How to Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats Through Continuous Auditing

how to use continuous auditing to reduce cyber threats

The Coronavirus or COVID-19 initiated a surge in cloud computing to accommodate Work From Home (WFH) initiatives. While this approach enabled remote working for a plethora of businesses that have been bound to office work for decades, it also brought along challenges related to data privacy mandates, legislature, and sophisticated attack vectors.

When the world is in the middle of a pandemic, threat actors have continued to attack businesses. Even hospitals that are on the frontline of this crisis weren’t spared. As a result, just about everyone from the public and the private sectors alike is tasked with finding innovative ways to maintain security and regulatory compliance. 

Last year, as much as 60% of British consumers fell victim to a data breach. So whether we follow a WFH model or stay on-premise, it’s critical to focus on security controls deployed around enterprise infrastructure, data assets, and connected third-party ecosystems. 

So how do companies successfully mitigate risk and maintain robust security protocol in the middle of a crisis? Let’s take a look.

1. At Minimum Apply Foundational Security Measures 

We don’t all have the necessary budgets or technological expertise to implement robust security systems. However, you can still utilise foundational security measures to address known vulnerabilities.   

At a minimum, you must make online security training mandatory before allowing staff to connect to enterprise networks. As human error often leads to data breaches across industries, this practice should continue once we all get back to work.

Check out how Evolve clients benefit from security testing embedded in our software development life cycle (SDLC).

As threat actors are relentless, you should be ready to respond to a cyberattack both on-premise and remotely. When you have a robust plan in place, it will allow designated staff to react immediately and contain the security incident. Once contained, businesses and government agencies can switch their attention to damage control quickly.

Companies should also regularly evaluate and refine mature vulnerability identification, overall network security mechanisms, operational infrastructure, and privileged access control policies. 

2. Conduct Cyber Risk Assessments, GDPR Compliance and Internal Audits

Whenever possible, companies should engage in risk assessment to ascertain their current risk exposure and their ability to manage it efficiently. 

When your day-to-day operations and the decisions have cyber risk management at its forefront, it can help maintain a robust security posture. Regular internal risk assessments can also help your security teams identify opportunities to strengthen security protocols. 

However, to achieve this, you’ll need an experienced team of security professionals. Armed with in-depth knowledge and awareness of the current risk environment, they are better placed to respond to it effectively.

3. Ensure Continuous Cybersecurity Auditing by Leveraging Security Audit Tools  

When companies regularly test and assess their overall security posture, they can find vulnerabilities and respond to them immediately. By eliminating a vulnerability before its exploited, organisations can stay a step ahead of cybercriminals and avert regulatory fines.

Many cybersecurity auditing tools can be used together or on their own. However, you have to carefully select the right tools to ensure that they don’t come into conflict with each other. 

Nmap, for example, is a free and open-source security auditing tool that can also be leveraged for network discovery and to manage network inventory. You can also use it to manage service upgrade schedules, host monitoring, and service uptime efficiently. 

In a bid to foster continuous cybersecurity auditing within our organisation and due to limitations of the existing applications for security audits, we at Evolve have built a bespoke solution in our Ukrainian R&D Centre – a risk assessment and cybersecurity auditing tool called Pro-evaluate.

Our Pro-evaluate application helps other businesses become more mature and better protected against sophisticated cyber threats by auditing their technology and infrastructure health when it comes to cybersecurity and regulatory compliance (e.g., GDPR). 

With this security tool, you can assign actions, setup questionnaires, track progress, and provide a total view of all ongoing security audits in a single interface. Furthermore, it can also help minimise human error, accelerate threat detection, and response. 

Whether it’s just an ordinary day or deep into a global crisis, threat actors don’t rest. So companies should take a proactive role in protecting their sensitive digital assets regardless of what’s going on in the world. 

Are you interested to learn more about Pro-Evaluate and how it can be used to ensure continuous auditing of the state of your cybersecurity and potential risks?

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