Internal Auditing for Information Assurance

Internal Auditing for Information Assurance

Sushma Mishra (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-855-0.ch024
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Abstract

Internal auditing has become increasingly important in current business environments. In this era of the Sarbanes- Oxley Act and other similar legislations, regulatory compliance requires elaborate organizational planning. Auditing helps organizations in internal control assessment, change management, and better governance preparedness, thus enhancing information assurance. Various facets of internal auditing are discussed in this chapter and the role of internal auditing in information assurance is analyzed. Future issues and trends with internal auditing are also presented.
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Introduction

Regulations including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the USA Patriot Act, and a plethora of others have created an urgency among business organizations for rapid compliance with governmental standards. Internal auditors play an increasingly important role in today’s business scenario, and therefore, have become in great demand. This is clearly evident from the recent surge in the job satisfaction and salary of internal auditors (Oxner & Oxner, 2006). Businesses often use internal auditors as in-house consultants, relying on them for adding value to a wide range of initiatives including management controls, financial reporting, information systems design, and fraud detection. Auditing plays an important role in securing information systems within organizations by including functions such as internal control assessment, controls over financial reporting, designing and implementation of information systems, vulnerability management, risk analysis, segregation of duties, adequacy of business controls, and the physical security of assets.

Recent developments in the regulatory environment have brought significant changes to the organizational outlook regarding internal auditing. Internal auditors are aware of these increased responsibilities and concentrate on discovering new ways of assuring the public about the integrity of organizational reports (Verschoor, 1991). Today’s business environment requires an audit process that supports the continuous assessment of the goals and objectives of information assurance. Organizational strategic goals must be tactically executed with performance measuring capability. For information assurance purposes, there should be close coordination between the audit team, the security team, and the information technology operations (Bunker, 2003).

Information assurance (IA) can be viewed as an objective that involves all of the people, activities, and technologies employed to ensure that the fundamental properties of security—confidentiality, integrity, availability—are met throughout the lifecycle of a system (McEvilley, 2002). IA can be viewed as a process centric phenomenon that is comprehensive enough to include definition, implementation, and verification level operations. IA also includes day-to-day operations and the maintenance of the integrity of systems in such operational transactions. Assurance is subjective in nature and needs to be clearly explained to all involved in the security process.

Increasingly complex auditing functions require auditors to possess a deep knowledge about the organization and its business processes. Auditors should show an adequate understanding of the organizational culture, of the key players in the organization, and of the competitive environment in which the organization exists. Some audit practices that are becoming of heightened importance in today’s context include risk management and risk assessment. Recent research from the Institute of Internal Auditor’s Global Auditing Information Network (GAIN) indicates that given the various tools and techniques currently available to auditing teams, managing risks as well as consulting with management on aligning organizational goals within departments are considered extremely important. Audit functionality plays an important role in securing information systems in organizations by performing functions such as internal control assessment, risk analysis, segregation of duties, adequacy of business controls, and physical security of assets. Process and plan should have a clear statement of roles and responsibilities. An audit is also a means by which to ensure accountability from the management level of organizations. Accountability in management structures ensures better security management since governance objectives of securing informational assets can be reached in a systematic fashion. An accountability map provides security management programs with this critical component (Bunker, 2003).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Internal Control: Internal controls are a means to provide reasonable assurance that an organization will achieve its business objectives while avoiding undesired risks (ISACA, 2004). Internal controls are policies, procedures, practices, and organizational structures put in place to reduce business risks in organizations.

Role of Audit: Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes (Institute of Internal Auditors, 2006).

IT Governance: IT governance can be defined as the structure of relationships and processes to direct and control the enterprise. IT governance helps the organization achieve its goal by adding value while balancing risk and return over IT and its processes (ISACA, 2004).

Information Systems Security: Information systems security is the process of protecting all information assets from misuse, harm or any other unintended result. This includes securing information in computers, maintaining integrity of business processes, retaining skilled knowledge workers with their implicit knowledge and also encouraging employees to claim ownership of their share of information assets (Dhillon, 2006).

