How secure is your business’ network? Are you taking the proper precautions to ensure that your business and its customers are protected? Without taking these precautions, you and your business might be at risk.
Before you can take all of the steps necessary for keeping everyone safe, you must first know what those steps are. That is why it is so important to have an IT audit checklist handy. Knowing all the things to look for when it comes to a secure network is vital.
For a full IT audit checklist, continue reading below!
The Importance of an IT Audit
These audits are so important because if you fail them, it is an indication that something in your network is not secure. If your audit comes back showing that you failed a certain portion of it, then these problems need to be fixed immediately. Failure to do so can result in losing your business entirely.
For example, if there were to be a data breach and customer information were released, you are looking at some major problems including lawsuits. You are also putting your business at risk for a damaged reputation. This breach is detrimental to your business, but it is something that is avoidable.
1. Know the Risks
First, know your risks. Begin your auditing process by determining what your specific risks are. Your risks might be something specific like a risk in threat intelligence, or as broad as a risk in IT.
Know your risks and establish a starting point for the process. Every company is different and has different risks depending on what type of company they are. Some common risks include the following:
- Security and Data Loss Issues
- Confidentiality Issues
- Data Management Issues
- Identity Theft
- Loss of Data
These are some of the most common risks associated with businesses, but these are not the only risks. Know which ones pertain to your business.
2. Know What to Audit
Now that you know your risks, pinpoint exactly what you want to audit. What are the processes, policies, or infrastructures that you want to audit? Consider what your specific risks are and use those to determine exactly what you want to audit.
Where do these risk lie, in which department or specific area of your business? This area is where you will want to put the most focus.
3. Know What You Want From It
Before starting your audit, you should know what you want from it. What do you expect to get out of your audit? What are you looking for?
Have a list of goals that you would like to meet for your weaknesses and strengths. For example, if you know that your mobile strategies are not your strongest point, how would you improve on them?
4. Limit Audit to a Single Application
Completing an audit might become overwhelming quite quickly. To prevent this from happening, limit your audit to a single application, specific time period, or system. If you feel that other areas need an audit as well, then it is best to do them separately.
This process keeps you from missing aspects of the audit and keeps you from making mistakes. Create an outline of systems, employees, functions, policies, and anything else that’s relevant to what you want to audit.
5. Have a Plan Before the Audit
Always have a pre-auditing plan in place. This step helps the audit process and strategy run as smoothly as possible. Conduct a risk assessment, which helps you and your employees better understand the risks relevant to your business.
Knowing which risks are most crucial to your business helps create a more effective audit plan. During your risk assessment and audit planning, look for issues within the following:
Your existing information security strategy should be comprehensive. It should include training and awareness, detection and response, vulnerability assessment, reporting controls, and more. There should also be mechanisms in place that work to identify any issues or threats giving you enough time to correct them.
For your mobile strategies, there should be a lost or stolen device management system in place. There should also be intrusion detection and response, risk identification, and more. If an attack on a mobile device occurs, you should know about it immediately, and you should know how to respond.
Just as with your mobile strategies, there should be Cloud strategies in place as well. Have the proper user authentication and protocols in place for when accessing the Cloud. Make sure you have Cloud policies that coincide with IT policies and legal policies.
How are your program’s risks assessed? Ensure that all protocols for programs are followed properly. Within some programs, there are certain risks involved with partnerships, data migration, and third parties.
It Risks Management
Your IT risks assessment process should be effective. This process should include documented IT processes for project approvals, capital allocations, and more. It should have the ability to identify and manage risks.
Social Media Risk Management
Do you and your employees understand social media risks and how to handle them? There should be guidelines for the use of social media within your business, and employees should know them well.
6. Collect Your Data
The last thing you will want to do is collect all of your data. Once you do so, you will be able to turn it into visible insights to better protect your business. Some data to consider collecting are as follows:
- Methods to perform the evaluation
- Department policies, standards, and guidelines
- Individuals for interviews
- Compliance requirements
All of this data and other important data is what will help you understand where your weaknesses lie.
Keep This IT Audit Checklist Handy!
When planning on conducting an audit for your business, keep this IT audit checklist close by. For help with all your IT needs, do not hesitate to give us a call.
We offer all of the IT services your business needs!
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.