How to Become an IT Auditor?
Pursuing a career in the IT field opens many different career paths. One of those is the career of an IT auditor, which is perfect for ambitious people who are looking for a job where they will have to constantly be up to date with the latest news and learning on how to implement changes into the system.
The road to becoming an IT auditor starts by obtaining a Bachelor’s, and ideally a Master’s, degree in the relevant field – IT. To jump-start your career, cybersecurity and other courses can be very valuable. This will help you get the job, and the hands-on experience will be of most value actually.
The role of an IT auditor can be very different between two organizations with different core businesses, number of employees, and requirements. This is why it is important to understand what are the basic things an IT auditor does. Everything else is like a top-up and depends on the organization itself.
What Is an IT Auditor?
Just like an auditor in any company is responsible for analyzing the company’s infrastructure of processes in order to identify flaws and areas for improvement, the IT auditor does the same.
An IT auditor is the person who will analyze the technological infrastructure, to make sure that all the processes are running smoothly and in accordance with the rules and laws. Besides this, an IT auditor is in charge of the safety and security of the IT network, so he is responsible for identifying any threats and preventing them.
An IT auditor is constantly looking for new audit processes that can be implemented in order to complete his tasks efficiently. All these processes are presented to the company alongside the benefits that they will bring after implementation.
This job is very important for all companies whose core business is technology-based because every single issue or data leak could seriously cripple the organization. This is why this job is considered to be one of the most responsible ones in such an organization.
What Are IT Auditor’s Responsibilities?
I have described in general what an IT auditor does, but the list of his responsibilities is very long and can differ from a company to a company. Also, it depends on the size of the organization and the nature of the business they are conducting.
One of the primary responsibilities of an IT auditor is conducting the ADPs or Automated Data Processing audits and creating audit reports. Before even doing this, an IT auditor must create and develop an efficient IT infrastructure.
His work continues onto monitoring the processes and measuring their efficiency, as well as effectively communicating with other team members and transferring messages.
It is very important for an IT auditor to be able to explain in simple words the limits of the system and how the employees can help keep the system healthy and less vulnerable to external attacks.
An IT auditor must be aware of the limits of the current IT infrastructure and be ready to develop a plan for an upgrade or change once the organization starts to grow and express the need for different processes to be introduced.
Steps to Becoming an IT Auditor
Depending on the position you are applying to, there might be some specific conditions they are requesting, but the ones I am going to list now are the basic and most common ones everyone is looking for.
The first step and the most obvious one is that you need to earn at least a Bachelor’s degree if you want to become an IT auditor. Self-thought auditors are not of value on the labor market, since there are many technical terms and concepts you may haven’t had a chance to learn on your own.
It is best if you obtain a degree in the related field – IT. However, the experience has shown that many IT auditors did not primarily come from IT schools. They have been taking auditing classes in other fields like finance, and then gradually made the transfer to IT.
The audit process, in general, may be very similar, but each field has very specific terms they are using, that is why it is best to obtain a Bachelor’s in IT if you know for sure that you want to be an IT auditor.
But the degree itself will not be enough. For sure it will help you get a job, but the on-job experience is what will carve your skills and make you a good auditor. In school, you will learn the basics and the theory, but in reality, you will learn how to think.
It is not enough only to analyze the infrastructure, you must also be able to identify and understand its flaws and to know how to improve the overall organization. This you will not be taught in school.
Statistics say that an IT auditor needs around five years of hands-on experience to be fully trained to work on his own and be independent in their work.
If you want to further deepen your knowledge, several very useful courses are valued on the market, and that can boost your career and pay grade if you get a certificate of successful completion.
Most of them are formed around the topic of cybersecurity, so make sure that you do your research on this issue very thoroughly.
Remember that being an IT auditor means that you are committing to life-long learning since the IT industry is one of the fastest developing ones. New changes and updates are being released constantly, so if you miss even just one, you are putting at risk the security of your infrastructure.
Because of these constant updates, it is very easy for outsiders to find a newly created flaw in the network and to attack the organization. That is why these updates represent a potential threat if they are not attended to correctly.
Through experience at work, an IT auditor learns how to recognize potential threats and how to effectively prevent and eventually solve them. That is why the IT infrastructure is very fluid and requires to be constantly audited.