Top 50 Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) Interview Questions and Answers

The growing need for information security specialists has led to CISA Certification as one of the most sought-after and well-recognized qualifications. It validates candidates' audit knowledge, competence, and expertise. Additionally, it demonstrates their ability to audit, regulate, supervise, and assess the information technology along with business practices of an organization. The CISA Certification provides professionals with valuable skills and a competitive edge over their peers in the information security industry.

Gaining CISA Certification is considered to be advantageous since it is recognized by businesses worldwide. It is frequently required for IT audit and security information management positions. Since most recruiters favor and seek out IT auditors with a CISA Certification, the credential gives professionals better exposure throughout the hiring process. Individuals should, however, pass the screening test to get hired and obtain the desired employment with this certificate. Therefore, we are providing professionals with a list of the most popular CISA interview questions and their answers to help them nail the interview.

Planning the audit ensures that every aspect of the process is covered and given the proper attention. It is crucial to periodically evaluate the audit planning in order to take into account changes to the risk environment. Changes to the organization's risk environment, technology, and business processes may have a significant influence on short and long-term challenges that drive audit planning.

CISA professionals should possess skills such as IT risk, security risk management, security testing, and auditing, internal auditing standards, general computer security, data analysis, and visualization tools, analytical and critical thinking skills, and communication skills. Candidates can further respond to this question by explaining two or three skills in detail.

Employers use this question to assess CISA professionals' understanding of their roles and responsibilities within a company. Auditors are not responsible for correcting existing flaws or errors. They identify those errors and noted them in the final report, which is then sent to the system's owners for assessment. System owners are responsible for deciding what actions to take in response to a problem or malfunction that has already occurred.

When a user establishes a connection with the FTP server, two TCP connections are created. The FTP server initiates and establishes the second TCP connection. Since the connection from the FTP server is an external connection, the process will be restricted if there is a firewall between the client and the server. Therefore, professionals may either use passive FTP to fix this or update the firewall rule to add the FTP server as a trustworthy source.

Risk needs to be identified, prioritized, and alleviated on regular basis. It is also needed to focus on risks that prevail in organizations to achieve a reasonable degree of control over the unforeseen circumstances in today’s highly dynamic organizations. Any key management individuals, including a CISA, might be held responsible for the risk management process in an organization. These professionals identify and eliminate risk effectively from the information security systems.

A request for change is a crucial document in the change management process, explaining the information and the justifications for the change in an application or system. It is a declarative document that outlines what needs to be accomplished, how the changes are to be carried out, and other relevant details. Moreover, it gives permission for system modifications. CISA holders must be able to recognize changes that might jeopardize the security of the network and take appropriate action. They also capture both former and current changes to the system by using RFC.

Virtualization is a method for running numerous operating systems on a single physical server. It is a type of software-based partitioning that creates isolated “virtual” environments with their own resources. The main goal of virtualization is to maximize the use of existing hardware resources. Data breaches, weak identity, credential, and access management, account hijacking, malicious insiders, and data loss are some pitfalls of virtualization systems.

While conducting risk-based internal audits, CISA auditors begin by evaluating the inherent risks that the business confronts. Inherent risk is the amount of risk that exists in the absence of controls. In other words, it is a risk that a company faces before implementing any countermeasures. Furthermore, overlooking this type of risk significantly increases the chances of a data breach.

A data audit trail is a detailed log of every action or activity taken related to data or reports. This includes any time data is created, modified, relocated, or deleted. It enables CISA professionals and the firm to keep track of systems that contain sensitive data. Moreover, it can assist businesses in detecting unauthorized access to personal information.

An application bug is not fixed by CISA professionals. They conduct a security system audit to find issues, which they then documented in the final report. In the end, professionals are required to alert the system owners as well as the technical staff about it.

The answer to this query will reveal to the interviewer how applicants approach and carry out their tasks. First, CISA specialists do an initial risk assessment on all systems within the organization. Subsequently, based on the regulations of the firm, they undertake periodic inspections every six months or yearly. During the annual assessment, these professionals perform a full system audit for each department within the organization. This allowed them to review any changes that occurred since the last audit and ensure that security protocols were still being followed.

