Warning – Assessors should NOT be Assessing Themselves

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A lot of businesses today rely upon cloud-based systems to operate. These include the use of cloud-based storage, online marketing systems, digital media, social media marketing, and so on.

But as reports of data breaches and security threats continue to increase, clients and customers need some extra reassurance that the company they are doing business with has the capability to protect confidential information. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a managed services (MSP) or SaaS provider, a bank, security company, a hospital or hotel.

The problem, of course, is that most companies do not realize the extent of their vulnerability to cybercrimes. They realize it too late, and only after they’ve become the victims of a hacking attack, ransomware or data loss.

Few companies invest in regular audits of their cybersecurity vulnerability, and fewer still get third party or external auditors involved in the process.

Why it’s ill-advised to conduct your own security audits

If you’ve been doing your own security audits, it’s time to stop now.

Conducting your own audits is akin to being a cook being asked if what they’re cooking is delicious. You’re too close to your network, program or system to see everything clearly.

You may be operating on the assumption that you have a hack-proof cybersecurity program; however, it’s better to do so with an understanding that you don’t know everything and that cybercriminals are now more ingenious and sophisticated.

How external cybersecurity assessments help

Working with a specialized cybersecurity auditing agency is now considered a critical business decision, and you can benefit in the following ways:

1. They provide an unbiased view

Third-party assessment teams have no interest in hardware or software manufacturers. Thus, they can take a dispassionate view of your system. While it’s true that your IT or security team has intimate knowledge of your system controls, external auditors would have a high-level view of your system and be able to identify system gaps that your internal team may overlook.

2. They have the right training, knowledge and experience

While there are only a few qualified and experienced professionals in cybersecurity auditing, there are a number of certifying bodies that employ these experts.

Depending on your business, there are several certifications worth pursuing, such as HIPAA, SOC2, CMMC, PCI DSS and the like.

Investing in periodic third-party audits can be seen as a good indicator of your firm’s commitment to safeguarding customer data and other assets. For clients and customers, knowing that the company they are transacting with is third-party certified offers a layer of reassurance that your company adheres to industry security standards and audit requirements.

3. They perform a complementary role to your internal IT team.

Depending on your requirements, a third-party assessment team can connect hardware products and software solutions with industry best practices and methodologies appropriate to your business. They can identify issues you might not have resolved earlier and fill in gaps and address weaknesses overlooked by your IT team.

They also help to ensure that your cybersecurity assessment encompasses all aspects of your control system and business networks while working with your internal team.

Schedule an external audit of your cyber security program now

People need to know that companies can be trusted to hold personal and or financial information that cybercriminals are after.

By investing in external audits, you gain your clients’ confidence in your company’s capabilities to protect their business interests and the privacy of their own customers.

Emory Vandiver

Emory Vandiver is the Vice President of Business Operations and a Partner at Interactive Security, where he is responsible for executing the company's strategy as a premier IT Security and Compliance provider. For over 20 years Emory has worked for leading enterprises across a diverse cross section of the information technology industry. His professional passion lies in understanding client business goals, challenging the status quo and leveraging technology-based solutions to maximize client performance. He strives to bring unique insight and value to his clients' businesses, along with a superior customer experience.