What is a Cyber Security Audit

What is a Cyber Security Audit?

You might be reading this blog post with little to no knowledge about what a cyber audit is or you might have some knowledge but want to learn more, that’s what we’re here to help with.

Cybercrime has grown into one of the epidemics of modern times, and it’s estimated that ransomware attacks cost companies a whopping £4.5 million per year.

If you or your business does not prioritise cyber security, you place yourself, your company and your colleagues at risk of a cyber-attack. It’s likely that you already have some strategies in place to combat hackers and other malicious cyber forces, however, you also need to be sure that the measures you have in place are sufficient enough to protect you, should you or your business be targeted by a cyber-attack. 

That’s where cyber security audits become very important.

What is a Cyber Security Audit?

A cyber security audit is a comprehensive analysis and review of the IT infrastructure of your business. The audit itself will help to detect vulnerabilities and threats, displaying weak links and high-risk practices. It is a primary method for examining compliance and is designed to evaluate something (a company, system, product, etc.) against a specific standard to validate that the exact needs are met.

What Are the Benefits of a Cyber Security Audit?

A cyber security audit is one of the greatest level of assurance services that an independent cyber security company offers.

A cyber security audit provides an organisation, as well as their business partners and customers, with confidence in the effectiveness of their cyber security controls. Unfortunately, insider threats and data breaches are more prevalent than ever before. As a result, business leaders and consumers increasingly prioritise and value cyber security compliance.

An audit adds an independent line of sight that is uniquely equipped to evaluate as well as improve security.

Specifically, the following are some benefits of carrying out an audit:

  • Identifying gaps in security
  • Highlights and addresses weak spots
  • Compliance
  • Reputational value
  • Testing controls
  • Improving security posture
  • Staying ahead of bad actors
  • Assurance to vendors, employees and clients
  • Confidence in your security controls
  • Increased performance of your technology and security

What is Included in a Cyber Audit?

A typical audit contains three phases:

  1. Scope Definition
  2. Audit
  3. Report & Review
  4. Remediation

Let’s go through each of these phases and truly understand the purposes of each of them are.

Scope Definition:
The first activity in a cyber security audit is to determine and define the scope. This includes the IT company and key stakeholders discussing expectations of the audit. A rulebook / guidelines will be created as to what should be included in the audit.


This is the actual assessment. This could take a few hours for a small company or it could take several days for a large company. It will likely include checking your company’s devices, servers, software, and databases. In this phase, you will also review how you assign access rights and examine any hardware or software you currently have in place to defend against attacks. This phase will likely highlight some security gaps that you need to act upon. Once that’s done, you move into the assignment phase.

Report & Review:
In this stage, the IT company will gather and submit their report to the client. Both parties will likely meet to have a formal discussion to review the findings. 


If required, a remediation phase is often conducted. This stage includes creating and implementing solutions for problems identified in the cyber audit. After implementation, a further review will be conducted to verify if the issue has been mitigated. 

What Does an Audit Cover?

A cyber security audit focuses on cyber security standards, guidelines and policies. Furthermore, it focuses on ensuring that all security controls are optimised and all compliance requirements are met.

Specifically, an audit evaluates.

  • Operational Security – a review of policies, procedures, and security controls.
  • Data security – a review of encryption used, network access control, data security during transmission and storage.
  • System Security – a review of patching processes, hardening processes, role-based access, management of privileged accounts, etc.
  • Network Security – a review of network and security controls, anti-virus configurations and security monitoring capabilities.
  • Physical Security – a review of role-based access controls, disk encryption, multifactor authentication, biometric, etc.


If you’re keen to find out more about cyber security audits and whether or not you might need to conduct one, why not contact our team who can help. At Aberdeen Cyber Security we have extensive experience in conducting cyber audits and can help to create a bespoke action plan for your business based on your cyber security needs.