(TACT) Did you realize a startup can increase their revenue by nearly 35 percent when relying on a digital-first strategy? The main component of a successful digital-first business strategy is having the latest and most innovative technology in place. The more technology a business has in place, the higher the need for professional IT support will become.
Attempting to manage a business network and the software being used on it can be extremely difficult. Trying to handle this complex work on your own will lead to a number of crucial mistakes being made. Instead of putting your business in jeopardy, you need to either hire a third-party IT provider or put together an IT team of your own.
One of the most important jobs an IT professional can perform is an IT audit. These audits can provide a business with lots of useful information. This information can then be used to optimize and secure the technology a business has in place.
The following are some helpful tips on how to conduct a successful IT audit.
1. Assessing the Scope of the IT Audit
Some business owners think that an IT audit is something they can perform right away. The reality is that a successful audit will have to be planned out in detail. Failing to have a plan in place may lead to a variety of mistakes.
The first thing you need to do before having an IT audit conducted is to define the scope of this project. Often times, business owners will need to test things like their hardware and software components, as well as the overall security of their network.
By making a list of what needs to be tested, a business owner can avoid missing key parts of the technology they have in place. If you are confused about what should be covered during this process, be sure to check out this checklist.
2. Be Sure to Check Out Each Employee Workstation
The main concern you should have when conducting an IT audit is being thorough. While checking your network and servers is a must, you need to expand the scope of the audit to truly assess the condition of the technology you have in place. This is why checking all of the employee workstations you have is vital.
The desktops and laptops your employees can be exposed to a number of hazards while running online. These hazards include things like Trojan viruses, malware, and various other viruses. By allowing IT professionals to check out these workstations, you can find cyber-security threats before they have a chance to do a lot of damage.
If threats are found on an employee’s workstation, be sure to treat this as a teachable moment. Informing your employee about the importance of changing their password and avoiding attachments in emails from unknown senders is important. By providing your team with this information, you can avoid future problems.
3. How Safe Are Your Servers?
A business computer network has a number of different components. One of the most vital parts of a company’s technology setup is their servers. Whether you are using on-site or cloud-based servers, allowing IT professionals to audit them is vital.
During a server audit, an IT professional will check things like whether or not static IP addresses are in place and the level of patching frequency. Making sure that all of the information contained on the servers is being backed up regularly is also important.
Ransomware attacks are far more common than most business owners realize. If you are confronted with one of these attacks, having a comprehensive data backup is a must. This backup will allow you to wipe the network clean and repopulate it with your data in no time.
4. Checking Out Network Equipment
Having a strong and reliable Internet connection is something most business owners view as a necessity. The equipment used to connect your computers to the Internet will also need to be checked out during an IT audit.
Things like your routers, firewalls and hubs can be compromised over time if they are not updated. An IT professional will be able to inspect these components and assess how well they are operating.
In some instances, the professionals you have performing an IT audit may suggest you update some of the network components. Instead of ignoring this request, you need to take it seriously. The money spent on new network components will be worth it considering the results they can produce.
5. Penetration Testing is a Must
Knowing that your business network is safe and secure can give you peace of mind. The only way to ensure there are no vulnerabilities in your network is by having a penetration test performed.
These tests are conducted by IT professionals to find holes in your existing network security. Having these tests run on a regular basis can help you avoid dealing with a network hack.
Once these tests have are complete, an IT professional will be able to offer you a breakdown of what problems are present. Allowing these professionals to fix the problems can help you keep your data safe.
Finding the Right IT Professionals is Vital
The key component of a successful IT audit is getting professional help. Finding an IT company with a great deal of experience can help you avoid mistakes during this process.
Are you looking for more technology-related information? If so, check out our article on how to use online reviews to choose the best business technology.