Cannabis dispensaries must constantly assess their capability to protect information assets due to the rapid growth of technology and the need to be compliant. An IT audit should be carried out to comprehend the main technological risks and how your dispensary is minimizing and controlling such risks. A dispensaries’ internal controls, IT risk management, and efficacy and efficiency of IT operations are the key points of an IT audit. Additionally, an IT audit reveals the availability, compliance, integrity, and confidentiality of the information that belongs to your business.
An IT audit may guarantee that the IT team has the resources required to protect networks and data, and the audit itself can operate as a benchmark to make sure that the IT department is operating in accordance with corporate best practices. Your dispensary will be able to make sure it’s doing everything possible to protect its data and application processing capabilities by having a rulebook or checklist to refer to. An IT audit will assist your business in achieving its objectives and finding development possibilities by identifying risks and any required improvements.
What Is An IT Audit Checklist?
A detailed list of your dispensary’s IT controls, policies, and procedures, along with a risk assessment and its effect on operations, makes up an IT audit checklist. It also establishes a timeline for the risk assessments.
This checklist provides you and your stakeholders with the assurance that the operation and effectiveness of your IT policies and processes, as well as the regular data integrity of your company’s IT infrastructure, are being conducted.
Cure8 experts can help you in creating a dispensary IT audit checklist for your business. You can contact us now.
IT Audit Checklist Every Dispensary Needs
When thinking about almost any IT framework, security deserves a specific and noteworthy mention. For this reason, you must create a highly effective security configuration. One is that you need to confirm that your antivirus defense system is operational and routinely updated. It would be beneficial if you thought about setting up a reliable antivirus management program to help you out in this regard. The system’s firewall should also be configured properly across the entire network to scan for potential cyberattacks and prohibit data flow from useless protocols.
You should also weigh in on the encryption of your drives and give your staff basic IT security instructions and guidance. This covers several practices including creating strong and unpredictable passwords, changing passwords frequently, being cautious when opening email attachments, logging out of the computer when finished using it in a public place, etc.
Even in an IT environment, the need for physical security cannot be overstated, thus you should make sure that only staff has access to private areas. Although surveillance cameras will be available in your dispensary as per mandate from the cannabis authorities, so this takes care of the physical security part. Again, customized access cards can be used to control access.
Test The Cloud
Perhaps you believe that the cloud is completely secure. Regrettably, that’s not the case. Even when you store your data in the cloud, the risk of data breaches still exists.
Because of this, a portion of cloud security should be included in your audit checklist. Cloud computing isn’t necessarily secure; data breaches and attacks can happen. This frequently occurs when your business and the cloud service provider are unable to establish a security policy.
Have your IT department audit and test your cloud provider at least once every year to prevent data breaches. A catastrophe plan for your business should be prepared in the event of a data breach. Find out if the strategy genuinely aids in your company’s recovery from a security compromise by simulating a disaster.
You should carefully examine how frequently (and how) your business backs up important data as part of your checklist. Your business continuity and disaster recovery plan should include data backups. This is important as the cannabis industry has to be compliant at all times and keep data backups for a certain time as mandated by the authorities. At the bare minimum, you should determine:
- The backup method last verified
- Time taken for the data backup system to recover
- How long your dispensary could afford to be down
- The financial cost of prolonged downtime
A list of your hardware should be included in your audit checklist as well, including information on each product’s age and general performance requirements. Generally speaking, you should think about changing IT hardware every three to five years.
Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery Blueprint
The cost of a system outage must be taken into account when creating a plan for business continuity and disaster recovery. Of course, you would want to consider how well your dispensary can withstand the pressure brought on by the loss. In this regard, you should assess your recovery time objective, which specifies the longest a certain IT asset may be unavailable.
Yet again, you must consider the processes and measures required to avoid IT system outages and include risk-reduction techniques. For example, implementing an automatic fail-over system or setting up multiple computers and servers can assist prevent situations that could adversely impact business continuity.
The Final Word
Having an IT audit checklist can be complex, but the benefits far outweigh the cons for your business. The fact that your data is secure, your policies and procedures are updated, and your dispensary complies with legislation ought to be sufficient motivation. Cure8 experts can help you create an IT audit checklist for your dispensary right now.