Hack your business before hackers do: Why CEOs need to be more vigilant about security audits?
With businesses coming online, more and more people started operating online. It was like a new city was being formed and is being expanded as we see. And with every new settlement comes new challenges including crimes and malicious actors.
The pandemic and its effects are probably the most used conversation starters/subjects these days. Among all the sad and negatives, one thing which is considered positive is the adoption of tech by businesses. As the pandemic raged, it forced businesses to go online in almost a blink. And this by no means is a small feat. It displays the agility of businesses and also underlines the importance of being flexible (for individuals and companies alike). Being flexible and moving fast has become the necessary condition for companies to stay afloat.
With businesses coming online, more and more people started operating online. It was like a new city was being formed and is being expanded as we see. And with every new settlement comes new challenges including crimes and malicious actors. The year 2020 saw a huge spike in the number of cyber-attacks and even the different types of attacks. 2021 till now also looks similar. Just the fact that data leaks and breaches now make it to the mainstream news tells us the prevalence and impact of these incidents.
Hack your business before hackers do
With everything now online and also distributed, the attack surface (the points from where leaks can happen) is huge. Employees sitting in remote locations, on different networks have access to sensitive customer data. The pace of development is faster than before with new features being churned out by the day. All this brings in new kinds of challenges for businesses.
Some of the biggest Indian startups faced cyber-attacks in the last few months. From the likes of Dominos, BigBasket, Juspay, Upstox, Unacademy, etc. These are big names, many smaller ones don't even make it to the news. Along with a direct loss in revenue, these incidents lead to a loss in reputation and customer trust. The trust that takes years to build, takes one such incident to be destroyed.
Also read: Looking for a smartphone? Check Mobile Finder here.
Businesses need to ensure that their attack surface - applications, infrastructure, and people are well-protected. Just like the physical world, you can never be safe enough but you can take some basic measures and be safe enough to have peace of mind. One of the essential things is conducting regular security audits for business applications and network infrastructure. Security audits include Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing exercise that helps organizations uncover potential vulnerabilities, threats and other security risks before someone else does that. Idea is to hack yourself before hackers do.
Who should get the audits done?
Any organization, big or small should get regular audits done. Ideally, vulnerability scans should be integrated with the development sprints/cycles along with monthly/quarterly pen tests. The frequency depends on the organization size, development speed, and assets online, however, for most organizations at least bi-annual Vulnerability Assessments and Pen Tests are recommended.
What to expect from a security audit?
As part of the process, the security team acts as a hacker and tries to find out vulnerabilities in the system being audited. For each vulnerability, you should expect the security team to report -
Details about the vulnerability
- The business impact of the same
- Severity rating: Classifying vulnerability as Critical, High, Medium, or Low severity
- Proof of concept
- Resolution steps
Post the entire process is completed and the gaps are fixed, a detailed report is issued. Along with this, proof of the audit in the form of a certificate should be awarded to the businesses.
Make security your differentiator
In addition to the direct loss of revenue, any such security incident also leads to a huge dent in the business reputation and customer trust garnered over the years. Being proactive about security helps avoid such incidents.
If you're continuously making your app or website secure, you should tell the steps you're taking to customers and how much you value the trust they've put in your application by sharing their data. Why wait for a security breach to talk about the security best practices you've followed? Being secure calls for bragging!
Gone are the days when a company's technology plan was considered to be secondary to other processes. Currently, when even SMEs and startups are taking their businesses online overnight, a strong and secure technology strategy is required to define the overall business strategy. Someone is busy trying to hack your business. The good news is that you don't have to be as busy protecting it. Basic things like regular security audits go a long way in ensuring peace of mind.
This article has been written by Ujwal Ratra, Chief Operating Officer, Astra Security