How Banks Can Stop Fearing the IT Audit

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There are few things people fear more than a tax audit. If you are an IT pro in a community bank or credit union, the pain of an individual tax audit is multiplied many fold when it comes time for a business-wide IT audit. These audits can happen anytime, not just once a year, and financial IT pros must always be prepared.

Making sure that you constantly stay in compliance with company policies, and the many and sundry local and federal rules and regulations, can be a nightmare. That’s only part of the issue — proving that you are in compliance by acing an audit is just as hard on IT and IT Ops departments. These groups must show that their organization is in compliance, including that patches are up-to-date, security is proven to be tight, and deep and careful activity logs are kept to record who has done what on the network.

In a recent survey of audit professionals, respondents were asked about audit practices. The results:

  • Almost all rated compliance risks as the biggest area of focus for internal audits.
  • More than two-thirds of the professionals surveyed said regulation is increasing the cost of auditing.
  • More than one-third said audit costs are taking resources away from core activities.
  • 36% responded that they were not using compliance-specific technology effectively.

As the CIO, IT manager, or MSP responsible for passing an IT audit, how can you balance the necessity of the audit with the rising costs — without the deep pockets of the large financial institutions?

Use and Exploit Available Technology

Smaller community banks and credits unions typically don’t have the resources to adequately monitor and gather reports throughout their system, let alone ensure that they are accurate and current. That’s why audits remain stubbornly inefficient and costly. Even worse, you can’t prove your company is in full compliance. When you are saddled with inefficiency and a lack of visibility into your operations, scenarios like this one play out time and time again:

It’s time for a compliance audit. You work overtime nearly day and night, maybe even sleeping in the office, making sure reports are up-to-date and accurate. You go from device to device to be sure you have all the information gathered to prove that everything is compliant with company policy, as well as with SOX, PCI, Dodd-Frank, and whatever other rules and regulations are relevant. Adding more stress, you again work late into the night looking through logs and creating reports, so employees can remain at the devices and be productive during office hours. If you have a multi-site infrastructure, the process is repeated for every site.

Meanwhile, too many IT departments run on tight budgets, and some have even seen these budgets slashed. Staffing shortages, inefficient strategies, and a lack of proper compliance tools all lead to long hours, missed details, and faulty reporting. It’s costly, inefficient, and opens you to the possibility of huge penalties. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. That’s no way to enjoy your job.

The right technology will simplify the process and get rid of the risks through:

  • Automation and Consolidation. The system should automatically log and track user access to devices and data. Using and maintaining multiple point solutions for different areas of your network is inefficient, costly, and introduces more chances for error. One system should provide visibility to, and reporting from, infrastructure across the entire network.
  • Real-Time Monitoring. With real-time monitoring, you can always be sure your systems are in compliance. When it comes time for an audit, you don’t have to go from device to device to make sure everything is compliant. Since the real-time monitoring is always at work, you never have to manual check if their status or worry that you missed something.
  • Reporting. Without real-time monitoring, you cannot be sure reports are accurate and up-to-date. Even reports from the day before can be inaccurate — and those inaccuracies could lead to serious consequences. With real-time monitoring, the reports are always in real-time so they are always 100% accurate. Meanwhile, the right system provides feedback through detailed and comprehensive reporting based on protocols you determine. You customize reports to gather exactly what you need for the audit, and produce these reports painlessly.
  • Remote Endpoint Management.The right system allows you to check on devices remotely ─ without ever having to leave your office. This improves efficiency, reduces cost, and ensures up-to-date reporting. At the same time, the right tool will be automatically updated as to any changes (whether they occur on site or remotely, by a technician or automatically) so all this up-to-the-minute data is fully ready for reporting and review.

Kaseya VSA is Your Compliance and Financial Audit Solution

Kaseya provides efficiency. Kaseya VSA is a powerful IT system management solution, and as such, does all of the things listed above and much more — all through a single console. From this single pane of glass, you get a clear view of devices installed and their current status. At the same time, you can track what your users are doing across your entire network. You can track user logins and have customized reports issued automatically. With Kaseya VSA, you don’t need multiple programs to gather data, because all management capabilities work together — including certified Kaseya partner products which are fully integrated. When you manage and control everything through one integrated console, you guarantee that reporting is comprehensive and always up-to-date.

Kaseya VSA provides remote endpoint management, which means you no longer have to leave your office to check on devices — including laptops, ATMs, or self-service kiosks. It also means you have access to these devices (including off-network devices) wherever you are. Kaseya VSA’s remote access means you can work behind the scenes on devices while they are being used; no longer will you have to disrupt users or, alternatively, wait until after office hours to make fixes and gather reports. Even better, Kaseya VSA helps you be proactive in auditing, and identifying and remedying issues far before non-compliance becomes an issue.

Kaseya is cost-effective. Automation allows you to fully leverage your IT staff. For instance, automatic patching and update installation removes human error, reduces risk, and ensures IT compliance. You can fully control how and when patches are applied, and which devices they are applied to. Plus, when everything is monitored and automatically recorded, it is a simple matter of gathering the data in a customized report for management, staff, or auditors. Since you don’t need the manpower to physically visit every device, you save time and your employees keep working on their mission-critical projects.

For more information about how Kaseya VSA can help financial institutions manage IT risk,
“>downloadHow to Manage IT Risk Like a Big Bank (without a Big Bank IT budget) today!

To learn more about Kaseya VSA, get your free trial here today.

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