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Everything you need to know about CISA Certification

CISA Certification l eBook

CISA Certification, or Certified Information Systems Auditor, is the gold standard for IT audit experts. CISA Certification from ISACA confirms that a professional has gained the requisite expertise in controlling, monitoring, and assessing the organisation’s information security and business systems. CISA-certified professionals that understand the latest practices in IT governance and protecting the organisation’s information assets. Professionals who want to hold CISA Certification must meet ISACA’s eligibility requirements and pass the CISA Exam with a minimum score. Furthermore, CISA Professionals must maintain their certification by earning CPE credits.

ISACA’s CISA Certification is one of the most prestigious credentials available in information security auditing. Individuals who acquire CISA Certification have access to various professional opportunities worldwide. As a result, certified CISA experts are paid more than their non-certified counterparts in the industry.

CISA certification requirements

To apply for the CISA exam, you must have at least five years of professional experience auditing, regulating, or securing information systems (IS) during the last ten years. You can get a waiver for up to three years of experience if you have the following:

  • Maximum of one year of IS auditing experience or one year of non-IS auditing experience.
  • The equivalent of a two- or four-year degree can be substituted for one to two years of experience.
  • A master’s degree in IS or IT from an approved university, equivalent to one year of experience.

How Should I Pursue CISA Certification?

If you wish to pursue a CISA certification, you should look for individuals who have already done so. Consult with colleagues and LinkedIn connections to see whether this certification is worthwhile. If you discover that it is, this is how to apply for CISA certification:

  • Before registering for the exam, be sure you meet the qualifying requirements.
  • Register for and pay for the exam (you will have one year to take the exam).
  • The final step in getting CISA-certified is to submit your CISA Certification Application. 
  • Before you may do so, you must have passed the CISA test within the last five years.
  • Have relevant full-time work experience.
  • Submit the CISA Certification Application and the application processing fee.

Exam for CISA certification

The CISA exam is scored from 200 to 800 points. To pass, you must obtain a score of 450 or higher. The 150-question multiple-choice exam will take four hours to complete and will cover five major job practice areas in IS auditing, control, and security:

  1. Domain 1: The process of auditing information systems (21%).
  2. Domain 2: IT governance and management (17%).
  3. Domain 3: Acquisition, development, and implementation of information systems (12%).
  4. Domain 4: Operations, maintenance, and service management of information systems (23%).
  5. Domain 5: Information asset protection (27%).

What Does it Take to Become a Certified Information Systems Auditor?

To become a CISA, follow these five steps:

Take and pass the CISA exam. 

Individuals who demonstrate proficiency in their speciality are awarded the CISA certification, as mentioned below.

Fill out an application. 

In addition to completing the exam, a candidate must submit an application indicating relevant job experience, educational experience, or a combination of the two.

Follow the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics. 

The ISACA, like most professional certificates, has its ethical requirements for ISACA certification holders. CISA holders must adhere to specific procedures to keep their licenses.

Meet CPE requirements. 

A CISA, like most professional certificates, must complete continuing education standards to ensure their expertise is maintained and up to date.

Follow the ISACA Information Systems Auditing Standards. 

Once certified, individuals must adhere to the professional norms of executing what they learnt and implementing the standards defined by the controlling institution.

Certified Information Systems Auditor Responsibilities

Certified information systems auditors frequently evaluate a company’s technological systems and review its security setup. The CISA is often responsible for developing an audit plan and executing and managing the audit. A CISA will examine a company’s objectives, systems, and risks before testing. A CISA reports the findings after the audit and recommends measures to management.

If management approves ideas, the CISA is often involved in installing and monitoring security upgrades. This consists in running new tests after the suggestions have been implemented or confirming management has implemented control changes. In addition to conducting audits, a CISA will often work with management on less formal initiatives such as reviewing processes, developing risk strategies, doing continuity planning and monitoring IT workers. A CISA may also be in charge of developing and implementing IT rules and standards.

 The Advantages of Certified Information Systems Auditor Certification

CISA holders have various advantages by proving professional competency:

IT auditors are a specialised market. The CISA certification demonstrates technological and technical competence in a particular area. IT auditing is distinct from other types of auditing, and the CISA certification validates expertise in this specialised field.

IT auditors with credentials are still in high demand. As IT capabilities progress and businesses transition to remote operations, there is a continued need to ensure that a company’s technology infrastructure meets security and regulatory requirements.

CISAs remain relevant in an ever-changing sector. The CISA certification demands continual education; this CPE requirement means that professionals must continue training on new technologies, modern types of risk, and growing information system complexities.

The qualification may result in a greater wage or increased job stability. CISAs have shown their knowledge and proficiency, commanding recognition for being outstanding leaders in their profession, as is the case with any extra degree or qualification. This could result in pay hikes, promotions, or long-term work stability.

The certificate is transferable and well-known, meaning many firms and sectors worldwide value it.

The exam includes information on particular fields. Although information system auditing is already specialised, applicants may discover that they like certain risk management and auditing areas over others. This may result in a better grasp of employment options and professional interests.

CISA pay scale

Certifications are fantastic for adding more experience to your resume and displaying your qualifications, but they can also help you earn higher pay. According to ISACA data, the average annual compensation for CISA-certified IT auditors is $128,086. According to PayScale, the average income for an IT auditor is $71,000, and the average salary for a senior IT auditor is $120,000.


Certifications carry a lot of weight and can significantly boost the income potential of a cybersecurity specialist. They can help strengthen your resume and are sometimes necessary for employment, particularly in government professions. It would help if you considered both the time commitment and the cost. Getting a CISA certification is a significant starting step if you want to work in IT. ISACA claims this certification is “fundamental to a successful IT career.” Regardless, it’s an excellent choice for entry-level to mid-career IT/IS auditors, control, assurance, and information security professionals.

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