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Protect your data with a cybersecurity audit checklist

Protect your business from cyber attacks by using a cybersecurity audit checklist to design and carry out cybersecurity inspections. Make sure your employees follow proper data handling procedures

What is a cybersecurity audit?

Cybersecurity measures protect your computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data against malicious attacks. It’s common for businesses to want to test these measures with internal cybersecurity audits, and a good idea to use a cybersecurity audit checklist to organize these investigations.

There are three types of cyberthreats that every business needs to protect against:

  1. Cyberattacks: These usually involve politically-motivated or business-damaging information gathering.
  2. Cybercrime: This is when an individual or group attacks a system for financial gain or to disrupt business operations.
  3. Cyberterrorism: When IT systems are hacked in order to spread fear and panic

There are lots of things to keep track of in order to keep yourself secure, which is why companies use checklists, particularly to carry out network security audits. Regular cybersecurity audits ensure your business is threat-proof at all times.

5 necessary elements of a cybersecurity audit checklist

Regular training is the best way to educate your employees and ensure they practice responsible cybersecurity. One key purpose of a cybersecurity audit is to prevent carelessness on the part of said employees. The following are common habits your should address on your checklist.

  1. Leaving the computer on without password protection
    If the computer is left unattended and without password protection, it’s easy for anyone passing by to access company data. To prevent this from happening, make sure computer security settings are set to auto-lock after a short period of inactivity and can only be unlocked with a password. In addition, remind your employees to always lock their computers when leaving their workplace.
  2. Leaving mobile phones and USB sticks lying around unattended
    Employees should never leave cell phones and USB sticks unattended, as their data could be copied very quickly. Instead, employees should store their devices in lockable drawers, or carry them at all times.
  3. Leaving bags unattended
    An unattended backpacks or bags is easily to grab or steal from. If the bag contains a notebook, tablet, smartphone, similar device, whoever takes it could have access to sensitive company data. Make sure workers always carry their bags with them
  4. Writing passwords on paper or Post-It notes
    Many people have the particularly bad habit of writing down and storing passwords and usernames on easily lost or misplaced paper. Using a password manager is more secure and prevents unauthorized access to company systems
  5. Setting calendars to be openly viewable
    Just like writing passwords on paper, a lot of people make digital calendars publicly visible. These calendars might contain sensitive dates and information about customers, prospects or upcoming product launches. If these schedules are public, unauthorized persons can obtain confidential information.

Use these checklist items to guide you when preparing employee training events and figure out which of your employees is knowledgeable about cybersecurity. It’s also a good idea to introduce a clean desk policy in your company. This is a set of workplace security rules that formalize and standardize company expectations of all personnel. A clean desk policy, along with other cybersecurity measures (firewalls, security software, IT services), plays a key role in ensuring IT security throughout your organization.

3 ways cybersecurity audit checklists help avoid data breaches

The results of your cybersecurity audit help your company come up with a detailed plan to follow. This plan should protect business data and defend against cyberattacks. Effective planning prevents you from having to pursue time-consuming and costly corrective actions.

Your cybersecurity plan should include:

  1. Updating operational software & virus protection regularly
    Updating operating systems on a regular basis should always be a priority. This ensures that you antivirus software is working efficiently. One way of doing this is to notify employees that they need to update their devices. By doing this, you remind them how important regular updates are.
  2. Protecting your business data and equipment
    Ensure that there are policies in place governing proper disposal and handling of company data so that confidential business information is protected. For example, making sure that passwords are set passwords and changed regularly.
  3. Providing cybersecurity training
    Your company should offer regular cybersecurity training. Trainings are great opportunities to raise awareness and allow your employees to ask questions about securing their technology. Remember to promote a culture of cybersecurity outside of training sessions as well.

Using workflow automation to create and use cybersecurity audit checklists

Regular cybersecurity audits are necessary to keep your organization’s systems updated. Using pen and paper during inspections is inconvenient for IT teams, since it can lead to delays and incomplete inspections.

Instead, use Lumiform’s workflow automation platform to perform cybersecurity inspections digitally using a smartphone or tablet, online or offline. The desktop software lets you easily schedule and assign audits so your team never misses one again. After each inspection, the platform creates an automatically generated report you can share in a single click. Lumiform also improves cybersecurity inspections by:

  • Providing a flexible form builder you can use to create customized cybersecurity audit checklists
  • Offering readymade templates for cybersecurity inspections that make auditing your business easy
  • Saving you up to 40% of the time spent on pen-and-paper audits, and introducing a standardized inspection process
  • Making improvement simple thanks to regular and comprehensive analyses of your cybersecurity audit results
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