What is an IT audit and why do you need one?

What is an IT audit and why do you need one?

The word “audit” is often scary and intimidating, but it actually offers plenty of business benefits, especially when it comes to IT.

There are a few types of IT audits to choose from. There are system audits that check if systems are efficient and adequately controlled, as well as system development audits that ensure new systems align with your business objectives. No matter what kind of IT audit your business performs, there should always be some sort of cybersecurity component. But what’s involved in these processes?

The goal of an IT audit is to analyze and catalog a wide range of IT systems, processes, management practices, and communications. It includes overseeing software applications, operating systems, security systems, and client-server networks and systems. In a nutshell, audits are designed to ensure that your IT systems are error- and risk-free.

The importance of an IT audit

Apart from providing insight into your IT policies and procedures, an audit is critical for ensuring that your business assets have been properly secured and safeguarded from threats. It is also fundamental to verifying that your risk mitigation controls are running smoothly and that all your processes are compliant with current laws and regulations.

Ideally, a business will conduct regularly scheduled IT audits to ensure that nothing dangerous or problematic has crept up as hardware and software was changed, updated, and removed over time. It can be a time consuming task, which is why so many businesses turn to managed IT services providers (MSPs) for help.

Advantages of IT auditing

It’s cost-effective

Relying on in-house IT professionals to audit your systems can be ineffective, not to mention expensive. Whether that’s because your in-house technician is biased about certain solutions or because the audit takes time away from day-to-day IT support, bringing in a third-party provider usually makes more sense. The service fee you pay will be significantly lower than a full-time salary. Plus, the audit will tell you exactly what services you need and which ones your company can do without.

It provides insight and improves efficiency

Regular IT audits reveal issues that may have gone unnoticed as various solutions were altered or updated. For example, they could identify outdated systems that need to be upgraded or replaced. By continuously and objectively reviewing your overall IT framework, you'll be able to proactively fix issues and identify opportunities to streamline processes.

It ensures regulatory compliance

Regular IT audits also ensure compliance with ever-evolving laws and regulations. The healthcare industry has especially complicated and strict policies regarding the safety of protected health information (PHI). Regardless of the industry you’re in, IT audits provide comprehensive reports and guidelines regarding which security measures and policies are required to avoid breaking the law. Acting on the results and recommendations of this process will help you avoid costly fines and the reputational damage that often results from failing to protect sensitive information.

It identifies customer experience problems

Finally, an IT audit will help you identify customer pain points. For instance, you might discover an email account that you thought had been deleted is still receiving messages from clients. Customers rely on technology for the majority of their interactions with your company and giving them a secure and seamless experience will pay off with increased loyalty and decreased chances of a data breach.

If you truly want to improve your business, make sure to stay away from inefficient processes and ineffective IT solutions. Contact Athens Micro today about conducting a comprehensive IT audit. It will change how you do business.

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