Your IT systems are the backbone of your business. They keep your data safe and secure, help you stay organized and efficient, and allow you to communicate with customers and partners. However, if you’re not aware of the status of your IT systems, it’s more difficult to make informed business decisions and you can end up in all sorts of trouble. To prevent such issues from occurring, it’s important to periodically audit your IT systems.
IT audits: A quick overview
An IT audit is an in-depth review of your company’s IT environment, from the network infrastructure and software applications you use to the security protocols and data management practices you implement. This type of audit identifies any issues or weaknesses that could put the organization at risk, so you can improve your IT strategies and budgets. More often than not, a managed IT services provider is hired to perform the audit and provide an independent, unbiased opinion of your IT infrastructure.
What are the benefits of regular IT audits?
Performing regular IT audits can enable your organization to achieve the following:
1. Identify the source of performance issues
The biggest disruption to your business operations is often caused by slow network performance, which can occur due to a number of factors. There could be an issue with the internet service provider, bandwidth management, network configuration, hardware, firmware, or something else entirely. An IT audit can help you pinpoint the source of the problem and explore possible solutions.
2. Understand your security posture
Data breaches and cyberattacks continue to be major issues for businesses, especially those in the healthcare, finance, and retail industries. Without knowing the current state of your IT security, it’s impossible to identify vulnerabilities and develop solutions to fend off potential threats.
Conducting a comprehensive IT audit allows you to uncover and classify the nature of the vulnerabilities in your company. The nature of a vulnerability could be anything from outdated software and lack of security controls to weak password policies and poor user awareness. Once you identify the vulnerability, it’s much easier to take steps to fix it.
3. Ensure compliance
Organizations are subject to certain laws and regulations regarding data privacy and cybersecurity. For instance, HIPAA is mandatory for any organization that handles protected health information, while PCI DSS is essential for those handling credit card payments. Regular IT audits measure your current cybersecurity framework and policies against the relevant regulations, so you can minimize liabilities and penalties for noncompliance.
4. Get a roadmap for future IT strategies
Periodic IT audits allow you to understand the state of your current IT systems, which can help you make better decisions about future investments. If, for example, an IT audit reveals that your existing software is outdated, this could help you determine the best course of action: whether to upgrade the existing software or invest in a new solution altogether.
Beyond investments, IT audits can also inform future projects and initiatives. For example, if your audit reveals that hardware costs are too high, you could explore options like utilizing cloud services or enabling bring your own device policies.
5. Measure disaster recovery readiness
In the event of a natural disaster, cyberattack, or power outage, having a plan for recovering data and resuming business operations is vital. IT auditors check whether your business continuity plan is up to date and covers all the necessary scenarios. They evaluate your data backup systems, recovery procedures, and company policies to ensure these are sufficient, and suggest improvements if needed. By undergoing an IT audit, you can make sure that your business is prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Having an in-depth understanding of your company’s IT infrastructure and security posture is invaluable for making the right decisions. Intouch IT can thoroughly audit your IT to bring light to any issues and provide professional advice and solutions. Give us a call today to get started.