The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) certification is a professional technical credential on information security, a coveted designation offered by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)². The (ISC)² is the world’s premier organization for cyber security experts, making the CISSP® certification a gold standard qualification in the cyber security field.
Obtaining this certification confers international recognition and credibility as a cyber security expert to become a member of the elite network of cyber security professionals worldwide. It also allows certified information security members to enjoy the exclusive benefits of the (ISC)², including access to valuable resources and being invited to webinars, among other perks. To obtain the CISSP® credentials, cyber security professionals and aspirants need to satisfy all the requirements and pass the dedicated CISSP® exam.
Here, all the aspects of how to get CISSP® certification have been discussed. Let us first understand why pursuing the CISSP® certification is a golden opportunity for you to become an accredited professional cybersecurity expert.
Why Pursue CISSP® Certification?
The CISSP® certification is a renowned qualification in the field of information security that provides a fast-track path to a lucrative career. In the world of growing concerns about cyber security, there is great demand and value for experts, especially for those professionals who have a CISSP® certification, which gives them a global edge, industry recognition, and promising career growth, among many others. With forecasts of growing demand for cyber security professionals around the world, it is the best time to begin a CISSP certification training course and get certified.
More such benefits give CISSP® professionals an edge over their peers. Here are five more reasons to pursue the CISSP® certification.
- Better Understanding of Information Security
The course of CISSP® certification is designed with great coverage of the fundamentals of information security and other related fields. This helps individuals to get a profound understanding of the subjects in the related domain and acquire the necessary skills and knowledge needed to tackle the CISSP® exam with confidence while also preparing them for real-life situations by offering valuable insights and real-world examples.
- Edge Over Peers
It is no secret that the CISSP® certification is a gold standard qualification in the cyber security domain. Obtaining this certification definitely puts successful candidates to gain an edge over their peers in the world of cyber security as the certification validates their credentials as cyber security experts. Additionally, such candidates will be preferred over their non-certified counterparts in a scenario of recruitment.
- Continually Growing Earning Potential
The CISSP® certification is one of the toughest qualifications to obtain and is widely recognized. The certification helps candidates demonstrate their skills in cyber security and information technology in front of potential employers, which not only helps them be a valuable asset to their company but also assists them in getting raises and working their way up the corporate ladder quicker than most others. On average, a CISSP® certified professional has an earning potential of around $1,26,000 a year, which can quickly go up by gaining industry exposure coupled with the necessary knowledge through the certification course.
It is not easy to obtain the CISSP® certification, but it’s not impossible either. Apart from passing its examination, candidates need to clear the CISSP® assessment as well as get clearance from a CISSP®-certified professional acknowledging or verifying their work, knowledge, and skills in the field of cyber security. Additionally, candidates also need to fulfill certain eligibility criteria which demonstrate their vast experience and knowledge in the related domains. Thus, any employer hiring cyber security experts will know that CISSP® qualified candidates have greater credibility than their non-certified counterparts.
Finally, when candidates become a CISSP® certified cyber security professional, they get the benefit of becoming an (ISC)² member, which comes with a host of amazing perks, including numerous opportunities that will aid in their career growth immensely.
Eligibility to Become a CISSP®
The (ISC)² requires candidates to have five (at least) years of direct full-time experience as a security professional in one or more of the 8 domains mentioned in the (ISC)² CISSP® CBK (Common Body of Knowledge) before they can take the CISSP® exam.
Eight Domains of CISSP® CBK
The CISSP® is categorized into 8 domains or areas, which are collectively known as Common Body of Knowledge or CBK. The CISSP® CBK includes the 8 following domains:
- Domain 1 is Security & Risk Management
- Domain 2 is Asset Security
- Domain 3 is Security Architecture & Engineering
- Domain 4 is Communication & Network Security
- Domain 5 is Identity & Access Management
- Domain 6 is Security Assessment & Testing
- Domain 7 is Security Operations
- Domain 8 is Software Development Security
CISSP® Certification Requirements
Apart from the above-mentioned eligibility criteria, the (ISC)² has devised two other ways to fulfill the criteria to take the CISSP® exam.
- Work experience: Four years of full-time experience as a security professional in 2 or more of the 8 domains under the CISSP® CBK – candidates must have a 4-year college/University degree OR a credential from the (ISC)² approved list, OR
- Education: Passing the Associate of (ISC)² exam for candidates without any relevant work experience – such candidates must obtain the required criteria of work experience within 6 years to become a certified CISSP® professional.
