Proactivity should be the core of your cyber security strategy. There is little point in reacting, discovering and patching vulnerabilities after experiencing a cyber event when you have already lost trust, time, money, employees and customers. You need a structure in place for understanding and covering the gaps now to minimise an attack’s impact on your business when one occurs.
How can your organisation initiate proactivity?
A cyber security audit is among the first steps you can take. It is a process of understanding your vulnerabilities and creating strategies to counter risks. For your organisation to get the most from an audit, it should not be a one-off activity you sporadically revisit. We recommend scheduling regular audits – between six months and yearly – to maximise your protection.
What does a cyber security audit cover?
A cyber security audit gauges the robustness of your existing controls and compliance efforts at a point in time. An audit uncovers vulnerabilities and identifies the improvements needed to secure your organisation. Some areas covered include:
- User access controls: Ensures that only authorised people can access sensitive information and eliminate potential breach points.
- Network security: Improves resilience against internal and external threats to the data accessed and shared on your business network.
- Incident response planning: Evaluates your strategy for preparing, responding and recovering from a cyber security incident.
What value do audits deliver?
Cyber security audits provide a perspective that helps your business understand strengths and address weaknesses. An audit aims to:
- Reduce downtime: An audit proactively identifies vulnerabilities in systems and applications to reduce downtime created by cyber attacks.
- Improve stakeholder trust: Trust in your organisation can increase stakeholder trust by demonstrating a commitment to improving cyber security measures. This assurance goes a long way in reinforcing confidence among stakeholders, customers, and partners alike.
- Address compliance requirements: Australian organisations must meet cyber security regulations depending on their industry. For example, AFS licensees must align with at least the Essential Eight Maturity Model, the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme and regulations created by APRA. Cyber security audits analyse your organisation’s compliance with relevant regulations and guide you on resolving any areas of non-compliance.
- Expose hidden security risks: You might have vulnerabilities such as old software or policies that have remained overlooked for some time. A cyber security audit brings a fresh perspective to uncover risks that may lie dormant in your organisation.
It boils down to this: Your audit delivers trust and confidence to yourself and everyone else that you have cyber security sorted, which allows you to move quickly and effectively.
Why consistently undergo audits?
When we say that the threat of cyber attacks increases, it is not simply a casual observation. The number of attacks has become more numerous. The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that the number of businesses hit during FY2022 increased to 22% compared with just 8% during FY2020.
Cyber security demands ongoing vigilance. Threat actors understand that organisational defences change to meet the latest threats, and they change their tactics accordingly. Regular security audits conducted by a partner knowledgeable in the latest tactics increase the frequency of securing your organisation against new threats.
Furthermore, your business continues to grow and adapt. In this process, new vulnerabilities can arise, and regular cyber security audits will provide guidance on maintaining strong controls and processes.
Australian organisations need regular cyber security audits to identify vulnerabilities, ensure compliance, reduce downtime, and build stakeholder trust. As business operations and threats evolve, audits become a source of continuous suggestions for improvement.
Why choose Mercury to complete your cyber security audits?
Mercury provides regular cyber security audits to strengthen your defences. We review your security controls, advise compliance with regulations and suggest policies to meet industry standards. Our team does more than manage risks; we tailor governance frameworks, policies, and strategies to your organisational needs. Visit our Governance Services page for more information about our capabilities.