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Why CISA, What is CISA? Certified Information Systems Auditor

Why CISA? What is CISA? Colman Okoro, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) with vast experience in IT, IT Audit and Consulting provides insights on CISA. CISA is the top audit professional certification sponsored by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). In a world dependent on IT the value of IT security expertise is obvious. What is the importance and value of CISA? How relevant is CISA compared to other IT security certifications.

What is the importance and value of CISA? How relevant is CISA compared to other IT security certifications. Where does CISA derive its strength from? Interested in IT security? Interested in IT audit expertise and related opportunities? Listen to what Colman has to say.


The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)ís Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification program is a hugely popular certification in the IT security/IT audit field. Why is there a need for such a certification? Who is ISACAís CISA certification intended for? What capabilities should one expect of a CISA certified professional in terms of specific knowledge and skills?

A. Thank you for having me. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) has been a globally accepted standard of achievement among IS audit, control and security professionals. CISA is recognized worldwide, by all industries, as the preferred designation for IS audit, control and security. To present a little overview of this certification, CISA was established in 1978 by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the first examination was administered in 1981. Today, over 50,000 candidates have earned the CISA designation. The relative importance of this certification, I guess stems from the fact that growing number of companies are coming to understand the importance of the certification. For example In the United States, assistant examiners employed by the US Federal Reserve Banks must pass the CISA examination before they are eligible for commissioning; The US Department of Defense's Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, has approved CISA and directed as many as 80,000 professionals to be required to earn one of 13 different certifications offered by some five different organizations (ISACA included).

In the same vein, the National Stock Exchange of India and CERT-IN, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, has recognized CISA as one of the requirements to conduct security audits in the Country. In Singapore, CISA was accredited under the Critical IT Resource Program of the National Infocomm Competency Centre (NICC), the national body that oversees accreditation of IT-related certifications. The same story goes in Hong Kong, ISACA members who have held a CISA certification for at least four years have the right to vote for the cityís legislative counselors as representatives of the IT category among the functional constituencies. In Romania, banks desiring to implement distance or electronic payment instruments are required by law to be certified by CISA-holding auditors.

To become a CISA, one must possess in addition to passing the CISA exam a solid ( a minimum of 5 years) knowledge and experience of (1) Information Systems audit process that ensure IS audits are conducted in accordance with standards, guidelines and best practices (2) Corporate Information Technology governance that demonstrates good knowledge of organizationís capability to govern IT investments; (3) Systems and infrastructure lifecycle that meets organizationís business objectives (4) Information Technology service delivery that meet organizationís business objectives (4) Protection of information assets that would ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of business information systems and, (5) Business continuity and disaster recovery of IT services.

Continued on Why CISA? What is CISA? (2) thanks Colman Okoro for his time and the great work he is doing in information systems auditing and IT assurance.

Colman Okoro is Senior IT Associate- (Information Assurance) with Clifton Gunderson LLP, firm of certified public accountants and consultants with office in Calverton, Maryland, USA


What Do you Have to Say? Post Your Comments about this article Here: 

COMMENTS for "What is CISA, Why CISA - Certified Information Systems Auditor":




October 3, 2009


Toyin Lawal of Kwara state, Nigeria says:



How much is the fee? and can i write the exam without experience being a fresh graduate of computer engineering?



August 13, 2009


Shivani bhat of Mumbai, India says:



Question about the CISA Exam: Hi, I don't have the experience and just finished with IT engineering. Can I still take the exam?



April 28, 2009


Joe of Lagos, Nigeria says:



Jidaw i love your wonderful work, keep it up. am an accountant but have being practicing an an Internal auditor for some time now, i intend setting my career path on a fast lane by going into network security and IT audit certification since IT is invading my profession on a fast rate. Thus i intend starting a career in IT network & security before writing CISA, CISM & CSSP. Please Jidaw what do you think about my career plan?



March 20, 2009


Colman Okoro (The Author) says:



Dear Romeo,  Your 13 years experience as a banker is a huge plus for the certification process. The next thing to do is to sit for the exam, if you should pass a certification form would be required to be filled out,
and demonstrable 2 years experience in auditing or IT security experience shown to complement your banking experience. Thanks.



March 10, 2009





I have 13 years experience in banking and devoted to work in branch operations. Am I qualified to take for CISA exam?



February 7, 2009


Junaid of Pakistan says:



Hi, I don't have the experience. Can I still take the exam and get the certificate as someone who has passed.



December 24, 2008


Oniye, Jeremiah Ademoye Living in Lagos, and work with Mandilas Group - Nigeria as the Computerization Project Manager says:



This is a very good and concise write up on what CISA is all about. Could you please provide similar information on CISM and CGEIT AND enumerate differences / relationship of these certifications from ISACA? 



December 12, 2008


Charity of Lagos says:



Do I really need to have 5 years working experience before I take CISA exams? 



December 1, 2008


Ogundipe Olasunkanmi of Ikorodu says:



How much is the CISA exam? 



October 3, 2008


Ajayi of Lagos says:



CISA prep 1-month school

Does any one knows anywhere in the world where this is available?   



August 4, 2008


Yuni, 'CISA', ACA of Abuja, says:




Thanks for your educating and empowering article. CISA certificate remains the mark of excellence in IS Audit and Security worldwide and this set the basis of a workshop titled The Role of Government in Cybercrimes and Cybercriminalities organized by the coliation of Federal Ministry of Justice , National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA) and Cyber Crime Solution Africa in Abuja recently. However, the ignorance of our financial institutions that are suppose to the leading light in the fight against hacking and cracking of the whole world is laughable as they deploy cutting edge IT facilities without consideration for the associated IT and related Technology risks. CISA means to me fame, wealth, knowledge and world skill set of the moment. Finally, it is vital that upon passing the examination acquiring the required practical experience is paramount to your success. Best wishes as you plan to launch yourself to the next level via acquisition of CISA certification.   



July 12, 2008


Anoop Agarwal of Delhi, India says:



In today's Information technology driven market , it is necessary to have such type of certification even for the Chartered Accountants to align themselves with fast changing auditing world.   



July 11, 2008


harshali munot says:



What is cisa actually? Do students who have passed out 12th in commerce stream opt for cisa? What needs to be done in cisa? Where will we have to register? What do we have to study? Are exams held in my city Aurangabad i.e., in Maharahstra , India? Time period required to do cisa? Its benefits.  



July 7, 2008


yusuf abdulraheem says:



Your information about CISA was overwhelming, please I will like to know if there is any way of making up or alternative for the five years experience in auditing. Thanks 



July 6, 2008


Rohit of Bangalore, India says:



During CISA preparation you come to know a lot of things which when added to your IS audit experience make you a better IS professional.

This is why CISA is important now and will remain so. 



June 17, 2008


Otito of Lagos, Nigeria says:



Thank you. Please is it ok for some going into data analysis and revenue assurance to get CISA certification? 



May 31, 2008


Orishane Lionel of Agbara Estate, Ogun state, Nigeria says:



Well done Jidaw. I also would want to commend you on the job so far i also passed my CCNA with a grade of 920, thanks to you CCNA class I attended, But this article is a great one to me because it is what i want to practice but i don't know if you now offer it in your school, or can there be a form of referral to aid my ambition? 



May 30, 2008


G. Kush of Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria says:



Is there any pre-requisite for writing this exam in lieu of 5-year IS experience 



May 28, 2008


Dele Adesina of Osogbo, Oyo state, Nigeria says:



Thank you! You have answered most of my questions. This is great! 



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