End of year audits are cumbersome, especially for mid-market enterprises (MME). Consider a university needing an end of year audit to get government IT funding. There are machines across a bevy of campuses and throughout nearly every building. And at the end of every year, IT teams manually compile all the asset information in spreadsheets. This method is not just time-consuming, but often inaccurate due to human error.
Auditing is also critical for industries with compliance requirements such as HIPAA, PCI or GDPR. These audits have to be accurate and complete, goals chaotic manual processes fail to achieve.
In the webinar, Get the gift of an automated end-of-year audit, Tracy Hernandez, VP of Product Marketing talks about the various challenges of end-of-year audits, and how these can be overcome.
Auditing distributed IT systems is difficult due to a lack of visibility into exactly what you have. Keeping track of IT infrastructure and the increasingly, employee-owned equipment via “Bring Your Own Devices” (BYOD) programs is a supreme challenge. Simply put, you cannot audit what you do not know you have.
We already talked about spreadsheets, but there is a little more to say. Spreadsheets are not designed for this purpose, so templates have to be built to track the data. These are also designed for a single user and are not great for teams, with poor version control. This means team members can overwrite data and introduce errors. Everything has to be keyed in, and these only capture a point of time of your IT inventory.
Tackling end of the year audits efficiently
One of the first steps for the efficient implementation of audits, Hernandez says, is looking for an easy to use solution that auto-discovers assets in the network, and provides deep level information of the asset, right down to the hardware level required for audits. With the right automation tool, you needn’t worry about tracking every bit of data manually. In the event of an audit, you can easily access what you need, when you need it.
For most organizations, achieving and maintaining compliance is challenging but a necessary part of doing business. Non-compliance of regulations attracts penalties and causes damage to the reputation of the organization.
However, constant compliance scans are overwhelming, especially in siloed organizations where the sheer quantity of system controls are often beyond a team’s reach. In such cases, compliance should be automated.
The solution that auto-discovers and auto-monitors should be able to auto-apply software management rules – install and update antivirus applications automatically, keep operating systems patched, and manage third-party applications throughout the year. Organizations should be able to monitor every software/hardware change in their assets, and have centralized control over their entire IT landscape.
Automating compliance from the start removes the guesswork, spot checks, and the age-old rush to gather your data before your compliance audit. Let’s imagine all systems are continuously checked for compliance, no manual scans, and no spot checks. You have all the data in one place and every activity logged. This way at the end of the year, you can produce the reporting you need for compliance and view the compliance status from a single dashboard.
Benefits of automation
Automation helps organizations save time, increase efficiency, reduce IT costs, improve regulatory compliance and hence avoid fines and penalties. An automated system provides a layered security model beginning with endpoint protection and proving compliance with comprehensive reports.
That system is VSA by Kaseya.
VSA by Kaseya does both network and systems management from the same dashboard. It provides remote control, network systems monitoring, patch and software management, disaster recovery and automated audits and inventory management.
With VSA, you automate procedures by writing scripts so systems behave exactly as you want. For example, if you want to patch a system and for some reason, it does not accept your patch, you create a script that automatically follows specific procedures to respond to those alerts. Now the system can self-heal or “auto-remediate”. Only when it doesn’t self-heal, does an administrator have to fix the issue.
You can schedule latest, system and baseline audits with VSA. Baseline audit gathers the configuration of the system in its original state. The latest audit gathers the configuration of the system as of the last audit and the system audit gathers all DMI/SMBIOS data of the system as of the last system info audit.
VSA lets IT managers to do more with their existing staff by reducing the time spent on routine maintenance and remediation. Now staff hours are free for critical projects and strategic activities.
Check out our webinar Get the Gift of an Automated End-of-Year Audit to understand how automation takes the pain out of end-of-year IT audits, and learn to automate audits with VSA by Kaseya.