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IT Audit September 20, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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Audit   On Monday, just as I was shutting down for the day, I received an e-mail message with the Arizona office of the Auditor General. In order to ensure the integrity of the University of Arizona’s computer assets, an auditor chose several colleges to determine the degree to which they were compliant with IT policies.

Our college was one of those chosen for the audit which took place today. I had the benefit of about 24 hours to review every one of the policies in place at the University regarding information technology. When I printed the policies out, it came to almost 48 pages. From those pages, I put together a list of responses to each of the policies and made notes of where our potential deficiencies would occur.

After a discussion with the team, we came to the conclusion that probably the two most important things they would look at would be the security of our systems and proper licensing for all the software we were using. I decided it was in nobody’s best interest to be agitated about the audit and made up my mind to take any deficiencies the auditors noted as a learning experience.

When the auditor arrived this morning, the two of us had a pleasant chat, discussed technology issues in such a way that I could give him an overview of our college’s practices, and then we went off to find a random department. He chose Educational Psychology. He looked at the computers of two faculty members, two graduate students, and two administrative assistants. As we went through the software together, I began to wonder exactly what I would find on these machines.

As it turned out, the department had licenses for every piece of software we encountered and there were receipts for each piece of software. I had put a lot of faith into our process of having individual departments maintain their own records of software licenses and today my faith in them was justified.

I have to say, and I have already said it publicly, the six individuals whose computers were accessed from the Department of Educational Psychology were gracious and hospitable in the face of this increase in their stress load. I am very proud of them all and they made our college look exceptional.

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