Security Auditor

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Many corporations, organizations, and government entities have seen detected cybersecurity incidents rise precipitously over the last few years. One recent survey found an increase of 25 percent in such incidents over the previous year. Security Auditors have an important role in stemming the tide of data breaches and other threats.

A Security Auditor is an invaluable participant in IT risks assessment and in the creation of the IT audit plan. The main duties of the Security Auditor are to 1) understand how a company, organization, or government entity uses IT and the impact of IT on the financial statements, 2) know the extent of the company’s automated controls related to financial reporting, and 3) assess the risks to the financial statement including IT risks resulting from unauthorized access.

The Security Auditor must be able to detect, assess, and exploit various types of cybersecurity vulnerabilities that result from improper software configuration, software inconsistencies, and the design flaws of any network’s overall infrastructure and applications. Then the Auditor must be able to detect and correct the cybersecurity errors made by vendors, administrators, and authorized and unauthorized users.

A Security Auditor may work as an internal auditor (working directly for an organization), as an external auditor (working for a firm that provides cybersecurity auditing services), or as an independent auditor working for himself as a consultant.

General Educational Requirements

It is possible to find entry level positions that require only an Associate’s Degree plus credits in accounting and a few years of experience in an IT or accounting environment. Most positions, however, require a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, with Accounting courses, or in Information Technology. Senior positions generally require a Master’s Degree. At all levels, CPA credentials and advanced certifications are common requirements.

Additional Qualifications

While IT and auditing/accounting experience are the basic requirements for the position of Security Auditor, excellent analytical, leadership, and conflict resolution skills also are necessary for carrying out this position’s activities. A Security Auditor must be able to work as a team and must have excellent oral and written communications skills and experience to communicate effectively at briefings and meetings and to produce clear working papers, reports, and correspondence. He/she must be able to demonstrate process-oriented thinking, strong problem solving-skills, and a commitment to discerning the truth. It is important that a Security Auditor understand government law, policies, and requirements to provide the most effective possible technical guidance when developing and implementing audit strategies.

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