What are the benefits of performing an IT Audit?

Every time people hear the word “audit” they become anxious, but the reality is that an IT Audit can be extremely beneficial for your organization. IT audits are essentially independent examinations and evaluations of your organization’s Information Technology infrastructure, policies, and operations. This means that after the audit process is done, the level of Information Technology controls is determined, and an analysis is done to see if those control levels are sufficient to protect corporate assets, data integrity, and in alignment with business goals.

Performing an audit is essential for your company because “you don’t know, what you don’t know.” It is also important to understand that an IT Audit is done by a third party which will minimize concerns with staff claiming that “everything within the organization is fine.” Corporate management might face criminal or civil penalties depending upon the breach of duty of HIPPA or FERPA laws. Some of the consequences may be a pause or complete stop in business operations if your information gets compromised.

What are the types of IT Audits?

There are different types of IT Audits: (1) Systems and Applications, (2) Information Processing Facilities, (3) Systems Development, (4) Management of IT and Enterprise Architecture and (5) Client/Server, Telecommunications, Intranets, and Extranets. All those types of IT audit sound incredibly complicated, we are going to go over each one of them to explain it in detail.

(1) What is a “Systems and Applications Audit”?

This audit verifies that systems and applications are appropriate, efficient, and adequately controlled and ensuring valid, reliable, timely functional. At the same time, this audit secures input, processing, and outputs at all levels of a system’s activity. This means, that your technology functions and meets the expected purpose. System and process assurance audits ultimate goal to assist financial auditors.

The importance of performing an independent systems and applications audits is that it assures corporate management on Information Technology practices. These audits are in many cases required within the financial and healthcare industries. The primary purpose of this audit is to identify areas that are insufficient, allowing an implementation plan to be developed to address those deficiencies.

(2) What is an “Information Processing Facilities Audit”?

This audit verifies that the processing facility is controlled to ensure timely, accurate, and efficient processing of applications. The audit also verifies that the processing facility is ready to perform under normal and potentially disruptive conditions. The benefits of this audits are

The importance of performing a system availability audit is to provide a benchmark of the business performance under high stress. Having a good performance is vital for all businesses, especially for those that depend on transaction response times, such as financial/trading, commerce, gaming, etc.  It is essential to understand transaction rates, peak transaction times, processing response rates and user interface updates. This will allow Harold Technology Group to develop an appropriate model and simulation of processing loads.

(3) What is a “Systems Development Audit”?

This audit verifies that the systems under development meet the objectives of the organization. The audit ensures that the systems are developed in compliance with generally accepted standards for systems development. This means your systems within your organization has a sustainable overtime development.

The importance of performing a systems development audit is to ensure continuity between staff. In the high technology labor market, it is normal to have employee turnover. Performing this audit will allow accurate documentation of requirements, design, development, testing, and deployment. This is a requirement in high employee turnover to keep your business continuity.

(4) What is a “Management of IT and Enterprise Architecture Audit”?

An audit to verify that IT management has developed an organizational structure and procedures to ensure a controlled and efficient environment for information processing. This means that your IT infrastructure is adequately organized for optimal performance.

The importance of performing this audit is to allow organizational growth and contraction. This means allowing you to expand adding more work or to reduce workload or staffing appropriately. All organizations develop, some grow from a very small organization to a larger enterprise. Others grow from a medium into a large complex organization, either by organic growth or via merger and acquisitions. Understanding your company’s IT structure, and building a roadmap for growth is key to the prudent planning of human capital. At the same time, a plan for reducing IT structures as a strategic decision to exit a market area is also vital to ensure the best use of your company’s physical capital, and expense planning.

(5) What is a “Client/Server, Telecommunications, Intranets, and Extranets Audit”?

An audit to verify that telecommunications controls are in place on the devices receiving services. This means that the client (computer receiving services), a server, and the network connecting the clients and servers are working secure and efficient.

The importance of this audit is to understand the security controls and exposures of your organization. Basically, this is a vulnerability and risk assessment. Besides that, document exceptions to those controls and appropriate management approvals. Some of the components of this audit are: firewall policies, malware protection, VLAN (Virtual LAN) settings, open external access and access to sensitive resources. All of this are components of your organizations’ intranet and need to be adequately secured to avoid any risks.

At Harold Technology Group, we are specialists performing Information Technology Audits. If you believe your company needs an audit, you are probably right. Contact us by email or phone (512)-910-2974

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