CISA Domain 4 Notes

Main points to remember (please excuse the brevity and spell errors):

  1. Service provider SLA:
    • Most Imp –> Transition to new or internal process post contract termination
    • Right to audit – imp
    • To check uptime reports in SLA –> check Availability reports.
  2. Database:
    • Assurance on Database Referential integrity should be provided by reviewing –> Foreign Key Structure
      • Referential entity in a RDBMS refers to the consistency between couple (linked) tables. Ref integrity is usually enforced by the combination of a primary key or candidate key (alternate key) and foreign key. For ref integrity to hold, any field in a table that is declared a foreign key should contain only values from a parent tables primary key or candidate key.
    • Default configuration should be changed
    • Concerning if DBA is performing OS patches as that should be done by System Admin
    • DBA suggests that efficiency can be increased using De-normalization –> It results in Data Redundancy –> Normalization is a design or optimization process for RDBMS that increases redundancy
    • Concurrency objective in DB –> Ensure integrity when 2 processes attempt to update same data
    • GREATEST ASSURANCE of DATABASE INTEGRITY –> Table link/Reference checks –> Performing these checks detect table link errors (such as completeness and accuracy of the contents of db) and thus provide greatest assurance of database integrity.
    • Database audit logs should be deleted other than DBA
    • During maintenance of RDBMS –> several values of foreign key in a transaction table have been corrupted –> consequence –> Detail of involved transactions may no longer be associated with master data, causing errors when these transactions are processed
    • In RDBMS with referential integrity –> the use of which of the following keys would prevent deletion of a ROW from customer table as long as customer number of that row is stored with live orders on the orders table —> FOREIGN KEY
    • Which DB controls would ensure that the integrity of transactions is maintained in an online transaction processing systems database —> 🔥🔥COMMITMENT AND ROLL BACK CONTROLS
    • User Spool and Database limit controls can affect the performances significantly.
    • Database processing suddenly comes to a halt –> Integrity best ensured by –> Database commits and rollbacks**
    • IT mgmt has decided to install RAD and remove off-site backups —> IT auditor should re-instate for off-site backups #readquestionproperly #understandmeaning #remove2options
    • IS auditor sees corrupted data in database –> corrective control is –> 🔥🔥Data restore procedures
  3. Auditor notices patches are deployed as per vendor –> MOST significant RISK would be that IT has🔥 not TESTED THESE PATCHES.
  4. For any changes done in business like – service provider change etc.. –> APPLICATION OWNERS SHOULD BE INFORMED.
  5. Auditor checking change mgmnt - Most imp control that IS auditor should look for to ensure system availability –> Test Plans and procedures exist and are closely followed
  6. 🔴🔥Disaster Recovery Plan - DRP (💥Addresses Tech aspect of BCP💥)
    • Downtime cost increases with time.
    • 🔥Most Imp element to effectively execute a DRP –> Offsite storage of backup data
    • Business Impact Analysis should be used in DRP for it to be successful
    • 🔥NO TEST DONE IS CRITICAL – DRP –> auditor observed remote offices have very limited local IT resources –> MOST Critical –> is that 🔴no test is done to ensure that local resources could maintain security and service standards when recovering from a disaster or incident.
    • Periodically Test - DRP – for continued compatibility of the contingency facilities
    • Org recovery from disaster in which not all critical data was retained – > Issue with RPO
    • Org DR plan - Auditor should Primarily verify that – regularly reviewed and updated
    • Auditor reviewing DR of hot site used by financial institution –> Greatest Concern in this is –> Disk space Utilization data are not kept current –> without data of disks it can lead to a big disaster
    • BEST Evidence of an org DR capabilities —> RESULTS OF TESTS
    • 🔥MOST IMP to review when conducting – DR AUDIT –> DATA BACKUPS ARE Performed Timely and Stored Offsite
    • Data Mirroring Strategy –> When Data doesn’t need be lost at all –> Hence RPO is low —> Low Data Loss –> Low RPO
    • 🔥🔥🔥When reviewing DRP –> Auditor will be MOST CONCERNED with the lack of 🔴🔴PROCESS OWNER INVOLVEMENT
    • IF Recovery TIME OBJECTIVE INCREASES –> 🔥🔥The Disaster Tolerance Increases –> it means if 5 days are required than company can tolerate upto 5 days of without business.
