How to undertake an IT Network Audit

it-network

As your business grows, so too will the demands placed upon systems and databases. Your teams will grow, technology will evolve, and your capabilities will develop as your client base expands.

So, at some point, your existing network is going to need to evolve too.

An IT network audit helps you understand the current state of your network. It enables you to identify any issues or errors, and provide you with a roadmap of how to address these.

Much like a regular business audit, an IT network audit allows you to get a view of your network as a whole. Essentially, it’s a health check for your network to determine whether your infrastructure still meets the needs of your business.

And, if your current network is in need of evolution, your audit will also deliver the steps to take to successfully achieve this.

What an IT network audit achieves

By performing an IT network audit, you’re able to:

  • Map out your network and determine your network architecture. From here, you’ll be able to drill down further and identify all services provided at each network location.
  • Take stock of all your hardware, software, systems and processes, allowing you to build a detailed inventory. You’ll be able to identify all your physical and virtual assets, and learn just how many devices you have connected to your network.
  • Identify outdated or redundant technology. You’ll be able determine which devices need upgrading, or where it’s time to phase out and say goodbye to old equipment.
  • Provide your business with insight into the quality, efficacy, and robustness of your network control & management practices and associated services—particularly with your security needs. It can help you identify potential vulnerabilities or sensitivities in your network, and provide a roadmap for planning your network security upgrades.

How to undertake an IT network audit

These are the key steps to take when performing an IT network audit.

Laying the groundwork

It should go without saying, but you should start by recording the process of your audit. Note all the details involved: the plan, the methods, and the timelines. This allows you to create a clear document of your audit for future reference. Use this information to define the scope of what you’re trying to achieve—and, importantly, what you’re not going to audit—and ensure you have the tools necessary to undertake the audit.

Reviewing your current IT architecture

Now it’s time to generate a picture of your existing system. Review your current network and systems, review all user logs, histories, training logs, and operational processes, to map out the full extent of your network, and what’s attached to it.

Security testing

Once you’ve mapped everything out, it’s time to assess for potential threats. You can never be too thorough in this step.

Check your security software for the latest patches and updates. Ensure your network penetration testing and processes are up to date, and thoroughly check your antivirus software and firewall for vulnerabilities. Assess your wireless network access and security.

Network testing

Use your identified security risks to determine any potential access points in your network. Ensure all sensitive information and data is stored safely and securely, both on your network and in a separate external repository. Where required, provide encryption for all company devices, both on and off the network.

Reporting and recommendations

Once you’ve audited and tested your network aspects, it’s crucial to create a report based on what’s been found. Identify all areas where your network is potentially compromised or could be improved, and where it’s running as it should be.

Then you can create specific, actionable recommendations for network troubleshooting and improvement.

And there you have it: you’ve completed your audit, and you’ve created a series of actions that can improve how your network and IT security functions, and evolve your network. Now it’s just up to your business as to how and when you implement these recommendations.

While it is possible to undertake this all yourself, we recommend engaging the services of an experienced IT consultant to guide you through the process.

At InfoTech Solutions, we’ve been providing specialist IT consulting and audit services to Brisbane for over 20 years. Get in touch with us today to discuss how a network audit can help improve your business, and ensure your systems and data remain efficient, safe, and secure.

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