All facts you need to know about CISA Exam before you attempt it
The demand for security and protection is expanding along with the IT sector. Therefore, obtaining a cybersecurity credential can steep individuals’ careers to the next level. For people who conduct audits, regulate operations, and monitor and analyze information technology and business systems, earning a CISA Certification is a wise career advancement strategy. CISA improves professional knowledge surrounding IT systems and auditing. It enhances professionals' understanding of IT systems and audits. Moreover, the certificate ensures that their education meets the requirements of the global standard for this profession.
Candidates who hold a CISA Certificate make a strong impression on potential employers by demonstrating that they are highly trained and valuable addition to the IT team. The need for CISAs has risen as a result of a slew of financial scandals and issues with internal controls that have afflicted the financial sector. CISA is regarded as the premier information systems (IS) audit certificate by individuals and companies all over the world. As with any significant accomplishment, it calls for a great deal of focus, perseverance, and commitment.
What is the goal of the CISA Certificate Exam?
CISA Certificate is a gold standard for IT/IS auditing professionals. Earning this certification requires knowledge of the various disciplines within information systems, especially in auditing, control, and security. So ISACA conducts the exam to verify such expertise in professionals. The exam is intended to demonstrate that professionals possess the CISA skills and knowledge required for positions requiring the certification. Additionally, it showcases that they have maintained the level of expertise required to be a valuable asset to an organization.
What does CISA Exam cover?
During the CISA Exam, candidates should answer 150 questions from job practice areas, organized into five domains, within four hours. It is designed to ensure that professionals are equipped to handle challenging scenarios. Each domain comprises tasks and knowledge statements meant to describe the jobs performed in information systems audit, assurance, and control.
The CISA domains serve as the foundation for the exam questions and the certification requirements. So, knowing about each domain area is one of the first steps if a candidate desires to become highly qualified and in-demand specialists.
What are CISA Exam domains?
The following are five domains covered in CISA Exam
- Information System Auditing Process (21% )
- Governance and Management of IT (17%)
- Information Systems Acquisition, Development and Implementation (12%)
- Information Systems Operations and Business Resilience (23%)
- Protection of Information Assets (27%)
Domain 1: The process of auditing information systems
This domain is concerned with providing audit services in compliance with established professional standards to safeguard and regulate information systems. The tasks for aspirants include creating and implementing a risk-based IT audit strategy, organizing and conducting the actual audit, and reporting the audit's results. Professionals should familiar with the ISACA IT audit and assurance standards, guidelines and tools techniques, code of professional ethics, and other standards.
Domain 2: Governance & management of IT
CISA’s second domain focuses on assuring that the organizational structures, procedures, and leadership are in place to support goals and the organization's strategy. It also entails assessing the HR management, policies, and standards to see whether they are in line with the overall strategies and objectives of the business. For this domain, candidates should understand the objective of IT strategy, policies, standards, and procedures for an organization.
Domain 3: Information systems acquisition, development, and implementation
In this domain, candidates are expected to understand how to evaluate a business case for proposed investments in information systems, including acquisition, development maintenance, and subsequent retirement, for determining whether the business case meets business objectives. Additionally, they assess the project management framework and controls used by the organizations to asess if the business needs are met cost-effectively.
Domain 4: Information systems operations, maintenance, and service management
The functioning of an information system in the normal course of business is the emphasis of this domain. It is intended to evaluate business continuity planning, disaster recovery plans, end-user computing, system resiliency, data backup, and information system operations. Candidates must be familiar with frameworks, procedures, and service-level management for IT services. They should also be knowledgeable about techniques for evaluating the performance of third parties.
Domain 5: Protection of information assets
The company's information assets are protected in the final domain. It provides reassurance that the company's security standards, guidelines, controls, and policies allow the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of the information assets. This could involve anything from reviewing the information security policies, standards, and procedures to designing, putting into place, and keeping an eye on a variety of controls, including logical and system security controls, data classification methods, and environmental and physical access controls.
When should candidates take CISA Exam?
The CISA Exam has no prerequisites, thus applicants can take it at any time if they intend to attain the certificate. Professionals must prepare thoroughly before registering, paying for, and scheduling the exam. CISA Exam can be scheduled on the ISACA website. Candidates should schedule well in advance to have enough time to prepare for exam day. It is suggested to taking at least four months to prepare for the exam based on their other commitments. In addition, professionals should stick to their originally scheduled date to stay focused during their preparation time.
What happens after passing CISA Exam?
Once professionals pass the exam and satisfy the required work experience, they may apply for the CISA certification online. Candidates must complete at least five years of work experience in a job related to IT auditing, control, or security. In addition, ISACA insists on obtaining work experience within ten years before the application date of the exam. Moreover, candidates can waive off up to 3 years of experience by substituting 1-year of experience with a year of experience in information systems or non-IS auditing experience, 2 years with 60-120 university semester credit hours, or a master's degree in information technology/information security.
CISA Exam is challenging; it demands extensive preparation, effort, and commitment. Therefore, applicants might choose CISA Training if they want to pass the exam in one sitting. Training helps in gaining both theoretical and technical knowledge of CISA Exam domains.
Certification holders introduce the principle of least functionality in organizations. They allow systems to run only those services and applications that align with business operations. The attack surface expands with an increase in the number of applications running within the system. The training program teaches them to keep that number in check through performing regular configurations. They limit the use of network services, protocols, and open ports. Certified individuals are needed by organizations to perform automated scanning of their corporate networks.
Training teaches professionals to extend cyber security by granting secondary non-privileged accounts to privileged users. This will prevent the latter from misusing their power. They can use their secondary accounts to execute their daily routine non-administrative tasks. This accreditation empowers individuals to enforce the “dual authorization” technique. They also introduce organizations to the use of Active Directory which facilitates centralized account management.