It has nothing to do with Financial Statements audit, internal audit in finance terms or any short of such engagement. It’s the IT/IS AUDIT that is an examination to ascertain the effectiveness of IT control system and design, IT governance, security protocols, development processes. Simply put an IT auditor oversees these domains to give adequate security to any organization.
IT has got a range of issues from blunt to crucial, an IT Auditor analyzes and assesses the frequency of the problem, rates them into categories, finds the root causes of the problem especially pertaining to risk management and lastly eradicates it following the IT compliances. IT Auditor increases flexibility by reducing complexity and ambiguity.
The audit processes touch programs, software, networks, communication, security all crucial to IT infrastructure. Every organization has its own IT wing that supports firmly & collaborates to a dashboard making it easy for non-IT people to carry out their functions, roles & responsibilities with ease to contribute towards the betterment of the organization & as well as their own personal development both monetarily and morally.
Before we move into discussing the skills required, let’s analyze the salary or money factor for motivation. As a report from the leading staffing agency Robert Half states that any new entrant with one year or reasonably less experience with expert level of 90% in IT auditing can draw a salary of $80000 while with same competency an IT auditor with experience of more than three years draws paycheck as large as $120000, and a senior manager with 90% proficiency in his IT auditing skills is entitled to a salary which goes up to more than $190000.
Note that the above-discussed salaries are for proficient professionals with their IT auditing skills, with less proficiency a professional will tend to draw less salary. Proficiency here means having specializations & certifications to validate your skills, certifications like CISA, CISM & CIA helps to aggravate the skill levels & recognized certifications will always be beneficial for professionals in their present & future.
Types of IT Audits
Technological position audit
Systems & application audit
Information Processing Audit
Systems Development Audit
Management of IT & EA audit
Client/ server, Intranets & extranets Audits
IT Auditor Skills
Risk assessment: this is very crucial for individuals who aspire to be an IT Auditor. Knowing the present loopholes in the IT infrastructure, system & security is the crux in Risk management. Communicating & identifying the problems with making reports & asking for permission from the stakeholders & top-level management is next. Then sorting the issue and making the system error & glitch-free.
Report writing skills& data analysis: it involves the professional’s critical thinking or analytical thinking with extensive research for information to provide evidence, proofreading & above all following a format.
IT security & Infrastructure knowledge: it is the key area of knowledge for an IT Auditor, thus making the professional a specialist. Knowing the threats closely in the market & being prepared & proactively working on it.
Security Testing: it is the process to find the flaws in the security & IS to protect & maintain crucial data & information & to keep it out of reach from hackers & criminals through confidentiality, authentication & authorization processes.
Customer protection: an organization has seemingly innumerable length & breadth of customer base starting with employees as internal customers. All of them are not all-knowing; the majority of the base lacks in IT knowledge. So an IT auditor works as a custodian & recommends the best solutions through verbal or written education of the customer to address if the problem is unavoidable & respectfully demanding their support & promising quick resolution.
Know that it is a very responsible job role where organization fully depend upon the IT auditors to be proactive enough to assess the problems and impart them full control over their IT affairs. IT audits is also known as Automated Data Processing technically & computer audits if you have to mention it plainly. The change which may occur should be brought in by the auditor in the purview of the organization as a whole & communicate the implications with evidence or Reports that have analyzed data in it. A day in the life of an IT auditor is not as cool as James Bond but more like Benji Dunn of the Mission Impossible series just excluding the fight part!