Blog

Audit Vs. Assessment

  • Nov 9, 2021, 11:08:47 AM
  • 411 Times
A cybersecurity audit is a point-in-time evaluation while an assessment is a high-level analysis of cybersecurity controls.

Cybersecurity audit vs. assessment? A cybersecurity audit is a point-in-time evaluation while a cybersecurity assessment is a high-level analysis to determine the effectiveness of the cybersecurity controls as well as the organisation's overall maturity. Audits are usually conducted by an independent third-party auditor or an internal resource to investigate  the organisation’s policies and procedures against a specific compliance platform or checklist. In order to improve their cybersecurity posture and health, organisations should be aware of the limitations of internal audits. This means that running down a checklist of cybersecurity controls can assure that some specified controls are in place, but it doesn’t guarantee the effectiveness of them for mitigating cybersecurity risks.

On the flipside, cybersecurity assessments are informed by desired business outcomes such as continuity and resilience. Rather than simply checking boxes, an effective assessment provides an in-depth look at the effectiveness of a company’s security program. A cybersecurity risk assessment can also help security leaders identify cybersecurity gaps and plan remediation activities. What's the importance of cybersecurity assessments? Conducting a cybersecurity assessment to address the full spectrum of cybersecurity risks is an essential step to prepare and gauge an organisation’s level of preparedness for cybersecurity incidents. An in-depth cybersecurity analysis program also allows business leaders to make risk-based decisions to address:

  • The protection of the company’s most valuable assets.
  • The data that poses the greatest business risk in the event of a breach.
  • Vendors that impose business-critical risks.
  • Vendors handle the most sensitive data (i.e., customer data).

Self-assessments - Prep. for regulatory audits As mentioned, cybersecurity assessments and audits are two separate but related stages of the cybersecurity evaluation process. An audit provides a compliance snapshot, while an assessment provides an in-depth view of cyber maturity in which ideally, an assessment precedes an audit and serves as a preparation tool. How can Rezilens help? Rezilens offers a self-assessment tools for organisations which goes beyond the narrow scope of audits by gathering comprehensive risk data across the operational activities, including organisational cybersecurity policies, human resources, asset management , access management, network security, patching cadence, vendor management and so on.

Our easy-to-use dashboard displays the most critical and common organisational risks, so security teams can drill down and prioritise remediation. Cybersecurity professionals can utilise our platform to carry out ongoing self-assessments by leveraging our automation capabilities. Various questionnaires can be automatically sent to an internal team or vendor following an action, and can be mapped to compliance frameworks so that organisations can remain audit-ready.