Your technology is central to the operational effectiveness of your business. But risk comes with these increasingly complex IT systems. It’s vital that the ongoing operations of your tech plus the data it handles and stores are secure, protected, and well-maintained.
IT audit services aim to detect and prevent potential flaws from impacting your services as well as your business’s integrity and reputation. Ever-changing threats in the form of hacking, data breaches, malware, viruses, hardware and software failure, and more are a clear and present danger.
Find out more about IT audits here, including how they work, why you need them, and when they should happen.
What is an IT audit?
IT audit services include:
- Assessment of all your IT-related risks
- Regulatory compliance assessment
- Reviews of your information security and management policies
- Audits of your systems, processes and protection measures
- Checks of your software and applications
- Thorough checks of your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, including pre- and post-implementation
As you can see, there are quite a few strands to an in-depth IT audit. Approach a reputable consultancy and they will include a comprehensive consultation on the types of audits and reviews that are right and necessary for your business.
At the end of the audit period, you will be presented with a thorough analysis of any gaps you need to fill as well as the best, safest ways of doing so. Advice will be given regarding current threats to systems and data and what you can do while not straying away from your strategic goals. You can then move forward with your operations, confident in the knowledge your IT is as safe and secure as possible.
And why is an IT audit needed?
We’ve touched on the dangers that come with operating IT systems. Let’s look in more detail at all the reasons IT audits are essential for a business.
1. To identify all possible IT-related risks
You must have a detailed understanding of all risks to data assets, technology and IT-related operational processes. This enables you to then minimize these risks as far as possible by putting further controls in place. Some risks are unavoidable, but they can still be softened if you have put appropriate contingency plans in place. In essence, an IT audit ensures that you can plan for every eventuality and safeguard your business.
The leaking of confidential information is one of the greatest risks businesses currently face. By taking a look at where there are potential holes in your handling of this data, you can step up your security measures as necessary.
2. To ensure regulatory compliance
It goes without saying that you must comply with all laws and regulations in your area of business and country of operation. Even an inadvertent, seemingly minor incident of non-compliance can land you in enormous trouble with huge legal and financial repercussions.
Stay on the right side of all regulatory bodies by completing a comprehensive and regular IT audit. Keep abreast of changes in regulations and ensure that new rules are adhered to immediately. A risk advisory service is essential in this respect, since it can perform the arduous task of keeping track of changes for you, alerting you whenever necessary.
3. To manage IT assets and processes with ease
The management of risk associated with IT assets and processes is a specialist task. If you are just starting out in business or nurturing a relatively new company, you will want to focus your efforts elsewhere. Why not focus on the skills you need to grow your business further?
Even in more established companies, the task of technology risk management should be handled by a specialist team. It is a complex area to navigate.
Choosing the right advisory service will mean this important aspect of your business will be in safe hands, freeing you and your team to concentrate on your own areas of expertise. It’s a stress-free solution.
Tips for choosing the right advisory service for your IT auditing needs
As explained, it is crucial that you get good advice from knowledgeable sources at all the right times. So, how do you make this happen? Here are some tips to help you pick the right team of people.
- Experience is key. Look for an established company with a proven track record. Their tools and techniques will be well developed. They will have a comprehensive understanding of common problems and they will have gained experience of more unusual issues along the way. This puts them in the right place to help you.
- A large organization is recommended, too. Within the company, a larger business is more likely to have experts in various subjects, even niche domains. This means you get exactly the help you need from the people that know best.
So, when is the right time to complete an IT audit?
Experienced auditors and IT consultants will always tell you the best time to complete an IT audit is as soon as possible. That means that in an ideal world, you should be conducting audits on systems before they’ve even been implemented.
Using the expertise of skilled professionals means you benefit from their experience and foresight. Many problems are avoidable and can prove costly, so it pays to check whether you are going down the right path with your IT systems and data management.
If you already have your systems up and running, then now is the time to check that they are as effective, efficient and safe as possible. A thorough analysis is recommended, followed by regular updates.
Plan to regularly conduct IT audits. Keeping a watchful eye on the latest threats and issues is always wise. A good consultancy can set out a roadmap for you, setting out which audits need to be done and when.
To summarise, IT audits are vital when it comes to keeping your business running smoothly, safely and within regulations. Use the expertise of a specialist technology advisory service as soon as possible and regularly thereafter. This will mean you are ahead of the game as far as possible when it comes to IT-related issues and risks, smoothing out the path in front of you for future success.