit take?

The amount of time it takes to do an IT Security Audit depends on 2 main things, the first being the amount of devices externally facing on your network, so every device will be tested and checked, which can take time. The second thing being the amount of faults found, the more faults that are found the longer the test may take to confirm if they are genuine or false positives. On average it can take from as little as 4 days to carry out the tests before report writing is started. It is important to note that the tests do not normally interrupt daily business services and that if we find our tests have crashed a service, we would always get in touch immediately to ensure the service is brought up again. However, it is extremely rare for this to happen so your users will not be affected.

Whats involved in an External Secuirty Audit?

It involves a trained ethical hacker trying to gain access to your network, the white hat ethical hacker is trained in all the latest testing tools and they will use them to their full extent to try gain access to your network. Also they will use publically available information and things they don’t already have like a black hat hacker would do, to find out what information they can get about your business. Before any of this can commence the client will need to sign a security waiver. This covers us in the event of any issues with providers.


The Register