The process of internal auditing is essential for any organisation. It not only provides a way to monitor and compare results to measure progress and performance but it will also determine legal compliance and provide an essential evaluation of your IT businesses objectives and risk assessment control. It is often through the perspective of an objective audit – even an internal one – that the most transformative changes can be identified and implemented. So, what are the key areas to address with respect to your network ahead of the internal auditing process?
1. Network performance
Business decisions about network performance can be heavily influenced by the results of an internal audit. So, it’s a good idea to look at how your network has been performing well in advance, as well as any obvious issues that there have been. Network downtime or slow periods, as well as complaints from network users will all be useful information to feed into the internal auditing process. It may be that the audit shows change is necessary, such as investing in 24/7 network performance monitoring.
2. Network security
As one of the main features of the audit is to look at risk assessment control, network security will be a key consideration. This may involve evaluating how successful current security provision is – i.e. how many breaches have occurred compared to previous years – and whether it is legally compliant. You may find, as a result of the audit, that security measures require an upgrade.
3. Network access
Key questions during the audit will be who has access to the network and what kind of access control is in place to protect the most valuable assets and prevent unauthorised access.
Preparing your business for an internal audit
The more prepared the business is for the audit, the faster it can be completed and the more successful it is likely to be.
- Make sure you communicate that an audit is imminent. You may want to meet with key stakeholders in advance of the audit, to set out how the audit is going to be delivered and to request feedback on any disruption that may mean for business continuity. Speaking to stakeholders will also ensure that your audit is comprehensive and nothing is missed.
- Ensure that you’ll be able to gather evidence. Evidence of all matters concerning security and data, for example, is going to be essential to the successful completion of an internal audit. So, staff and managers should be in a position to present evidence that will support the outcomes and conclusions of the audit.
- How can your reporting be more effective in future? Throughout the process of an audit it may be useful to look at any monitoring that could be implemented in the future to make the audit and reporting more accurate and simple.
With some planning, any business can carry out a successful internal IT audit. It’s crucial to ensure your IT provider is both compliant and consistently delivering on the necessary skills, experience and capability to handle your business. If you would like to speak to one of our team about your IT requirements or enquire about help4It’s extensive IT services, visit our website or call us on 0800 043 4448.