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Don’t let compliance & security haunt you: What to expect in an audit

What to expect when you’re expecting...an audit


It’s Cyber Security Awareness Month, and many IT professionals are being haunted by the thought of gearing up for a security and compliance audit. Preparing for an IT audit can take months of planning. It can be time-consuming, uncomfortable, and stressful. Guess what else takes a long time and can be uncomfortable and stressful? Creating a human!

Though I mean that somewhat tongue in cheek, one has to admit there is a clear parallel between preparing for the arrival of a baby and preparing for an audit — minus the fun stuff like a baby shower, of course.

Heidi Murkoff’s book What to Expect When You’re Expecting discusses many repeatable, recognizable patterns and things we can do to get ready to bring a child into the world. Let’s draw from it for some analogies to make reading about audits a little more fun!

If you are saturated with messages saying the same old thing the same old way, read our latest ebook What to Expect When You’re Expecting an Audit. You will get a laugh and learn some tips and tricks to prepare for an audit in tandem.

This eBook explores:

  • What you can expect when it’s time for an IT audit, and how to prepare
  • How to migrate from a reactive approach to IT audits to a proactive strategy
  • How an audit is a “good hygiene” practice to keep up and interpret changing regulations
  • The different types of audits and how to prepare as painlessly as possible
  • How Puppet can eliminate much of this manual, soul-crushing work with our technology and keep you in an audit-ready state

More on the joy of an IT audit

If you work in IT, you may not yet have experienced the pure joy of an IT audit, though you’ve likely heard the (virtual) watercooler talk that they are both painful but necessary. It’s really all about risk management. IT audits can assist organizations in pinpointing and reducing risks to their IT systems and can also help companies audit IT systems to avoid falling out of compliance with external regulations.

Hectic as the IT audit preparations can be, it really is a good practice to assess and analyze your organization’s technological infrastructure to identify any gaps in processes or systems that might be hindering efficiency, accuracy, or compromising security. A big part of an IT audit is to ensure you are remaining secure and adhering to your organizational policies as well as relevant compliance regulations such as PCI DSS or GDPR.

Managing an IT infrastructure is no easy feat. IT operations and infrastructure professionals wouldn’t have careers if it was an easy job. One thing is for sure…infrastructure is not a crockpot. You can’t just “set it and forget it” (unless you already use Puppet!) and hope it stays secure and compliant. Hope isn’t a strategy. You need oversight, as well as automation and orchestration tools, to ensure a compliant and secure infrastructure.

Know all the things

When you are conducting an internal audit, it is going to involve a lot of people, often with competing priorities. You need to know your environment well. Not to mention, configuring servers and technology assets to meet compliance requirements can be cumbersome and feel neverending. And if you aren’t using automation tools to help you, it is going to be a manual process. If you can't explain how you ensure compliance to your auditors, the trust is already weakening.

Enforce compliance at scale and stay audit-ready

With Puppet, you can deploy self-healing policy as code as guardrails and streamline audits with estate compliance visibility that is demonstrable to auditors, with detailed reporting and inspectable code.

Puppet helps you:

  • Deploy out of the box fixes to remediate your compliance failures and continuously enforce the state of your machines, letting Puppet detect and fix compliance drift automatically
  • Assign different compliance profiles at scale; discover attribute-based tags to auto-classify machines into multiple categories
  • Safely and quickly update diverse estates as your security policies evolve without disrupting operations through testing groups and controlled rollouts
  • Quickly scan on-premises and cloud-hosted compute against CIS benchmarks used by PCI DSS and other compliance frameworks
  • Prioritize remediation and track progress with dashboards showing % systems compliant with each CIS standard you adopt as a security policy
  • Provide reporting and drill-down details needed for internal and external audits and stay audit-ready

An IT audit is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be painful if you leverage automation and repeatable processes. Building trust with an auditor is key, and with Puppet, you can truly show and tell exactly what you are doing to secure the organization’s infrastructure. Our complimentary eBook digs more into this topic and makes the journey of learning more fun. Enjoy!

Read the free ebook What to Expect When You’re Expecting an Audit now.

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