What is CISA?

Date: 19/03/2024| Category: IT Governance & Service Management| Tags:

The CISA certification, where CISA stands for Certified Information Systems Auditor, issued by ISACA, is essential in the world of IT auditing. It is a mark of excellence that is recognised internationally. In a time where digitalisation is present in each business aspect, protection and data security are key. The CISA certification assures that professionals are equipped with the necessary competencies.

CISA certified professionals have a vital role in assuring that IT systems are safe, reliable and in line with international standards. They have a key role in identifying and reducing risks, contributing to the improvement in data management and overall security of their companies.

What is an IT Audit?

Before discussing the details of the CISA certification, it is essential to understand what an IT audit is. It is a systematic process of evaluation and assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and compliance of an organisation’s IT systems. This process includes examining IT operations, assessing risks, verifying compliance with policies and laws, and ensuring that IT resources are used effectively to achieve business objectives.

IT auditors examine and evaluate an organisation’s internal controls, procedures, processes and IT policies. This includes analysing security measures, assessing vulnerabilities, identifying risks and proposing improvements and changes. This role is crucial to ensure that IT supports business operations, protects data, promotes efficiency and complies with applicable regulations.

What is the CISA Certification?

The CISA certification is structured to provide an in-depth understanding of various key aspects of IT systems audits, control and security. The certification is composed of five main areas, each aimed at providing specific and critical competencies for an IT auditor. A detailed description of each area is provided below:

  1. Information Audits: This section is focused on providing the necessary competences to perform an Audit that is compliant with the professional standards. Concepts are provided on how to effectively plan and perform audits and how to write accurate and detailed reports. This includes understanding audit policies and procedures, identifying and assessing risks, and ensuring that audits are conducted ethically and in accordance with global standards.
  2. IT Governance and Management: In this section the principles of IT governance are outlined. This involves knowing how IT objectives align with business objectives and the importance of maintaining IT systems that support the organisation’s strategies and objectives. Knowledge of IT risk management practices is essential, ensuring that information systems are managed effectively and in compliance with laws and regulations.
  3. Acquisition, Development and Implementation of IT Systems: This section explores the practices of acquiring, developing and implementing IT systems. Furthermore, it includes the process of verifying that these processes are managed safely, effectively and in line with business objectives. Emphasis is placed on evaluating IT projects to ensure that they are implemented according to specifications, within budget and on time.
  4. IT Systems Operations, Maintenance and Support: This section focuses on the evaluation of operational systems, supporting processes and on the “how to manage” the day-to-day operations of IT systems, ensuring that they operate efficiently, safely and are properly supported and maintained.
  5. Information Protection: Finally, this section explores information security management. It delves into how to protect information from unauthorised access, theft, damage and destruction. This includes evaluating security policies, managing access controls and understanding threats and vulnerabilities to information systems.

The CISA certification ensures that professionals are experts in auditing IT systems and that they are also able to contribute significantly to the governance, security and effectiveness of the IT systems within their organisations. Through this certification, professionals demonstrate knowledge and expertise that distinguish them in the field of IT and prepare them to meet the increasingly complex challenges of today’s digital world.

Differences between the CISA and the CISM Certification

CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) is a certification for professionals in IT auditing. It emphasises critical analysis, control and compliance, making it ideal for those working in quality assurance and IT compliance. This certification is particularly suitable for internal auditors and specialists focused on identifying risks and vulnerabilities in information systems.

Instead, the CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) certification is designed for those involved in information security management at a strategic and managerial level. This certification is geared towards professionals who aspire to leadership roles, where it is essential to develop, manage and supervise information security programmes. Thus, CISM is perfect for those involved in IT security strategy, risk management and compliance, with a focus on protecting the integrity and confidentiality of corporate information.

What does it take for a CISA career?

Obtaining the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification opens the door to a rich and varied career path in the field of IT and information systems auditing. This internationally recognised certification not only confirms a professional’s technical skills, but also demonstrates a commitment to professional growth and excellence in the field.

Here are some of the most common and influential roles that CISA certified people can fill:

  • Internal IT Auditor: This is perhaps the role most directly related to CISA. Internal IT auditors are responsible for the examination and evaluation of an organisation’s internal controls and IT processes: they conduct regular audits to ensure compliance, identify risks and propose improvements.
  • Information Systems Security Consultant: CISA professionals often act as consultants, offering their expertise on how to improve the security and efficiency of information systems. Their role can range from implementing new technologies to reviewing and improving existing security practices.
  • Internal Control Manager: These professionals oversee internal controls related to information systems, ensuring that they operate effectively and in compliance with corporate and government policies and regulations.

Benefits of the CISA Certification

After obtaining the CISA certification, professionals find themselves in an advantageous position to access a variety of roles in the IT and audit fields. Below are some more general benefits of the CISA Certification:

  • Global Recognition: The CISA certification is recognised internationally as the standard of excellence in information systems auditing.
  • Depth of Knowledge: Provides an in-depth understanding of best practices in auditing, control and risk assessment in information systems.
  • Career Advancement: Opens up greater professional opportunities.


In summary, the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification proves to be more than just a professional recognition; it is a key that opens up a world of opportunities in the field of IT and information systems auditing. The CISA certification not only sharpens technical and analytical skills, but also provides a solid foundation for a variety of influential roles in IT auditing, risk management, consulting and management positions. This certification not only enhances the job opportunities of IT professionals, but also prepares them to successfully face and lead challenges in a constantly changing technological environment. Therefore, for those seeking to distinguish themselves and advance in the field of information systems auditing and security, the CISA certification is an invaluable investment in their professional future.

If you are interested to learn more about the CISA Certification contact us!

Share this post, choose Your platform!


Subscribe to the QRP International neswletter and get all the news on trends, useful contents and invitations to our upcoming events.

QRP International will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you. We'd like to continue keeping you up-to-date with all our latest news and exclusive content that's designed to help you to be more effective in your role, and keep your professional skills current.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at marketing@qrpinternational.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.