Computers and Technology

The Undeniable Importance of Regularly Conducting an IT Audit

An IT audit reviews and assesses a company’s information technology infrastructure, policies, and procedures.

IT audits to verify whether IT controls protect corporate assets, preserve data integrity, and align with the company’s overall objectives.

What Are the Objectives of an IT Audit?

The following are the main objectives of an IT audit:

  • Examine the systems and procedures in place to protect company data
  • Determine the risks to a company’s information assets and assist in the development of strategies to mitigate identified risks
  • Ensure that information management processes adhere to IT-specific laws, policies, and guidelines.
  • Determine inefficiencies in IT systems and the administration of those systems

In addition, an IT audit will establish whether or not your company complies with industry requirements.

Preparing for an IT Audit

It’s critical to ensure your company is well prepared and has the necessary data to support the audit.

Here are two tips to ease preparation for the IT audit.

Communication

When preparing for an internal IT audit, make sure that everyone involved is aware of what is expected of them and that everyone on the team is following protocol for the IT systems you have in place. Meet with key stakeholders to explain how you plan to conduct your audit and comment on how it will impact operations and personnel.

This also allows you to get information and input for essential areas to your stakeholders, enabling you to report explicitly on areas of concern to lessen apprehension and establish ways to improve efficiency.

Portfolio of Evidence

The gathering of evidence is another key phase in preparing for an internal IT audit. It’s critical that your IT staff and managers can produce evidence in the form of communications and papers addressing all security and data-related issues. Without it, you risk putting yourself in an unflattering light and perhaps exposing yourself to regulatory sanctions.

This step will reveal whether staff have been following security protocols and will assist you in determining whether the audit is likely to uncover any potential security flaws in this area.

The Undeniable Importance of Regularly Conducting an IT Audit

IT auditors look at physical security controls and the entire business and financial controls that apply to IT systems. The IT industry has advanced way past just technology. Therefore, the modern IT audit must also include a cybersecurity assessment. Assessing and reporting on IT security controls will certainly security identify risks that need to be addressed.

Auditors will conduct the audit and produce reports. Let’s unpack IT audit reports a little.

Reporting the Audit

You must understand and communicate the types of findings contained in the report.

There are three types of findings – sometimes referred to as the auditors’ opinion:

  • Clean
  • Qualified
  • Adverse

A clean finding means that the results conform to the audit objectives. Qualified findings may be reported in two situations. First, the auditor cannot obtain sufficient evidence on which to base an opinion. Second is the case where there are material misstatements. Usually, this indicates that the auditor cannot provide an opinion for the evidence supplied.

An adverse opinion means the auditor has found serious and widespread misstatements in the audit. Adverse findings might have long-term effects and legal implications if not addressed.

What Do I Need to Do After the Audit?

Taking the reports of an It audit, mentioned above, as a small business owner, you will need to prioritize remediations and mitigations of identified risks.

Some of the findings might highlight opportunities to automate. Discuss these with your managed IT service provider.

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