Despite ongoing efforts to address IT issues, companies continue to come up short in their IT audit functions, according to a new survey from global consulting firm Protiviti. The study reveals that a large percentage of organizations are not planning and instituting the technology audit coverage necessary to assure critical IT operations, evaluate risk and provide a secure, available IT environment.

The third Protiviti IT audit benchmarking study analyzes the primary technology-related challenges companies face from the internal audit perspective, and identifies trends in the ways organizations evaluate their approach to IT audit functions and capabilities.

"In today's organizations, virtually every function is technology-dependent, which means companies face a greater number of challenges to ensure an efficient, secure IT environment," Brian Christensen, Protiviti executive vice president of global internal audit, said in a statement.

"Based on the study, it's apparent that there is a tremendous gap between where most companies are and where they should be in terms of managing IT risk and strengthening governance and controls,” Christensen said. “As audit plans are developed, these technology challenges should also be top-of-mind for internal audit."

According to the 469 respondents who participated in Protiviti's 2014 IT Audit Benchmarking Survey, including chief audit executives, IT audit directors, IT audit managers, and other auditing professionals, the top technology-related challenges facing organizations are IT security; IT governance; lack of enterprise resource planning implementations, development, and knowledge; social media; vendor management;  cloud computing; emerging technology and infrastructure changes; big data and analytics and PCI compliance.

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