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CISA Certification – The Fastrack to Career Success in Cybersecurity

Posted In Security - By Techtiplib on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 With No Comments »

One of the commonest public domain discussions and media alarm stories relating to IT is that of cybersecurity.

What Is Cybersecurity?

Since the earliest days of what was called “Data Processing” or “DP,” crooks and pranksters have tried to find opportunities to exploit new technology for their own advantage or amusement.

cybersecurity

Although different sources dispute the precise chronology, by the 1970s there were already recorded cases of people attempting to gain unauthorized access to IT and telecommunications systems. Many of these early efforts were conducted by younger people looking for an intellectual challenge, but they were quickly followed by those seeking personal gain (theft and fraud) or political advantage (anarchists, dissemination of disinformation, espionage, etc.)

They became known, collectively, as “hackers.”   

Prior to the 1990s, much of the effort of these parties involved trying to penetrate installations that had large IT establishments. That typically meant major corporate organizations or government institutions.

However, by the late 1990s technology and its associated communications had exploded and left the domain of vast organizations. Virtually all organizations were using IT and the rapidly evolving net to connect data and systems. The technology also left the exclusive preserve of the professional and had moved into everyday use through smartphones, home PCs, laptops and tablets, etc.

As more technology became available and was used for ever more things, the opportunities for criminals to exploit it expanded exponentially. The challenge for technology providers became to ensure that only authorized users could access and use their systems – and only in approved ways.  These efforts of IT specialists to make their systems secure became known as “cybersecurity.”

It’s important to note though that cybersecurity isn’t just about preventing criminal activity. It also relates to the professional and regulatory conduct of IT systems owners and ensuring that the integrity of their systems and the accuracy of the data they hold, is maintained through the application of “best practice” standards and procedures. That’s because, to the risks of intentional malicious activities, must be added those associated with poor practices and procedures that might, for example, put customer data at risk.

Today cybersecurity, in its many different forms, is a broad discipline and one that is highly specialized and valued.

What Is CISA?

Cybersecurity is a very large subject running from exceptionally high-tech components relating to, for example, internet intrusion prevention right up to being able to audit IT systems to see if crimes (or simple irregularities and poor practice) are being committed in any one of a number of different ways.

Three of the key challenges for enterprises are:

  • To identify where they are at risk through their own practices
  • To identify where they are particularly vulnerable to the malicious intent of others
  • To quickly spot where problems have arisen (from whatever origin) and to take the appropriate corrective action.

The CISA Certification (Certified Information Systems Auditor) is targeted at specific components of that.

Typically, a CISA certified specialist will focus their activities on:

  • Identifying and assessing vulnerabilities in an IT environment and reporting on compliance and institutional controls
  • IS/IT auditing approaches and assurance guidelines, standards, and best practices
  • The governance and control of enterprise IT environments
  • Understanding the cycles of acquisition, development, testing, and implementation of information systems.

CISA is a qualification controlled by ISACA – a global body with its origins going back to 1969. Now known by the acronym “ISACA”, this stands for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.

CISA is a pre-eminent qualification for professionals operating in this domain of cybersecurity.

Salary Trends and Job Opportunities

As technology has increasingly become part of our daily lives, both regulatory and commercial demands for exemplary IT audit skills have hugely increased. Remuneration levels reflect that increased demand.

At present, CISA certified professionals are commanding salaries on average of $99,000 plus benefits. Experienced personnel may anticipate considerably more. At this moment, there are thousands of vacancies for CISA-qualified personnel right across the USA.

How to Get CISA Certified

It’s imperative that you select a training establishment with a recognized track record in helping to prepare people for the CISA certification examination.

The entire end-to-end process involves:

  1. Passing the CISA examination
  2. The submission of an application for CISA certification
  3. Evidence of adherence to the code of professional ethics
  4. Evidence of adherence to the continuing professional education program
  5. Full compliance with the information systems auditing standards.

You will also need to provide evidence, typically from your employers, that you indeed have the experience claimed in your resume and application for CISA certification.

Getting Ready to Transform Your Career

Preparation is key.

CISA certification and the pre-requisite exam demand expert tuition and concentrated study beforehand. This is not a subject to be taken lightly. However, once you have achieved your CISA certification, you may be able to anticipate a significant boost to your career. It would be advisable to find out more about CISA study and exam preparation.

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