As a business owner, you always have to prepare for the unexpected. Sometimes, the unexpected can come in the form of an intimidating IT auditor asking you tons of questions. You shouldn’t be nervous though, as long as you are confident and can prove your systems are in a steady state to meet compliance requirements, you’ll do great.
You must ensure you have properly put in place strict standards and your business follows regulations to avoid data loss and breaches. The IT auditor will be suspicious if you only seem to comply rather than lawfully follow regulatory requirements.
Here are some key components the IT auditor will want to debrief you on and how you can properly prepare your business.
The IT auditor’s job is to ensure you have full control over IT security and that it is adequate and effective. They will assess your company’s compliance with policies and procedures following key areas:
- IT Security Planning
- IT Security Risk Management
- IT Security Monitoring
- IT Security Roles and Training
- IT Security Strategy and Governance
- Incident Response and Management
Your IT security policies and procedures need to meet the governance and industry standards. The security of your business is crucial, when you handle Card Holder Data (CHD) and personal information, all of that data needs to be tightly secured to avoid any leaks or breaches. It can be devastating if that information got into the wrong hands and it can also ruin your reputation.
You must ensure that all IT security roles and responsibilities are clear and concise between staff and employees to keep a sturdy framework. Organize and keep on record everyone’s duty to prove to the IT auditor that everyone is doing their part in maintaining a secure structure.
Access privileges are imperative to keep track of. The IT auditor will want to ensure you are properly documenting and delegating the access privileges your staff and employees are in charge of. If anything were to ever happen regarding a data leak or breach, it’s important you know the source and who was in charge when it happened.
Lack of control over access privileges poses a risk; you need to show the auditor you have strengthened accountabilities to system and data ownership.
Ensure your team:
- Monitors and reports results consistently and notifies senior management,
- Strengthens all password controls and system access grants,
- Monitors inactive accounts and unauthorized accesses,
- Puts risk assessments related to system access in place and documents them,
- Strengthens and properly trains those in charge of system access.
These are the kind of steps an IT auditor wants to ensure you are following. Your data needs to be properly safeguarded and everyone needs to understand their system access control responsibilities:
- Prevent unauthorized access,
- Authenticate users,
- Authorize, and
- Control access.
Data Protection Methods:
One of their top priorities is to ensure you protect sensitive data and personal information. This is the crux of your business, if you want to stay successful and keep your reputation that is. The auditor will want you to provide reports and methods of your data classification and segregation methods. You need solid proof it cannot be compromised or easily infiltrated.
They will want to check:
- Appropriate sorting and deleting of information,
- Assurance on accurate, up-to-date and complete information,
- Documents on authorized use of systems,
- Methods and processes on legally following policies and procedures,
- Full compliance on the data protection legislation.
It is important to the IT auditor that everyone on your team is involved, aware, and understands and uses data protection on a daily basis. They will verify that your system works and is effective to maintain a safe network.
Do you think your business is IT auditor ready? We know the proper steps it takes to keep your business following policies and procedures. Put the focus back on your business and let us handle the rest. Book an introductory consultation to see what we can do for you.