Did you know the job outlook for IT positions is expected to increase by 13% over the next decade?
There’s a good reason why that’s the case. In the past, IT departments were seen as little more than computer maintenance positions. Now, they play a massive role in the operation of many companies, which is why every business that relies heavily on its IT infrastructure should consider an IT audit.
But what is an IT audit? And how do they generally work?
If you want to learn the answer to these questions, and more, then you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about IT audits.
What Is an IT Audit?
When most people hear the word audit they start to panic. It’s not hard to see why. The IRS has given the term a bad name. Images come to mind of agents digging through all of your financial records looking for discrepancies.
However, it’s important to remember that not all audits are bad. After all, an audit is just an investigation. That brings us to an IT audit. This is an investigation into the specific aspects of a business’s information technology setup.
Specifically, the auditor will be looking at things like your IT equipment, operations, infrastructure, and any policies you might have. At the end of the auditor, the investigator will give you their honest evaluation of your current IT system.
Then, they’ll suggest any improvements they think can be made. So, why are IT audits important? The main reason is security purposes.
IT security is often the only thing that protects your assets, data integrity, and important communications from being leaked.
So, you want to make sure that it’s working properly. An IT audit ensures this, while also providing ways that efficiency can be improved. See, not all audits are bad!
Different Categories of IT Audits
Generally, most IT auditors are into two broad categories. The first is a review of the general control and the second is a review of application control. However, it’s more helpful to break it into five distinct sections.
The first of these is systems and applications. In this category, both of these areas are working properly and securely. The second involves looking for disruptive conditions in the information processing facilities.
If things are working normally, then the third category is systems development. The auditor will make sure that these systems are following any guidelines laid out by the organization.
The fourth category involves looking at IT management to make sure they’re working efficiently. The last category is telecommunications roles.
This looks at any bridges that connect clients to the servers. This can be a vulnerable security threat so it needs to be properly inspected.
Who Performs the IT Audit?
An IT auditor is a person from the IT industry that’s in charge of the examination. This can be someone that you bring in for your in-house staff. Or, it can be an independent auditor.
Regardless of which option you choose, there are some qualifications they’ll need. They should either have a CISA certification (certified information system auditor) or a CISSP certification (certified information systems security professionals).
It will be their responsibility to identify any weak points, respond to them and continually test any security measures that are in place.
Know Who to Involve
There should be just one person inspecting the IT system. Instead, every person that works in the IT environment should be involved in the audit.
Why? Because no one knows the IT system better than the people that work in it every day.
They can help you identify the riskiest areas that need addressing first. They’ll also give you a better idea of the current capabilities of the system and whether or not they need improvement.
Feedback and Implementation
An IT audit is only as valuable as the feedback that’s given. But, that feedback isn’t worth anything if you don’t act on it.
So, you want to make sure your auditor and IT manager are both on the same page about what needs to be implemented. That way, there’s no question about what needs to be done to improve any vulnerabilities.
An IT Audit Isn’t a One-Time Thing
Many people think that an IT audit is a one-time thing. But, the reality is that you need to be continually performing them to make sure your system is running properly.
You also need to be using the time in between audits valuably. This includes implementing any recommendations and monitoring the IT security with software.
You should also make sure that you stay up to date on any technology laws or policy changes. Laws surrounding these things are changing all the time and you want to make sure you’re being legally compliant.
Consider Managed IT That Offers Audit Services
Often companies will hire an independent auditor. Then, they’ll either work with the IT department (whether it’s in-house or managed IT services) to make appropriate changes. However, there is another way.
One thing you can do is look for a company that provides both managed IT services and IT audit services. Why is this ideal? Because there’s less chance for errors that often come with different teams communicating.
The independent auditor and any team you have aren’t used to working together. So, some things can fall between the cracks.
That’s not a problem with a two-in-one option like Truit IT services. They assess your current IT setup and immediately get to work with any improvement or maintenance that’s needed.
Appreciate Learning About IT Audits? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn how an IT audit can be a simple way to make improvements to your operations. However, the simplicity all depends on which IT auditor you go with.
So, make sure you choose one that has experience working with whatever system you have set up.
Did you learn something from this article? If the answer is yes, then keep exploring to find more content that you’re sure to love.