Cybersecurity audit management refers to undertaking a high-level cyber review of a business and its IT estate. As a review, it helps identify the vulnerabilities, threats, and risks the business faces and the likelihood and effect of such risks occurring across these areas. For cybersecurity audit management to prove effective for businesses, a cybersecurity audit checklist is needed as it is a valuable tool for investigating and evaluating the business’ current predicament and position on cybersecurity. This cybersecurity audit checklist helps differentiate and break down the business’ position into manageable queries that can easily be answered in relation to the workplace. A cybersecurity audit checklist, therefore, provides a business with the basic idea of what’s in place and what it needs to. It is from here that businesses can easily start making plans for implementing an effective cybersecurity framework.
Cybersecurity Audit Checklist
For a conclusive checklist, a business needs to divide it into entities and their subsequent cybersecurity issues and threats. Below are a series of questions necessary for a checklist, which these different entities are expected to answer in order to understand their role in cybersecurity issues and threats.
- What are the security policies the business has put in place?
- What written security policies are enforced through training?
- What are the business’ computer software and hardware asset list?
- Is data classified by usage and sensitivity?
- What is the established chain of data ownership?
- Are employees effectively trained to deal with phishing, handling suspicious emails, or hacks through social engineering?
- Have employees undergone password training and enforcement?
- Do employees undergo training on carrying data on laptops and other devices to ensure the security of the data?
- Is security awareness training imparted to all employees to understand the importance of security and their role as active guardians for security?
- Has the business ensured that the secure Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plans have been put in place for employees and other stakeholders?
- Are there emergency and cybersecurity response plans in place?
- Have all possible sources of business disruption and cybersecurity risk been determined?
- Are there plans in place to reduce security breaches and their subsequent business disruptions?
- Are there any redundancy and restoration paths for all critical business operations in place?
- Are the business’ restoration and redundancy plans tested?
- Are there system hardening plans?
- Are the automated systems hardening on all operating systems on servers, workstations, gateways, and routers?
- Has the software patch management undergone automation?
- Are security mailing lists available?
- Are regular security audits and penetration testing done?
- Is antivirus software installed on all devices with auto-updates?
- Is there a systematic review of log files and backup logs to ensure there are no errors?
- What are the remote plans and the policies on remote access in place?
- Are there lock servers and network equipment?
- Is a secure and remote backup solution available and working?
- Are the keys for the network in a secure location?
- Are locks used in computer cases?
- Are regular inspections performed?
- Is there a security camera monitoring system?
- Is there a keycard system for secure areas?
- Is a secure data policy available to ensure that users understand the policy through training?
- Are trash dumpsters and paper shredders secure to avoid dumpster diving?
- Is encryption enabled wherever needed?
- Are laptops, storage, and mobile devices secure?
- Is automatic wiping of stolen or lost devices enabled?
- Is a secure sockets layer available when utilizing the internet to make sure that data transfer is secure?
- Are email gateways secure enough for secure emailing of data?
Active Monitoring and Testing
- Is regular monitoring of all aspects of security done?
- Is regularly scheduled security testing done?
- Is external penetration testing for ensuring nothing is missed done?
- Is the scanning for data types for securing and properly storing data done?
This checklist covers all three levels of security in a business. This includes information security management, network security, and cybersecurity. This is important if a conclusive secure framework is to be achieved in the business. This is because the checklist helps businesses identify many, if not all, sophisticated threats that may target it. It is in identifying them and minimizing their risk that the business’ infrastructure can be secured at all times while preventing a full-scale attack on its network, which would end up not only risking its data but also its reputation. Therefore, this checklist helps businesses undertake conclusive cybersecurity audit management.
About EC-Council CCISO – Certified Chief Information Security Officer
The CCISO Certification is an industry-leading program developed by CISO’s for current and aspiring CISOs. The CCSIO program covers the five important domains of Information Security Management:
- Governance and Risk Management
- Information Security Controls, Compliance, and Audit Management.
- Security Program Management & Operations
- Information Security Core Competencies
- Strategic Planning, Finance, Procurement, and Vendor Management.
Visit the CCISO program page for more information.
Ghioni, A., (2019). The Top 16 Cyber Security Audit Checklist Strategies. Retrieved from: https://www.stanfieldit.com/cyber-security-audit-checklist/
Nasiri, S., (2019). Cybersecurity Audit Checklist. Retrieved from: https://reciprocitylabs.com/cybersecurity-audit-checklist/