With the broadening of IT infrastructure due to virtualization, enterprises constantly need to safeguard their information assets. In addition, businesses are necessitated to adopt changing technologies to stay competitive. However, without proper guidance and understanding, enterprises fail to completely transform their IT structure, thereby becoming prone to cyber-attacks. Cybersecurity experts present within the organization are necessitated to instill robust measures within the organization. Targeted attacks like zero-day exploits, malware, and DDoS against enterprises have constantly increased since the last decade even during the pandemic era.
One such measure to eliminate cyber threats is to perform IT systems audit. IT experts can easily identify risks associated with the information technology infrastructure through such audits. These audits assist in finding gaps and vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure. This further entitles professionals to take necessary action and mitigate cyber attacks from hackers.
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What is IT Systems Audit?
An information systems audit is an extensive assessment of an organization’s IT infrastructure. Highly qualified professionals such as Certified Information Systems Auditors (CISA) engage in the process of evaluating the controls designed for securing information systems. Although it is not mandatory to perform information system audits, implementing this practice within the organization allows businesses to mitigate attacks on their IT infrastructure.
What is the purpose of Information Systems Audit?
A wide range of objectives can be aligned for performing information technology systems audits within the organization. Let us take a peek at a few of the common set objectives.
· To modernize IT infrastructure as per technological advancements
· To reduce the risks associated with applications
· To comply with national and international standards
· To secure information systems of the organization
CISA professionals carrying out audits of information systems need to ensure that their audit procedures are well within the audit standards. Additionally, conducting such audits should extend to all the systems present within the organization. Information systems can include software assets, physical assets, database assets, and so on. Hence, auditing all these assets plays a significant role in discovering potential cyber threats that may damage the reputation of the organization.
What are the different types of IT system audits?
Among the popular types of IT systems audit carried out globally, there are 4 common audit types practiced within the organization. In order to conduct such audits, CISA certified professionals apply general rules of auditing. The 4 types include:
- Application audit
Organizations conduct IT systems audits on applications to determine the efficiency of controls instilled. In addition, IT experts can determine whether the applications of the organizations have reliable safety measures in place. This assists in gaining the trust of clients who utilize the applications for various purposes.
- Audit of information processing
IT systems audit can be conducted by experts to understand the efficiency of processes involved in analyzing information. These processes have a vital role in extracting meaningful/sensitive information required for making decisions.
- Develop information systems
To develop better information systems with robust security controls, auditors can perform audits on IS. In addition, CISA professionals ensure to develop them in such a way that they comply with the regulations applicable.
- Enterprise architecture
Audits on enterprise architecture are conducted to assess whether information systems are structured and processed effectively. This helps in safeguarding the entire IT architecture of the enterprise from all possible threats.
What is the process of conducting Information Systems Audit?
The general practice of conducting information system audit includes the following steps.
- Establishing an objective, forms the first stage of conducting any type of audit. Without setting an objective, conducting audits would be of no use to organizations.
- The next step involves creating an audit plan. This plan should consist of the roadmap for achieving the set audit objectives. In addition, the plan contains the necessary tasks for performing the audit.
- Third phase of the IT systems audit enables CISA professionals to gather all the information regarding information system controls and infrastructure. The information collected is further evaluated for any loopholes.
- CISA professionals then run a series of tests on the information systems present within the organization. This helps in extensively analyzing the software and physical IT assets for vulnerabilities.
- The final stage required CISA professionals to draft reports on the audit findings. An audit report of IT systems allows cybersecurity experts in the organization to take necessary action for eliminating cyber threats.
Certified information systems auditors are best suited for performing IT system audits in an organization. These professionals possess exceptional skill sets and advanced knowledge of conducting systems audits. In addition, CISA certified advises organizations to follow best practices of information system security. Moreover, enterprises, irrespective of their location and size, can hire professionals accredited with CISA Certification. This credential is ISACA’s prestigious credentials in the information systems audit domain, thereby entitling CISA Certified to be highly sought-after.