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In praise of IT audits

By Stern Curator on 23/03/16 11:31 AM

Topics: IT audits

The word audit is usually enough to send shivers down the spine of some of the largest corporation in Australia, but the reality is, audits, especially IT audits are vital to business operations and sustainability.

 In today's society with the imminent threat of security breaches from internal and external sources, it just doesn't make sense for companies leave the structural integrity of their IT infrastructure unattended, especially when IT today is so heavily relied upon by all facets of the business. 

IT audits; undertaken for security, prosperity and competitive advantage are essential, done efficiently and done with an understanding of what the real objectives are.

An IT audit is defined as “the examination and evaluation of an organisation's information technology infrastructure, policies and operations.” It “determines whether IT controls protect corporate assets, ensure data integrity and are aligned with the business's overall goals.”

IT auditors “examine not only physical security controls, but also overall business and financial controls that involve information technology systems.”

According to the Infosec Institute — a US headquartered body that claims to be “the best source for high quality information security training” — “Most often, IT audit objectives concentrate on substantiating that the internal controls exist and are functioning as expected to minimise business risk. These audit objectives include assuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information systems and data.”

While the process might be called an IT Audit, it is, according to one expert “an overall business assessment that determines the extent that the IT organisation is supporting the objectives of the business.”

He then goes on to list the six components of an IT audit. Given his view of the process, it’s hardly surprising that components one and two are business, not IT related. First comes a definition of the company’s objectives. This is followed by reviews undertaken by department heads and key managers to determine business issues, objectives, and perspectives. Only when those have been completed does attention turn to IT.

It’s at this stage that we get down to the nuts and bolts of actually auditing IT and it’s a good idea not to try and do this yourself.

It is always tempting to try and cut costs by employing internal staff to complete audits, but outsiders are more likely to spot problems by bringing a fresh eye to the exercise.

Given how critically a modern business relies on IT systems, an IT audit should not be an option. This is why Lanrex, performs them regularly for businesses as part of their Managed IT services offering. To help a business identify exactly where its IT dependencies are, quantify risks and assess the adequacy of security measures.

An Audit creates a snapshot of the current state of IT and its inter-relationship with the business. It identifies where changes need to be made, either for business security or compliance. Done regularly — with technology changing rapidly this needs to be at least annually — and audit can be used to establish a baseline from which you can measure your company’s progress (and also evaluate the professional advice you were given from the previous year).

'Lanrex are a Sydney based Managed Service provider, priding themselves in offering the best services for their clients. For a limited time, they are offering a Free Remote audit for companies interested in generating a comprehensive report to assess their current IT Infrastructure. The report is a great starting point for future IT reporting, to ensure the organisation has been creating efficient reviews and revision of their systems in the past.

For more information on the importance of IT AUDITS and how to complete a successful audit click for further reading.

How to manage a successful IT Audit: http://www.lanrex.com.au/blog/how-to-manage-a-successful-it-audit

 

 

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