Applications Controls Audit

Applications Controls Audit

Business entities nowadays rely heavily on digitalization to manage their business activities including the utilization of multiple standalone or integrated applications.

The reliance on using such applications requires the application users to have the application controls audited and reviewed in order to avoid any risks related to business disruption.

In this context, business entities should engage an independent IT auditor to audit application controls to proactively ensure their completeness and integrity.

What are the application controls?

The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) defines Application Controls as follows:

The policies, procedures and activities designed to provide reasonable assurance that objectives relevant to a given automated solution (application) are achieved.

Further, these controls may be detective, preventive or corrective in nature and ensure maintaining the proper functioning of the applications as well as accuracy, protection and confidentiality of data and information.

What is the Applications Controls Audit?

It is a thorough examination of the controls within the applications to verify their adequacy and effectiveness. This audit exercise helps identify weaknesses or deficiencies in controls and provides the necessary recommendations for addressing the same. In addition, it ensures compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards, such as PCI DSS, GDPR, etc.

What are the categories of application controls?

The application controls comprise three main categories as outlined below:

  1. Input controls
  2. Processing controls
  3. Output controls

These categories are intended to ensure the accuracy and completeness of logs, inputs, and outputs.

What are the key components of Applications Controls Audit?

The key components covered under the application controls audit are as follows:

  1. Access Controls: Evaluate the mechanisms in place to manage user access to the application, including user authentication, authorization, and segregation of duties.
  2. Data Integrity Controls: Assess the processes and controls implemented to maintain the accuracy and completeness of data entered into the application.
  3. Transaction Controls: Review controls related to transaction processing, such as input validation, error handling, and transaction logging.
  4. Change Management Controls: Examine procedures for implementing changes to the application, including testing, approval, and documentation of changes.
  5. Security Controls: Analyze security measures implemented to protect the application from unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security threats.
  6. Monitoring and Logging: Evaluate the effectiveness of monitoring and logging mechanisms to detect and respond to security incidents or unauthorized activities.

What are the international standards and frameworks addressing Applications Controls?

There are several international standards and frameworks addressing the application controls enabling the business entities to meet the statutory requirements related to sensitive information and data, including but not limited to:

  1. ISO 27034 provides guidance on best practices related to application security managements including comprehensive guidelines.
  2. COBIT Framework, developed by ISACA, is intended to ensure quality, control and reliability of information systems through providing a control model that guarantees the integrity of these systems.

What is the added value to business entities from Applications Controls Audit?

  1. Comply with laws, regulations, resolutions, and instructions issued by the regulatory and administrative authorities.
  2. Ensure that the application controls can mitigate the risks threatening the applications.
  3. Provide protection to systems and data and enhance the business entity’s reputation.

What are the Services offered by Baker Tilly Kuwait?

Baker Tilly provides an Applications Controls Audit service.