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Prepare For The CISA Exam With An MBA

Resumes and cover letters may list your experience and knowledge, but the designations after your name show you’ve put in the work to earn a degree that proves your expertise.

The role information technology (IT) plays in most every industry is evolving. For those interested in IT, information security (InfoSec) and auditing, a career path that combines skills in all these areas may be beneficial. There are many licenses and certifications for IT and InfoSec professionals, and these credentials often give IT pros a leg up on the competition. Certified Information Systems Auditor, or CISA, is one designation that students can prepare for while earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

At the University of West Florida (UWF), students earning their online MBA with an emphasis in Cybersecurity Management can choose to take a course called Information System Auditing and Control. This class covers a range of subjects such as information security, contingency planning, computer center operation controls, cloud-based systems security and other topics, giving students the foundation they need to manage various aspects of InfoSec in a business environment.

Why Become an Information Systems Auditor?

The primary responsibility of an information systems auditor is to assess the controls, reliability, security and integrity of a company’s IT environment. Audits help to expose potential risks and allow an auditor to make changes to improve risk management and corporate efficiency. Information systems auditing relies on advanced skills and knowledge pertaining to information systems, InfoSec and the many business functions IT intersects with.

For instance, with the rising use of advanced accounting information systems, some companies now require or prefer their accountants be cross trained in IT and general auditing to mitigate risk within multiple facets of an organization. Conducting regular audits is vital to maintaining the integrity of an organization’s financial data and operations as well as other aspects of IT infrastructure, InfoSec operations and policies. As threats to security and corporate responsibility challenges continue to arise, professionals with skills in both accounting and IT will be in high demand.

To ensure that IT systems and resources are utilized effectively to meet business objectives, notes Business News Daily, organizations are shedding a spotlight on IT governance. Professionals must be in alignment with senior leadership to meet the technical and security goals established by an organization. Auditing an organization’s InfoSec operations and policies is also extremely important to maintain compliance with existing and developing regulations surrounding data privacy and security.

This requires a team-focused effort from executives at all levels of the decision-making process. Strategic management, risk management and resource optimization are crucial pieces to identify goals and implement a plan of action around information security.

How to Become CISA Certified

There is high demand for professionals with CISA certification. In fact, according to data from CyberSeek (March 2023), there are more than 87,000 job openings requesting CISA certification, but less than 38,000 professionals currently hold CISA certification — quite the talent shortage. In comparison, nearly 101,000 job openings are requesting CompTIA Security+ certification, but nearly 214,000 professionals already have that certification, representing a distinct surplus of CompTIA Security+ certification holders.

A minimum of five years of professional information systems auditing, control or security work experience is required for certification, with few exceptions. Once the candidate has passed the CISA exam and completed the work experience required, they will need to submit an application for CISA certification to complete the process. Candidates must also pay fees associated with taking the exam and applying for certification. To keep up certification, CISA holders must adhere to the Code of Professional Ethics and the Continuing Professional Education Policy while maintaining compliance with the Information Systems Auditing Standards.

The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offers certifications that are globally accepted and even required by many organizations. Such certifications prove to an employer that a job candidate has the necessary skills for this vital role. By earning an MBA in information security management and attaining the CISA designation, an IT professional proves they are ready for senior information security management positions.

Learn more about the UWF online MBA with an emphasis in Cybersecurity Management online program.

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