You alone can do a great deal of IT security management yourself but no guide or checklist that you follow will ever leave out a professional security audit. Naturally, any manager or CEO will raise the question of its cost and relevancy. Therefore, we will explain the necessity of a security audit and the reasoning behind its cost.
But for starters, let’s focus on the essence of this procedure. It can be characterized as a full security assessment and analysis of your website. To conduct it, auditors get involved in all the organizational processes, research them, and check their safety.
A security audit is different from penetration testing, as it is aimed to understand how the organization functions in regards to cybersecurity, how informed and aware the employees are, and what measures are taken to prevent cybercrimes. In this regard, auditors do not work exclusively with the technical aspect of the problem, they also consider the human factor and the culture of an organization. The number of operations that will help to understand and correct your security policy determines the cost of a security audit. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the most professionally competent team that will be able to fully analyze your company for the sake of efficiency.
When auditors start their investigation, they conduct a lot of interviews and tests to understand the current security holes in your policy/culture, the awareness state of employees, and other important factors. If your security policy is not clear, employees are unaware of it, auditors waste a lot of time figuring out the nature of your working processes, the general cost becomes higher.
Establishing a clear but effective security policy and training your employees makes up to a low cost of the audit and, of course, decreases the number of risks that a company faces. If you failed to do it initially, the cost will be higher, but it will change the way things run within your company for the safer future.
Of course, company size is also important. If the company is large, there will be naturally more aspects to be considered. A number of servers, the complexity of your company structure, the number of employees, accounts, and used software, etc. Such companies tend to have more vulnerabilities in their information system and face a greater risk of cyber attacks, thus, they should be opting-in on the security audits regularly, disregarding the high costs. This way big corporations avoid losing much greater sums (starting from $500 000).
As we have mentioned before, too many factors may influence the price of the security service, but in general, the average security audit cost lies between $1 500 and $20 000. It may seem too high but still reasonable, considering the cost of the average security breach in the US estimating at 3.86 million dollars.
Nevertheless, most industries demand careful assessments, but some of them might be more even vulnerable. According to CDNetwords, SMBs, healthcare institutions, government agencies, energy companies, and higher education facilities face most of the risk. If you need to check both internal and external vulnerabilities, data recovery, physical security, and social engineering, it will probably exceed the average cost of a security audit, but guarantee safety. At the same time, some organizations might require only partial assessment, lowering the price tag. Many CEOs or managers see it as completely normal to launch an audit just for the general understanding of their current security state.
Cyber attacks are not focused only on big corporations, small businesses are the ones that get targeted the most. Small businesses make up for almost a third of annual cyberattacks according to Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report. Despite the menace of the current situation in regards to cybersecurity, initially, business owners do not prioritize developing an effective security policy, teaching employees cybersecurity awareness, or even figuring out cybersecurity themselves. It is a common mistake, as a lot of business development efforts might be wasted after a single cyber attack that could have been prevented.
CEOs and managers must understand that security audit costs might vary depending on the company’s needs. You can protect your business now by turning to a team of real professionals to make a request of an audit or simply ask more insights about it. It is important not to postpone anything that may decide the future of your company.