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  • Why Small Businesses Need IT Audits

    January 23, 2023

    Businesses are familiar with financial audits. They understand that these audits ensure that accounting principles are being applied correctly. Auditors identify errors in financial statements and assess a company’s financial health.

    IT audits serve the same function as financial audits but for technology. They evaluate systems and processes to ensure they comply with best practices. Auditors will identify risks and suggest ways to mitigate those risks. They will check that your organisation complies with applicable laws or standards. Finally, they will point out inefficiencies to be addressed. If they find errors, they will recommend corrections.

    IT Audits

    In many ways, financial and IT audits go hand-in-hand. Since most small business owners use some form of accounting system, IT audit failures could impact financial audits. For example, weak user authentication and authorisation can place financial data at risk. That’s why IT auditing is so important for your small business.

    Evaluate Systems

    Technology has become such a part of any small business that it’s often taken for granted. The servers, workstations, and laptops are expected to work with little to no maintenance. An IT audit will look at the internal workings of your business systems to determine what equipment may need to be replaced and what devices are reaching their end of life. 

    With this information, a business owner can prioritise purchases and use the information for budgeting. Auditors may indicate if software updates have been applied or suggest replacing software that poses a security risk. 

    Assess Risks

    IT security goes beyond cybersecurity. It also includes physical security regarding who has access to the physical equipment. It doesn’t matter how much security you place in the software if you allow internal and external personnel access to workstations or data servers. Without physical access controls, bad actors can walk away with valuable information.

    Regular audits can mitigate cybersecurity risks. Small businesses often lack dedicated IT staff, making it challenging to stay on top of the latest threats. The audit process can ensure that internal controls are in place to restrict access to a least-privilege model and recommend solutions to address the latest threats.

    Ensure Compliance

    Depending on the industry, companies may have data security standards to meet. They may need to secure personal identifiable information or encrypt payment information. IT audits include a thorough examination of compliance requirements. 

    If auditing finds errors, they can be corrected before an error results in a fine or breach. Auditing can also ensure that all record-keeping aligns with best practices and applicable standards. 

    Identify Inefficiencies

    As a business grows, many of its processes may have operating inefficiencies. A company’s financial statements may take too long to produce. Accounting processes may be unnecessarily complicated or fail to address the latest security standards. An external audit can help identify these inefficiencies.

    Small businesses may not use efficient backup processes, making it more time-consuming than necessary. When IT processes become too cumbersome, they are often circumvented, which can increase the risk of stolen information such as financial statements.

    IT Auditing and Its Importance for Your Small Business

    Audits provide valuable information for small business owners to manage their companies. They help companies manage their business’s finances and improve operational efficiency. IT audits give business owners a better understanding of their infrastructure. 

    At TechSeek, we understand the unique needs of the small business owner, and our IT staff is available to help ensure your IT systems conform to industry standards and compliance regulations. If you need an IT audit, contact us to schedule an appointment.