The rapid dissemination of Technology in almost every facet of our lives has not only made it easier but has also made us heavily dependent on Information systems. From bank transfers, mobile recharges to automation of manufacturing process, we rely on the efficiency, effectiveness and security of these Information systems to a very large extent. This increasing dependence has also resulted in the greater risk of data privacy, system shutdown and personal data loss, directly impacting the brand image and revenue of the companies and individuals. The most recent example can be considered of ‘Wannacry’ ransomware which struck across the globe in May 2017, affecting thousands of computers in 150 countries with a total impact of anticipated to be around 4 Billion USD. These attacks have forced the companies to beef up their defenses resulting in the manifold increase in demand for IT auditors
An IT auditor is the person responsible for identifying the risk across the company networks, information systems and also developing and implementing strategies to mitigate the same.
The primary objectives of an IT auditor is to perform assessment of the systems and processes that secure company data, determining and mitigating risks to information assets of the company, ensuring that the processes are in compliance with relevant policies, standards and regulations.
Typically an IT auditor has a bachelor degree Computer Science or Accounting that provides technical knowledge to perform responsibilities. Additionally, the auditor should possess strong communication skills that will allow him/her to understand and translate the technical information into business language for higher management therefore supporting them in taking appropriate business decisions.
Lastly, there are several certifications available (depending on the areas of specialization) that can help individuals secure employment. One of the most common and widely respected certification is the Certified Information Security Auditor or CISA that provides in-depth knowledge enabling one to effectively deal with challenges in this constantly evolving field of Information Security. The certification is managed by ISACA which is a global non-profit professional association that is focused on IT Governance.
It is one of the toughest exams in the Information Security domain and is notorious for having a low pass-rate of 40-50%. So, what makes CISA such a tough nut to crack? Some of the reasons are:
- The questions asked in the exam are subjective and ambiguous in nature thereby making it difficult for the candidate to select the correct option.
- The difficulty level of sample questions provided by ISACA is not aligned to the high standard of questions asked in the actual examination
Some of the important tips that you need to consider before starting the preparation for CISA exam are as follows:
CISA Review Manual
CISA Review Manual (CRM) provided by ISACA should be your Bible and one-stop guide for the preparation. This manual provides all the details related to the CISA exam as well as defines the roles and responsibilities of an Information Systems auditor.
Explore E-learning Options
There are many organizations that provide CISA certification training courses both online as well as classroom. It is highly recommended that you participate in a comprehensive training course that not only involves session learning but also allows you to interact with security professionals from across the globe.
One of the world’s leading professional certification training provider is KnowledgeHut that offers CISA training with a blend of both classroom and online training sessions.
Plan your Schedule
Planning the schedule for preparation of CISA exam should be done well-in advance to avoid any last minute hassle. Schedule and plan should be prepared based on your professional background and level of experience. For example, if you are working professional with Extensive experience, 30-45 days of time should be enough, however if you an aspirant with no relevant experience, you may even need more than 180 days for preparation.
Free Resources available on Internet
There are several free resources available on ISACA that can be helpful for the aspirants. Some of them are:
- The ISACA Candidate Information Guide
- ISACA’s CISA self-assessment test
- Database of free-to-download whitepapers
Additionally, there are many insightful articles on Knowledgehut that provide a lot of relevant and valuable information which you can take advantage of.
Hope this information helped in your journey to become a successful IT Auditor. Please leave your comments below to share your feedbacks and success stories.