The Brief Guide That Makes Conducting an IT Audit Simple
Man holding IT audit report in a tablet.

The health of your IT matters for everyone from the small business owner right on up to Fortune 100 companies. Plus, if the GoDaddy data breach teaches us anything, it’s that even a major tech company with a robust IT department is not immune.

Part of business ownership is that you make a good faith effort to protect the data of your customers. That means that you must run a periodic IT audit for your business. NOt sure what that means in practice?

Keep reading for a guide that will help make running your IT audit simple.

Physical and Digital Security

IT security falls into two major areas: physical security and digital security. Physical security means that you take basic steps toward physical access control. For example, you lock your server room or server cage and only issue keys to people who absolutely require access.

Digital security means that you run security software, such as firewalls and intrusion detection software. It also means you configure your network for security. If you’re not up on digital security, you can use security staffing agencies to find a cybersecurity pro.

The audit should test both of these areas.

Hardware

Older hardware is often an easier target for hackers than newer hardware. Newer hardware often integrates new security measures as a native feature, while older hardware often requires manual configuration.

Your audit should look for outdated hardware and improperly configured hardware. Once identified, it should get replaced or reconfigured.

Software

Many business owners don’t bother with software updates or even disable automated updates because they slow down the network or the individual devices. That is not smart management. Your IT audit should look at all the major software you use to ensure that it’s up to date with the latest security patches.

Data Backups

One of the best forms of defense against malicious software and viruses is backing up your data. A solid backup lets you restore your data to a very recent version. Your audit should ensure that you have data backup procedures in place, such as cloud backups, and that the backups happen.

Compliance

Not every company must worry about compliance, but financial and health-related services are subject to additional regulations. Let’s say that you are subject to HIPAA, the HITECH Act, or Fintech regulations. In that case, your audit should make a special point of checking that your IT systems remain in compliance.

Your Business IT Audit

An IT audit can range from cursory to a deep dive into your IT infrastructure. If you run a basic IT audit every few months, that one will likely prove a cursory audit.

If you only run one or two audits a year, though, you should make sure that it leans closer to the deep dive end of the spectrum. For many businesses, it’s the first and only time they become aware of a problem before disaster strikes.

Looking for more tips on managing a healthy IT infrastructure? Check out the posts over in our Technology section.

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