The ISACA 50-year story is one of ever-evolving people and technology

By |2022-06-16T18:33:58+00:00January 4th, 2019|0 Comments

The ISACA 50-year story is one of ever-evolving people and technology.

Now more than 450,000 engaged professionals strong, including its 140,000 members, global information technology association ISACA was founded by seven individuals as the EDP Auditing Association in California at the dawn of the information systems era—1969. In this look back through the decades, ISACA reflects on its rich history.

FROM  AN  IDEA TO A REALITY:  1960S – 1976

When the first business computers came available in the 1950s, only the very largest organizations could afford them. By the 1960s, the rapidly increasing use of commercial computers, such as the IBM System/360, created a growing need for controls and auditing. Many of these organizations were involved in the burgeoning aerospace industry in Southern California (USA). Despite growing use of computing, there was a distinct shortage of appropriate tools, knowledge and experience. For those involved in auditing the controls of computer systems, it was like the Wild West. Trial and error often ruled the day.

“THERE WAS NO AUTHORITAIVE SOURCE OF INFORMATION,” said ISACA’s first president, the late Stuart Tyrnauer. “No cohesive force, no place to turn to for guidance.” Spurred by the need for these resources, Tyrnauer and others who worked at these large California companies began meeting regularly over dinner at Diamond Jim’s, a local restaurant. These visionaries, who were neither programmers nor financial auditors, would eventually define their fledgling profession as Electronic Data Processing auditing.


The first five presidents to steer the organization all came from California: Tyrnauer, Frank and Friedman, followed by Dick Ryan and Cliff Perkins. The sixth president, Gerry Meyers, lived in Hanover Park, Illinois, just outside Chicago. With his election in 1976, the organization essentially moved across the country. Reflecting on the contributions of the first five presidents, Meyers referred to his predecessors as “the venerable five wise men from the West.”

COMING OF AGE: 1990 –1999

The new decade brought a renewed desire to maintain the organization’s relevance in a fast-changing world. A committee led by John Lainhart produced a report titled “2000 And Beyond: A Vision for the Future” that redefined the organization’s goals: to attain worldwide leadership in the information systems control community through the provision of a range of elite and topical products and services which serve to inform, educate and guide the information systems professional.


12:00:00. Thanks in part to the diligence of ISACA members, chaos did not envelop the world, and the organization started the new millennium as always—focusing on sustaining its relevance and paralleling the rise of technology. Soon after the turn of the century, and with the accelerating demands and opportunities in information security fields, ISACA established the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) credential.

2019 & BEYOND

Few voices within today’s technology industry can claim 50 years of involvement. With its distinct background, and in the context of ever-increasing reliance on technology, the ISACA community continues to grow in importance and impact. “Over the past five decades, organizations worldwide have come to depend on the expertise and talents of ISACA members to help them securely and confidently innovate through technology,” said ISACA’s 2018 – 2019 Board Chair Rob Clyde. “After 50 years, ISACA has a rich history and a strong foundation. And with the incredible technology innovations that are continuing to emerge and evolve, know we have an exciting future.”

Excerpted from the full story.  Click here to download the pdf.

Visit the ISACA website at to see the vast resources available to members and to the community. 

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