The Importance of IT Audits

We audit our bank accounts, our children’s homework, the people we work with and the companies who we interact with, but how often are you auditing the technology that is keeping your business operational? Making sure our businesses are running at peak efficiencies is what we go to work every day to do, but some of these things are being left unchecked and can leave you in a very vulnerable position.

My work requires me to meet and talk with people from every walk of life and every industry you can think of. All seemingly hardworking individuals who are concerned about their business operations, how to cut costs, improve processes and their customer’s experience. What they tend to overlook are the technologies that help them achieve their goals.

Technology is often the over looked stepchild of the small business operation. If it is working then what is the problem? Some owners tend to go about their days mindless of IT if there aren’t any nagging issues. Today nearly everything we are interacting with is connecting to the internet or your internal network, and if you are not performing regular audits of your environment you may have something that catches you by surprise and negatively impacts your operations.

Devices such as firewalls get put in place as a requirement for security but often get overlooked and are left sitting in place for years until something breaks. More often than not, when I am speaking with a business owner they do not know what they have or if it is still “good”. Many times, I find equipment in place that is end of life or end of support, meaning that its primary function of providing first line security is compromised due to a lack of updates and patches being released for it.

Server hardware warranties, software version updates and UPS system batteries are other aspects of technology that regular audits can keep in check. When was the last time you looked at your backup power source for warning lights? If the batteries in your UPS have degraded over time and you haven’t had a power event recently then you may not be aware. If the batteries are unable to maintain the load of the connected devices during an outage you risk permanent damage to your server, switch, router or firewall. If you don’t have an individual or company properly managing your environment then these things may get missed.

Anyone who manages IT environments will tell you that the tracking of data and the documentation of every aspect of technology that supports your business is critical to its uptime and your environment’s resilience. Don’t be the owner who sits idle because everything ”just works”. Make regular IT audits a part of your business processes today.