What is cybersecurity testing and auditing and why is it important?
Cybersecurity audits and security testing are services that analyze the security of an organization’s IT system and infrastructure. Cybersecurity services include pentests, audits, configuration security assessments, incident response and forensic analysis, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), and red teaming.
The type of services undertaken depends on what the client wants and the depth of investigation they’re looking for.
Audits and tests are important (and mandatory in some cases) because they verify security levels, assist with risk management, and highlight issues and breach areas that hackers may exploit via cyberattacks, which are continually evolving.
They also ensure businesses adhere to minimum standards and regulations set by the government as well as best practices, including GDPR HIPAA, PCI-DSS, ISO 2700x, and OWASP.
Once identified, it’s possible to minimize risk by addressing deficiencies. At Netguru, each type of testing ends with a cybersecurity audit report, including a list of recommendations and improvements to improve security levels.
Cyber auditing and testing are important for all industries, but especially high-risk and high-regulated sectors like fintech, retail, healthcare, all of which store sensitive data in large volumes, making them more attractive to cybercriminals. These companies require complex solutions designed by subject matter experts and specialist cyber audit teams.
Best practices for cybersecurity auditing and testing
When testing and auditing cybersecurity, our cybersecurity auditors and security engineers adhere to best practices, including:
- Understanding business context and client expectations – scope phase
- Gaining awareness of relevant compliance standards
- Selecting proper points of reference – security standards and recommendations like OWASP, NIST, CIS, PCI-DSS, etc.
- Reviewing and verifying the architecture and specification of the analyzed system
- Verifying the state of the system based on reference points
- Clear and thorough reporting with recommendations and improvements
- Presenting the report and findings with consultation regarding the best way to approach recommendations and improvements
Internally, when organizations create a cybersecurity strategy, they should:
- Raise awareness through training, knowledge sharing, and threat modeling
- Know their IT and data systems comprehensively
- Tailor strategies to individual companies needs
- Proactively evaluate risks – test and retest
- Don’t leave security as an afterthought – design systems with cybersecurity in mind
- Consider the entire product lifecycle and security at each stage
- Periodically evaluate and update security measures, ensuring continuity
Cybersecurity audit vs. pentesting
Auditing in cybersecurity involves verificating the condition of an IT system compared to a reference point such as a checklist or security standard requirements.
Pentest services measure security levels by using a controlled simulation of a hacker attack to establish potential vulnerabilities. Exploiting these flaws provides evidence of weak spots that need to be fixed.
There are several varieties of penetration test services that battle-test against real-world threats, including application penetration testing services, API or service testing, infrastructure testing, and network penetration testing services.
A security assessment is a general analysis of infrastructure configuration, identifying missing controls and ways to harden problem areas.
Configuration elements include cloud infrastructure, web app security reviews, environment configuration, virtual and physical systems, servers, workstations, containers such as dockers, network devices (firewalls, switches, load balancers, WAFs), and CI/CD pipelines.
How testing security of your digital products helps your business?
In this digital age with enterprises moving online, cybersecurity is more important than ever.
By carrying out audits and tests, not only do business risks reduce, business value is protected (as well as customer data).
Also, the quality of products and services improves, there’s compliance with regulations, and best practices are met.
Protecting your digital products is valuable for both your business and customers, who are increasingly security savvy. By preventing security breaches, you show consumers you care about securing their data.