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How Much Time Does an Identity Audit Take?

How much time does an Identity Audit take? Whether they’re done yearly, semiannually, or quarterly, enterprises are required to conduct IT audits. During the audit, the IT infrastructure, applications, data use, and management are evaluated to improve risk management controls. But how much time does an identity audit take?  And what are the cost associated with this manual process.

IT audits are performed so that enterprises can determine whether they are adhering to requirements such as the NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework. This means meeting the specifications of PR.AC-4 and PR.IP-3 as they relate to access reviews and quantifying changes around PAM accounts. However, IT audits pose significant time commitments and inefficiencies that are burdensome.

YouAttest Quantifies the Cost of an Identity Audit – How Much Time Does an Identity Audit Take?

Using an independent CPA, YouAttest researched the time that goes into a typical identity audit. With manual audit processes, it can take over half an hour per identity, which adds up as the number of identities at an enterprise adds up. For an organization with just over 2.25K identities, each audit can take up to 1229 hours. When required to perform 6 audits annually, the total time spent on auditing reaches 7376 hours or 307 days. Manual IT audit procedures demand a significant time commitment that could be used for more strategic IT initiatives if automated.

Image #1: YouAttest utilizing a TCO calculator to help enterprises understand the cost saving of using an automated access review tool over the traditional manual process. (How Much Time Does an Identity Audit Take?)

In the process of IT auditing, several factors increase the time and complexity of the process. Teams completing working with external auditors typically have few dedicated resources, reducing inefficiencies and requiring more of a time commitment. Typically, no employee has “auditing” as their primary job description, meaning that employees have to be pulled from their regular job to prepare the information external auditors require. Besides, employees typically are not compensated for audit success. Errors in the audit process compound, leading to internal delays and causing external auditors to rework when they receive corrected information.

For enterprises, collecting information on apps, identities, and permissions is time-intensive. They’re required to collate changes, identify privileged and service accounts, and validate user groups. Once this work is complete, they still must bundle the information for the auditor who values accuracy and completeness. If the data the auditor is provided cannot be validated, it has no value.

However, many enterprises conduct this process manually which is severely error-prone. Manual processes very commonly result in audit findings, which have detrimental implications for the enterprise. For example, audit findings are very expensive to clean up and communicate appropriately. If the audit does result in findings, that just be appropriately communicated to employees, customers, partners, and in some cases, authorities.

Beware – All Identity Audit Products are Equal

While solutions are existing in the market, many don’t deliver on the value they promised. They are expensive to own, expensive to operate and require an expensive migration from on-premise to the cloud. This is where new, modern solutions like YouAttest come into play. YouAttest requires no hardware, no software, at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. However, enterprises get the same result: no audit findings.

With YouAttest, enterprises can audit their IT systems more efficiently and frequently. Even if only required once per year, more frequent audits help enterprises detect changes and perform comparisons on their own to see how users are changed with on- and off-boardings. This is critical in ensuring that only authorized users can access the systems they need and that those who don’t are kept out. Additionally, it is becoming more common, especially in a business-to-business environment, that the customer will request audits that prove the enterprise is managed correctly.

Manual audits are costly in that data gathering is inaccurate and prone to errors, which can lead to costly audit findings or adding onto the work needing to be done by auditors. Employing a solution such a YouAttest eliminates the increased cost and employee time commitments.

Please feel free to reach out to us for further details and if you find this article informative for “How Much Time Does an Identity Audit Take?”

YouAttest is automated identity audit tool for Okta, AD and other resources.  Cloud based and simple to use – YouAttest provides a quantified platform for your identity audits.   Schedule an appointment with a YouAttest identity audit professional.