What it Takes to Become a Cybersecurity Auditor
Like most other professionals working in the field of cybersecurity, your personally assigned job tasks will vary to some extent, depending upon the needs of each current employer. However, your duties will be quite similar to many of those described in the Occupational Outlook Handbook published online by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For example, you’ll regularly be asked to prepare and review a variety of financial records and reports, always making sure that your employer is in full compliance with all applicable government policies, laws and procedures — including tax code requirements. A far more detailed description of your job is set forth online on the O*NET OnLine website.
Here’s additional information about what you can expect to be doing as an auditor, in keeping with what’s set forth on the O*NET Online web pages.
Required Training, Experience and Personal Character
- A Bachelor’s degree in general business or accounting – hopefully with experience applying such skills to the field of computer science. Approximately 76% of those applying for work as auditors have this type of degree. In fact, roughly 20 percent of auditor positions are filled by those who’ve earned a Master’s degree. Only 4% of those working in this field have only completed an Associate’s degree;
- All auditor job candidates for cybersecurity employers should have a stable enough personal and professional background to readily qualify for all required clearances;
- Although no professional certificates are regularly required for entry level positions as auditors, many of the more competitive job applicants at some point in their careers consider becoming Certified Public Accountants. However, obtaining this CPA designation requires lengthy study and the ability to pass a very demanding series of examinations.
At some point in your later career, you might want to gain a better understanding of the internal auditing standards and work being done by COSO – (The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission) which is a “joint initiative of five private sector organizations and is dedicated to providing thought leadership through the development of frameworks and guidance on enterprise risk management, internal control and fraud deterrence.” The American Institute of CPAs is a member of COSO.
Specific Job Duties Can Include the Following Tasks
- Being able to readily collect and analyze all of your employer’s financial data to detect full compliance with various government laws and internal management polices;
- Having the skills to create detailed reports based on a variety of audits;
- Being able to inspect your employer’s accounting books and systems, regularly checking for complete accuracy and efficiency;
- Knowing when to recommend to higher management that new forms of financial recordkeeping should be implemented;
- Making sure you and all of your accounting co-workers are fully implementing all of your employer’s key financial objectives – while also properly instructing all appropriate employees how to meet those goals.
- Strong interpersonal and general communication skills which allow you to work well with all assigned co-workers, managers and subordinates;
- Proven ability to detect complicated financial irregularities and immediately determine the best ways to correct all inaccurate records or reports;
- Knowing how to take the initiative when crises develop, always ready to shoulder full responsibility for resolving every type of work-related matter;
- Being able to apply your knowledge of economic and accounting principles – as well as your understanding of banking and financial markets — while analyzing and reporting data to both internal and external colleagues or governmental entities;
- Demonstrating your strong knowledge of all levels of mathematical principles and applications.
Reasonable Salary Expectations/Common Employment Fields
According to O*NET OnLine, the median annual salary for American auditors in 2012 was )$63,550 ($30.55 hourly). The industries currently most likely to hire auditors include the professional, scientific and technical service areas. During 2010, there were 1,217,000 auditors employed in this country. Between 2010 and 2020, it’s estimated that another 452,100 auditor positions will need to be filled.
Additional Resources for Learning More About Specific Auditor Positions
In addition to carefully reviewing the specific job websites referenced above, you might also benefit from visiting the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Audits, as well as the Office of Audit Services that’s part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.