Information technology audits!
When people feel anxious whenever they hear this audit stuff, they are either confused, scared or give a bland look. But yes, you need auditing. Why do you need IT Auditing? Well, your IT department is not designed to get you into trouble.
It is for you to assess your current information technology (IT) control measures and identify ways to add or improve them. In the end, IT audits aim to make your business more secure, bring in more transparency, and, yes, make the entire department organised.
Computers have also become very prevalent in every sector of our lives in a digitalised world. Consequently, cybercrime has increased dramatically. Even more surprising is that 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses?
An IT audit can offer invaluable insights into the computing system’s overall functionality, security threats, and the available options, no matter the size and type of your organisation.
As part of an information technology audit, the security measures to protect an entity’s information systems are examined. IT audits are software audits, web services audits, operational system audits, security audits, and client-server audits.
Let us find out what, how, why, and who of IT audits to figure out how important they are to businesses of any size.
What Is the Need for IT Auditing for any enterprises?
A business audit is primarily concerned with determining whether it has any inefficiencies and inaccuracies in using its information technology (IT).
Performance audits, compliance audits with applicable legislation, policies, laws, and standards, and financial statement audits are the three main types of IT auditing.
IT auditing is essential for organisations and businesses that wish to safeguard valuable data and information.
An entity is first identified as a risk. As a result, the company can determine the best course of action by assessing the challenges posed by that entity using advanced design controls.
What is the recommended frequency of routine audits for IT managers?
Besides the complexity of your systems and the sort of data you hold – such as highly confidential information – you will also need to consider how invested the organisation is in cyber security.
Your organisation’s size and the size of each department will affect the length of time between audits.
So how frequently should you perform the audit? Well, it depends on the entity size. How big is your organisation? If massive employees, monthly or quarterly best fits, if small organisation quarterly or annual IT audit is perfect if medium size then quarterly is suggested.
A data breach could occur one day after an IT audit has been completed, so auditing is crucial in this case. You might be exposed to more significant risks in the following routine audit, which could occur in the next quarter. After this event or a similar one, an audit gets conducted to look at the situation and the systems so that fixes can be implemented or suggested sooner.
Immediate IT audit is suggested to the enterprise when going for any merger or acquisition, installing, or upgrading any new system, or going through digital transformation.
Despite the scope of the audit, IT audits often consider physical, technical, logical, and operational security controls and compliance with important corporate governance and regulatory guidelines.
Audits of IT systems are performed by whom? Are they technically sound auditors?
The CFO will not audit your financial statements, and your IT manager won’t audit the controls implemented by them.
Staff members or third parties can perform IT audits. Audits should be independent of the areas being audited, regardless of whether they are internal or external.
There may be a daily check by the IT manager to ensure those policies, procedures, and controls are followed, but the audit should be independent to provide a point-in-time statement.
You may decide to test controls more frequently in higher-risk areas when testing controls at least annually. It is good to have an independent third-party audit to ensure everything is functioning correctly whenever you have an IT audit conducted internally.
IT audits conducted by your internal IT department may not be controlled by IT. Still, they are always subjective, and they may omit control areas or recommendations for assorted reasons.
A third-party company often conducts an IT audit every 12 to 24 months (two years). Internal audits are then undertaken often in between.
What are the reasons for performing IT audits?
There are indeed numerous reasons. The first one we want to highlight is to check the internal adequacy of the IT department. Along with the responsibilities of “check and error “, the IT auditor is also responsible for examining the compliance portion of the department.
However, we have listed a few of the reasons why you should perform IT audits in your SME business in Australia:
Enhances an organisation’s resilience to risks
A regular identification and assessment of risks in a company can address additional risks, such as efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability of IT.
IT audits are conducted to identify and evaluate an organisation’s IT risks. This type of risk management usually covers the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of IT processes and infrastructure.
Using IT audit controls, IT team members receive a clear direction on addressing the risks to eliminate, reduce or accept them as part of the working environment after they have been assessed.
Assesses vulnerability to threats
Companies benefit from an IT audit because it ensures that the operation is as risk-free as possible.
Most accounting is conducted online, via cloud accounts or other systems.
Companies can also plan and implement effective security strategies to counter high-risk areas.
In addition, electronic data storage has become increasingly important. All data on the computer system is vulnerable, including financial transaction details and sensitive information of employees and customers.
Ensures better data security
It becomes possible to identify and evaluate IT audit controls after assessing the risks within the organisation. Therefore, it enables businesses to rethink or reinforce ineffective or poorly designed security controls, enhancing data security.
A thorough IT audit ensures that a company’s data is available, confidential, and secure. Sensitive data gets protected from all types of threats.
Evaluates the poorly designed controls
The IT audit also ensures that risks are identified that may influence work processes in the IT department and other departments.
IT audits to assist in setting up a test environment for undoing unwanted changes and alerts IT and security administrators regarding configuration changes. Additionally, it provides valuable information about compliance status and facilitates investigations.
The integrity of the system is guaranteed
Companies can learn whether their IT systems are operating efficiently and help them reach their goals and objectives by conducting an IT audit. Evaluating a company’s system is a valuable method for determining its effectiveness. An IT auditor can create a more efficient operating system for an organisation if there is a problem.
In an enterprise, how is an IT audit conducted?
IT managers commonly use an automated program to collect data from internal networks and exterior Internet subnets.
The audits can be performed either by your team or by an external vendor, but you should not have your in-house team handle them unless you are 100% certain that they are experts in the field.
Furthermore, it is highly recommended that you do not choose vendors with whom you already have an existing relationship.
The major problem with internal audits is that they may not thoroughly check all the components of your network if your IT specialists are not used to performing them routinely.
Considering the importance of your organisation’s internal and external security, you must hire a team of experts to ensure you do not miss even one server.
Is outsourcing your IT auditing service a promising idea?
A correct interpretation of the data in an IT audit requires the skills of the right individuals.
Another reason is, when you outsource a service when conducting any IT audits, the department feels no baseness.
The auditor places an independent opinion, which all department levels shall execute.
It allows your organisation to benefit from having an IT auditing firm that employs experts who are tormented by assessing all aspects of an organisation’s operations.
Moreover, they will also work on-premises with your company for any IT needs. Their primary task is to analyse the hardware and software of your company’s IT systems.
Financial services and healthcare providers, which deal with a lot of sensitive data, are likely to undergo audits more often. Security audits will be easier and more frequent for those who use only one or two applications. Regulatory requirements, for example, also affect audit frequency.
A company’s IT infrastructure can be scrutinised through an audit, which is not an uncomplicated process.
It is on servers that most work is performed, which run numerous applications and store valuable data.
Your computing system needs to be monitored for inconsistencies, whether you work for a financial organisation, a law firm, or any other type of business that you wish to manage. However, a technology security audit can help you identify risks quickly, efficiently, and entirely as possible.
So why scared to take up the routine IT service with NSWIT support! We are there to cater to your requirements throughout the IT auditing process. Contact us to discuss more on the IT security audit.