Technology has become a prominent part of the business. Most companies have invested a large portion of their resources into technology, expecting high returns in the future. Furthermore, these investments come in the form of time, money, employees, and much more. In exchange, companies have also gained many benefits from doing so. Investing in technology is a need for most companies regardless of their industry.
However, using technology in critical areas has also given rise to many risks for companies. Regardless of the type of company or the industry it operates in, technology risks are prevalent. For that reason, companies need to ensure their systems are free from vulnerabilities. One process that can help companies in this regard is information technology audits.
What is Information Technology Audit?
An information technology (IT) audit involves the examination of a company’s information technology infrastructure. This audit aims to identify any vulnerabilities or issues that may exist in the IT systems. Information technology audits cover a substantial portion of a company’s IT structure. These may include applications, IT policies and procedures, data use and management, and operational processes.
When auditing an organization’s IT infrastructure, auditors check for compliance with recognized standards or established policies. During this process, they ensure that the company employs effective controls to protect information technology assets. Similarly, they examine whether these assets ensure integrity and meet the company’s goals and objectives.
IT audits are similar to other audits but may also differ in various regards. Like external audits, IT audits don’t involve auditors checking a company’s financial information. However, it is more similar to internal audits in that regard. IT audits relate to controls but more specifically to information technology systems. IT audits are similar to security audits but related to how company’s handle information in their IT systems.
What are the Objectives of Information Technology Audits?
Information technology audits have several objectives. Most importantly, these audits are to evaluate the systems and processes that companies employ to secure sensitive information. Similarly, it includes whether the integrity of information within these systems is reliable. Ultimately, information technology audits are necessary for risk management and safeguarding a company’s assets.
Information technology audits also have other objectives. These are a part of a company’s internal controls. Therefore, IT audits also include determining if a company faces any risks related to its data stored in the information technology systems. If any risks exist, it further includes employing safeguards to minimize them.
Information technology audits also include checking that any information stored in a company’s systems comply with the applicable IT laws, policies, and standards. This information usually exists in a company’s information management processes. Lastly, information technology audits help companies identify any inefficiencies within their IT systems and associated management.
What are the Types of Information Technology Audits?
There are five types of IT audits. However, these both fall into two categories, including general control and application control reviews. General controls apply to all areas within a company. In contrast, application controls apply to transactions and data that relate to the specific computer-based application. Overall, the five types of information technology audits include the following.
Systems and Applications
Each company uses specific systems and applications to process data. These systems need to free from any vulnerabilities. Systems and applications IT audits include checking whether these systems and applications are secure on all activity levels. Similarly, it ensures that these systems are valid, efficient, and reliable.
Information Processing Facilities
Once companies obtain information, they need to process it to use it further. Information processing facilities are a part of a company’s IT infrastructure. Information processing facilities IT audits relate to verifying that all processes work correctly. Similarly, it includes checking whether these systems perform as expected and if there are any possible disruptions.
Like most other areas, information technology systems are also subject to compliances. System development IT audits include confirming that companies create systems under development in compliance with organizational standards.
Management of IT and Enterprise Architecture
IT infrastructure also includes managing the IT systems and enterprise architecture. This type of IT audit includes making sure that companies structure IT management and processes. For this audit, auditors must ensure these processes take place in a controlled and efficient manner.
Client/Server, Telecommunications, Intranets and Extranets
For most companies, IT infrastructure includes storing information in a central location and ensuring proper access. In this type of IT audit, auditors ascertain that proper telecommunication controls exist over them. These may include a server and a network that acts as a connection between clients and servers.
Companies rely on information technology to process information. Some companies may also store this information, which can be sensitive. Information technology audits are processes to examine a company’s information technology infrastructure. It aims to identify and inefficiencies within these systems and ensuring that information is secure.