The purpose of the study is to explore the factors associated with the extent of security/cybersecurity audit by the internal audit function (IAF) of the firm. Specifically, the authors focused on whether IAF/CAE (certified audit executive [CAE]) characteristics, board involvement related to governance, role of the audit committee (or equivalent) and the chief risk officer (CRO) and IAF tasked with enterprise risk management (ERM) are associated with the extent to which the firm engages in security/cybersecurity audit.
For analysis, the paper uses responses of 970 CAEs as compiled in the Common Body of Knowledge database (CBOK, 2015) developed by the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation (IIARF).
The results of the study suggest that the extent of security/cybersecurity audit by IAF is significantly and positively associated with IAF competence related to governance, risk and control. Board support regarding governance is also significant and positive. However, the Audit Committee (AC) or equivalent and the CRO role are not significant across the regions studied. Comprehensive risk assessment done by IAF and IAF quality have a significant and positive effect on security/cybersecurity audit. Unexpectedly, CAEs with security certification and IAFs tasked with ERM do not have a significant effect on security/cybersecurity audit; however, other certifications such as CISA or CPA have a marginal or mixed effect on the extent of security/cybersecurity audit.
This study is the first to describe IAF involvement in security/cybersecurity audit. It provides insights into the specific IAF/CAE characteristics and corporate governance characteristics that can lead IAF to contribute significantly to security/cybersecurity audit. The findings add to the results of prior studies on the IAF involvement in different IT-related aspects such as IT audit and XBRL implementation and on the role of the board and the audit committee (or its equivalent) in ERM and the detection and correction of security breaches.
The Common Body of Knowledge in Internal Auditing (CBOK, 2015) database was used for this study. One of the authors of this study is permitted to use the data by the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation (IIARF). We gratefully acknowledge the support of IIARF.
Islam, M., Farah, N. and Stafford, T. (2018), "Factors associated with security/cybersecurity audit by internal audit function: An international study", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 377-409. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-07-2017-1595Download as .RIS
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