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Assessing Security And Maintenance On Computer Systems

Home maintenance is a tough job and it requires your attention every now and then. If it is your own house, you understand what course of action would be the best for it. This maintenance can include anything from checking the plumbing, light fixtures, checking for gas leaks and cleaning up. All these tasks either require your personal attention or the attention of specialized professionals who understand how certain things work. In any average household, every six months or so, bulbs have to be replaced, appliances have to be thoroughly cleaned and the security systems are also checked and tested for leaks. Based upon this evaluation, certain improvement plans are made, needs are re-assessed according to the situation and then the changes are implemented. This is necessary to keep a house functional and relevant to your needs.

Similarly, when a company hires an IT team, they expect it to create an information system that is designed specifically for them.  This system includes building databases, storage spaces, network and connectivity throughout the teams that work at the office. The importance of such systems cannot be emphasized enough in today’s world; they hold everything together. So, just like a regular bi-annual or annual medical check-up and exam, these computer systems also have to be tested. And they are tested by the same individuals who have designed it. This testing system includes interviewing the staff, checking the computers, using assessment tools, assessing security threats and breaches, identifying sources of problems, designing back-up plans and implementing these changes effectively.

One of these specific checks and maintenance requirements is known as security audits. This involves assessing a particular threat, designing a plan for it and then implementing this strategy to protect the computer security system better. Although, there is no actual legal burden or requirement to conduct this process, it is necessary to increase the efficacy of the information security system. Practically anything can make a company begin this checking process. Many times you will hear that some hacker hacked in to a system and stole important financial information; this happens because there are gaps in security systems. If not gaps, then there are better ways to design these defense mechanisms. One interesting reason to conduct these assessments is the ever-changing cyber laws that aim to protect systems world-wide against cyber terrorism and threats. So conducting a documented assessment helps you keep things on track.

There are two ways of conducting security audits and it depends on your needs as a company; if you are a smaller company, it is likely that you cannot afford to hire an external auditing team or consultants to test the system. The reason for this is that smaller companies have lesser capital to invest on security and also, smaller companies have systems that are less complex to manage. The best option for them is to get an off the counter auditing software. For larger companies, the audit must be done by an external company because of the complexity of the system.