Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Certified Information Systems Auditor
Certified Information Systems Auditor

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)- ISACA is the organisation that administers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) credential. The Knowledge Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) was founded in 1969 by a group of experts who saw a need for a centralised source of information and assistance in the then-new field of electronic data processing audits. It now has 145,000 members in 180 countries. They connect 460,000 engaged information and cybersecurity professionals and serve as a resource for them.

The CISA, CRISC, CISM, CGEIT, CSX-P, and CDPSE are among ISACA’s professional certificates. Each of these qualifications gives practitioners of various parts of information systems legitimacy, such as:

The aim and usefulness of the CISA certification will be examined in this tutorial. CISA stands for Certified Information Systems Auditor, and we’ll go over the criteria, fees, and benefits of this professional qualification. The material in this guide can assist candidates in determining the value of acquiring a CISA and determining if it is the best certification for their career path.

According to ISACA, this certification is held by over 151,000 professionals, and the CISA is accredited under ISO/IEC 17024:2012 – General requirements for entities operating certification of persons. Within the information systems world, it is widely acknowledged as a means of indicating the holder’s expertise and talents.

What does it mean to be a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)?

The CISA is intended to demonstrate knowledge for people who audit, control, monitor, and assess their organization’s information technology and business systems on a regular basis.

A CISA certification implies knowledge of the following areas of work:

  • Information systems auditing process
  • Governance and management of IT
  • Information systems acquisition, development, and implementation
  • Information systems operations and business resilience
  • Protection of information assets

For many IT workers, acquiring a CISA credential is easily justifiable due to high salaries and an above-average predicted job growth rate.

The CISA is difficult to earn due to a difficult exam and required work experience. Nonetheless, the popularity of this certification indicates that many IT audit, security, and control professionals are capable of earning it.

IS/IT auditors’ major responsibility is to prevent fraud, waste, and non-compliance. They also conduct research and provide findings to the C-suite.

Here are a few examples of common CISA jobs:

What are CISA Requirements?

A candidate for the CISA must have five or more years of experience in an IS/IT audit, control, assurance, or security job, in addition to completing the CISA exam. They must also agree to follow a set of professional ethics. For a maximum of three years, experience waivers are available.

The professional code of ethics covers the following seven points:

  • Support the establishment of appropriate standards and processes for the effective governance and management of enterprise information systems and technology, including audit, control, security, and risk management, and encourage adherence to them.
    Carry out their responsibilities with objectivity, care, and professionalism in accordance with professional norms.
  • Serve in the best interests of stakeholders while adhering to the law, maintaining high standards of conduct and character, and not bringing their profession or the Association into disrepute.
  • Unless compelled by legal authority, maintain the privacy and confidentiality of information gathered in the course of their activities. This information will not be used for personal gain or disclosed to unsuitable parties.
  • Maintain proficiency in their particular disciplines and commit to engage in only those tasks that they may fairly anticipate to execute with the skills, knowledge, and competence required.
  • Inform appropriate parties of the results of work completed, including the disclosure of all critical facts known to them that, if not revealed, could skew the results reporting.
    Support stakeholders’ professional education in order to improve their awareness of enterprise information systems and technology governance and management, including audit, control, security, and risk management.

How Much Does Obtaining a CISA Certification Cost?

Exam fees are determined by your membership status at the time you register for the exam. Nonmembers pay $760.00, while ISACA members pay $575.00.

Of course, the total cost of studying for a CISA certification would differ depending on the candidate’s expertise and expertise. An instructor-led course can help a candidate with a minimal of practical knowledge and competence prepare for the exam. A more experienced candidate, on the other hand, may merely need to brush up using the ISACA self-paced exam prep option.

A 12-month subscription to interactive, customisable sample examinations is included in the self-paced exam prep solution. These practise examinations are based on a database of over 1,000 questions. This subscription costs $299.00 for ISACA members and $399.00 for nonmembers.

An online review course is also offered, which includes video training sessions on demand, interactive modules and workbooks, case study assignments, and evaluations. Candidates who choose this option will have access to an online discussion board where they can ask questions. The subscription charge for this 22-hour, 365-day course is $795.00 for members and $895.00 for nonmembers.

