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So you’ve been tasked with determining whether or not your business is at risk of an IT security breach. The more research you do on IT audits, the more you learn about risk assessment, how to detect fraud, what types of hackers are out there, and whether or not your business is secure enough.
By the way, if your business is still waiting for its first IT audit and you don’t know what to do about it, go here:
An IT audit is a necessary process that should be conducted regularly to assess the effectiveness and security of your company’s information technology infrastructure.
Without IT management, you may not be aware of the vulnerabilities in your systems and could leave your company susceptible to a cyber-attack.
Redundant Data Duplication And Storage –
If you think you’re safe because you’ve got your data stored off-site on servers owned and operated by a third party, think again.
You can’t just leave essential things like that to someone else – you need to go out of your way to protect yourself from liability.
So, if someone gets access to those servers, they now have access to all the data you were storing on them, which in turn makes your company responsible for getting that data back. It could be a nightmare.
Take a look at your corporate policies and find out if there are any redundancies in data storage or duplicate data sets that exist for no reason.
If so, get rid of all excess data stores, and make sure all your data backups go to a single location.
Theft of Personally Identifiable Information –
PII is considered PII, sensitive information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and corporate secrets. If someone got their hands on it, things could get terrible for you.
Do you need to keep all that stuff? And if so, how do you know where the data is at any given time? Does everyone who needs it have access to it?
If not, make sure your staff knows they can’t share PII without prior approval from a manager.
Unencrypted Backups –
Here’s another nightmare waiting to happen. If you’re not encrypting your backups with disk-level tools, you’re just asking for trouble.
Your backup tapes are only as secure as the storage facility they’re sitting in, so if you think it’s safe to leave them sitting on the loading dock, you’re wrong.
In addition to encrypting your backups, make sure they’re secure from other types of theft as well – storing them in a fireproof safe would be a good idea.
No Visibility Into Network Activity –
If you can’t tell what’s going on over your network, how do you know when things go wrong? Whether it’s a malicious attack or simply a misconfiguration somewhere along the line, you need to have some monitoring in place to make sure everything’s running smoothly.
When your IT support team goes out on an audit, they’ll keep network activity top of mind and monitor it closely so there won’t be any surprises later down the road when someone’s gone rogue.
No Separation of Duties –
You should keep certain divisions within your company separate from each other, usually for reasons related to fraud and embezzlement.
While most companies have a general idea of what this means, it’s important to note that separation of duties is more than just who does what in your IT department.
It extends into areas like financials and human resources as well. So how do you know where the lines are?
You don’t have to be an expert on this, but make sure everyone involved knows what they’re doing. If not, don’t be afraid to consult your IT team for help.
No Disaster Recovery Plan –
You can plan and design all you want, but if you don’t have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place, everything else will be useless when something terrible happens.
How will you recover? Where are your backup tapes located? Do you have the capability to spin them up in another location if need be?
Just having an IT disaster recovery plan isn’t enough; it has to work. Ask yourself these questions so you know how your team is supposed to react in case of a crisis and if they’re capable of carrying out that plan.
Out-of-Date Documentation –
One of the most common problems companies have with their IT audits is outdated documentation.
It would help if you had a solid grasp of what’s going on in every part of your system so you can spot issues and quickly resolve them before they become a significant headache.
It is why it’s crucial to have proper documentation in the first place, so you know what needs to be done to fix any problems that are found.
If something’s missing, now is the time to update your team so all future audits are accurate and successful.
Unauthorized Users –
Sometimes people think they can get away with things just by being sneaky about it.
Back in the day, it might have been possible for an unauthorized person to hop onto your network and steal information just because they kept changing their IP address.
If someone were to try and authenticate their access improperly, they’d be stopped in the next step.
No Security Standards –
What is your organization currently doing to protect itself? It seems like a relatively straightforward question, but unfortunately, you might find the answer isn’t quite so simple.
From a quick look at your IT audit results, you can tell if there are any security vulnerabilities, but how do you know if they’re adequately addressed?
If someone is running an unauthorized program or has poor network security practices in general, this could make your company vulnerable to hackers.
If it’s not addressed, you could face fines or more severe issues down the road.
Your company needs to know how vulnerable it is, and an IT audit will help determine this. Contact us if you think that the risk assessment process would benefit from outside assistance!
We have years of experience in helping businesses identify their vulnerabilities to create a plan to protect themselves against fraud or other security breaches.
Please don’t wait until something terrible happens–get ahead of the game by contacting the House of IT today!