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How to conduct security audits: Case study for an international bank.

Conducting Security Audits Across Eastern European Countries for an International Bank


Security audits are essential for financial institutions to protect sensitive data, prevent cyber threats, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. This case study explores the challenges faced while performing security audits across several Eastern European countries and the strategies Graspan Frankton employed to address them.


Our client, an international bank with a significant presence in Eastern Europe, initiated a comprehensive security audit program to assess the effectiveness of its security measures, identify vulnerabilities, and ensure compliance with regional and international regulations. The audit covered multiple countries throughout Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Central Asia.


Diverse Regulatory Frameworks:

These countries have varying interpretations of security regulations and standards, making it sometimes challenging to ensure uniformed compliance across the regions. Navigating these regulatory frameworks required a deep understanding of each country’s legal and security landscape.

Language Barriers:

Language differences across the regions posed communication challenges. Auditors had to work with local experts fluent in the native languages to ensure accurate information gathering and reporting.

Cultural Differences:

Cultural nuances and differences in work styles across the regions influenced the way audits were conducted. Building rapport, trust and understanding with local teams and stakeholders was critical and helped build key insights on the challenges and limitations some were working with.

Cybersecurity Awareness:

In some countries, the level of cybersecurity awareness and maturity was lower than in others. This required tailored educational efforts to ensure security best practices were understood and implemented.

Geopolitical Factors:

In particular Eastern Europe is a region with complex geopolitical dynamics. These dynamics has and could affect the future security landscape, requiring continuous monitoring and adjustments to the audit approach. Key to understanding and planning for such potential was gaining insights from key security stakeholders and international bodies within the region.

Strategies Employed:


The bank engaged Graspan Frankton for our deep understanding of key security audit processes and the regulatory environment within the sector as well as language proficiency to assist with the audit process.

Developed Audit Plans:

Each country had followed a well-developed and standardised audit plan tailored to its specific organisational, regulatory requirements and security challenges. This ensured compliance while addressing local nuances.

Cross-Cultural Training:

Auditors received cross-cultural training and awareness to understand and respect local customs and business practices, facilitating smoother interactions with local teams and stakeholders.

Technology Assessments:

For banks with legacy systems, special emphasis was placed on technology assessments to identify and prioritise vulnerabilities and develop mitigation strategies.

Security Advice:

Throughout the audit schedule, Graspan Frankton facilitated security advice and training sessions to raise awareness and build local capacity in regions with lower security maturity.

Continuous Monitoring:

Given the geopolitical factors, ongoing monitoring of the security landscape was established to respond proactively to emerging threats or changes in the regulatory environment.


Graspan Frankton successfully conducted security audits across Eastern European, the Balkans and Central Asia regions, overcoming the challenges posed by diverse regulatory frameworks, language barriers, cultural differences, security awareness, and geopolitical factors. Our proactive and supportive approach not only ensured optimum compliance but also enhanced the overall security understanding within the regions. The lessons learned from this endeavour are now being applied to strengthen security practices across the bank’s global operations.

Performing security audits throughout these regions for an international bank is a complex endeavour. It demands a tailored approach that considers regulatory diversity, cultural nuances, and security maturity. With careful planning, expertise, and a commitment to continuous improvement, we were able to successfully navigate these challenges, contributing to enhanced security and regulatory compliance across the region.

For more information about how Graspan Frankton can support your business with security audits, contact us today on (0)191 466 1176.

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