Although there is no legal requirement for any enterprise to carry out a software security audit, it is advisable to do one on a regular basis, particularly the larger businesses who use a lot of different software across many devices.
A software security audit entails testing the policies and procedures that you have in place to protect the software your enterprise uses from attack or failure and t identify any gaps that you may have in your line of defense.
There are a few ways to audit software and most are tasked with examining how a piece of software is configured, utilized or integrated within your enterprise.
This can be done by an external auditor or an internal IT administrator.
The three main types of audit for software are:
- Software Quality Assurance – the objective of a QA audit is to find ways of improving the software that is in use and everything will be audited. That includes the code used to build it, the processed, data, report outputs, test data and media and anyone in the enterprise who is involved in software development could be asked to carry out the audit. The goal is assessing the form, technical quality, and the function of the software with the aim of providing improvement to reliability, ease of use, performance and, of course, security
- Software Compliance – This audit is all about measuring how compliant the software is with regulations. Compliance audits will always be done by an external independent body, usually a government regulator or an industry watchdog. The enterprise has an obligation to allow these bodies to audit the software for compliance with standards, set specifications, codes, mandated procedures and controls and must be carried out at least once a year to ensure that the software can be recertified.
- Software Licensing – this is part of the Software Asset management practice or risk management and it is to determine who gets the software and how they will use it. The idea is to find cost savings or impose more control to ensure security and it may involve the enforcement of copyright protections.
At the end of the day, every audit carried out on software is done to determine what the purpose of the software is, what its value is to the enterprise, who has access to it and how do they use it.