When Should a Company Undergo an IT Audit?
A company’s information technology (IT) infrastructure is critical to its success. Therefore, businesses need to ensure that their IT systems function correctly and securely.
One way to do this is by undergoing an IT audit. But when should a company undergo an IT audit? What is involved in an IT audit? Why is an audit important?
We’ll break it all down below.
When Should My Company Get an IT Audit?
To understand why your company should undergo an IT audit, it’s important to know why you need one. Businesses spend a lot of money on IT to keep data secure and ensure that IT systems are reliable.
An IT audit can also help you understand what services your company needs and which ones you don’t. Since cloud-based systems are scalable, you can save costs by only using the resources your company needs.
And technology is evolving, so you never know what new options are available that could help your productivity and save you money.
What Is Involved in An IT Audit?
First, let’s look at the objectives involved in an IT audit:
- Assessment of the systems and processes currently utilized by the business to secure data
- Identification of potential risks to a company’s information assets and suggesting ways to minimize said risks
- Confirmation of the reliability and integrity of company data
- Protection of all assets
- Verification that the company’s information management processes are compliant with policies, laws, and standards
- Discovery of inefficiencies in systems and their associated management
An IT audit will:
- Check systems and applications to make sure they are secure on all levels, are reliable, efficient, and necessary
- Verify that all processes are functioning correctly and that they’re not in a disruptive condition
- Confirm that systems in development are created in compliance with the business’s standards
- Ensure that IT management is appropriately structured and efficient
- Investigate servers and network security to make sure no breach is possible
What Happens During an IT Audit?
An IT audit is like any audit. Auditors will establish their objectives (see the outlined objectives above), develop a plan to help them achieve them, and collect data about all the IT controls.
They’ll evaluate those controls and run tests on them, like data extraction or sometimes a complete analysis. Then, they will report the findings.
IT auditors also must make certain there is compliance with all the policies, laws, and regulations related to their industry.
Why Is an IT Audit Important?
An IT audit helps businesses understand their vulnerabilities and take steps to mitigate them. It also ensures that all systems are working as they should be, that data is reliable and safe, and that the company is compliant with any applicable regulations.
It’s also essential for auditors to look for shadow IT. Shadow IT is when an employee is using software or other technology without the prior approval or knowledge of the company or the company’s IT.
An excellent example of this is when a company uses one cloud storage software, like OneDrive, but an employee downloads Dropbox and uses that instead. The unauthorized use of outside software creates security gaps and potential compliance violations, regardless of how harmless the application is.
When employees use an unsanctioned program, it creates a gap in security. Even though many third-party apps are harmless, file sharing can present a risk. Sensitive data shared through unauthorized programs expose your sensitive data because it is not monitored through the usual channels.
If this just sent a cold shiver down your spine, it might be time for an audit.
The Bottom Line
In one instance, a financial company had to pay a $4200 fine when an employee left a company laptop in a restroom. The laptop wasn’t encrypted, and there was concern that sensitive data was compromised.
An IT audit can ensure that employees follow protocol, at the same time securing sensitive company data. So, ask yourself, which would you rather deal with?
- An IT Audit
- Disaster Recovery
- Major Security Breach
- Explaining Your Company’s Mistake on CNN
I think we’d all choose door number one. Are you ready for an IT Audit? Contact us or your current MSP, just do it before it’s too late!