    • DRP of a big org is changed and not tested –> Impact is catastrophic service disruption
    • When developing DRP, the criteria for determining the acceptable downtime should be –> 🔥🔥MAXIMUM TOLERABLE OUTAGE
    • BACKUP TECHNIQUES to use –> MOST appropriate when an org requires 🔴🔴EXTREMELY GRANULAR data restore points –> CONTINUOUS DATA BACKUP –> SHORT /LOW RPO –> Continuous backup – best option
    • LOWER RPO –> Granular backup –> Continuous backup
    • During DR test, auditor notes that server is slow –> 🔥Best possible scenario is to check the configuration of the server (if some unauth actions done on server, then check logs)
    • GREATEST CONCERN when reviewing IT DR TEST —> 🔥🔥During test, some of the backup systems were DEFECTIVE and NOT WORKING – causing the test to FAIL
    • Frequent updating of which of the following is key to the continued effectiveness of a DR plan —> 🔴💥Contact information of key personnel
    • To address an org DR requirements, backup intervals should not exceed —> 🔥🔥RPO
    • In a contract with a hot, warm, or cold site, contractual provisions should PRIMARILY cover –> 🔥🔥Number of subscribers permitted to use a site at one time🔥🔥
    • MOST APPROPRIATE recovery strategy for a sensitive system with a high recovery time objective (RTO) —-> High RTO –High disaster tolerance –> 🔥Cold Site.
    • For structured DR – MOST imp is that business continuity and disaster recover plan — > 🔥TESTED REGULARLY
    • BEST METHOD TO ENSURE — critical IT system failures doesn’t recur –» PERFORM ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS.
    • Auditor reviewing most recent disaster recovery plan of an org –> WHOSE APPROVAL IS IMP when determining availability of system resources required for the PLAN ——– »> 🔥IT MANAGEMENT
    • AFTER TABLE TOP —> NEXT STEP WOULD BE to be perform 🔥🔥FUNCTIONAL TESTS – which includes mobilization of the staff to exercise admin and org functions.
    • TESTS FOR CO-ORDINATION in which relevant members participate –> Paper based test
    • Prepared-ness test is performed by EACH local office to test the adequacy of the preparedness of local operations.
  7. Business Continuity PLAN:
    • Continuity Test Plan that simulates crash and uses actual resources to cost effectively obtain evidence —–> 🔥PREPAREDNESS TEST
    • 🔴Designing BCP for airlines –> MOST APPROPRIATE method of data transfer/backup at an offsite location would be –> 🔥SHADOW FILE PROCESSING –> Exact duplicates of the files are maintained at the same site or at a remote site –> Two files are processed concurrently –> good for airlines. (hot sites takes time - like few hours)
    • Most Imp in developing - BCP ——–»»> 🔥Process Owner
    • MAJOR CONCERN for IS auditor –> Test results are not documented – Effectiveness of BCP can be best determined through tests
    • PRIMARY OBJECTIVE of BCP test is –> Identify limitations of BCP
    • IS auditor interviews key stakeholders in an org to determine whether they understand their roles and resp —> IS auditor is attempting to 🔥🔥evaluate the clarity and simplicity of the business continuity plans.
    • During BCP – IS auditor noticed that the point at which Situation is declared to be a crisis has not been identified —-> MAJOR RISK associated with this is —> 🔥🔥EXECUTION OF THE DR PLAN COULD BE IMPACTED**
    • WHICH BEST helps define disaster recovery strategies –> 🔥🔥MAX TOLERABLE Downtime and data loss
    • After disaster declaration –> Media creation date at a warm recovery site is based on 💥🔥RPO
    • Activation of an enterprise BCP should be based on pre-determined criteria —> that address the 🔥🔥🔴DURATION OF THE OUTAGE.
    • MOST effective business continuity plan –> Planning involves all user departments
    • Important to note that – Responsibility of declaring a disaster is very imp
    • PRIMARY OBJECTIVE of BCP PROCESS —> is to 🔥🔥focus on managing and mitigating risk during recovery of operations due to an event that affected operations
  8. For acceptable time period for the resumption of critical business processes –> 🔥Both downtime costs and recovery costs need to be evaluated
  9. 🔴Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable for data communication over copper based has advantage of –> reducing crosstalk
  10. Method of routing traffic through split cable or duplicate cable is Diverse Cable (SC DC)
  11. To verify correct version of a data file used for prod –> Auditor should review SYSTEM LOGS
  12. 🔥🔥Best audit procedures to determine if unauth changes have been made to prod code –> is to 🔥Examine object code to find instances of changes and trace them back to change control records
  13. 🔴🔥IS auditor should review? to ensure servers are optimally configured to support processing requirements – SERVER UTILIZATION REPORTS
  14. 🔥Purpose of Code Signing is —–> 🔴Software has not been subsequently modified.
  15. 🔥When reviewing process for continuous monitoring of the capacity and performance of IT resources an IS auditor PRIMARILY ensure that process is focused on –> Accurate feedback on IT resource capacity
  16. Business impact analysis (BIA)
    • Best source of information for determining the criticality of application systems –> Business Process Owners
    • PRIMARY PURPOSE of business impact analysis —-> Define recovery strategy
  17. 🔥Which of the following reports should an IS auditor use to check compliance with a service level agreement’s requirement for uptime –> Availability reports
  18. 🔥IS auditor use to determine if unauthorized modifications were made to production programs –> Compliance Testing
  19. 🔴MOST helpful when evaluating the effectiveness and adequacy of a preventive computer maintenance program –> System downtime log provides evidence regarding the effectiveness and adequacy of computer preventive maintenance program
  20. 🔥Online pooling tool to monitor and record application outages is the best option for an org to monitor the software as a service application availability.
