Cloud Computing – Importance of IT audit in the ever changing tech environment

By on July 1, 2014

Modern business is relying more and more on the latest and greatest technologies to give them the edge over the competition, open new markets previously unavailable to them, and to create costs savings. But there seems to be a lack of IT audit process that could be putting businesses at risk.

There is no doubt that cloud computing is enabling businesses to be more competitive and have a relief of continuity should the unexpected happen. Businesses are aware of positive results the technology brings as a result of mobile workforce and allowing employees to connect their own devices to a company network. But without proper IT audit and due diligence, these businesses could vanish as a result of lack of control and proper audit strategies.

According to a Gartner’s Seven Security Issues for Cloud Computing report, when using a cloud service it not easy to know exactly where your data is hosted. The report further states that sensitive data processed outside the business brings with it an inherent level of risk because outsourced services bypass the physical, logical and personnel controls.

In addition to information security issues on the cloud, a Microsoft study shows that globally, 19% of businesses still don’t understand the term ‘cloud computing’.

Kgabo Ralebepa, IT Audit Associate Director at SekelaXabiso believes there is a great opportunity for IT audit executives to educate business leaders about information risks associated with cloud computing and how best to manage those risks.

It is important for businesses to have proper cloud computing strategy in place that addresses business case for moving information to the cloud, a true understanding of the value they seek to gain by moving to the cloud, what information exactly is being moved to the cloud, who has access to what information, how secure is that information and so on.

Cloud computing is a business game-changer that comes with efficiencies and costs savings – it should be embraced. But it is important that businesses establish processes to routinely re-evaluate and monitor information risks associated with this cloud computing. Internal audit teams should also ensure management evaluates these risks and proactively address them. This is essential for success of any business today.

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