What’s the difference between a cybersecurity audit and a risk assessment?
Although it is easy to confuse a cybersecurity risk-assessment with a cybersecurity audit, they are very different procedures, completed for different reasons. So, let’s remove some confusion to help companies better understand the differences.
A risk assessment is essentially a second opinion from a third-party that validates the state of your security environment. By reviewing your security stance and resilience to threats, a risk assessment provides an opinion that counterbalances and verifies the work completed by your cybersecurity team and management. That’s why using a third-party is so important, but this process isn’t a “gotcha” exercise. It should be part of balancing your overall standard operating procedures to ensure the safety of your company, employees and customers.
You can learn more about how to conduct a risk assessment in an earlier blog found here.
A cybersecurity audit, on the other hand, is a very detailed, formal and rigid process that validates the existence of certain policies, procedures, technologies and systems. Companies typically don’t conduct audits for fun. They’re time-consuming, expensive and, even as funny as it sounds, even auditors sometimes hate doing them.
Larger companies often maintain internal auditing departments when their size requires specific compliance issues and reporting. Smaller companies will turn to an independent party who isn’t involved in any other internal cybersecurity work, allowing them to remain unbiased. This is often why financial service companies extend their accounting or consulting services to include cybersecurity auditing. Once an accounting firm takes on an audit, they cannot provide any other professional cybersecurity services beyond auditing in order to avoid any professional conflicts.
It’s important to understand that audits can help you to understand compliance risks, but they don’t look into security risks. If you’re compliant with regulations or a specific audit framework, you’re going to be fine, but security risks can still exist, even though you’re compliant based on your audit. That’s why we distinguish between what an auditing team does for compliance versus what we need to do in terms of the security risk assessments to uncover, quantify, and understand the risks that the company has from a cybersecurity perspective.
It is because of these differences that Parabellyx is often engaged to work with accounting and financial service firms each year to fulfill the full security needs of the client. Parabellyx meets with the audit departments and professional services departments to break out auditing needs versus other professional services required by an organization in order to develop the collaborative team strategy required by the company to not only be cybersecurity compliant, but to identify and address any other cybersecurity risks to the company, staff and customers.
If you would like to learn how Parabellyx can assist you, please reach out to us at www.parabellyx.com. We can assist you in your risk-assessments or work with your internal team to establish better auditing processes.
Parabellyx are security-matter-experts who take a focused and business aligned cybersecurity approach to developing strategies that accomplish your key business goals and objectives. We then train your entire organization in security, preparing you for any threat, until a security mindset is entrenched across your entire company, protecting and ‘future-proofing’ your information, your employees, your customers, your shareholders and your reputation. Contact us