Whenever you hear the word “audit,” most people think about an IRS audit or other accounting-related process. Well, IT auditing, on the other hand, is quite different.
IT auditors are hired by organizations to examine their IT infrastructure to determine whether everything is running well. There are a lot of requests for an IT audit from the CEO, COO, and CFO.
Most IT audits are performed because executives are unaware of what is occurring in their IT department.
All in all, the most successful IT audits are well-planned. And, unless you break it down into smaller parts, creating an audit program might be overwhelming. But, no worries, we’ve got your back.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of everything you need to know about an IT audit, whether you’re involved in the IT industry or not.
The Basics of IT Auditing
Auditing an organization’s information technology (IT) infrastructure, policies, and processes is an IT audit.
There have been several developments in IT audits since they began in the 1960s. It’s critical for maintaining an organization’s IT policies and procedures up-to-date and functional.
IT Audit’s Importance
An IT department is a must for any organization in this day and age. It might be an internal team, a remote team, or even an outsourced IT team.
Regardless, cybercrime is a serious issue. A cyber-criminal can steal your data and damage your company’s brand, resulting in significant losses.
Data is your most valuable asset in today’s information era. You can’t safeguard data as you can material things, such as walls and safes. Like Trojan horses, cyber dangers might look pleasant on the surface but hide malicious intent.
However, the danger is not always from the outside. In some instances, it may be internal.
An example of a phishing attack is when an employee uses their work computers to click on an unsecured link. Employees abusing or mishandling IT equipment are similar to this.
IT Auditing 101 for a Small Business Owner
The first step is to create an inventory of your IT assets.
An IT audit focuses on protecting and safeguarding the company’s IT assets. As a part of daily operations, the IT assets contain hardware and software. Making a list of all of your company’s IT assets might help put things in perspective.
Additionally, you should have access to linked lists on hand in addition to your IT asset database. It should be easy for auditors to access your system immediately.
It is necessary to compile a list of login credentials for each piece of audit software and hardware. In addition, auditors should have unrestricted access to all areas of the property, regardless of where they are on the site.
Request a Document Checklist from Your Auditor
At various points throughout the IT audit, auditors will seek specific documentation. It’s a good idea to maintain a running inventory of all the critical papers in your company.
Ask your auditors for a list of any papers they may want and ensure that your paperwork is correct. You and your auditor will both save a lot of time and effort if you keep all of your relevant documentation in one place.
At this point, it might be a much better idea to get IT Consulting for you.
Contracts signed with third-party service providers and outside suppliers are included in the documents. The list should also contain your IT infrastructure’s purchase and warranty papers. It’s critical to know how old your equipment is for various reasons.
Keeping track of all of your company’s administrative rules and processes is also a good idea.
Take Time to Compile Your Financial Records
Most companies perform IT audits to lower IT infrastructure operating costs. Create a financial statement that includes all IT-related charges to save money.
A comprehensive view of your finances and expenditures allows auditors to provide recommendations on reducing operational expenses and boosting profits.
Review Your IT Guidelines and Procedures
An IT audit can’t begin without a complete set of IT rules and procedures. There are both digital and physical copies of the company’s rules and guidelines for auditors. The time and effort you would normally spend searching through the rules and procedures to find you will save a specific item.
Instead of asking for documentation at different points in the process, auditors will save time.
Protect Your Data by Drafting a Security Plan
In addition to IT rules and processes, a formal information security strategy should be in place.
The Security Exchange Commission (SEC) mandates the creation of a formal information security strategy for any company that applies for registration. IT-related hazards may be mitigated by having a documented ISP (Information Security Plan) in place.
Many firms have no clue where to begin when developing an information security strategy. As a result, a great deal of time and effort is wasted.
Make the procedure as simple as possible by using automated tools and processes. You might also engage a professional auditor to assist you.
Conduct a Gap Analysis
Knowing where your IT infrastructure has holes in it will help your IT audit go more smoothly. Apps and services should also be well-understood to ensure their safety.
No system is entirely foolproof, and as a user, you have the most excellent chance of finding flaws in your system.
Initiate a Self-Evaluation
Although auditors are the most qualified to do an audit, you only understand the system. An examination of your system can help you better know what is going on in your firm.
You’ll also better understand the audit findings if you do a self-assessment.
Business Ownership With a Side of IT
Small and big business owners alike can get overwhelmed with the nuances of running a well-functioning IT department or team. This is where the importance of IT auditing comes in.
We hope that our guide has shed some light on the topic, and if you’re still unsure about the whole process, you can check out our other explainers and posts in our technology section.