Individuals get the opportunity to demonstrate their ability for collaboration and problem-solving through this question. Candidates can respond, "If he/she discovered that the information security policies of a company were out-of-date, the first action would be to meet with the IT manager or other senior-level managers in charge of revising the rules. Collaborating with peers assists in deciding which policies need updation and develop a plan for the next course of action. After that, we would then present our findings to top management so they can approve the changes.”

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that describes how a company will continue its operations in the event of an unanticipated service outage. It is more comprehensive than a disaster recovery plan and includes backup plans for all potential threats to the company's operations, including business partners, assets, human resources, and business processes.

Firewalls protect the internal network at the router or server level. Antivirus software stops virus software from installing. Penetration testing systems run scripts to identify any potential threats to the network, whereas, anti-spyware packages provide real-time protection by scanning all incoming information and blocking threats.

The interviewer may ask this question to gauge CISA professionals’ knowledge of the data verification process. He/she can use examples from prior experience to demonstrate verification of data's integrity during audits and the procedures he/she would take to ensure that all data is correct and dependable.

Companies should review their risk assessments and risk management practices once every 3 years. It should refresh whenever there to any significant changes to workplace processes or design. Moreover, the procedure needs to be responsive to any changes in the business environment.

A document known as an audit universe lists every audit task that the internal audit departmentis responsible for completing. It is composed of unique, auditable processes, and actions, and entities that may all be referred to as "auditable units." The number of these auditable units varies according to the size, complexity, and scale of the organization's operations. It helps to validate suitable internal audit analysis so that CISA professionals can then choose what to prioritize in the formulation of an internal audit strategy.

Risk management is the most crucial component of data security. Holders of the CISA Certification may identify all potential hazards to a company's data through risk management and implement solutions in place to reduce those risks. It also allows them to focus on the biggest threats first rather than spending time on low-risk areas.

Businesses that accept credit card data are required to adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS. A security auditor must be aware of the requirements they are auditing against and how to assure compliance. Therefore, CISA expert response should demonstrate their familiarity with this guideline and how crucial it is for safeguarding private information.

A brute force attack is a type of cyberattack that uses a trial-and-error method to guess all possible combinations of a password, encryption key, or any login information. Holders of CISA Certificates prevent brute force attacks by using strong passwords, limiting login attempts, monitoring IP addresses, using two-factor authentication, and unique login URLs.

CISA specialists make sure they have all relevant information about the organization before starting any audit. This involves being aware of the client's identity, the audit's objectives, and the types of data that need to be examined. In order to identify potential system flaws, it also entails being familiar with the company's security policies and processes. Finally, these experts make sure to establish a plan before performing audits.

The safety objectives and security framework of a business are interpreted by a security policy. A process is a comprehensive and involves systematic method of documentation that specifies the precise action that will be essential to deploy a significant security instrument. Guidelines, on the other hand, are recommendations that may be altered and used to carry out operations.

It is a challenging question since it is extremely difficult to convince individuals to abide by security guidelines and best practices. All CISA professionals can really do is make the recommendations and hope that management implements whatever corrective action they have planned for individuals who disobey the security guidelines the final report lays out.

By answering this question, candidates may demonstrate their capacity for problem-solving and for bringing about constructive change within a company. Highlighting a particular instance that demonstrates how he/she applied his/her critical thinking abilities to see the danger and develop a solution that resulted in favorable change for the firm might be helpful when responding to this question.

A cryptographic method called salting increases the difficulty of cracking a password. A password is strengthened by the addition of random characters, which are then hashed with the password to produce an encrypted password. Since the salted data is unpredictable, it is considerably more difficult for potential hackers to guess the password.

This question gauges candidates' understanding of the potential risks that companies can lose data. CISA professionals can list risks such as Human Error, Malware and Ransomware Attacks, Insider Threats, Hardware Failures, Phishing Attacks, Inadequate Security Measures, and Unauthorized Access.

Business Impact Analysis, or BIA is the process of assessing the criticality of business activities and the corresponding resource needs to maintain operational resilience and continuity of operations both during and after a business interruption. BIA evaluates the potential risks and consequences of a breach.

A honeypot is a cybersecurity tool that draws hackers away from real targets by creating a fictitious attack target. It's a system of honeypots disguised to resemble a real network, packed with routers, servers, databases, and other digital assets.

Electronic vaulting is a form of remote backup where data is replicated or transmitted to a geographically distant location for safekeeping. It entails regularly transferring sensitive data to a secure off-site location, using secure channels such as dedicated lines or encrypted connections.

