What the IT Auditing Process Actually Looks Like in Practice

Are you worried about your data security and looking for someone to perform an IT audit? Do you worry that you don’t know enough about the process and won’t get the right company for the job?

More than 80 percent of businesses moved some of their IT to the cloud. That’s one of the ways companies are using to back up their data.

Understanding the need for IT auditing can be a daunting process for many small business owners. Here’s what to expect from an IT audit.

What Is IT Auditing?

An IT audit reviews your business’s IT systems and processes. The purpose of an IT audit is to ensure that the system controls and protects the assets of your business. 

The audit also checks the integrity of your data and makes sure that your processes align with your operations.

Internal and Operational Controls 

These controls are rules or processes put in place by management. Their purpose is to protect the assets of the company by reducing the risk of theft or error.

There might be controls requiring staff to follow policies to ensure accurate data entry. These controls also check that the systems operate efficiently.

One example of internal control in an accounting department is a rule that states the person who accepts payments isn’t the same person who makes deposits in the bank. That simple control of separation of duties protects against employee theft.

Cybersecurity Audit

One aspect of an IT audit looks specifically at cybersecurity. The auditor understands various online risks and looks at how your company’s controls protect against threats.

Each company has different risks, depending on the software and hardware they use and how much of their systems operate in the cloud. There are physical risks as well.

Your IT systems should securely store data. That might include physical security such as cameras and locked buildings. It might be the requirement to change passwords frequently.

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Risk-Based Approach

Most auditors in the IT industry use a risk-based approach. They learn about your company and your internal controls to create an audit plan.

Then they identify known risks and evaluate the operational rules you have created to mitigate the risks. 

Next, they run tests to see how well the controls protect your data. There are two types of tests an auditor will perform. 

Compliance Testing

These tests look at the processes covered by one specific internal control and the steps the control requires. The auditor observes or examines the evidence to see whether staff are compliant or follow the rules.

Substantive Tests

During an IT audit, the auditor gathers data and other evidence when doing a substantive test. They’re looking for proof that your data is correct, which indicates that the controls are working.

Make Your Choice With Confidence

When you understand what’s involved in the IT auditing process, you will feel more comfortable looking for a company to perform the audit.

If you enjoyed learning how to find the best IT auditing firm, we have more advice on our blog. Check it out today!