Tips for Creating a Strong Cybersecurity Assessment Report Written by Dannah Gargar
Methodology for Creating the General Report
- Analyze the data collected to discover related concerns during the evaluation.
- Make your risks and comments a priority; take remedial steps.
- Document the process and scope of the assessment.
- Describe your findings and recommendations in order of priority.
- To complement the main body of your report, include relevant statistics and data.
- Create an executive summary to emphasize the most important results and suggestions.
- Edit and proofread the document.
- To weed out false positives and validate expectations, consider submitting the report draught.
- The final report is sent to the target recipient via a secure transfer channel that has been agreed upon.
- On the phone, via teleconference, or in person, discuss the contents of the report with the recipient.
Analysis of the Security Assessment Data
- Share your views beyond the regeneration of existing data.
- Consider how incomplete or a possible falsehood or half-truth the information presented to you is.
- Search for trends by organizing your initial results by the resources affected, risk, problem category, etc.
- Identify tendencies that underline the existence of underlying security issues.
- Consider exploring data using diagrams and pivot tables when evaluating scanner output.
- Screening, documentation requests, and interviews fill out the gaps in your comprehension.
- Involve your analysts in order to gain insights into the information and conclusions from other people.
Documentation of Assessment Methodology
- The methods utilized to conduct the assessment, analyze the data, and prioritize the findings should all be documented.
- Demonstrate a holistic and well-thought-out approach to assessment and analysis.
- Indicate the type of evaluation you conducted: penetration test, vulnerability assessment, code review, and so on.
- Explain what tools you used and how they were configured, if applicable.
- If applicable, explain how the questions you asked during interviews were influenced by your strategy.
- Describe the criteria you used to determine the severity or criticality of the assessment’s results.
- Refer back to the frameworks you used to organize the assessment (PCI DSS, ISO 27001, etc.).
The Security Assessment’s Scope
- Indicate which systems, networks, and/or applications were examined during the security audit.
- If you review any documentation, make a note of it.
- If you interviewed anyone, make a list of whom you spoke with.
- Clarify the assessment’s main objectives.
- Discuss how the assessment took into account contractual obligations or regulatory restrictions.
- Any items that were deliberately excluded from the scope of the assessment should be documented and explained.
- Include both positive and bad results.
- Consider the company’s industry, business model, and regulatory requirements.
- Maintain a consistent process and scope.
- Prioritize discoveries pertaining to security concerns and activities to be taken to mitigate them.
- Provide a practical remediation plan that takes into account the strengths and limitations of the organization.
Good Qualities of Assessment Report
- Start with a compelling executive summary that even a non-technical reader can comprehend.
- Instead of simply reporting the results of evaluation tools, provide relevant insight.
- Figures should be included to support your analysis, with non-critical information placed in the appendix.
- Create a professional, easy-to-understand appearance.
- Beyond simply pointing out security flaws, provide repair advice.
- Make a list of your typos and correct them. If you can, get assistance.
- To accommodate the various categories of readers, divide the report into logical sections.
Additional Assessment Report Tips
- Create templates based on previous reports so you do not have to start from scratch with each paper.
- Because the report’s contents are likely sensitive, keep it safe (encrypt it) when keeping and sending it.
- Avoid using the passive voice and instead, use specific statements.
- Explain why your findings are important in light of present dangers and recent events.
- Make an effort to keep the report as short as possible while still including crucial and relevant information.