The technique of encrypting or encoding data and messages that are sent across a computer network is known as network encryption. Network encryption encrypts data, messages, and packets delivered across a network through implementing one or more encryption algorithms, procedures, and standards into practice.

Candidates can share their past internal experience in conducting internal and external audits. If not, they can explain internal and external audits. Internal audits focus on the organization's internal controls, risk management, and adherence to internal policies, while external audits provide an independent evaluation of compliance with external standards and regulations.

Valuable non-physical assets that enhance an organization's overall security posture are known as intangible assets. Intangible assets are recognizable, non-financial assets that have no physical form. It includes security policies, processes, emergency plans, institutional knowledge, and any data about the security of the site.

Change management is the process of making decisions regarding the network based on change monitoring and an efficient security strategy. Change management ensuring cybersecurity efforts are successfully implemented.

Integration testing to ascertain if a newly designed or altered system could function in its intended setting without negatively affecting other already existing systems. Integration testing focuses on verifying that individual components or systems work cohesively when integrated into a larger system.

When a cybersecurity project's initial scope is altered or uncontrollably expanded, it is referred to as scope creep. It happens when project requirements, objectives, or deliverables are expanded upon, altered, or improved without appropriate approval or by not adhering to the defined change management procedures.

A Black Box Test is a type of software testing in which the tester is blind to the logic or internal workings of the system. Here, the tester does not know the core code or structure of the system; instead, they only concentrate on the inputs and anticipated outputs of the system.

As a CCSP professional, I use structured walkthroughs in software testing to identify and address issues, errors, and potential improvements in a software product or its documentation. I also utilize them to enhance the software's quality by incorporating relevant stakeholders in an in-depth analysis of the product or its artifacts.

Cybersecurity risk is the likelihood that the company may be exposed to or suffer a loss as a result of a cyberattack or data breach. Cybersecurity is a technology, procedures, and policies created to prevent cyber criminals from illegally accessing a company's confidential data, customer information, and other intellectual property.

The different types of cybersecurity risks are Phishing attacks, Social engineering attacks, Ransomware, DDoS attacks, Zero-Day Exploits, IoT (Internet of Things) Risks, and Advanced Persistent Threats.

An SLA is a contract or agreement that specifies the quality of service that a client may anticipate from a service provider. These contracts include specific metrics, responsibilities, and expectations related to the cybersecurity services being provided.

The different types of SLAs are
  • Corporate Level
  • Customer Level
  • Service Level

A Customer Level Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between a service provider and a specific customer or group of customers. These SLAs are customized to meet the unique demands, standards, and specifications of a single client or a group of related customers.

SLA document typically consists of introduction to the SLA, Service description, Mutual responsibilities, Scope of SLA, Applicable service hours, Service availability, Service performance and Security.

The potential targets of cyber criminals are sensitive data, customer data, intellectual property, contract terms and pricing, employee data, product quality and safety, third and fourth-party vendors, IoT devices, strategic planning, and financial data.

Physical components of an organization's information technology (IT) infrastructure that support overall security are referred to as tangible assets. It might consist of physical security measures, biometric access control systems, security cameras, surveillance systems, hardware security devices, and security appliances.

This question helps the interviewer to determine candidates' knowledge about the types of password attacks. Professionals can list password attacks such as Phishing, Man-in-the-Middle Attack, Brute Force Attack, Dictionary Attack, Credential Stuffing, and Key loggers.

Brute force attacks are a type of hacking technique where passwords, login credentials, and encryption keys are cracked through a process of trial and error. The process entails "guessing" passwords and usernames to obtain illegal access to a system.

Man-in-the-middle attacks arise when a hacker or compromised system places itself in the middle of two uncompromised individuals or systems and decodes the data they are exchanging, including passwords. It can occur in a variety of online interactions and communication methods, such as wired and wireless networks.

Key logger captures and monitors your keystrokes while you type. Every keystroke that is entered on the victim's device is captured and sent to the attacker. Keyloggers can follow users' password usage, internet visits, and credit card information entry.

The types of Brute Force Attacks are Simple Brute Force Attacks, Dictionary Attacks, Hybrid Brute Force Attacks, Reverse Brute Force Attacks, and Credential Stuffing.