Infosecact IT Audit Processes
Everything You Need to Keep Your Data Secure
Many companies, regardless of their industry, are investing more and more resources into technology. Whether it be money, time, or staff, the impact that technology can have on a business is becoming clearer every day. One of the ways you can better invest in your company is by understanding information technology audits, otherwise known as IT audits, which work to ensure your data and network are safe from an attack. After all, it can make all the difference between a successful company and one that fails because of a data breach.
What is an IT audit?
An IT audit is the examination and evaluation of an organization’s information technology infrastructure, policies and operations. Information technology audits determine whether IT controls protect corporate assets, ensure data integrity and are aligned with the business’s overall goals.
What does an IT auditor do?
Exact job duties for an IT auditor may vary, but some examples of their responsibilities may include:
- Assess the reliability of IT systems and applications
- Collaborate with other departments and teams about IT and its role in business and ethics compliance
- Conduct computer audits and automated data processing (ADP) audits
- Create internal audit reports
- Determine what technologies an organization may need in the future
- Develop and implement robust IT infrastructure
- Evaluate the security and compliance of records and other important information
- Monitor internal performance controls
- Translate and explain complex IT issues and concepts for other coworkers
How to become an IT auditor.
Here are the steps to follow for how to become an IT auditor:
- Some examples of courses you may complete include:
- Business database concepts
- Business information systems development
- Database design
- Enterprise process analysis and design
- Networks and distributed systems
- Project management
- Complete an internship:
Aim to complete an internship while you earn your degree to help you learn more about the field. Most internships provide you with basic training and practical work experience that may help make you more attractive to potential employers once you graduate. Similarly, an internship may allow you to network with professionals that may help you find a job.
- Gain relevant experience:
Look for opportunities to gain relevant experience. Pursue related jobs in public accounting, internal auditing or other roles in accounting or finance. Other examples of common careers someone may have before becoming an IT auditor include computer systems analyst, database administrator and systems administrator. It’s important to gain experience working with IT systems and architectures and learning how to improve them.
Common examples of places you may find work include:
- Accounting agencies
- Consulting firms
- Government agencies
- IT firms
- Private businesses
- Public businesses
- Pursue a certification:
Variety of IT certifications.
While the exact requirements for these certifications vary, and each may require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and some professional experience.
Some examples of certifications to consider pursuing include:
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Information Security Professional (CISSP)
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)
Please note that none of above are affiliated with INFOSECACT.
- Consider earning a master’s degree– While it’s not a requirement, think about earning a master’s degree in cybersecurity, information technology or a related field. This may help you build your knowledge of IT, operating systems, risk assessments and software platform functions. Earning a master’s degree may also help qualify you for promotions that you pursue. If you choose not to earn a master’s degree, you may also pursue other continuing education courses. This allows you to keep current with the latest trends or other technological developments. Explore options to complete short courses or attend seminars or special training sessions.
IT auditor technical skills:
Technical skills for IT auditors include the specific skills they need to perform their job responsibilities. It’s essential they’re able to navigate an organization’s IT system. They require a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of IT, including databases, infrastructures, networks and systems.
Communication skills allow IT auditors to receive, process and share information effectively. This includes both written and verbal communication skills. Written communication skills help IT auditors document their findings from their auditors properly. It’s important for them to have excellent verbal communication skills so they’re able to present issues they’ve identified to executives and explain complex issues in plain terms to non-technical professionals.
Analytical thinking is the ability to evaluate situations, identify the cause of problems and develop solutions. This manner of thinking often involves creativity to consider alternative options and assess possibilities not previously considered. Excellent analytical thinking skills are critical for IT auditors to complete audits, especially for finding potential areas of improvement.
Attention to detail:
It’s important for IT auditors to complete their work precisely and thoroughly. Attention to detail helps ensure their work is accurate and their audits are comprehensive. This helps them best identify problems to develop future solutions.
Teamwork and collaboration skills enable professionals to work well with others in pursuit of a common goal. While IT auditors often work independently, they may also work in small groups on specific projects and speak with others to make recommendations based on their audits. Common professionals for IT auditors to work with include business professionals, external auditors, information security officers, IT professionals and operational and financial auditors.
