How to become a successful IT Auditor: A step-by-step guide
Date: 2 February 2022
IT auditing is considered one of the most lucrative streams within auditing. This is because to be an IT auditor one requires specialized knowledge. There is also a lack of enough IT auditors because of the unique skill set this profession requires, making those who have all the requisites in place, highly coveted. The question, then, is this: How does one become a successful IT auditor in the first place?
A four-year degree is usually required for most employers to hire an IT Auditor. Some experience in IT is useful but it is not mandatory. You can start your career as an IT Auditor directly and experience the audit journey as you go along. Finally, acquiring a professional certification, like CISA or Certified Information Systems Auditor indicates expertise and verifies that one possesses the necessary knowledge to perform well in the role. Also, passing your CISA exam early in your career acts as a career booster by landing you straight under the spotlight of management recognition and also opens up promotion opportunities.
A Bachelor's Degree is a great way to start your careerA bachelor's degree in a similar discipline may be beneficial in securing work as an IT auditor. However, because auditing is a key component of the job, many specialists come from industries where audits are widespread, such as banking or law. Hence, if given an option and if you want to build your career in Auditing, select Systems & Finance as subjects in which you’d pursue your bachelor’s degree.
Obtain on-the-job training
- IT auditors should have some professional experience in information technology because they will need to understand not only IT systems and architectures, but also what steps to take to test them and provide assurance on their effectiveness.
- IT auditors may have worked as database administrators, systems administrators, or computer systems analysts. All this experience will count towards understanding of IT systems.
- You might start as someone who would be given minor tasks on the audit, maybe testing a simple (straight forward) control, but this is fine as long as you desire to learn and increase your contribution to the audit.
Acquire certifications as well as a Master's degree (optional)
- There are various qualifications that can assist IT auditors attain more competitive positions and responsibilities, in addition to completing a Master’s degree in cybersecurity/ Information Security/ Finance.
- The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification. This certification helps IT auditors identify themselves as experts in information systems auditing, IT governance and management, and other areas. You can also pursue this qualification.
- You can also opt for ISO 27001 Lead Auditor from PECB. However, CISA is more recognised as I understand.
- The 'Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control' (CRISC) certification is another important ISACA credential. Having this certification might show potential employers that a professional has a strong history in IT risk assessment, response, and reporting.
- While a Master's degree isn't necessarily required, it can assist prospective and present IT auditors broaden their knowledge of information technology and risk assessment, as well as have a better understanding of how specific operating systems and software platforms work.
Know more about our CISA course.
You may also be interested in our CRISC course.
Author: Abhinav Goyal
Abhinav Goyal is a professional CISSP trainer within Cyber Management Alliance’s training pool. He is CM-Alliance’s CISSP/CISA/ISO 27001/SOX/Information Risk Management/SAP Cyber security trainer. He has an MBA (Finance), along with qualifications in Computer Engineering, CISSP, CISA, ITIL (expert), COBIT (foundations), and SAP security.
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