Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

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What it is

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is a certification for cyber security professionals issued by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). The credential is the global standard for professionals who have a career in information systems, particularly in auditing, security and control. Holders of CISA prove to employers that they have the knowledge, technical skills and proficiency to solve the dynamic problems facing modern organizations.

For you to participate in this cyber security program and become CISA-certified, applicants must pass the CISA examination with a minimum score of 450; graded on a scale of 200 to 800, and have at least of five years of professional experience in the fields of information systems auditing, control, assurance or security. The candidate’s work experience must have been garnered within the 10 years prior to a candidate’s submission of the application or within five years of a passed CISA exam. There are certain substitutions and waivers which may be applied. The candidate must also comply with ISACA’s Code of Professional Ethics and Information Systems Auditing Standards. Once these criteria are satisfied, the candidate can apply for the cybersecurity certification.

This security certification is preceded by a four-hour test consisting of 150 multiple choice questions, testing candidates around five-job practice domains:

  • The Process of Auditing Information Systems;
  • Government and Management of IT;
  • Information Systems Acquisition, Development and Implementation;
  • Information Systems Operations, Maintenance Management; and
  • Protection of Information Assets.

Candidates can sit the exam in June, September and December at testing centers worldwide. The exam is also available in multiple languages including Spanish, French, Japanese and Korean, and Chinese Mandarin (simplified and traditional). Other requirements for this must have certification for cyber security include:

  • A maximum of one year of information technology experience or one year of non-information technology auditing experience. (Equivalent of one year of work experience.)
  • The completion of 60 to 120 university semester credit hours. (Sixty credit hours equals one year of work experience, while 120 credit hours equals two years of work experience.)
  • A Master’s or Bachelor’s degree from a university which sponsors ISACA programs. (Equivalent of one year of work experience.)
  • A Master’s degree in Cybersecurity or Information Technology from an ISACA-accredited university. (Equivalent of one year of work experience.)
  • University instructors who wield two years of experience in such related fields as Computer Science, Information Systems Auditing or Accounting, can equate that experience with one year of work experience.

After obtaining a CISA certification, it must be maintained by undergoing 20 hours of training each year and a minimum of 120 hours in a three-year period. This training is to make sure that CISAs remain up to date and adept at their fields.

Attaining a CISA certification is considered beneficial as it is recognized by employers worldwide and is often requested for cybersecurity audit and security management positions. Although ISACA no longer publishes statistics on the number of applicants who pass the CISA exam, it is widely known that over 50% of the candidates who take the exam receive a passing grade.

What you can achieve with a CISA certification

Many online job ads and employers demand certifications needed for cyber security. The following key skills, responsibilities and job descriptions when applying for the position of a Certified Information Systems Auditor:

  • Assess the design and operational efficacy of Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) and IT General Controls (ITGCs).
  • Provide direction on KRI/ITGC testing methodology, validation procedures, policy adherence and documentation.
  • Design, develop and publish materials to support compliance with the established KRI/ITGC validation procedures.
  • Collaborate with other teams (Risk, IT, Information Security, etc.) to track, report, and follow up on remediation schemes.
  • Support the development of reporting materials for the different committees.
  • Perform general systems control audits, control process reviews and system development reviews.
  • Validate the security status of information technology systems and infrastructure and support its related applications.
  • Participate in the planning, development, and implementation of fraud investigations involving highly confidential information.
  • Create and present projects to management; discuss audit findings and conclusions and recommend corrective steps to improve operations and cutback expenditure.
  • Perform follow-up audit procedures with management to determine the implementation of recommendations and assess the suitability of the corrective steps.
  • Performs risk evaluations to support the internal audit department management in formulating risk-based audit plans.
  • Participate in the annual review process to maintain compliance with policy standards.
  • Perform Backup and disaster recovery; ensure system development standards; system security; programming and communication controls; operational procedures and system maintenance.
  • Develop and maintain computerized audit software and follow up on audit conclusions to ensure that corrective actions have been taken.

A CISA professional is required to compile written and oral reports for management and ensures that there are documents to support audit conclusions. Auditing can be investigative, compliance, financial or operational, and the CISA expert may interact with external auditors, law enforcement or other personnel collaboratively. Furthermore, a CISA professional trains other audit staff to develop review and analytical techniques.

A CISA expert also audits reviews of computer information systems and performs detailed assessments and internal controls under indirect supervision. They develop and manage audit software, often consulting with administrators, faculty, and staff on operational issues of computer information systems.

What is CISA meant for?

The CISA certification is specially designed for audit managers, consultants, IT auditors and security experts and is a globally recognized designation used to appraise the knowledge, expertise and skill of a cybersecurity auditor. It is one of the top 10 certifications for cyber security and recognizes an individual’s ability to evaluate vulnerabilities and instill technology controls in an organization. Some studies suggest that over half the applicants each year receive a passing grade and the title of CISA.

The career prospects of a CISA cybersecurity professional

The main responsibility of people with certifications for cyber security auditor is to prevent fraud, unnecessary expenditure and non-compliance. They also have to evaluate conclusions and report to senior-level management. Here are a few common roles for a CISA holder as a certified cyber security expert:

  • Internal Auditor
  • Public Accounting Auditor
  • IS Analyst
  • IT Audit Manager
  • IT Project Manager
  • IT Security Officer
  • Network Operation Security Engineer
  • Cyber Security Professional
  • IT Consultant
  • IT Risk And Assurance Manager
  • Privacy Officer
  • Chief Information Officer

Average Salary

While earnings will vary according to previous job experience and geographical location, the average salary for CISA-certified professionals ranges from $52,459 to $140,342 per year. One of the most coveted positions with a CISA is that of Internal Audit Director, who makes $136,082 a year. Other job roles related to CISA include IT Auditor, Information Technology Manager, Senior IT Auditor, Information Security Auditor or Manager, Internal Auditing Manager, Information Systems Auditor.

Fact Box

Certification Name: CISA

Prerequisites: at least 5 years’ professional work experience in information systems auditing, control or cybersecurity.

Salary range: $52,000 – $140,000 per annum

Number of available job positions: 1654 (as reported by TechCareers)

Number of available job positions: 2702 (as reported by Indeed)

Number of available job positions: 633(as reported by Simply Hired)

Where can you get CISA certified?

In the technology-driven information segment of today, enterprises are seeking practitioners with the best certifications for cyber security and proven experience to effectively implement technology. CISA certification from Simple Cyber proves that you have the skills needed to do this effectively, and can increase your value as both an employee and potential candidate. We offer the best certifications in CISA to ensure that you are a certified cyber security professional. We also offer instructor-led training classes with well-blended learning delivery options (self-paced eLearning or instructor-led learning). We have a wide variety of videos, which serve to accelerate your learning experience. Our support and assistance can be contacted 24/7.

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