Information Assurance (IA): A process centric phenomenon that is comprehensive enough to include definition, implementation, and verification level operations.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Preface
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma
Acknowledgment
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma
Chapter 1
Xin Luo, Qinyu Liao
In computer virology, advanced encryption algorithms, on the bright side, can be utilized to effectively protect valuable information assets of... Sample PDF
Ransomware: A New Cyber Hijacking Threat to Enterprises
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Chapter 2
Joon S. Park
E-commerce has grown immensely with the increase in activity on the Internet, and this increase in activity, while immeasurable, has also presented... Sample PDF
E-Commerce: The Benefits, Security Risks, and Countermeasures
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Chapter 3
Pamela Ajoku
Even though weapons and money are considered important factors for running a modern world, at the end of the day, it is all about controlling and... Sample PDF
Information Warfare: Survival of the Fittest
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Chapter 4
Gaeil An, Joon S. Park
In this chapter, we discuss the evolution of the enterprise security federation, including why the framework should be evolved and how it has been... Sample PDF
Evolution of Enterprise Security Federation
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Chapter 5
Roy Ng
The hypergrowth of computing and communications technologies increases security vulnerabilities to organizations. The lack of resources training... Sample PDF
A Holistic Approach to Information Security Assurance and Risk Management in an Enterprise
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Chapter 6
John D’Arcy, Anat Hovav
A number of academic studies that focus on various aspects of information security management (ISM) have emerged in recent years. This body of work... Sample PDF
An Integrative Framework for the Study of Information Security Management Research
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Chapter 7
Aditya Ponnam
Organizations worldwide recognize the importance of a comprehensive, continuously evolving risk assessment process, built around a solid risk... Sample PDF
Information Systems Risk Management: An Audit and Control Approach
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Chapter 8
Udaya Kiran Tupakula
In this chapter we discuss Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in networks such as the Internet, which have become significantly prevalent... Sample PDF
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks in Networks
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Chapter 9
Andy Luse
This chapter describes various firewall conventions, and how these technologies operate when deployed on a corporate network. Terms associated with... Sample PDF
Firewalls as Continuing Solutions for Network Security
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Chapter 10
Jamie Twycross
The immune system provides a rich metaphor for computer security: anomaly detection that works in nature should work for machines. However, early... Sample PDF
An Immune-Inspired Approach to Anomaly Detection
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Chapter 11
Wasim A. Al-Hamdani
This chapter introduces cryptography from information security phase rather than from deep mathematical and theoretical aspects, along with... Sample PDF
Cryptography for Information Security
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Chapter 12
Carlo Belletini
The chapter introduces and describes representative defense mechanisms to protect from both basic and advanced exploitation of low-level coding... Sample PDF
Memory Corruption Attacks, Defenses, and Evasions
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Chapter 13
Dalila Boughaci, Brahim Oubeka, Abdelkader Aissioui, Habiba Drias, Belaïd Benhamou
This chapter presents the design and the implementation of a decentralized firewall. The latter uses autonomous agents to coordinately control the... Sample PDF
Design and Implementation of a Distributed Firewall
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Chapter 14
Tom Coffey
This chapter concerns the correct and reliable design of modern security protocols. It discusses the importance of formal verification of security... Sample PDF
A Formal Verification Centred Development Process for Security Protocols
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Chapter 15
Ahsan Habib
This chapter develops a distributed monitoring scheme that uses edge-to-edge measurements to identify congested links and capture the misbehaving... Sample PDF
Edge-to-Edge Network Monitoring to Detect Service Violations and DoS Attacks
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Chapter 16
Doug White, Alan Rea
Hard disk wipes are a crucial component of computing security. However, more often than not, hard drives are not adequately processed before either... Sample PDF
A "One-Pass" Methodology for Sensitive Data Disk Wipes
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Chapter 17
Lijun Liao
This chapter deals with the issues concerning e-mail communication security. We analyze the most popular security mechanisms and standards related... Sample PDF
Securing E-Mail Communication with XML Technology
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Chapter 18
Li Yang, Raimund K. Ege, Lin Luo
This chapter describes our approach to handle security in a complex Distributed Virtual Environment (DVE). The modules of such an environment all... Sample PDF
Aspect-Oriented Analysis of Security in Distributed Virtual Environment
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Chapter 19
Information Availability  (pages 230-239)
Deepak Khazanchi
This chapter describes the concept of information availability (IAV) which is considered an important element of information security. IAV is... Sample PDF
Information Availability
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Chapter 20
Siraj Ahmed Shaikh
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the reader to the research area of formal analysis of authentication protocols. It briefly introduces... Sample PDF
Formal Analysis and Design of Authentication Protocols
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Chapter 21
Rajeev R. Raje, Alex Crespi, Omkar J. Tilak, Andrew M. Olson
Component-based software development offers a promising technique for creating distributed systems. It does require a framework for specifying... Sample PDF
Access Control Frameworks for a Distributed System
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Chapter 22
Manish Gupta, JinKyu Lee, H. R. Rao
The Internet has emerged as the dominant medium in enabling banking transactions. Adoption of e-banking has witnessed an unprecedented increase over... Sample PDF
Implications of FFIEC Guidance on Authentication in Electronic Banking
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Chapter 23
Sue Conger
Historically, companies have automated a security model that analogizes the concept of a “guardian” who monitors incoming and outgoing activities... Sample PDF
Disruptive Technology Impacts on Security
