Information technology systems are the basis of processes that businesses use, while they center around controls with the help of technology. If your company does not have any process in place, it makes it easier to produce faulty or invalid data. As the use of assets by companies has increased, so has the need to manage the assets by your Information Technology team. This has led to an increased need to periodically run audits on your fleet.
Running these audits on the hardware and software used, the information systems processes, systems used in financial data production, and other internal controls have become a legal requirement by both local and federal institutions. This is a critical process in terms of ensuring your sustainability, follow legal obligations, and financially ensuring that all data is stored and managed electronically.
What is an IT Audit?
An Information Technology (IT) audit, is a series of reports about the management and operations of the systems a business operates and the process that is associated with them. IT audits can be:
- Mandatory by the request of a regulatory body.
Since more accounting systems are now operated through computers, there has become a need to create IT controls that examine the processes while the audit is being performed.
Some purposes of IT audits are as follows.
- Evaluate the reliability of your IT systems data.
- Determining your compliance with current law, policies, and standards.
- Find and control and inefficiencies that result from unnecessary or excessive practices.
Why is it important to run IT audits?
Most companies spend large sums of money on Information Technology. Due to this, IT systems need to be extremely reliable, secure, and usable.
IT auditing is important because it allows you to verify that your IT systems are protected and provides you with reliable information that will help the decision-making of your business. Most people working for a company rely on the Information Technology department without knowing much about how computers work, such as the algorithms and how repeated errors can damage their equipment. Auditing also helps to reduce the risk of tampering, system leaks, outages, data destruction, and mismanagement of the system.
What benefits do you get from performing an IT Audit?
When talking about overall benefits, these can differ from company to company. The biggest effect comes when talking about the benefits associated with different sectors.
The financial sector uses some of the most tightly regulated IT systems. This is due to the large amounts of personal data that is required of all the people doing business with the various companies in the sector.
Protection of Financial assets against attackers: Corporate and customer financial assets that are accessed through servers and applications that could be open to dangerous networks should be protected.
Continuity of Services: Time and money should be invested into this. Processes should be developed and employees trained to proved financial services that are uninterrupted and within the stipulated time.
Regulatory Compliance: Develop structures in the organization that are necessary for regulatory compliance. This should establish the need for IT and information security governance.
Protection of Personal Information: Determine the data class and implementation of access controls, encryption controls, and log management throughout the lifecycle of an asset.
The telecom sector has similar regulatory requirements as the financial sector. The sensitivity of the personal data that it produces and processes sets a high level of confidentiality and continuity leading to high needs of assurance in the areas such as:
Service Continuity: Making the needed infrastructure investment and development process will help keep this at the highest level.
Keeping customer CRM information from competitors: Preventing a leak of customer CRM information (location, product, package) within the organization and monitoring leaks through systems open to dealers, business partners, and customers.
Safe Adoption of new Technologies: Take precautions and make a necessary risk assessment against security breaches. Be an early adaptor of emerging new technologies.
Security of Customer Traffic Information and Compliance with Regulations: Take precautions to protect customer traffic and communication content. This along with implementing the needed management systems and processes are sectionally critical.
This is a very broad sector. Systems here center more around reducing stock cost and using decision support systems rather than personal information security. The need in this sector are in the following areas:
Effective IT Project Management and Ability to Deliver IT Solutions: Does the business have an IT management system that meets its needs or is the development of software running well.
Credit Card Information Security: Risks associated with credit card payments are avoided or addressed.
Finding Adequate Decision Support Systems: Provide environments where costs and other data are collected and analyzed to ensure optimization.