These days, compliance awareness is at the top of every business concerns and network security auditing is top of the list when it comes to data security tools.
A network security audit is the way in which the performance of the enterprise network security is monitored and it also allows for full investigations of trends and particular security incidents.
There are a lot of different audit features that are already built in to computer platforms and systems, like journals that contain database activity and security event logs.
Less common audit tools are those that facilitate the consolidation or merging of information across different network platforms.
A network security audit is tasked with checking two separate categories of information:
- Static data. This includes system definitions, rules for passwords, the protocols in use, firewall definitions, etc.
- Activities that have taken place. This includes any access to databases, file transfers, when users log on and where they log on, etc.
Security network auditing is designed to work through a complete systematic process whereby the computer network undergoes analysis for:
- A complete check of the security technology and procedures in place
- How security controls are implemented
- The availability of security controls
- Management of the entire network system
- Performance of the network
During the audit, the information and data will be gathered in and then analyzed for threats and for vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
These are identified and then reported back to the network administrators. Usually, this kind of work is done by an independent information systems auditor or by a network analyst.
It can be done internally provided there is an individual on site who has both a management and security background.
An audit will use manual techniques and automated techniques together to gather in the data, reviewing:
- Every node of the network
- The security processes
- Monitoring of the network
- Any other data
Although the audit may focus more on the control and security of the network, it will also review the measures and processes that ensure the performance, availability of network and the quality of service.