Organization skills create order within the workplace. it’s important for IT auditors to have good organization skills to maintain excellent records of their audits and to prepare recommendations for improving the organization’s IT systems and infrastructure. Similarly, good organization skills may help them manage their time properly to complete all tasks as needed.
Problem-solving skills ensure IT auditors can develop the best solutions for the problems they identify. These skills are especially important when they encounter unforeseen challenges in the workplace or with networks and systems. Problem-solving skills help them consider potential resolutions and determine which best aligns with the requirements and needs of the organization.
IT auditor salary:
The national average salary for an IT auditor is $94,389 per year. However, it’s important to remember that exact salaries may vary. For example, factors such as your qualifications, education, experience, geographic location and specific employer may affect your salary.
IT auditor career outlook:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the employment of accountants and auditors to increase by 7% from 2020 to 2030. This increase is similar to the average growth for all occupations. While this figure represents a variety of financial professionals, it also includes IT auditors specifically. The BLS predicts this increase in employment based on people retiring or moving to other types of jobs, but changes within technology may also expand the need for IT auditors.
Types of IT audits
There are five main types of IT audits that can be broken down in one of two ways: general control review and application control review. General control applies to all areas of an organization, whereas application control pertains to transactions and data related to a specific computer-based application.
Types of IT audits Infosecact provide:
- Systems and applications: Checking that the systems and applications are secure on all levels of activity, as well as reliable, valid, and efficient.
- Information processing facilities: Verifying that all processes are working correctly and if they’re in normal or disruptive conditions.
- Systems development: Confirming that systems under development are being created in compliance with the organization’s standards.
- Management of IT and Enterprise Architecture: Examining whether IT management is structured and processed efficiently.
- Telecommunications: Investigates servers and network security to protect against a breach.
Some of IT audit objectives
The primary objectives of an IT audit include but not limited to:
- Evaluating the systems and processes currently in place that work to secure company Digital assets (data).
- Determining if there are potential risks to the company’s information assets and find ways to minimize those risks.
- Verifying the reliability and integrity of information.
- Safeguarding all IT related assets.
- Checking that information management processes are compliant with IT-specific laws, policies, and standards.
- Establishing the inefficiencies in the IT systems and associated management.
Why you need an IT audit
- There are many reasons why an IT audit is important and why you need one.
- Since so many organizations are spending large amounts of money on information technology in order to reap the benefits of enhanced cyber security and data security, they need to ensure that these IT systems are reliable, secure, and not vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
- An IT audit is crucial to any business because it provides knowledge that the IT systems are appropriately protected and managed to avoid any sort of breach.
- Another reason why you should consider an IT audit is that it’s cost-effective in the sense that it will reveal exactly which services you need, and which ones your company can do without. Plus, since the technology we use is evolving so fast, an IT audit can let you know which of your systems and tools are outdated.
Infosecact do IT audit using SP 800-53 Rev 5.1 and SP 800-53B (Courtesy 20 Control Families)
- AC – ACCESS CONTROL
- AT – AWARENESS AND TRAINING
- AU – AUDIT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
- CA – ASSESSMENT, AUTHORIZATION, AND MONITORING
- CM – CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT
- CP – CONTINGENCY PLANNING
- IA – IDENTIFICATION AND AUTHENTICATION
- IR – INCIDENT RESPONSE
- MA – MAINTENANCE
- MP – MEDIA PROTECTION
- PE – PHYSICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
- PL – PLANNING
- PM – PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
- PS – PERSONNEL SECURITY
- PT – PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION PROCESSING AND TRANSPARENCY
- RA – RISK ASSESSMENT
- SA – SYSTEM AND SERVICES ACQUISITION
- SC – SYSTEM AND COMMUNICATIONS PROTECTION
- SI – SYSTEM AND INFORMATION INTEGRITY
- SR – SUPPLY CHAIN RISK MANAGEMENT
When it comes to carrying out an IT audit, it’s typically done with a few steps.
- Use Approved Audit plan with Audit Objective/s
- Audit Notification
- Post Award Meeting (if IPA)
- Entrance Conference and provide the initial (PBC)
- Fieldwork begins same day of the Entrance Conference
- Findings (can be one or more)
- Recommendations (The numbers could be less or equal the findings)
- Recommendations could also be from prior year audits etc.
- Conditions with/Conditions Without
- Receive Management comments
- Clear or reject in the report
- Issue the Final Report