Threats to a business such as natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and fires can put every business’ data and assets at risk. Power outages alone can cause serious data loss, and in the worst cases, a power surge can ruin a database or server. Even if Mother Nature is kind, others may not be. Data threats and cyberattacks have grown increasingly common in recent years, especially during the pandemic. In a weakened economy the threat of fraud can also rise too. Recently, there was a fraud case involving a Melbourne accountant who defrauded her employee of more than half a million dollars by creating fake invoices and then pocketing the money.
If you think your business isn’t at risk, think again.
The best way to reduce your risk of data loss, protect your digital and financial assets and prepare your business for the future is to start by doing a comprehensive IT audit – scaled for your business and risk profile.
What is an IT audit and why do I need one?
An IT audit is an examination and evaluation of your company’s information technology systems and infrastructure, as well as your security policies and operations.
If you hire an external IT auditor, that person or team looks at whether there are any problems, gaps or inefficiencies in your IT systems – in other words, whether you’re at risk of insider threats, security breaches, or cyberattacks that could put your company’s security, reputation and financial well-being on the line.
Your in-house information systems team can and should do regular internal security audits themselves, but hiring an external IT auditor allows you to gain the knowledge and expertise of an unbiased, third-party professional who can alert you to additional issues and provide insight about potential loopholes in your infrastructure.
The primary elements of an IT audit include:
- A review of your entire IT infrastructure, including the processes designed to protect your company’s most important data
- An assessment of potential risks to your most important assets, including personal, financial and proprietary data
- An exploration of inefficiencies in your IT systems and management, including whether or not you have appropriate data backup systems in place
- An evaluation of whether or not you are in compliance with IT-specific laws, policies and standards (this is especially important in retail, finance, healthcare and government)
- A complete report of any problems, along with recommendations for solutions.
Ultimately, an audit can save your organisation money – not to mention the possibility of saving your brand and possibly even your entire company – by uncovering security and compliance issues that could lead to fines.
How often should I do an IT audit?
We recommend that at the very least, you should conduct some kind of an annual audit at your company. Many large in-house IT departments audit their systems more regularly to help identify areas of weakness, get the proper security patches in place and keep hackers at bay.
However, conducting an external IT audit from time to time can help you and your team establish a security baseline so you can see where you are, how you’re progressing over time and which areas still need improvement.
Looking at the bigger IT picture
Ideally, an experienced IT auditor will go beyond just examining potential security risks and help you explore how your IT systems are working for your company and whether or not they can support your business goals and future growth.
For example, they can help you examine whether you’re currently investing in the right system or not. If there’s a problem with the system – or if it’s not robust enough to handle your current and future needs – your IT auditor may recommend implementing a more efficient, effective information system.
We can help
At Solutions+, we’ve helped Australian companies in a wide range of industries complete audits of their IT systems, to protect their businesses’ most important information and assets. Our flexible and scalable approach ensures that we tailor the audit to your risk profile. If you need assistance in completing an external IT audit at your company, contact us today.