Certified Information Systems Auditor
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is a globally recognized certification in the field of audit, control and security of information systems. CISA gained worldwide acceptance having uniform certification criteria, the certification has a high degree of visibility and recognition in the fields of IT security, IT audit, IT risk management and governance. Vacancies in the areas of IT security management, IT audit or IT risk management often ask for a CISA certification. The certification is extremely challenging and is associated with a high failure rate. CISA is awarded by ISACA.
Obtaining the certificate
The CISA ISACA certificate can be applied for if the following conditions are met  and passed the CISA exam
- Experience as an auditor of information systems
- Compliance with Code of Ethics
- Continuous training
- Compliance with the standards for audits of information systems
Membership in ISACA
The CISA certification is not tied to membership in the worldwide umbrella organization ISACA and the local (mostly national) called Chapters.
The world unified CISA exams are conducted three times a year: in June, September and December. The exam is known to be difficult examination and having four hours in length, consists of 200 multiple choice questions and uses the format of one correct answer per question. The scoring is weighted depending on an predetermined value for each question with a passing score of 450 points and a 800 point score as the maximum. Some questions are purely for statistical purposes and do not affect the candidates score.
CISA Review Courses are organised by various educational institutions across the globe, where students go through the CISA Review manual in the five domains which are:
- The Process of Auditing Information Systems (Contains 14% of the Total Marks or 28 Questions)
- Governance and Management of IT (Contains 14% of the Total Marks or 28 Questions)
- Information Systems Acquisition, Development and Implementation (Contains 19% of the Total Marks or 38 Questions)
- Information Systems Operations, Maintenance and Support (Contains 23% of the Total Marks or 46 Questions)
- Protection of Information Assets (Contains 30% of the Total Marks or 60 Questions)
As well as passing the exam, candidates must also pass the following requirements:
- The candidate must provide evidence of at least five years of professional experience. Related work experience or relevant higher education programs can provide credit against this.
- The candidate has to comply with the auditing standards of ISACA in the exercise of audits and adhere to the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics.
- After obtaining the CISA certification 20 hours of training must be documented per year and at least 120 in a three-year period to retain certification.
- A recruiters perspective of CISA, http://www.isaca.org/Knowledge-Center/Blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=277
- Certification Center info page,http://www.isaca.org/Certification/CISA-Certified-Information-Systems-Auditor/Pages/default.aspx
- CISA Certification Job Practice Areas,http://www.isaca.org/Certification/CISA-Certified-Information-Systems-Auditor/Prepare-for-the-Exam/Job-Practice-Areas/Pages/2011-CISA-Job-Practice-Areas.aspx
- Isaca.org page about CISA Certification, http://www.isaca.org/About-ISACA/Press-room/Pages/CISA-Fact-Sheet.aspx