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

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3.4. Evaluating IS Operational Practices

Operational practices are the tasks performed in daily operation of the processing components of the IS organization. It is the business end of data processing, and as such, it can be thought of from a business perspective instead of from a technical or hardware/software view. As a service provider, the IS organization has made commitments to the businesses it is providing for and supporting. These commitments need to be thoroughly documented in order for the IS organization to understand the related deliverables and time frames, and in order for the business to understand what is and is not within the scope of the performance expectations. Usually, the professionalism of computer operations can be tied directly to the quality of this documentation and the understanding and expectations management between the provider and the user for these services. This professionalism is a strong indicator of the control and risk management environment. When reviewing computer operations and evaluating the processes and performance, you should get a sense for the depth to which the rules are established for performing routine tasks. Observe how rigorously they are followed, as part of the operations culture, in general. This will be an early warning system for your audit of how well the overall review will turn out.

Operational practices are a people management issue. You cannot expect operators to know intuitively what the right thing is to do next. ...

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