CISSP® Application Process
To get started with the application process for the CISSP® certification exam, you need to create an account on the official website of (ISC)² www.isc2.org and follow the subsequent steps:
- Visit the “Register for Your Certification Exam” tab.
- Visit the page https://my.isc2.org/s/ISC2-Pearson to fill out the Exam Account Information form and submit it.
- You will be redirected to the Pearson VUE website to schedule your CISSP® certification exam, where you can choose the venue and the medium (language) of the exam.
The registration will be completed after you pay the registration fees.
CISSP® Certification Exam Process
The CISSP® certification examination is a computer adaptive test (CAT), which may have about 100 to 150 questions. These questions will test your strengths and weaknesses, and there shall be subsequent questions based on how you tackle the questions. So, be sure to have a complete understanding of all the relevant topics. One way to make this possible is to take a CISSP® certification course where you can get the necessary training to tackle the CISSP® exam. The entire duration of the test is 3 hours, and the maximum marks are 1000. You need to score a minimum of 700 in order to pass the CISSP® certification exam.
In the Asia Pacific region, the CISSP® registration cost is $749 but may vary with location and taxation policies (In India, it costs $699). A rescheduling fee of $50 will be applicable if a candidate wishes to reschedule his exam. Cancellation after having completed the registration will attract $100 compensation.
CISSP® Certification Career Prospects
Because clearing the CISSP® certification exam requires in-depth knowledge of security management and cybersecurity, the credential of CISSP® can be used by certified professionals, which gives them better opportunities in terms of employment and career growth. Many job roles are available for cybersecurity experts, but they can also fill the job roles of security managers or security engineers.
Other worthwhile career opportunities for CISSP® certified professionals include some of the following:
- Security Analyst
- IT Manager
- IT Security Specialist
- Information Security Consultant/Advisor
- Information Security Analyst
- Operations Specialist for IT Security
Multinational companies from all over the world require the assistance of cybersecurity experts to manage and handle all the operational activities with respect to the cybersecurity concerns of businesses. This is especially important to protect the organization from the threat of data breaches or network compromise. Given that there is an ever-increasing demand for qualified cybersecurity experts in the foreseeable future, now is the best time to begin preparation for obtaining the CISSP® certification.
Aspiring candidates can join a CISSP Certification Training Course, as it brings you the opportunity to join a team of highly motivated cybersecurity experts led by dedicated exam mentors. They guide candidates through the thick and thin of the CISSP® certification exam with a personalized approach so that candidates are equipped with the necessary skill sets and knowledge required to pass the exam in one go!
- How can I create an effective study plan for CISSP® preparation?
Preparation for the CISSP® exam can be completed in 3 months with a good strategy and ample dedication. The best way to make your preparation highly effective, especially if you’re a working professional, is to go for the specific method. This method suggests studying for 2 hours a day with greater focus during the weekends and continuing this for 3 months or more at a stretch as needed.
- How do I pass CISSP® for the first time?
While the CISSP® exam is quite a difficult one, hard work always goes a long way. By fulfilling the eligibility criteria of the CISSP® exam, a candidate can become familiar with what they’re going into and give them a headstart in the right direction. It is important to choose the right study sources to study for the exam and clear it on the first attempt. Joining a CISSP certification training course along with a boot camp will also be helpful in giving a boost to preparation and getting help in the practical as well as the theoretical aspects of information security management. With a proper study routine and the determination to pass the exam in one attempt, you can ace the CISSP® certification exam.
- How many attempts are there for CISSP®?
According to the policy of the (ISC)², a person failing to pass the first time may retake the test after 30 days. Upon failing a second and a third time, the candidate will be allowed to retake the test after 60 days and 90 days, respectively. However, a candidate is allowed to take a maximum of 4 retests during a 12-month period.
- Does CISSP® expire after three years?
The CISSP® certification is valid for 3 years, after which certified professionals are required to submit their 40 credits of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) per year obtained by retaking the exam over a period of three years.
- How do I maintain CISSP® certification, and what are the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements?
The CISSP® certification is valid for 3 years and requires renewal by submitting 120 credits of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credential to the (ISC)². This can be done by retaking the CISSP® exam, obtaining 40 credits per year at a time, and accumulating 120 credits in the course of 3 years.