An information technology audit, or information systems audit, is an examination of the management controls within an Information technology (IT) infrastructure. The evaluation of obtained evidence determines if the information systems are safeguarding assets, maintaining data integrity, and operating effectively to achieve the organization’s goals or objectives. These reviews may be performed in conjunction with a financial statement audit, internal audit, or other form of attestation engagement.
The purpose of an IT audit is to evaluate the system’s internal control design and effectiveness. This includes, but is not limited to, efficiency and security protocols, development processes, and IT governance or oversight. Installing controls are necessary but not sufficient to provide adequate security. People responsible for security must consider if the controls are installed as intended, if they are effective, or if any breach in security has occurred and if so, what actions can be done to prevent future breaches. These inquiries must be answered by independent and unbiased observers. These observers are performing the task of information systems auditing. In an Information Systems (IS) environment, an audit is an examination of information systems, their inputs, outputs, and processing.
The primary functions of an IT audit are to evaluate the systems that are in place to guard an organization’s information. Specifically, information technology audits are used to evaluate the organization’s ability to protect its information assets and to properly dispense information to authorized parties.
The IT audit aims to evaluate the following:
Will the organization’s computer systems be available for the business at all times when required? (known as availability)
Will the information in the systems be disclosed only to authorized users? (known as security and confidentiality)
Will the information provided by the system always be accurate, reliable, and timely? (measures the integrity)
In this way, the audit hopes to assess the risk to the company’s valuable asset (its information) and establish methods of minimizing those risks.IT audits are also known as automated data processing audits (ADP audits) and computer audits.The following are basic steps in performing the Information Technology Audit Process:
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