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Chapter 24
Sushma Mishra
Internal auditing has become increasingly important in current business environments. In this era of the Sarbanes- Oxley Act and other similar... Sample PDF
Internal Auditing for Information Assurance
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Chapter 25
William H. Friedman
This chapter is management oriented. It first proposes a general theoretical context for IT disasters within the wider class of all types of... Sample PDF
IT Continuity in the Face of Mishaps
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Chapter 26
Yvette Ghormley
This chapter describes the tools that businesses can use to create a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. Utilizing business modeling... Sample PDF
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans
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Chapter 27
Yvette Ghormley
The number and severity of attacks on computer and information systems in the last two decades has steadily risen and mandates the use of security... Sample PDF
Security Policies and Procedures
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Chapter 28
Arjmand Samuel
This chapter outlines the overall access control policy engineering framework in general and discusses the subject of validation of access control... Sample PDF
Enterprise Access Control Policy Engineering Framework
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Chapter 29
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta
The purpose of the information security policy is to establish an organization-wide approach to prescribe mechanisms that help identify and prevent... Sample PDF
Information Security Policies: Precepts and Practices
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Chapter 30
Paul D. Witman
This chapter provides a set of guidelines to assist information assurance and security researchers in creating, negotiating, and reviewing... Sample PDF
A Guide to Non-Disclosure Agreements for Researchers
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Chapter 31
Omkar J. Tilak
Software realization of a large-scale Distributed Computing System (DCS) is achieved through the Componentbased Software Development (CBSD)... Sample PDF
Assurance for Temporal Compatibility Using Contracts
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Chapter 32
Arjan Durresi
The latest estimates suggest that there are over two billion cell phone users worldwide. The massive worldwide usage has prompted technological... Sample PDF
Spatial Authentication Using Cell Phones
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Chapter 33
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta, Ajay K. Gupta
The ability to perform E-Commerce over the Internet has become the driver of the new digital economy. As it has opened up opportunities for... Sample PDF
Plugging Security Holes in Online Environment
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Chapter 34
Erik Graham, Paul John Steinbart
This chapter presents a step-by-step approach to improving the security of wireless networks. It describes the basic threats to achieving the... Sample PDF
Six Keys to Improving Wireless Security
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Chapter 35
Robert W. Proctor, E. Eugene Schultz, Kim-Phuong L. Vu
Many measures that enhance information security and privacy exist. Because these measures involve humans in various ways, their effectiveness... Sample PDF
Human Factors in Information Security and Privacy
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Chapter 36
Wm. Arthur Conklin
Software defects lead to security vulnerabilities, which cost businesses millions of dollars each year and threaten the security of both individuals... Sample PDF
Threat Modeling and Secure Software Engineering Process
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Chapter 37
Christopher M. Botelho, Joseph A. Cazier
The threat of social engineering attacks is prevalent in today’s society. Even with the pervasiveness of mass media’s coverage of hackers and... Sample PDF
Guarding Corporate Data from Social Engineering Attacks
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Chapter 38
Tom Clark
Data storage is playing an increasingly visible role in securing application data in the data center. Today virtually all large enterprises and... Sample PDF
Data Security for Storage Area Networks
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Chapter 39
Edgar Weippl
This chapter outlines advanced options for security training. It builds on previous publications (Weippl 2005, 2006) and expands them by including... Sample PDF
Security Awareness: Virtual Environments and E-Learning
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Chapter 40
Manish Gupta
Enterprises are increasingly interested in new and cost effective technologies to leverage existing investments in IT and extend capabilities to... Sample PDF
Security-Efficient Identity Management Using Service Provisioning (Markup Language)
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Chapter 41
Dwayne Stevens, David T. Green
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks signal an evolution in telecommunications that is accelerating the convergence of the Internet and the... Sample PDF
A Strategy for Enterprise VoIP Security
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Chapter 42
Jose M. Torres
This chapter presents an Information Systems Security Management Framework (ISSMF) which encapsulates eleven Critical Success Factors (CSFs) along... Sample PDF
Critical Success Factors and Indicators to Improve Information Systems Security Management Actions
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Chapter 43
Rebecca H. Rutherfoord
This chapter will deal with issues of privacy, societal, and ethical concerns in enterprise security. Security for a company is defined as... Sample PDF
Privacy, Societal, and Ethical Concerns in Security
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Chapter 44
Rodolfo Villarroel, Eduardo Fernández-Medina, Juan Trujillo, Mario Piattini
This chapter presents an approach for designing secure Data Warehouses (DWs) that accomplish the conceptual modeling of secure DWs independently... Sample PDF
An MDA Compliant Approach for Designing Secure Data Warehouses
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Chapter 45
Hai Wang
This chapter introduces the survivability evaluation, especially on the corresponding evaluation criteria and modeling techniques. The content of... Sample PDF
Survivability Evaluation Modeling Techniques and Measures
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Chapter 46
Art Taylor
With the rise of the Internet, computer systems appear to be more vulnerable than ever from security attacks. Much attention has been focused on the... Sample PDF
The Last Line of Defense: A Comparison of Windows and Linux Authentication and Authorization Features
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Chapter 47
M. Pradhan
Information Technology can be used at all levels to counter attack bioterrorism. This article gives an overview of use of Information Technology for... Sample PDF
Bioterrorism and Biosecurity
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About the Contributors