Did you know that 60% of small businesses that deal with a cyber-attack end up going out of business within 6 months? As a small business owner, you should be looking at ways to avoid being a victim of cyber crime. Our guide below will teach you everything there is to know about having an IT audit to help you avoid being a victim of ransomware attacks.
Read on to learn more.
Plan the Audit
The first step when conducting an IT audit, is to plan it out. You need to figure out if you want to conduct the internal audit yourself or hire a professional auditor to give you their perspective. For those looking for more peace of mind, hiring a reputable company such as Kaseya Pricing can help with ensuring everything is up-to-date.
While you are creating your plan choose when the audit will take place and also the processes you need to establish in order to prepare all of your employee’s for the IT audit.
Once your plan is together you will have to prep. Think of the areas that are being evaluated and how much detail will go into the evaluation. Also, you need to think about how the audit will be documented and prepare the necessary software and paperwork.
Take the time to make a detailed audit schedule as well as letting each department know how much time they need to plan to dedicate to the audit.
Conduct the Audit
This is when you execute your plan above. Sometimes while you are conducting the audit there will be last minute obstacles, just make sure you don’t rush through these. Missing anything in the IT audit will defeat the purpose of your audit.
Once the audit is completed, there should be a nice pile of documentation showing findings, suggestions, and notes. You will need to take the time to synthesize the information and create an official audit report.
Keep in mind that this report is important because it will be used for future reference while you plan the next audit.
You will also want to create reports for each head or manager of each department that was audited. This should include a summary of what was evaluated during the audit, a list of the items that do not need any changes, and include the areas where the department is excelling.
Last but not least, share with the department any vulnerabilities. For each risk in the report share what the plan is to improve the risk. If there are any circumstances where the IT risks are being caused by intentional carelessness you will need to involve the HR department to handle the issue correctly.
The last step of the IT audit is to follow up with each department. There is no point in having an IT audit done if nothing is going to change. Keep in mind that most risks and vulnerabilities in a businesses’ infrastructure are caused by human error.
Put a follow-up date on your calendar to follow up with each team to make sure that each correction was implemented correctly. Even after the changes are implemented, it is a smart move to follow up several times throughout the year in between audits to ensure that everything continues to run smoothly.
5 Key Areas of an IT Audit
There are 5 major areas that you want to look at when conducting an IT audit. These include: standards and procedures, system security, systems development, performance monitoring, and documentation and reporting.
For each area whoever is conducting the audit will have to follow the basic IT audit steps we went over above. This audit will vary based on the needs of your infrastructure. Sometimes you might need to add areas to the audit or some of these key areas might not be pertinent or relatable to your company.
External vs Internal Audit
Choosing between doing an external and internal audit is not as black and white. An external auditor will have more tools to use such as vulnerability scanners plus they will bring their experience while examining any security holes you might have in your system.
One of the major cons is that it is not as cheap as doing an internal audit. If you opt for an external auditor you will need to have great communication in place. If the auditor doesn’t get the data they request on time it will delay the audit and can cause it to drag on.
Bad communication can also produce results that are not reliable. Doing internal audits are helpful when doing quarterly assessments because you can keep tabs of where there might be weaknesses. The con with internal audits is that internal auditors might lack the tools and experience that a professional has.
This lack of experience can accidentally leave vulnerabilities in your business security.
Ready for Your Next IT Audit?
Now that you have learned the ins and outs of an IT audit, you can make decisions like a pro about your next audit. The audit itself will only take a few days, but the planning will take a bit longer. This information is going to give you the knowledge you need to make sure everything is working smoothly and give you then knowledge of how to better protect your company’s assets.
If our article helped you out, make sure you browse the rest of our business section for more tips.