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IT audit, the secret weapon to supercharge your IT department

Cybercrime can have devastating effects on a company if you manage it or if you lead it. From stealing your confidential data to ruining your brand reputation, any level of exhaustive tactics is used to take the supercharge of your client’s data. And in the long-term, it may be something that you might not at all recover, unlike in the physical world, where cyber threats like a trojan horse demarcate bad neighbourhoods. They appear friendly, but remember, when your guards are down, they will ransack your data.  

Forget about the external factors; the threats can be internal too. You would never know which of your employees is ruining everything you have created for years. The bottom line, technology is beneficial but also vulnerable. That’s why the organisation must do IT Audit to ensure every technology used for the business purpose is safe from the vigilance of cyber-attack. An IT security audit might be the only thing standing between your success and failure.  

Price Water Coopers (PwC) conducted a survey in 2018 revealing that nearly 82% of internal audit functions had increased their investments in IT security to facilitate monitoring of critical trends and support for continuous auditing.  

IT audit service provider in Australia is pursuing quarterly internal Audit to expand their capabilities and unlock their powerful potentiality. By now, most enterprises have at least dipped their toe in the water for IT Audit.  

They are using data analysis techniques to find outliers that could raise red flags, reach out for suspicious attributes, and test controls. So, what’s holding them back? One primary reason, the created internal IT audit departments in an organisation, is facing difficulty to hire new talents with a strong IT background and capabilities. The enterprise’s chief executives will tell you that finding audit candidates with driven IT skills is never an easy task.  

Another inescapable issue is time. Most of the internal audit department is stretched thin and doesn’t have enough time to cope with the latest tech trends and applications. Technology is moving so fast that the audit department can’t keep up with everything thrown on their hands.  

So, how can a company leverage the IT audit functions to the next level?  

 

But before that, what is an IT audit?

In a generic term, Audit means an investigation of an existing system or report of an entity. In contrast, IT is a review of organisation IT management, systems, operations, applications, operations, policies and procedures, and data use against recognised standards or guidelines.  

What does an IT audit do? The Audit determines the IT controls and protects the corporate assets by ensuring data integrity with goal alignment.  

Today, many organisations are spending a large amount of money on information and technology to reap the best from data and cybersecurity. So, they need to ensure that all these systems are reliable, secure and non-vulnerable against cyber-attacks. Another reason why the company needs to conduct IT Audit is because of shadowing IT, where the applications and tools are used without the knowledge of the company’s IT department. It also includes cloud applications, web services, software and hardware.  

For example, let’s say your company uses Zoom for discussion, but the new hire downloads Meet without the approval from the superior subordinates or IT department. The gap reflects defaults in security features in file sharing, collaboration and storage.  

 

How do the IT auditor address and unmitigated the risk?

The risk exposure of the period is unknown. The user inappropriately accesses the roles they were not supposed to perform, so the IT auditor can also evaluate this risk. In addition, the ease of mitigation comes down to the configuration of the system. To determine a defect, we can select the last login date on the network or the user’s account. It is the auditor’s responsibility to compensate for the fault to improve risk mitigation.  

What if there are multiple deficiencies? In case of numerous flaws, the aggregation assessment is performed to underpin the shortcoming. Here are the five ways, how an IT auditor helps multinational companies to supercharge their IT system: 

  1. Demonstrate the potentiality – The IT auditor sees the possible way of advanced IT audit. They are likely to provide information on the barriers to taking data security to the next level.  
  2. Data analytics for gap analysis – Internal Audit moves with one or more dedicated analytics delivering high value and experience. Having champions in the organisation bridge the gaps between the functions and standards. 
  3. Supporting the management and board – One of the most significant barriers is getting actual data. As an IT auditor, more avenues are explored to get hold of ongoing data and the overall functionality of the IT system. It may be appealing to the senior executives and the board. A mandate from the CEO can do wonders to tighten the security of the process based on the findings offered by the IT auditor.  
  4. Getting stakeholder input – IT auditor seeks several ways to increase the level of output offered by the stakeholders when building audit models and auditing tools. These people are experts holding the best understanding of the data, which can be vital in determining the data’s that need to be monitored.  
  5. Measuring the report result – Auditors can implement the steps and count the reported success to the management and stakeholders. The IT audit teams successfully demonstrate tangible values, which makes the business IT system robust. 

How to perform an IT audit? Some basic rules and regulations need to accept when performing one promptly. Apart from the regulatory standards, there is SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). When proceeding with the IT audit, the IT auditor must examine which you don’t want to get done by yourself. So, the best interest is to hire one. The job specification of an outsourced IT auditor is evaluating the IT controls and the software controls related to finance and HR. When you hire an IT auditor in Australia, they will gather all the necessary information about risk and regulator status.  

A successful IT audit makes you aware of your organisation position. It gives you information and data that ensures your organisation policies are and operations are carried out exactly as per your internal policies. These audits intend to protect companies’ data and assets.  

 

Australian IT audits cost about $100,000, how true?

Are you considering a full fledge IT audit and now determining the cost? When organisation security is concerned, you need a trusted service where security controls are capabilities that need to be considered under complete privacy. The purpose of System and Organisation Certification standards (SOC) is to provide the business with valid information of the IT system, vendors, and customer.  

In 2021, IT audit costs in Australia vary based on business size, complexity, and variables. The expert also states that the IT audit cost does not imply the one size fits all approach. However, the price is determined based on person-days and experts involved in the IT audit project. The costs are charged differently for consulting, security tools, internal training, opportunity cost and legal fees.  

The tentative time taken to perform a high-end IT system audit is nearly 3-12 months, depending on the size and scope. The IT Audit gets on quarterly, monthly or annually. The Audit is different for the companies using cloud-based governance, compliance, and risk management.  

 

Conclusion

IT Audit is a mandatory need to fix the system gap and understand the organisation’s IT position. Periodic review of the IT system allows the organisation to identify the risk and protect the organisational objectives. While two-thirds of the respondents in the Audit Boards 2021 applies a proactive approach for the IT risk management where nearly 30% takes the ad hoc to minimise the IT risk.  

Want to know how YOU can become a part of the 30%? NSW IT Support is ready to assist you with a comprehensive IT audit plan to ensure your IT is up-to-speed and running efficiently.