In order to stay ahead of the latest cyber security threats, it?s no surprise you need to have a checkup on your systems, which usually comes as a network assessment or audit. While the two terms may seem almost interchangeable – and are in many cases similar – it?s important to know the difference between the two, and what they both mean for the security of your organization?s IT infrastructure.

Keeping Up With Compliance


Traditionally, a network audit is done to ensure an organization?s current network security is up to par with standing regulations, and is used to understand whether or not compliance demands are met. These demands can be specific to certain compliance obligations within your organization, or overarching compliance obligations like HIPAA and/or the California Security Breach Information Act, which may lead to potential fines if not met.


In short, a network audit is undergone to ensure security measures at least reach the overarching criteria required by the regulatory obligations your organization is legally obliged to follow – and nothing more. It?s a compliance check for mandatory regulations.


Finding A Place for Improvement


While a network audit may simply look for conditions within your network which do not meet regulatory compliance, a network assessment can go a bit further for your organization.


A network assessment is an overarching look at your organization?s IT infrastructure, security and management to pinpoint pain points within the process and identify potential areas for improvement. Areas of interest in a network assessment can include bandwidth bottlenecks, security flaws, and under-or-over used resources.


Partaking in a network assessment can help alleviate your IT infrastructure of headaches that have been plaguing your network, and offer more resources for implementing new or more processes within your network environment. Where the network audit looks at compliance obligations as the end-all, be-all, network assessments look beyond seeing strictly whether or not specific demands are met, and provide insight to maximize the potential of your IT environment.


Which Do I Need?


Knowing whether to have a network audit or network assessment done on your IT infrastructure is as simple as understanding what goals you?re trying to meet.


Are you looking to ensure your organization is legally compliant with federal and/or state-specific IT regulations? Get a network audit.


Are you looking to find areas that need improvement to create a more effective and enhanced network environment? Get a network assessment.
Whether you need a network audit, assessment or any of the potential upgrades or security patches either may reveal, working with a trusted IT partner like NENs is the most effective way to ensure your organization?s IT environment is both up-to-speed with both outstanding compliance obligations and the latest technology.