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Network security audit guidelines: Inside the importance of audit planning

In this mini learning guide you will learn the ins and outs of network security audit guidelines, as well as the importance of audit planning, and how to perform and prepare for an audit.

Conducting network security audits annually (if not with even greater frequency) is a security best practice for...

every organization. An audit, however, can expose an organization's every security vulnerability, which can lead to embarrassing fines and penalties if they show an organization isn't compliant with an industry guideline or government mandate. Still, they often prevent organizations from suffering more serious offenses, such as a data security breach.

In order to be fully prepared for a network security audit, security pros must plan ahead. This mini learning guide acts as a network security audit planning guide, offering guidelines for audit planning and preparation, as well as advice for security solution providers on how to perform an audit for customers and what to look for during a network security audit.

A guide to internal and external network security auditing
According to a survey of IT executives and network administrators, nearly half (46%) of companies that undertake internal security audits find the tests result in the identification of significant security problems. That number rises to 54% for external network security audits conducted by outside companies.

Considering these numbers, the chances of your organizations having significant network security problems are high. In this tip, contributor Stephen Cobb reviews the baseline network audit processes that a security professional need to conduct regularly in order to identify and fix security issues

More on network security audits:

Preparing for a network security audit starts with monitoring and remediation
Security professionals each have their own way of getting ready for a network security audit. All too often, IT teams rush around and make last-minute adjustments to their configurations and processes. Clever security folks, however, treat audit preparation as an ongoing endeavor.

In this tip from, Mike Chapple stressed the importance of being prepared for a network security audit and explains how a detailed network security change-management and remediation process can make audit preparation easier.

How to perform a network security audit for customers
Data breaches are a consistent threat in the security industry and the cost of a data security breach is an expense that every organization wants to avoid. Considering, security solution providers can minimize the risk of a breach and offer their customers a valuable service by performing a network security audit.

In this tip from, which acts as a network security audit checklist, David Jacobs describes how to perform a network security audit for customers as well as what practitioners need to look for when at the customer site, and how to express the importance of a security audit to customers.

How to select a set of network security audit guidelines
As we have discussed, performing and preparing for a network security audit can be a daunting task, but thankfully, there are resources that can help.

In this expert response to a reader inquiry, network security expert Mike Chapple identifies certain types of information or sources of information that every organization should look for when performing a network security audit, as well as how to choose a security audit standard.

This was last published in April 2011

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