What is an IT audit?
An information technology audit is responsible for analyzing and assessing a company’s technological infrastructure to ensure processes and systems run accurately and efficiently while remaining secure and meeting compliance regulations. An IT auditor also identifies any information technology issues that fall under the auditing, specifically those related to security and risk management. If issues are identified, IT auditors are responsible for communicating their findings to others in the organization and offering solutions to improve or change processes and systems to ensure security and compliance.
The IT auditor role
The role of an IT auditor involves developing, implementing, testing, and evaluating audit review procedures. You’ll be responsible for conducting IT and IT-related audit projects using the established information technology auditing standard in your organization. The audit process can extend to networks, software, programs, communication systems, security systems, and any other services that rely on the company’s technological infrastructure.
It’s an essential role for organizations that rely on technology given that one small technical error or misstep can ripple down and impact the entire company. IT audits are important for evaluating internal control and processes in an effort to keep the organization and its data secure from external or internal threats.
IT audit responsibilities
As an IT auditor, you will be responsible for running several audits of an organization’s technologies and processes. IT audits are also referred to as automated data processing (ADP) audits and computer audits. In the past, IT audits have also been labeled as electronic data processing (EDP) audits. Companies may also run information security (IS) audits to evaluate the organization’s security processes and risk management. The IT audit process is typically utilized to assess data integrity, security, development, and IT governance.
There are several types of IT audits, including:
- Technological innovation process: an audit process that creates a risk profile for current and future projects with a focus on the company’s experience with those technologies and where it stands in the market
- Innovative comparison audit: an audit that looks at an organization’s ability to innovate compared to competitors and evaluates how well the company produces new products
- Technological position audit: an audit that examines current technology in the organization and future technologies that will need to be adopted
- Systems and applications: an audit process that specifically evaluates whether systems and applications are controlled, reliable, efficient, secure, and effective
- Information processing facilities: auditing to evaluate an organization’s ability to produce applications even in disruptive conditions
- Systems development: an audit for verifying that systems that are being developed are suited for the organization and meet development standards
- Management of IT and enterprise architecture: auditing of the IT management’s organizational structure for information processing
- Client, server, telecommunications, intranets, and extranets: audits to examine controls on client-connected servers and networks
IT auditor skills
The skills you need as an IT auditor will vary depending on your specific role and industry, but there’s a general set of skills that all IT auditors need to be successful. Some of the most commonly sought skills for IT auditor candidates include:
- IT security and infrastructure
- Internal audit
- IT risk
- Data analysis
- Data analysis and visualization tools (ACL, MS Excel, SAS, Tableau)
- Security risk management
- Security testing and auditing
- Computer security
- Internal auditing standards including SOX, MAR, COSO, and COBIT
- Analytical and critical thinking skills
- Communication skills