The experience of performing an audit is always painful. If you are a third-party consultant, then you need to work with customers that have high expectations and limited budgets. Similarly, if you are an internal auditor, then you might need to deal with internal politics for completing the internal audit. In this article, we are going to talk about the major Audit challenges that businesses face during audits.
Lack of communication
If the organization doesn’t understand the purpose and scope of its audit program, then it will be a risky environment for you. They will become less helpful during the audit process. Employees will become more tight-lipped during the interview process. They can be even hostile. The best way to avoid this is by creating a healthy work relationship. You can follow the below tips for creating a good work relationship:
If you are an auditor, then you should already know about all the tech jargon and acronyms. However, your clients don’t know about this tech jargon. You should ensure that your audit questions are simple to understand. Sometimes you can ask extremely tough things from non-technical staff members. If you get a blank stare from your clients, then you should try to explain them in simple words.
For example, you might want to ask about the network perimeter protections that your clients are using. You shouldn’t mention technical things like NGAV and IDS. It is a good idea to start with a simple thing like a firewall. You should ask them about the firewall that they are using. These questions can be easily understood by your clients.
Become friends with the IT team:
You are not going to work with a business executive while performing a security audit. Most of the actual assessment will be done with the security staff. The security staff can sometimes become defensive. They don’t want to explain how they have created their network and how they are securing it. You should make some assurances like you are not going to criticize their work.
Auditor’s main job is to identify risks in the network and work on a remediation plan. You should also hear insights about the company’s needs. This will help you in creating a better plan for your clients. Maybe the organization’s security team wants to implement SIEM for automating their security capabilities.
Your job is to support the security team and tell these requests to the management team. You should assure them that you are on their side. This will ensure that the security team will be honest during the interview process. It will actually simplify the entire audit process as the security team will help you in performing a security audit. This will help you in improving your audit quality.
Sometimes the discussions can get off-topic. You might spend your time working on things that actually don’t matter to you. Humans are generally helpful in nature. However, these little pockets of time are going to cost both the organization and you. You will waste a lot of time on useless things.
You should first define the audit scope. After that, you should stick with the scope. Most organizations have to follow regulatory standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. You can use these regulatory standards as your compass. They will help you in checking the quality of the security plan. You can use these compliances for guiding your work.
If your clients are asking you to do out-of-scope things, then they probably value your IT expertise. You should tell them that these questions will qualify for a new audit. It will cost more time and money. You can also have a change order form as it will ensure that your clients can actually change the order if they want to check other things.
Audits that are full of blame and shame
Sometimes auditors can write their audit assessment with an accusatory tone. You might think that you will motivate the management by filling your report with high severity findings. However, in reality, the IT security team will be blamed for your findings. This is going to affect the morale of your client’s IT security team. Due to this, everyone will suffer audit fatigue due to your large report.
You should ensure that you are not focusing on reprimands. Make sure that you are only focusing on the remediation. Every organization is going to have some issues. They already know that they have some issues with their IT plan. Thus, they are looking for your guidance and help.
You should try to include an action plan for your report. This will offer a remediation guide to your clients. It will act as a plan for dealing with the identified risks. You should also calculate the expected costs and time for dealing with these risks. This will ensure that your clients can couple your report with the security plan.
They can follow this playbook for improving their organization’s security. This should be the main aim of auditors. Every auditor should focus on improving the security plan of their clients. This will help you in developing a good relationship with your clients.
The importance of IT audit is only going to increase with time. If you are an IT auditor, then you should help your clients in improving their IT security. This information will help auditors in improving their audit process. If you are an SMB, then you should consider performing an IT security audit. This will help you in finding loopholes in your IT security plan. Thus, you can work on improving your IT security plan. However, it can be very costly to conduct an in-house IT audit. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire will help you in performing an IT audit. They will also help you in improving your IT security plan. If you need more information regarding the IT audit, then you can contact Bleuwire.