A virtual audit process can work exactly like an on-premise audit. It provides your company with a comprehensive analysis to ensure your IT infrastructure is fully secure and in compliance with any applicable regulations. But it differs from the on-site audit as it is all done virtually following specific virtual audit procedures—usually not performed by your company’s internal IT team.
Using threat and vulnerability services ensures that your company meets regulatory standards.
What is the Virtual Audit Process?
In a world where security threats evolve rapidly, it is essential to keep your systems secure, just as you would not leave your doors of a physical business unlocked overnight. Risk management of this kind is a preventative method that keeps your systems safe while also ensuring compliance with regulations. Virtual audits are part of threat and vulnerability management.
Understanding the virtual audit process comes down to understanding:
- What is the virtual audit procedure?
- How are virtual audits conducted?
- Why are virtual audits important?
Working with a quality managed security services provider (MSSP) optimizes all elements of the virtual audit process, strengthening your cyberdefenses and preventing cybersecurity threats.
What is a Virtual Audit Procedure?
Virtual audits are audits conducted remotely, typically by a managed security service provider (MSSP). The process begins with preparation, wherein the MSSP gathers information about your cybersecurity infrastructure—specifically, any parts that will be subject to the audit.
For example, if you were auditing network security, an MSSP would assess:
- Your network transmission protocols
- Any web applications on the network
- All firewalls and perimeter defenses
Once the MSSP has all information on the assets and systems to be tested, they’ll begin reviewing policies, procedures, and controls implemented to protect them. This may also include scanning for threats and vulnerabilities across these systems and any connected environments.
Another closely related variation is the virtual internal audit, which is conducted by an in-house team for members of the same business, such as the CEO. But MSSP virtual audits are led by unbiased third parties to verify that security policies are being followed thoroughly and all controls installed meet applicable regulatory compliance standards.
How are Virtual Audits Conducted?
Typically, virtual audits follow guidelines and checklists issued by regulatory bodies. After an initial consultation to establish what needs auditing, the virtual audit team needs to check documentation and conduct interviews. Primary areas to be assessed often include:
- The technology used
- The processes that are followed, and
- The people in charge of the technology and processes in place
Just as organizations’ choices for technology, processes, and managers vary widely, every audit is likewise unique. There is no one-size-fits all approach, outside of regulations tested against.
For each area assessed, the auditors will identify the assets, processes, and people involved to verify them against policies and requirements that should govern them. Any gaps identified may be grounds for non-compliance—or an indicator of a vulnerability that needs to be addressed.
The results of the audit come in the form of a report, and with these results, you can take steps to improve your cybersecurity. Quality MSSPs offer threat intelligence, risk assessments, cloud security assessments, and more. Based on the results of the virtual audit process, you should be able to streamline your preventive and reactive measures to minimize cybersecurity risks.
Why are Virtual Audits Important?
Whether in data privacy, payment services, healthcare, government, or other, compliance is essential. Compliance advisory services allow organizations and companies to comply with regulations while also strengthening their systems. Virtual audits are a big part of how you stay compliant, as readiness assessments and full-blown certifications often happen fully remotely.
Depending on the size and maturity of your IT environment, you may need to conduct an in-person, on-premise audit to meet legal requirements. But in some cases, like lower-level certification for regulations like CMMC or HITRUST, you can get certified with a remote audit:
- Level 1 Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is possible through virtual self-audit
- HITRUST bC assessments provide baseline security assurance and are verified virtually
Leading organizations with sophisticated systems are just as in need of threat and vulnerability management as smaller organizations. Even if a remote audit won’t be enough to grant you full certification for an applicable regulatory framework, a readiness assessment will help you identify any gaps in your architecture and prepare for a successful final assessment.
This is especially true when working with a quality virtual audit partner, like RSI Security.
Optimize Your Virtual Audit Process Today!
Working with RSI Security on a virtual audit program will help you identify, manage, and neutralize any cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities facing your organization. It will also ensure you’ve implemented any regulatory framework to the requisite level and are ready to achieve (or maintain) compliance. Contact RSI Security today to learn more about our virtual audit process and how it can help you optimize your entire cybersecurity implementation!
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