CISA Certification Exam – For those who are rendering their services as auditors and security executives in the IT industry, there is some good news. Now you can enhance your potential income and boost your career prospects. Credit goes to ISACA, for introducing Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), which is undoubtedly one of the optimal certifications gained an international reputation and establishing its own identity worldwide. It has provided greater impetus to the IT professionals as they can cater their services including audit, security and risk management.
The Five Modules of CISA Course
For better understanding and efficient training of the aspiring candidates, ISACA has literally categorized the entire program into five different units. It offers comprehensive knowledge on each and every aspect of auditing and IT security. The candidate receives professional credits after every unit which can be viewed in the final certification. These five modules are-
- Unit one comprises of Auditing Information Systems. The person enrolling for the course acquires full knowledge about information systems. It will help you to become an expert auditor and offer your best services.
- In the second unit, which is based on responsibilities of CISA in IT governance, you will get a much deeper knowledge of the Information Systems Control and how you can manage the security. You can assure your clients that you are providing unmatched IT governance and a vigilant monitoring of the IS.
- In the third unit which deals with an important function of CISA, you get acquainted with life infrastructure cycle management of the IS controls. You can help the business organizations in altering the infrastructural elements of application systems.
- The fourth module or unit can be considered as one of the most vital lessons because it emphasizes on how CISA certificate helps in providing IT service delivery and renders support. You have to learn this part very keenly and implement the technique to various IT systems. This section becomes all the more important as you get the technical knowledge of dealing with IS if it develops some problem. You can save your client from a huge loss by recovering the database timely.
- In the last and fifth unit, the candidate is taught about securing the information assets. The chapter tells how you can actually maintain the confidential information of your client intact. You can have a logical access over controls and security issues.
CISA Exam Prerequisites for Enrolment
The ISACA has laid down some important criteria for providing the CISA certificate. Every candidate who desires to peruse this certification course has to compulsorily fulfil the eligibility norms failing which he cannot apply for the certificate. Some essential conditions include-
- It is mandatory for the applicant to have a work experience of not less than four thousand hours. He should be a regular working employee offering his services in the Information Systems and security department of the IT industry.
- If he does not satisfy the first condition, then it is necessary to gain an experience in auditing, security and control for about one year and an experience in IS of the same duration.
- If you want to dedicate your service as a trainer, then one year experience as IT auditor, controller and security professional is required.
Exemption in Educational Experience
Individuals applying for the CISA certification can get a waiver in the educational experience if they fulfil the following criteria.
- If he is attained a Masters Degree or Diploma in Information Technology (IT) or Information Security from a reputed institute.
- Secondly, if he is an active member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA)
- Lastly, if he is a certified professional of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants CIMA
Info on Examination
It is to be noted that ISACA usually conducts the certificate examinations thrice a year. They are held in the months of June, September and December. The duration of each exam is about four yours and according to the past examinees, it is a complex one. There are about two hundred Multiple Choice Questions and a candidate needs to secure 450 points of out of 800. However, there are some questions based on statistics and are not counted in the marks obtained by the candidate. The exam is conducted in a number of languages including Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, Korean, German, Spanish, Turkish and Hebrew. The format of the question paper is as follows-
- 38 questions are based on Information Systems (IS) attainment, development, and execution
- 60 questions are related to security of information assets
- A set of 28 questions each is to be answered from questions based on controlling and managing IT and how to audit IS.
- Lastly, 46 questions are associated with Information Systems Operations, protection and support.
Examination Fee and Registration
The candidates willing to appear for the CISA examination to get the certificate can register for the same online at the official website of ISACA.
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You can ask for an exam guide wherein you will get all the details regarding the tests including the commencing dates and last date for the registration process. However, you should also familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations for appearing in the exam.
Reappearing in the exam
If you failed to secure the passing mark which is 450, do not get disheartened. Study hard to pass the exam on the second attempt. Yes, you can reappear in the exam by the same registration process and earlier. As the exam is conducted thrice a year you get a span of only three months or preparation. You will receive a score analysis so that you can access yourself and work on the weaker sections. You can appear for unlimited times as there are no such restrictions based on the number of counts.
