Browse Definitions:
Definition

software audit

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A software audit is an internal or external review of a software program to check its quality, progress or adherence to plans, standards and regulations.

Software audits may be conducted for a number of reasons, including:

  • Verifying licensing compliance.
  • Monitoring for quality assurance (QA).
  • Compliance with industry standards.
  • Satisfying legal requirements.

For the organization, internal audits can be useful for improving efficiency, catching inactive licenses that can be dropped and finding problems before they can become licensing or regulatory issues in a third-party review. Third-party review typically focuses on software used beyond licensed rights, and external reviewers also won’t usually care if some licenses are unused. These different priorities mean it is advisable for an organization to conduct internal reviews prior to external audits.

An organization usually contracts with third-party reviewers and teams to provide independent verification of a software program’s compliance with development plans, industry standards, best practices and legal practices. Compliance audits may focus on adherence to IEEE standards or legal regulatory compliance. This kind of audit focus is especially important in the case of software used in critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR).

Software audits are often important and sometimes required. However, audits can be disruptive to a company's development and may place a financial strain on a project because of unbudgeted costs. Teams and management may be required to consult with auditors to ensure the process is complete and accurate. This consultation can take away from time spent on work. Since time is important, organizations should refrain from overdoing audits and executives should understand how, why and when audits are conducted so they can best prepare for them.

This was last updated in July 2017

Continue Reading About software audit

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day vulnerability, also known as a computer zero day, is a flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close