  21. 🔴Help Desk Function –> is a service oriented unit –> End users must be advised before an incident can be regarded as closed
  22. POS –> centralized communication processor for connecting to the banking network. Best DR plan –> Alternative standby processor at another network node would be the best solution. The unavailability of the central communications processor would disrupt.
  23. Evaluating programmed controls over password management, which of the following is the IS auditor MOST likely to rely on –> **Validity check would be the most useful for the verification of passwords because it would verify that the required format has been used - for example not using dictionary word.
  24. Reciprocal Agreement:
    • GREATEST RISK of reciprocal in different companies – Developments may result in h/w and s/w incompatibility.
    • GREATEST RISK in reciprocal of same business units –> Affected by same disaster risk – same incident.
    • Reciprocal MITIGATION OF RISKS –> Ensure that partnering organizations are separated geographically
  25. Most effective in ensuring that production code and object code are in sync –> Date and timestamp reviews of source and object code
  26. Most Effective to detect malicious activity in production program –> Review of system log files
  27. Recovery procedures for an Information processing facilityBEST BASED ON –> Recovery Time Objective
  28. Maximum Tolerable Outage –> amount of time allowed for the recovery of a business function or resource after a disaster occurs: represents a time by which the service must be restored
  29. 🔵Capacity Management
    • Primary benefit of IT Manager monitoring technical capacity –ensure that SLA req are met. Capacity Management has several objectives –> MAIN IS SLA REQ
  30. Change Control Process
    • Most efficient way to test effectiveness of change management process —> Perform end to end walkthrough of the process
    • IS auditor noted a system crash caused by security patch –> To provide assurance this wont happen again, auditor should –> change management process is adequate
  31. For proper SOD –> developer should have access to development only – any code change should be again done as part of the development cycle
  32. Reporting and responsibility lines cannot always be established when auditing automated systems because —> ownership is difficult to establish where resources are shared
  33. Library control S/w —> Main objective of Library control s/w is changes have been authorized
  34. Auditor examining the security config of an OS should review –> parameter settings
  35. In Open Source s/w –> Identify and test suitable patches before applying them
  36. Main Criterion for determining the severity level of a service disruption incident is ——»> 🔥DOWNTIME
  37. Performing preventive maintenance on electrical systems can result in unexpected downtime during office hours.
  38. During recent app development –> auditor noted that sla was miss due to incorrect priorities –> Support model was not properly developed and implemented
  39. GREATEST RISK WHEN SERVER STORAGE IS NOT MANAGED PROPERLY —> 🔥🔥Server recovery work may not meet the recovery time objective
  40. FIRST STEP in the execution of a problem management mechanism should be —->🔥🔥 Exception Reporting
  41. RAID LEVELPRIMARY PURPOSE —-> 🔥Ensure Availability of data
  42. Important consideration in providing backup for online systems –> Ensuring periodic dumps of transaction logs.
  43. Supervisory approval and review of critical changes by the accountable managers in the enterprises are required to avoid and detect any unauth change.
  44. Incident response team –> should handle this first after a major incident in a facility –> 🔥💥💥Containment at the facility
  45. SERVICE DELIVERY OBJECTIVE – SDO –> is the 🔥level of service to be reached during the alternate process mode until the normal situation is restored. This is directly related to the business needs.
  46. Configuration mgmt database (CMDB) – is used to track configuration items - CI. OUT OF DATE CMDB in a large MNC could result in incorrect approvals
  47. Incremental backup –> When first time full backup thereafter daily backup only –> MOST APPROPRIATE WHEN THERE IS LIMITED MEDIA CAPACITY
  48. What MITIGATES the best – risk of backup media containing irreplaceable information being lost or stolen in transit —> DUPLICATE COPY
  49. Emergency changes can be approved later on – after the activity is finished
  50. MOST efficient strategy to backup large quantity mission critical data that needs to be supported 24hours a day –> implementing a fault tolerant disk to disk backup solution
  51. For PATCHES ensure 🔥🔥APP OWNER and 🔴🔴DATA OWNER ARE aware of the same and their approvals are taken.
  52. Emergency changes are done when —> there is a high probability of significant impact on operations.
  53. For Emergency changes, best accountability for the support personnel is to create a specific individual support ID – when required – later on to be deleted.
  54. Automated tool can immediately provide a report which patches are running and applied
  55. BEST ensures accountability when updating data directly in a production database —> 🔥🔥Review of Audit Logs
  56. Performance criteria for the authentication servers would be helpful to evaluate thresholds of the system performance
  57. MOST effective control for enforcing ACCOUNTABILITY —> Implement a log management process