Points to remember
Mere passing the CISA certification exam will not guarantee you the certificate. In order to become eligible for availing it, you need to first submit an application within five years of passing the exam. In case you do not comply with the above-said instruction, then your eligibility will be declared cancelled and you have to once again reappear in the exam and qualify it. Apart from that, an experience verification certificate is also required individually. The experience should be within ten years before appearing in the exam or five years after passing the exam. You can get the application at the ISACA web site only. Once your application is verified after receiving, then only you can get the certificate from ISACA.
The Facility of E-Learning and Review Classes
You all are aware that e-learning has indeed become very popular with the expansion and usage of internet. ISACA too is not lacking behind in taking advantage of this new technology. It provides its students with this facility which helps in the preparation of the exam. Apart from that, you can also enrol yourself for a review course offered by ISACA. You need to get in touch with a local chapter located in your area. The ISACA is very helpful and is rendering its support in every sphere. It also provides the study materials to all the registered candidates for better preparation of the exam. These are basically available in the form of publications, journals, initial references and other sources.
How Do You Become CISA Certified: Step by Step
Now it is time to discuss on how you can obtain the prestigious CISA certificate systematically. Just follow the steps-
The first and foremost step is registering self for the CISA examination conducted by the ISACA. Anybody can appear for the exam after paying the online fee. If you have a knack for auditing or IT security then this course is tailor-made for you. However, you will be regarded as a certified CISA professional only if you submit an application after passing the exam and it gets verified. You can take help of the study material provided by ISACA.
As it has already been mentioned, the next step is submitting an application to avail the certificate. However, it must be done within a maximum period of five years from the date of qualifying the exam. There are some other terms and conditions as well with those related to experience in IT auditing and security and academic qualifications. There are a few exceptions to that as well which has been discussed in the article earlier.
It is expected out of every CISA professional that he/she is going to strictly abide the code of professional ethics.
Incidentally, you also need to follow the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Program. You have to become proficient in auditing, control, and security. In order to achieve that aim you have to improve your efficiency in other tasks such as keeping an eye on IS audit, control and security. Besides that, you also have to prove your potential to the higher management by showing that you have a thorough knowledge on all these subjects and you can help in the growth of your company’s profitability. You can tackle the problematic situations related to auditing and security. You can also prove that by getting a CISA certificate, you have an edge over others.
You must keenly comply with the benchmarks set up by the information systems auditing. These standards have been laid down by none other than ISACA.
The Benefits of Perusing CISA Certification
So far you have read about a short roadmap which highlighted on the ways of obtaining a CISA certificate. But it is equally crucial to be acquainted with the various advantages or the specific reasons for perusing this certification course.
- Firstly, CISA certificate has got a worldwide identification. In fact, it is perused in a number of countries and thus has become very popular.
- Once you are awarded this certificate your value in the IT industry enhances. You become a prized asset for any organization.
- The CISA professionals are always handsomely paid.
- With the passage of time your experience and knowledge of auditing and security increases which enables you to handle more difficult tasks.
- The CISA experts are always regarded as credible professionals in the job market.
The CISA was introduced in the year 1978 and since then it has gained much prominence in most of the countries globally. According to a received data, there are more than one hundred million certified experts offering their optimal services in various IT giants. In fact, according to a global study and research CISA professionals is one of the highest paid individuals with the salary ranging between $67,900 to $106,407 per annum for the security consultants and about $83,700 to $107,500 for CISA certified individuals. Similarly, the Information Systems Auditors are also highly paid which boosts their career and future life. The negotiation of salary also largely depends on the experience of the individual.
Demand for CISA Professionals
You would be much delighted to know that the demands for skilled CISA professionals are hiking in the market these days. This is mainly due to the fact that most businesses have come online and the threats to internet security and database are looming large. Aside working for private companies, you can also offer your services to government and help in developing a robust security of your country.
Some High Job Profiles
By earning the valuable CISA certification, you can always expect of availing a highly respected job and a high-profile image. It is through your calibre and experience that you can become a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) or get a post equivalent to that rank. Other than that, you can also specialize in Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) and Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT).
For those aspiring to become certified Information Systems Auditor, should begin the preparation for the June 2016 examination from today itself. It is a tough exam and a CISA professional is expected to match the criteria of the industry by having a sound knowledge of IS auditing, controlling and IT security.
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