Cybersecurity, Privacy and a Host of Technologies Challenge Audit in the Enterprise

Changing Roles, Responsibilities and Workforce Factors in the
Spotlight of New Research from ISACA and Protiviti

SCHAUMBURG, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#ISACAlt;/agt;–Cybersecurity, privacy and technologies—from mission-critical to
digitally transformative—top the list of challenges IT audit teams and
leaders grapple with every day, according to a first release of the 2019
IT Audit Benchmarking Study conducted by ISACA and global consulting
firm Protiviti.

An Executive
of the study, published today in conjunction with the
opening of the ISACA North
America CACS
conference and IT Audit Leadership Summit in Anaheim,
provides key takeaways and analyses derived from this eighth annual
survey of IT audit leaders and professionals from around the world. The
summary also notes the growing role and responsibilities of IT audit in
digital transformation, partnerships between the IT organization and IT
audit function, and differences in how IT audit leaders operate compared
to other IT audit professionals.

The 2019 IT Audit Benchmarking Study, which will be released in full
later this year, found that the biggest challenges for IT auditors were:

  1. IT security and privacy/cybersecurity
  2. Data management and governance
  3. Emerging technology and infrastructure changes—transformation,
    innovation, disruption
  4. Resource/staffing/skills challenges
  5. Third-party/vendor management

More respondents this year said their organizations are interested in
using advanced technologies, including robotic process automation,
artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning, as
well as continuous auditing and monitoring, to drive greater revenue,
profitability and shareholder value, and increased productivity and cost
efficiencies. These findings align with other recent research from both
ISACA and Protiviti on digital transformation. For example, ISACA’s Digital
Transformation Barometer
Research found that respondents saw big
data and AI/machine learning/cognitive technology as the top emerging
technologies that were most likely to deliver the greatest value to
their organizations.

“More organizations are more rapidly embracing emerging technologies as
part of their digital transformations. IT auditors play pivotal and key
partnership roles in those journeys, mitigating risk and accelerating
expected business benefits,” said Rob Clyde, ISACA board chair and Titus
board director.

Though there is interest in new technology implementation, many
organizations face difficulties in finding professionals with the right
knowledge and skills, or in training current staff in new skills.
According to the survey, the skills that organizations most seek in new
hires are related to advanced and enabling technologies, critical
thinking and data science. This echoes findings from ISACA’s Future
of IT Audit
study, in which many of the surveyed auditors indicated
that a technical skills gap has an impact on performing IT audits with a
high degree of confidence.

Additionally, the 2019 IT Audit Benchmarking Study compares responses
between those IT audit organizations identified as leaders—defined as
those IT audit groups that have a strong partnership with their
company’s IT function—and those IT audit organizations that do not have
these strong partnerships. This comparison provides insights into how
each group sees their own role, as well as their views of collaboration
or processes within their own group.

For example, one survey question explored whether there was a formal
process to determine whether to continue or postpone a strategic
technology project if new risks are identified while the implementation
process is underway. Fifty-nine percent of leaders indicated this
process does exist, compared to 48 percent of non-leaders.

“The data from this report can help IT audit teams better understand the
dynamic between different roles, as well as where there may be gaps they
need to bridge in order to collaborate most effectively,” said Andrew
Struthers-Kennedy, managing director and leader, IT Audit practice,
Protiviti. “By better understanding each group’s perspective and
addressing any discrepancies, they can improve the quality of their
partnership and outcomes.”

ISACA’s technical research manager Robin Lyons echoed the importance and
wide scope of partnerships essential to IT audit success. “Just as
operational effectiveness is continually assessed, IT auditors must
establish and evolve ongoing partnerships across the organization, with
IT and business teams and leadership. These dynamics are more
important than ever, given the pace of change, opportunities and
competition,” she said.

The 2019 IT Audit Benchmarking Study executive summary is available as a
free download from ISACA’s
web site

About Protiviti

Protiviti (
is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective
insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration to help
leaders confidently face the future. Through its network of more than 80
offices in over 25 countries, Protiviti and its independently owned
Member Firms provide clients with consulting solutions in finance,
technology, operations, data, analytics, governance, risk and internal

Named to the 2019
Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®
list, Protiviti
has served more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000® and 35
percent of Fortune Global 500®companies. The firm also works
with smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public,
as well as with government agencies. Protiviti is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half is a
member of the S&P 500 index.


Now in its 50th
anniversary year
, ISACA® (
is a global association helping individuals and enterprises achieve the
positive potential of technology. Today’s world is powered by
information and technology, and ISACA equips professionals with the
knowledge, credentials, education and community to advance their careers
and transform their organizations. ISACA leverages the expertise of its
460,000 engaged professionals—including its 140,000 members—in
information and cyber security, governance, assurance, risk and
innovation, as well as its enterprise performance subsidiary, CMMI®
Institute, to help advance innovation through technology. ISACA has a
presence in more than 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters
worldwide and offices in both the United States and China.






Emily Van Camp, +1.847.385.7223,
Kessinger, +1.847.660.5512,

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