Now these days, IT security auditors have become popular in business community because their work adds value to an organization. Usually,internal audit departments of companies have a component of IT auditingwhich is deployed with a clear perspective on its role in an organization. However, the wider business community needs to understand the function of IT auditing so as to realize the maximum benefit.
Specifically, IT auditing covers a wide array of IT processing and communication infrastructuressuch as:
- Security systems
- Operating systems
- Client-server systems and networks
- Software applications, web services
- Telecom infrastructure
- Change management procedures
- Disaster recovery planning
The standard auditing starts with identifying risks. After this, assessing the design of controls takes place. Finally, auditorstest the effectiveness of the controls. Skilled and experienced auditors can add value in each phase of the audit.IT security companies can add value to an organization, and the quality and depth of a technical audit is a prerequisite to adding value. IT audits add value in following 5 ways:
1. Reduce Risk
The planning and execution of an IT audit consists of the assessment and identification of IT risks in any organization.Usually,IT audits cover risks related to integrity, confidentiality, and availability of information technology infrastructure and processes. Some additional risks include efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability of IT.
If risks are assessed, there can be clear vision on what path to take to transfer the risk through insurance, to reduce the risks through controls, or to simply accept the risk as part of the operating environment.
2. Strengthen Controls (and improve security)
After assessing the risks, controls can then be assessed and identified. Ineffective or poorly designed controls can be redesigned and/or strengthened. The auditors can use various frameworks such as COBITand Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO)framework to get assurance on:
- The effectiveness and efficiency of operations
- The reliability of financial reporting
- The compliance with applicable laws and regulations
3. Comply with Regulations
Various regulations at the central and state levels include specific requirements for the information security. The IT auditor plays an important role for ensuring that all the specific requirements are met, risks are assessed and controls are implemented.
4. Facilitate Communication between Business and Technology Management
IT auditing can have the positive effect of opening channels of communication between technology management and an organization’s business. IT auditors observe and test what is happening in reality and in practice. From an audit,the final deliverables are valuable information in written reports and oral presentations. The senior management of any organization can get direct feedback on how their organization is functioning.
5. Improve IT Governance
IT Governance is the responsibility of executives and board of directors of any company.It consists of the leadership, organizational structures and processes that ensure that the organization’s IT sustains and extends the strategies and objectives of that organization. The in-depth network penetration testing also improves the IT governance of any company.