How Often Should You Conduct an Internal IT Compliance Audit?December 7, 2021
Your business, like virtually all businesses today, relies on technology to get the job done right. When your IT resources are running smoothly, you likely don’t give them a second thought. When there is a problem, however, it can be absolutely catastrophic, which is why it is so important to take a proactive approach when it comes to managing your technical systems.
One of the best ways to do this is by performing IT compliance audits on a regular basis. An IT compliance audit analyzes your current systems to ensure everything is being done in accordance to best practices or regulatory requirements put in place by external entities. The specific standards or regulations that apply will depend on a number of factors such as the size of your company, the industry you operate in, the type of technology, and more.
When to Schedule Internal Compliance Audits
Most major corporations perform an internal compliance audit at least once per year. Some will conduct an annual full audit, and then sporadic smaller audits on specific systems or departments. With small to mid-sized companies, scheduling these audits at different intervals may make more sense from a resource standpoint.
Some things to consider when deciding how often you need an internal IT compliance audit include:
Size of Your Company –
The larger your company, the more frequently you should have an audit conducted. The size applies not just to how many employees you have, or how much revenue is generated, but also the size of your IT systems. The more you rely on technology, the more frequently it should be audited.
Growth Rate of Your Organization –
The faster your company is growing, the more frequently you should be auditing your IT operations. Rapid growth means lots of change, which introduces lots of potential problems. Regular audits can help to identify them and address them before they do any damage.
Mergers & Acquisitions –
Any time an organization goes through a merger or acquisition, they should perform a full internal IT compliance audit. This should be done as soon as possible by an acquiring company up front as part of their due diligence to identify, assess, and mitigate any security risks in the acquisition target. Merging companies should do the same after the IT departments of the two (or more) companies are merged for the same reason. During a merger and acquisition process, the companies involved tend to be particularly vulnerable, and hackers are aware of this.
Specific Industry Requirements –
Some industries will require that you have audits performed on a regular basis. If you are in the banking, medical, military, or certain other industries it is critical that you know your regulatory obligations for IT audits.
For many small to mid-sized businesses, an audit like this only needs to be completed every few years, assuming there haven’t been any significant changes. For other companies, having them performed more than once a year may make sense. One of the best ways to determine this is to talk to experienced managed IT services providers about your unique situation. They will be able to help determine how often this type of audit should be performed.
How to Perform Your Internal Compliance Audits
Audits of this type can be a challenge for many companies. If you have your own IT staff running the audit, they are more likely to overlook potential issues for fear of making themselves look bad. For this reason, many organizations partner with managed IT services providers to come in and perform this type of work. These experienced professionals can create a custom audit checklist based on your specific situation so you can get honest and unbiased results.
GSDSolutions can help you determine what’s right for your needs through our professional managed IT services in the Bay Area and Central Valley. We’ll work with you to look at all the relevant factors and come up with a plan that fits your company and industry-specific requirements. Give us a call at (650) 282-7695, send us an email at mailto:info@GSDSolutions.io, or click the button below to set up a free, no obligation consultation on how to schedule your IT compliance audits to keep your company running smoothly.
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