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The CISA® Prep Guide: Mastering the Certified Information Systems Auditor Exam by John Kramer

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4.8. Evaluating Environmental Controls

The environment that an IS organization exists in physically is the support system for the processes and keeps them functioning to meet the business needs. Without controls on this environment, the entire operation is put at risk. Eating, drinking, or smoking in a data center may seem harmless, but it exposes the operations to potentially disastrous consequences with a relatively simple turn of events. When things are working well, there seems to be very little need for focusing on the support areas. However, when procedures and attention to detail are lacking, downtime and impact on customers can easily be the result. A review of the support systems for computer operations centers, such as power and cooling equipment, Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), and battery systems as well as environmental control systems, should be performed when assessing an information systems process.

As an IS auditor, you will need to put your knowledge of social engineering skills to the test to disarm the tendency of maintenance personnel to distrust an auditor and hide information from them. Helping these employees solve their problems is always a conversation starter and it will not be a false promise in most cases. You will need to build your understanding of what should be occurring and expected for support and maintenance of these systems in order to position you to compare this to what you find in practice when you review these systems individually. ...

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