Other expenses related to studying for the CISA exam include study materials. The official CISA Review Manual, as well as other publications hand-picked for their usefulness in helping CISA candidates prepare for exam day. The printed or eBook versions will set you back approximately $110.

Candidates can choose between virtual instructor-led or in-person training and conferences for instructor-led exam prep. These courses can cost anything from $1,000 for virtual instructor-led workshops to $1,400.00 for in-person classes. A tailored on-site service is available for large business groups.

The cost of keeping a CISA certification is also an ongoing expense. A CISA certification holder must get a minimum of 20 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits each year and 120 hours during a three-year reporting cycle period to maintain their certification. In addition, a yearly maintenance charge of $45 for ISACA members and $85 for nonmembers is required.

There are soft expenses to consider in addition to the expenditures connected with training courses and materials. Preparing for the exam will necessitate sacrifice, and such soft costs should be factored into the total cost-benefit analysis. Nonetheless, the better salaries and expanded employment options obtained by CISA members indicate that earning the certification will almost always pay off.

Deep Dive into the CISA exam

ISACA offers a CISA practise quiz so that candidates can test their readiness for the test. A candidate guide for the exam can be downloaded. It contains important information about eligibility and the exam process.

The CISA certification test, which is available in eleven languages, consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover the exam subject outline prepared using the most recent exam content analysis. The exam can take up to 4 hours to complete.

Domain 1: Information System Auditing Process21%
Domain 2: Governance and Management of IT17%
Domain 3: Information Systems Acquisition, Development and Implementation12%
Domain 4: Information Systems Operations and Business Resilience23%
Domain 5: Protection of Information Assets27%


  • Information system auditing process

This area include executing risk-based IS audit methods, adhering to correct IS audit standards, successfully conveying audit results and suggestions, and following up.

  • Governance and management of IT

The efficiency of the IT governance structure and IT strategy are discussed here. This domain also looks at IT human resources, business continuity planning, and catastrophe recovery.

  • Information systems acquisition, development and implementation

This subject includes selecting IT suppliers and negotiating contracts that ensure optimal service levels. Subjects such as feasibility studies, business cases, total cost of ownership, and return on investment are all tested. Domain 3 also includes project management and risk management, project requirements analysis, success criteria, and post-implementation difficulties.

  • Information systems operations and business resilience

Knowledge of service management practises, enterprise architecture, systems resiliency, control mechanisms, and performance monitoring is included in this domain. Data backup, database management, data lifecycle management, incident management methods, and disaster recovery testing are all covered.

  • Protection of information assets

This domain’s topics revolve around the security of information technology assets. They have to do with data security, physical and environmental controls, and material verification in terms of confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Candidate exam scores are reported as a scaled score, which is the result of converting a candidate’s raw exam score to a standard scale. The goal of a scaled score is to ensure that a consistent method of reporting results is utilised throughout different versions of the exam, ensuring that they are comparable and fair.

ISACA employs and reports a standard scale of 200 to 800 points.

  • A perfect score of 800 indicates that all questions were answered properly.
  • A score of 200 is the lowest attainable and indicates that just a tiny percentage of questions were successfully answered.
  • To pass the exam, a candidate must achieve a score of 450 or higher, which reflects the minimum level of knowledge.
  • If all other requirements are completed, a candidate who receives a passing score can apply for certification.

CISA Salary Information

CISA is frequently cited as one of the most sought-after and well-paid IT certifications. Assuming that job growth predictions are met, the picture for future employment is bright.

Rank and file accountants and auditors may expect to make over $70,000 a year and have a job growth rate of approximately 4%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Managers of computer and information systems, on the other hand, earn over $150,000 a year and should expect a 10% job growth rate.

According to ISACA, CISA holders earn an average of $110,000 a year. This is significantly higher than the national average for accountants and auditors.

Final Thoughts

If you work as an IT auditor or want to work as one, obtaining and maintaining the ISACA CISA certification is likely to be beneficial. It is widely acknowledged as a trustworthy indicator of the presence of the skills required for success in the IS/IT field.

This qualification, like all professional credentials, comes at a cost in terms of both time and money, but the return on these expenditures is well worth it.

Professionals with the skills required to run IS/IT audit and assurance programmes are in high demand. Employers value the CISA professional credential and place a premium on individuals who have earned it. Obtaining this certification has been shown to be an effective means of advancing one’s career in information technology.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.