With the increase in cyberattacks threatening and weakening businesses, it is important to take steps to avoid these risks. Those most affected by these attacks are small and medium-sized businesses, which are the most vulnerable. Carrying out an IT audit helps prevent these potential cyber risks.
What is an IT audit?
An IT audit is an analysis and mapping of all the risks and flaws in the IT system and the Information System (IS) of a company . This analysis aims to identify flaws in the digital environment and to propose solutions to improve data protection and the efficiency of the company’s IT structures.
It is a control tool that also makes it possible to check that the company meets its obligations in terms of legal compliance, accuracy of financial information and optimization of operations.
An IT audit is therefore both a technical control and an advisory tool. Also Security Guardrails for GraphQL Attack Surfaces article at inigo.io.
The IS is an essential and central element for all companies that allows them to process, distribute and classify their data.
What are the different types of audit?
IT audit is a fairly general term that includes many sections, such as:
- The audit of the IT function : focuses on the organization of the IT system with users, working methods and its positioning in the company.
- The operating audit : allows you to check the operation of IT production centers, such as resource management or production planning.
- The audit of IT studies : ensures the effectiveness of the IT function, its adaptation and that its use is controlled with the various departments of the company.
- The audit of IT projects : aims to ensure the logical and efficient progress of a project. For example, its feasibility, its risk management or the clarity of the methods and instructions used.
- The audit of operational applications : is used to check the proper functioning of the software, the IS, and whether everything complies with current regulations.
- The IT security audit : allows actions to be taken to mitigate the risks related to the company’s equipment, but also to the security of its data.
Why do you need to do an IT audit?
The IT audit is only preventive, it is not mandatory to do one . It is strongly advised to perform it on a regular basis, in order to be aware of the flaws and areas for improvement in your business. The aim is to take appropriate measures against potential cyberattacks.
|Benefits of an IT audit|
|Check compliance and compliance with GDPR standards|
|Implementation of effective maintenance|
|Assess the company’s IT|
|Evaluate the performance of the existing computer system|
|Define best practices|
|Improve team organization and productivity|
Carrying out an IT audit therefore makes it possible to rectify the weak points of your company and improve its IT security. It is also very useful for optimizing the use of software and equipment.
There are many cyber risks that are covered by cyber insurance .
How to do an IT audit?
It is possible to call on a firm specializing in auditing or to do it yourself . If you decide to carry out an audit on your own, follow these three steps:
- Preparing for the audit: a very important step which consists of identifying the challenges, strategies and direction of the company in order to define its objectives . It is important to know what are the uses, needs and objectives of the software and tools used and which employees are using them.
- Analysis of hardware and software: this point is done in two stages. The first consists of mapping all of the company’s hardware and software to verify their operation, level of security and compliance with regard to data management and security . The second corresponds to the test and control of the IS to have an overview of the processing of sensitive data and whether the company is likely to be hacked (backup management, firewall, antivirus, wifi access point and its security, anti-spam, etc.).
- The audit report: summary of the results of the analyzes launched on the entire system. This summary contains the strengths and weaknesses of the company, areas for improvement and solutions to achieve the defined objectives .
Should cyber risk insurance be taken out in addition to the IT audit?
It is advisable to take out cyber insurance, which will cover many claims known as “cyber risks” . Doing an IT audit is a first step in protecting your company’s security and data management. Improving its security does not mean that it is impenetrable, or that your business is immune to potential cyberattacks.
SMEs and VSEs are the companies most affected by these attacks, because they are often poorly protected against cyber risks and have sensitive data. The average cost of a cyber-attack is estimated at around €50,000 . In addition to the potential ransom demand, the entire company is affected: business interruption, deterioration of computer equipment, leak of data necessary for operations, impact on notoriety, civil liability, etc.
What is an IT audit used for?
As a preventive measure, the IT audit is used to rectify the faults of its company, to reinforce its security and its efficiency. Do not wait to be attacked to make one.
How to carry out an IT audit?
An audit can be done by contacting a specialized audit firm, by an employee of his company or by taking out cyber insurance.
What are the different types of IT audit?
The IT audit includes 6 sub-sections: the audit of the IT function, the audit of IT studies, the audit of operations, the audit of IT projects, the audit of operational applications and the audit of the IT security.