The Certified Information System Auditor course comes as a boon in an age that depends heavily on IT systems.

For engineering graduates who are pondering over changing their profile in order to climb up the career ladder, the Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) course could be the path to take. CISA is a global certification programme, offered by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), U.S.

In an age of information that is heavily dependent on IT systems, cyber-security has become all the more important. Auditing and securing these systems is a vital function and, therefore, the role and importance of a systems auditor is gaining momentum. The CISA course trains participants to understand ways of protecting and auditing information systems.

The CISA course (one has to clear an exam at end of the course) is open to all individuals who have an interest in Information System Auditing, understanding and evaluating Information Systems Controls and Information Security domains. There are no prerequisite qualifications or experience requirements to write the CISA exam.

Eligibility

To qualify as CISA, candidates have to have five years of work experience in the fields of Information Systems Auditing, Control, Assurance or Security. Only those who clear the CISA exam will be certified. The work experience must be gained within the 10-year period preceding the application date for certification or within five years from the date of initially passing the exam.

The CISA exam is a one-time exam, consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions, and the timeframe given is four hours. The exam is held thrice a year, on the second Saturday of June, September (in select locations) and December.

Throwing light on the basic preparation for CISA exam, Chitra Murali, president of the Chennai chapter of ISACA, says, “To train for this exam the CISA Review Manual offered by ISACA is the main study material.” Apart from this, review classes to train for the exam are conducted by local chapters across the country. These review classes are conducted on Sundays, spread across 12 -13 weekends and include sample tests and one mock exam.

In addition, the Chennai chapter conducts fast-track courses for both June and December exam candidates for five days at a stretch, keeping in mind outstation candidates who are unable to travel every weekend.

Job openings

“Any company, bank or government having a role in auditing, controlling, monitoring and assessing information technology and business systems would prefer hiring a CISA, says Ms. Chitra. As most of the companies’ businesses are driven by technology, irrespective of the type of industry, they do hire CISAs as systems/security auditors, security consultant, process consultant and the like. The CISA course has international validity and is a globally recognised certification, CISA holders can plan careers overseas as well.