Protiviti Survey Finds Internal Auditors More Focused on Managing and Leveraging Technology to Protect Companies Against Risks

 Protiviti Survey Finds Internal Auditors More Focused on Managing and  Leveraging Technology to Protect Companies Against Risks  Results also indicate social media, mobile apps, cloud computing and IT  security are areas of concern  MENLO PARK, Calif., March 19, 2014 /CNW/ - According to the 2014 Internal  Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey Report (www.protiviti.com/IAsurvey)  released today by global consulting firm Protiviti, Internal auditors'  priorities are to better navigate social media risks, leverage technology to  improve the audit process, and collaborate more with business partners to  address organizational risks.  "Internal audit professionals' plates are more than full as they strive to  protect their companies from exposure to risk while assessing new technologies  and learning new regulatory requirements and professional standards," said  Brian Christensen, executive vice president, global internal audit, Protiviti.  "The responses to our survey reveal the myriad challenges – and  opportunities ? they face under evolving business conditions. Those  professionals who place a priority on being anticipatory, change-oriented and  highly adaptive have the best chance of serving their organizations' risk  management needs effectively."  More than 600 internal audit professionals, including chief audit executive  (CAEs), responded to Protiviti's eighth annual survey to assess the top  priorities for internal audit functions. In addition to assessing general  technical knowledge, audit process knowledge, and personal skills and  capabilities, respondents to the 2014 survey also provided information about  their companies' audit processes for managing social media risk.  Social Media Risks Continue to Present Challenges   For the second consecutive  year, the survey asked about social media risks and their integration into the  audit process. Nearly half (47 percent) of surveyed organizations do not  include in their audit plans cybersecurity risk as it relates to social media.  According to respondents, the most important concerns related to social media  risks include:            --  Financial loss         --  Interrupted business continuity         --  Loss of intellectual property         --  Loss of employee property         --  Viruses and malware  Despite some signs of progress, the survey's results suggest companies need to  make dramatic improvements. For organizations that do have social media  policies, significant concerns remain as many still fail to address critical  issues. For example, in cases where respondents said a social media policy is  in place, survey results showed that nearly 30 percent fail to address  disclosure of employee information and only 66 percent address information  security.  "It's clear based on the survey results that companies are not doing enough to  address social media risks and safeguards, and in turn are facing undue  exposure to significant risks to their business," said Christensen. "These  results should persuade the board, executive management and CAEs to take a  more active and vigilant approach to managing social media risks."  Technical Knowledge – Top Five Priorities  Internal audit professionals  assessed their competency in 49 areas of technical knowledge and then  indicated whether they believe their knowledge is adequate or needs  improvement. Based on the findings, the top areas for technical knowledge  improvement are:       1. Mobile applications       2. NIST Cybersecurity Framework (a new addition to the list compared          to previous surveys)       3. Social media applications       4. Cloud computing       5. Data analysis technologies  Audit Process Knowledge – Top Five Priorities  Respondents also evaluated 35  areas of audit process knowledge in terms of where they need to improve. The  top priorities are:       1. Computer-assisted audit tools (CAATs)       2. Data analysis tools for data manipulation       3. Data analysis tools for statistical analysis       4. Auditing IT using new technologies       5. Data analysis tools for sampling  The results show that internal auditors are intent on improving the way they  leverage technology, with a focus on methods for continuous monitoring and  auditing, as well as advanced data analysis techniques. Results also indicate  a desire to improve and become more proactive in dealing with  technology-related risks by auditing IT security more effectively and  improving approaches to fraud monitoring.  Personal Skills and Capabilities  Survey findings about personal skills and  capabilities demonstrated a growing desire for internal auditors to work more  collaboratively within the internal audit function and throughout their  companies. In particular, CAEs identified the importance of communicating the  role and importance of the audit function to internal and external partners.  About the Survey  Protiviti's 2014 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs  Survey Report was fielded between September and October 2013. A majority of  the survey participants work in publicly traded and privately held companies  and represents virtually all industry sectors. A small percentage of  respondents works for government and non-profit organizations. The full report  of survey results and analysis is available at www.protiviti.com/IAsurvey.  Additional resources Available: Webinar, Video, Podcast and Infographic   Protiviti will conduct a complimentary webinar exploring the survey's results  on April 17 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The 90-minute webinar is eligible for CPE  credit* and will be hosted by Christensen and David Brand, a Protiviti  managing director and leader of the firm's IT audit practice. Please register  for the webinar at www.protiviti.com/webinars. Additionally, both a video and  a podcast featuring Christensen discussing insights of the survey results are  also available, along with an infographic, on the Protiviti website at  www.protiviti.com/IAsurvey.  About Protiviti  Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global consulting firm  that helps companies solve problems in finance, technology, operations,  governance, risk and internal audit, and has served more than 35 percent of  FORTUNE 1000(®) and FORTUNE Global 500(®) companies. Protiviti and its  independently owned Member Firms serve clients through a network of more than  70 locations in over 20 countries. The firm also works with smaller, growing  companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government  agencies.  Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI). Founded in  1948, Robert Half is a member of the S&P 500 index.  Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does  not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.  Editor's note: infographic and photo available upon request.  *Protiviti is registered with the National Association of State Boards of  Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the  National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final  authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints  regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE  Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org.  Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090115/AQTH541LOGO    SOURCE  Protiviti  Kathy Keller, +1-650-234-6252, kathy.keller@protiviti.com  http://www.protiviti.com  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090115/AQTH541LOGO  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2014/19/c6067.html  CO: Protiviti ST: California NI: CPR ELE PUB CPR FIN RET HEA INS OIL UTI ECOSURV ACC LAW VERDICTS LAWVIEWS