Audit. The word doesn’t exactly conjure up happy thoughts. Most of us are probably thinking about accounting and finances right now. But let’s discuss a different type of auditing. Imagine if there was a leak of confidential customer information or your website was hacked. The reputation of your organization would no doubt suffer in either scenario. This is where an IT audit would have come in handy. After all, how can an organization possibly keep potential issues at bay if they haven’t tested the effectiveness of their technology, processes, and employees?
There is no sure-fire way to have absolute protection but, there are steps every organization can take to minimize that risk. Don’t wait until an attack forces you to hire an auditor, take the initiative first.
Technology is changing rapidly, keeping most businesses on their toes when it comes to employees, security, and policies. New vulnerabilities are discovered almost daily, which is why it’s important to make sure the measures your team has in place are working efficiently. Quarterly audits help to establish a baseline so in future audits you will be able to measure progress – hopefully seeing the same amount of risks discovered or even a decline over time.
Unfortunately, audits aren’t as simple as having the professionals come in, there is some preparation work to do. First your organization needs to discover it’s objectives – what do you want to get out of this audit? This could be to minimize business risk or ensure compliance. Once you know what you want to test, your team can start preparing – but what exactly can you expect?
At its core, an IT audit involves evaluating controls and policies, testing them and then reporting on the potential problems. It identifies any risks by reviewing policies, procedures, the network and system configuration to ensure your team safeguards assets effectively and data is maintained correctly. An auditor will review relevant policies and check for unauthorized permissions or implementations like unsanctioned wireless networks. They will also see whether the environment matches what management has in inventory and will use a vulnerability scanner to check for potential risks against a database. Lastly is the most important piece for your organization – the report. The comprehensive report will outline findings, the adequacy of controls, and potential risks, and of course, recommendations on how to make improvements are included.
Why is an IT Audit Essential?
First and foremost is the ability to check your businesses susceptibility to threats. Most companies now employ a layered security approach, but the fact is you can’t quite know how well your defenses are until they’ve been tested. Another great advantage is evaluating the integrity of your systems. In the case that it isn’t running as efficiently as it could, an auditor can help recommend changes. In the same case as your systems, they can also bolster your controls, restructuring and reinforcing them if need be.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of an IT audit is ensuring to your clients and partners that your business is trustworthy, security-minded, and constantly looking to provide for them better.
Take the Next Step
Think it’s time for your organization to consider an audit? Give our team a call! We know the in’s and out’s of security and can help your business establish the right controls, understand the potential issues with your systems as well as possible threats. Netzbahn doesn’t just give you recommendations but also helps your team implement them.
We have your best interest in mind, call us today at 920.297.5000.