IT Audit and IT Security Need to be Complementary

The news makes it obvious with the latest hacks screaming off the pess –  IT audit and IT Security need to be Complementary.   It is wrong to point at enterprises for not putting in the time for the proper practices and procedures – they are.  Nor shoud we expect that burdening the industry with more regulations will help.

What needs to be done? The tools and methodologies need to reflect the new paradigm of today’s identity attacks.

IT Audit and IT Security Need to be complementary
Image #1: YouAttest combines audit and IT Security by providing alerts on changes on key events and enterprise permission changes that require immediate attestation by pre-selected users or groups. ( IT Audit and IT Security Need to be complementary)

During an internal audit, an organization seeks an independent, objective process to evaluate risk management, governance, and control processes to improve company operations. Similarly, an IT audit includes the evaluation of IT infrastructure, applications, data use, and management. These audits are typically performed to improve risk management controls.  Enterprise are doing the task – and meeting the letter of the guidances through the practices.   But the tools being used are often too focused on the guidance or regulations and could use a step back to understand the actual problem.

To make IT audits effective, they should be viewed as a critical component of security. Without proper audits, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to discover which areas of IT pose security risks and require improvement. Done at least annually, IT audits can point to security risks needing to be fixed before they are found by cybercriminals to exploit. 

But manually is fraught with errors and is expensive.   As pointed out in our October webinar, the TCO on the one year liceanse of a proper tools for IT Access Review can make up for the cost of a single manual audit.

IT audits are also essential for meeting compliance requirements of regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, or the EU’s GDPR. During an audit, the auditor will check to ensure that an organization meets the required standards, such as protecting personal health information, digital health information,  or financial reporting. If an organization is not meeting the requirements outlined in applicable regulations, an IT audit will allow them to rectify the issue before they are penalized for it. 

When viewed as complementary to security, an IT audit will help strengthen the security posture of an organization. Security posture, as defined by the NIST, is the “security status of an enterprise’s networks, information, and systems based on information security resources (e.g., people, hardware, software, policies) and capabilities in place to manage the defense of the enterprise and to react as the situation changes.” Any good IT audit will take these factors into account so that processes and resources can be improved to protect sensitive data and applications from hackers. This will allow organizations to predict where threats may come from and react accordingly to mitigate their effects.

Why IT Audit and IT Security Need to be Complementary for Any Enterprise ?

Without understanding the importance of IT audits, organizations will find it more difficult to understand the threats they may face. If underprepared to face security threats, organizations risk data breaches, fines, and disastrous losses in reputation. For IT audits to be truly successful, they should be treated as complementary to security processes to protect against cyber threats and hackers. In short IT Audit and IT Security need to be complementary for any enterprise to be secure and to meet compliance for regulations and guidances.

At YouAttest we feel the missing piece is adding real-time audits of changes and events that could affect the security posture of your enterprise.  (See image #1 above)   YouAttest supports this functionality in our Auto-Attestation event triggering system.

Contact us @ YouAttest or schedule an appointment and we will show you how to add security into your identity audits..

Garret Grajek is Certified Information Security Specialist and CEO of YouAttest. YouAttest is the only cloud-based IGA platform that deploys in minutes via application SSO to platforms like Okta.