Every business owner knows IT security is paramount. But – much like routine dental check-ups and property insurance renewals – checking your data security often makes its way to the very bottom of the life admin task list!
Fear not, the team at Xenex has got you covered. While we always recommend you partner with a qualified IT business to professionally audit your data, there are a few steps you can take yourself to figure out where you stand and what might need immediate attention.
Check out our 5-step guide to auditing your own IT set-up:
1. List all of your auditable data assets
A data asset would be classified as anything that stores or could impact your valuable business data. On-site servers, cloud-based drives, laptops, mobile devices, customer relationship management systems, operational software like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Accelo – those are all data assets. Try to list every data asset you use in your regular operations, from your most critical payroll system to your 5-year old spreadsheet collection.
2. Identify the threats you might face with these assets
Next, you’ll need to identify all the possible threats these assets might encompass. You’ll probably never get an exhaustive list, but if you cover the most likely possibilities you’ve already made a good headway. Some risk examples could be divide failure, hacking, file corruption, user error, server breakdown, cyber extortion and even physical threats like fire, storm damage and flooding.
3. Identify the steps you’ve taken to protect the assets you have
Working with that list of risks, try to identify any measures you’ve already taken to mitigate them. You may use a robust antivirus program, encrypt your software, backup your cloud drive regularly or pay for comprehensive cyber insurance. Don’t forget, if you work with big service providers like Google, their drive files are already protected by industry-standard encryption and they’re liable for data loss risk – not you. Even so, you should consider what your business protocol might be if one of those services was down for a day. How could you mitigate that risk?
4. Assign priorities
Next, we recommend you look at the possible risks and the existing mitigation steps you’ve taken and use that information to assign risk priorities to each scenario. If, for example, you have an on-site server that stores all of your important data and you haven’t backed it up – that’s a high risk and a priority!
5. Build a plan to address the highest-priority risks
Finally, with a more comprehensive view over all of your data assets and risks, you can start building a plan of action for a more secure business future. A good business-focused IT provider like Xenex can help you there – we specialise in IT strategy, planning, data recovery, business continuity, and cybersecurity risk analysis.
If this 5-step process seems a little overwhelming, don’t fret – the team at Xenex can do it all for you!
Check out our IT Audits & Reviews service here.