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  • Understanding security audit report

    Understanding security audit report

    Date: 06.06.2024

    Category: Security


    The security of any organization depends on its weakest point. It’s not always a matter of internet connection or poor devices. There are many ways to get into an organization, including physically or using social engineering. It is important to check security, train employees and improve barriers regularly. A security audit report is the right tool for this.

    Performing an internal security audit is often not objective because the people securing the system know it inside and out and may omit important issues. Therefore, it is a good idea to entrust this task to external contractors who can use an unconventional approach to the problem and perform a set of security tests (including penetration tests), saving the time of company teams.

    Security audit report – who is it for?

    Information is a powerful weapon that can determine the success or failure of any business. These include settlements, employee data, strategy, patents, pricing plans, etc. Therefore, every company needs an appropriate level of security, regardless of the nature of its business. Some, such as entities processing large amounts of personal data or those of a strategic nature even more than others. The security tests must be tailored to the organization’s business requirements, and the report on their implementation describes the condition of the IT infrastructure in as much detail as possible.

    It is good practice to perform audits at least once a year and whenever there is a significant change in the infrastructure.

    We most often carry out audits in companies that:

    • periodically check their readiness for modern threats;
    • want to adapt the security measures used to the legal requirements of GDPR or NIS2;
    • are aware of gaps in the security system or want to increase the level of security;
    • want to organize the documentation and check the facts;
    • need support in negotiations or justification for investment.

    In bulk or separately

    To thoroughly conduct the audit and prepare a security audit report, we must first get to know the client well. Even before the offer stage, we ask several questions about the company’s areas of operation and processes, its infrastructure and access for specialists. This information will allow us to estimate expectations better, set audit criteria, scope of work and how the audit will be carried out.

    What information is worth preparing? Below we present some of them.

    • What devices are part of the infrastructure?
    • How many employees in how many locations does the company have?
    • What servers does it use?
    • What critical applications are used in the organization?
    • How does it store data and take care of backup?
    • What is the operating system?
    • Who was granted access and to what resources?
    • What security systems operate in the unit?
    • Does the organization have security procedures? If so, what?
    • How many end-points are there?
    • Are there any additional systems? (e.g. CCTV)

    On this basis, we designate individual infrastructure areas, such as wireless connectivity, end-points, and network security, which we will describe in detail later. There is not always a need for verification at all levels. Sometimes the budget does not allow for full diagnostics. In such cases, we allow you to choose the elements to examine. The report will include an analysis of all selected elements.

    Read-only activity report

    We are in constant contact with people appointed on the client’s side and consult with them all steps, schedules, scope and access. Thanks to this, both parties can be sure that everything is carried out in full control. If the situation allows it, we perform the audit off-site, using a remote desktop, where administrators can preview our activities.

    Taking care of our clients, we try to operate in read-only mode. This means that we can preview the configuration, but we cannot change it. This way we can report all detected vulnerabilities and pass the information to the people in the organization who can adjust the infrastructure to mitigate risks. However, some devices only offer full root access and nothing in between. In such a situation, we individually agree on access conditions with the client.

    At the client’s request, we can also conduct a set of security tests and penetration tests (including social engineering tests) on a selected group of employees. We can do it online by sending a phishing campaign or on-site, in one of the proposed ways. This is an excellent tool to check procedures and employee awareness in practice.

    Security audit – report in its best

    We try to ensure that the report is not only a complicated document for a selected group of network administrators but also understandable and accessible to decision-makers thanks to its simple language.

    security audit report example

    In the first chapter, we focus on a maximally concise summary. We describe in a non-technical way all the threats and vulnerabilities detected, highlight what is worth considering and recommend what to invest in.

    The next parts describe in detail, with technical detail, the areas selected by the client. First, we present the actual situation and the most important elements from the audit perspective, such as infrastructure important for security, including configuration points or the type of device. This is a complete organization of documentation, a list of devices and configurations, which gives us a full overview of the situation.

    The next step contains irregularities, which are followed by recommendations. They indicate, for example, the age of the equipment and the recommendation for replacement, incorrect configuration, etc. If we have a full review of the client’s infrastructure, we always try to adjust the recommendations so that they fit as best as possible with the existing elements. Each item has its priority set, which will make it easier to make decisions.

    Is there such a thing as too much security? Yes, that’s why recommendations won’t always point to gaps. If there are areas that do not require special protection, excessive security measures can generate unnecessary costs, hamper work and cause unnecessary frustration. The report may also contain such conclusions.

    Security audit report – what next?

    We know well that the report itself is not always sufficient and, despite being very simple, may be difficult to understand. Our experts are therefore ready to personally visit the client’s premises, where they will not only discuss the instructions in detail but also provide detailed answers regarding the course of the infrastructure audit or penetration testing itself if any questions arise.

    It also happens that the opinion of independent entities is crucial for further investments or important decisions, so during the meeting, we can focus on the most important elements and support possible negotiations by pointing out the benefits and threats or proposing the direction of development.

    Thanks to such meetings, we can be sure that the client understands all provisions and changes will be implemented in the recommended manner.

    Look what our client gained having conducted an IT infrastructure audit

    Let’s talk about security

    We deal with the network and IT infrastructure, not only its security. Thanks to our extensive, inter-area knowledge, we look at problems holistically and look for optimal solutions for our clients. We check each element to eliminate network threats e.g. resulting from a single point of failure. If we encounter other problems, e.g. those related to performance or signal coverage, we will include them in the report.

    Expert knowledge is confirmed by certificates, years of experience and completed work. You can see some of them here.

    If you have any questions or want to talk to our engineers about an audit in your company, please get in touch!

    Author

    Karol Goliszewski

    Experienced in the commercial areas of network and network & data security. Active in the area of communication with clients, he will help in recognizing the problem, selecting solutions and suggesting an effective implementation model. His competence is confirmed by technical certificates from Cisco, Sophos, Palo Alto and Fortinet brands.

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