Revitalise Your Systems: The Ultimate IT Audit Checklist

David West 11-Jun-2020 00:00:00
ITaudit

From productivity issues such as downtime to more serious consequences such as data loss, it’s safe to say that IT issues negatively affect every area of your business.

So, how can you mitigate these IT issues and ensure that your business operations are not disrupted? You can create an internal audit checklist for your IT department to help guide them through conducting an IT audit.

An IT audit is an essential element of your IT toolkit, laying the foundations for technical success. IT audits help to ensure that you prevent avoidable technical issues and have the correct security tools in place to protect your network! Having an IT audit checklist helps to guide the assessment of your infrastructure and security and ensure that you have covered all your bases.

Let’s take a closer look at the main points to consider when putting together your IT audit checklist.

What is an IT security audit?

An audit is an analysis of what your company is currently doing with IT processes and the weaknesses and strengths that this current procedure may have. Creating an internal IT audit checklist for your IT department helps you to more effectively unpick your IT setup to ensure that it aligns with broader business goals and allows you to identify development opportunities. It will also give you a guideline to follow to ensure you’re doing everything possible to protect your IT software by identifying risks and necessary updates.

Why is an IT audit important?

With an IT infrastructure security audit, you can also identify areas where you may need to place more budget, but equally, areas that you can cut back. You’ll ensure that your IT team has the necessary tools to protect your data and networks, and the audit itself can serve as a point of reference for employees to ensure that they are working in line with company best practices. It’s a multi-serving tool for the whole business!

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What to include in an IT audit checklist

Sadly, there’s no concrete IT infrastructure audit checklist template you can copy and paste, as the needs will differ from business to business. But we’ve put together an idea of what you should include to get your started.

Checklist Item #1 Compliance

When conducting your IT infrastructure audit, you’ll need to ensure that you’re operating in line with current laws and legislation. All relevant regulations must be adhered to, depending on business and industry. The Guide to Data Protection (GDPR) is the most common to be aware of. You can understand more about GDPR here.

Checklist Item #2 Data security

Data security is perhaps the most significant area to include in your IT audit. You should:

  • Analyse your firewall’s integrity
  • Examine the performance of software holding private data
  • Identify access points for unauthorised users
  • Assess the security of wireless networks
  • Ensure that current systems are working efficiently to identify risks and action them
  • Assess sensitive data storage
  • Make sure that company best practices are well-documented
  • Ensure restricted access to relevant websites is firmly established
  • Dedicate a person or team who will be responsible for IT audits
  • Determine whether there is enough training in place for employees

Checklist Item #3 Hardware

Equally as important as software, you’ll need to ensure that your hardware is running correctly and protected. An IT audit can serve as a formalised inventory, where you can systematically assess the age and performance of your current hardware and work out which pieces may need to be replaced.

Checklist Item #4 Back-ups

Global cybercrime is expected to grow 15% per year over the next three years, posing a serious threat for all businesses. If you fall victim to a cyber-attack, you’ll need to ensure you have a robust backup system. In your IT audit, you need to consider the following:

  • An appropriate frequency to back up your systems
  • Assess how long your business can continue without access to data
  • Examine the financial implications of downtime
  • Assess the length of time it takes your backup system to recover
  • Explore options such as having a backup of data offsite

Checklist Item #5 Business continuity

Your IT audit should identify any potential problems inhibiting business operations and provide a clear method to follow to address these issues as they arise. It’s essential to make sure that your business has procedures in place to resume normal business operations quickly after an attack on your system or if, for any reason, you’re not able to get into the office. All employees should be aware of this business continuity plan and know where to access it.

Checklist Item #6 Cloud and mobile

Given the current circumstances, where most of the UK workforce is working from home, it’s more important than ever to incorporate cloud computing and mobile technology into your IT audit. Ensure that you include reflections on the following:

  • Procedures around stolen mobile devices and subsequent loss of data
  • Providing guidelines on storing data in the cloud and on mobile devices, and the risks associated with this
  • Updating your main business policies around cloud computing
  • Setting up multi-factor authentication for passwords on all devices
  • How your business will manage security and access with a team using the cloud

Beginning Your IT Audit Checklist

So, now you know the main areas to include in an IT audit checklist - you’re ready to get started on your own! It’s vital that you regularly update your IT audit checklist to ensure it doesn’t overtake or lag behind current policies. For an IT audit checklist to function, it needs to reflect current procedures. We, therefore, recommend conducting one every quarter.

Feel as though you need help putting together your checklist? Or do you need IT infrastructure audit assistance? Then, get in touch with a member of the Netitude team; we’re more than happy to help!

 

Have a query? Contact the team today!