User Account Management

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Our reputation promise/mission
The Auditor-General of South Africa has a constitutional mandate and, as the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of South Africa, it exists to strengthen our country’s democracy by enabling oversight, accountability and governance in the public sector through auditing, thereby building public confidence.

Foreword
For many organisations, information and the technology that supports it represent their most valuable, but often least understood assets. Successful enterprises recognise the benefits of information technology and use it to drive their stakeholders’ value. These enterprises also understand and manage the associated risks, such as increasing regulatory compliance and critical dependence of many business processes on information technology (IT). The use of technology and IT systems is increasingly embedded into business processes to initiate, authorise, process and manage financial transactions. As a result, weaknesses in the design, implementation or effectiveness of information technology controls this have the potential to not only compromise the integrity and accuracy of financial information, but may impede the efficiency of an entity to achieve its objectives and reporting of business and financial information. Providing access to systems in the face of potential misuse of information is an important issue to be considered by accounting officers, executives and senior management in public sector entities. There are sufficient examples in today’s world to demonstrate that events that can seem unlikely do happen. Many services delivered by public sector entities are essential to the economic and social well-being of our society − a failure to deliver these could have significant consequences for those concerned and for the nation. It is part of an entity’s overall approach to corporate governance which should include effective IT governance and risk management, and should be closely aligned to the entity’s incident management, emergency response management and IT disaster recovery. This guide has been prepared based on insights from a number of entities and businesses audited. Establishing, evaluating and monitoring the effectiveness of internal controls over financial information are an important issue which is the responsibility of all public sector entities; and entities’ approaches to these matters are considered by the Auditor-General in determining our audit coverage of entities’ financial statements. While practices described in this publication generally provide guidance to entities, it is important that each entity assesses the extent to which the information provided is relevant, appropriate and cost-effective in light of its own individual circumstances.

Auditor-General March 2010

Table of contents
Chapter 1
1. 2. 3. 4. Purpose of this guide.................................................... Why consider controls?................................................. Areas covered by this guide.......................................... How to read this guide.................................................. 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 8 8

Chapter 2
1. Background................................................................... 2. Introduction................................................................... 3. User account management procedures........................ 4. User registration............................................................ 5. Modification/changes.................................................... 6. User deregistration....................................................... 7. Review of user access rights........................................ 8. Privilege management.................................................. 9. User responsibilities...................................................... 10. User password management........................................ 11. Monitoring of access/user activities..............................

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