In recent years, data breach costs have increased with the average attack rising to $4.24 million this year. These costs are highest in the United States compared to the rest of the world.
To avoid data breaches and other cybercrime, it is essential to have the right business technology. A business will also need to run IT audits to ensure that its processes are up to date to avoid risks.
How can you run an IT audit efficiently? Keep reading to learn the steps.
Define the Scope of the Audit
The goal of any IT audit is to check how all of the internal controls are functioning to learn valuable insights about the company’s strengths and weaknesses.
Like all steps of a business audit, defining the scope is going to focus on your goals. However, you don’t have to complete a generalized IT audit every time.
The scope of your audit might be something more specific. If this is the case, set a perimeter around what needs to be audited and ignore the items outside of it for now.
A small business owner should be aware of any risks that their company might fall victim to. During the audit process, you will create a list of the threats your data faces.
Some of the common threats to business ownership include the following:
- Denial of Service (DoS)
- Natural disasters
- Physical breaches
External hacking is the greatest threat to business security no matter the size of your business. However, you also must consider that your staff might be behind some of the threats to your business.
An employee may make an honest mistake that can compromise security. It’s also possible that they misuse confidential data purposely and leak it to third-party vendors.
While not all risks can be avoided 100%, understanding the threats to your IT is essential to setting up the right security parameters.
Build Security Measures
Your IT department can help with building security measures after learning about each of the risks. For example, an IT expert might suggest switching to enterprise servers to increase security among other things.
The common security measures that businesses should consider during their IT audit are:
- Firewall and antivirus technology
- Anti-spam filter
- Regular data backup
- Physical server security
- Multi-factor authentication
- User privilege
You can plan this step of the IT audit around existing risk assessments.
Testing the Audit
Once you implement new technologies from the business audit process, you will receive more data alerting you about potential weaknesses within your technology. Don’t expect every change you make from an audit to work.
The key to an effective IT audit is testing the systems put in place to identify deficiencies. From there, you can work out the implications and keep retesting the process.
Is Your Business Ready to Perform an IT Audit?
Regular IT audits can identify weak points in your business before they turn into major problems. Although not every business IT audit is the same across all industries, each will incorporate the above four steps.
When you work with professionals in the IT industry, you’ll learn how to create an IT auditing process that is unique to your company. Don’t wait until your business experiences a negative impact to perform an IT audit. For more articles on technology and business, check out the other posts on our blog.