What is Required for CISSP Certification?

A decade ago, hardly anyone would come to know about a data breach or a cyber attack. Companies used to collect a very limited amount of data and stored them on-premises. Fast-forward to today, companies are migrating from in-house systems to the cloud, and market forces are driving the push towards usable and always-available web-based applications. Evidently, the news portals are filled with headlines regarding cyberattacks compromising the sensitive data of millions of customers and causing insurmountable losses to companies.

Here are some must-know facts related to cyberattacks:

  • The global information security market is predicted to reach $170.4 billion in 2022.
  • 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing.
  • Data breaches uncovered 4.1 billion records in the first half of 2019.
  • Hackers attack every 39 seconds and 2244 times a day on average.

Well, now you know how crucial it is for companies to secure their data and have a cybersecurity team in place. A skilled cybersecurity professional can help companies save thousands of dollars by averting any possible cyber threat. A variety of job roles are available for aspirants seeking a career in cybersecurity – security analyst, security auditor, penetration tester, ethical hacker, security consultant, network architect, and so on.

Opportunities get further lucrative if you have mid-level experience in the field of information security. Five to six years of experience coupled with industry-recognized certifications can take your career to new heights and earn huge paychecks every month. One of the renowned certifications you can achieve to enhance your career prospects is the CISSP certification. This article gives you a complete overview of the certification and how you can add it to your array of skills.

The CISSP Certification

The International Information System Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)² is the world’s leading cybersecurity professional organization whose vision is to inspire a safe and secure cyber world. It is a not-for-profit membership association that empowers professionals to touch different aspects of information security with its globally recognized certifications. The certifying body maintains a Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) and all of its certifications are based on it. Meeting the global standards and best practices in information security, (ISC)² also meets the requirements of ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard 17024 (a global benchmark for certifying people).

One of the best certifications offered by (ISC)² is the CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional. The credential is designed to validate a candidate’s ability in designing, implementing, and managing a premium cybersecurity program effectively. Information security professionals who opt for this certification have deep technical and managerial experience in the following eight domains:

  • Security and Risk Management
  • Asset Security
  • Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Security Operations
  • Software Development Security

There are four steps (ISC)² recommends as a pathway to CISSP certification – the first one needs to ensure that the CISSP is right for him, then register and prepare for the exam. Next, one needs to get certified and finally become an (ISC)² member.

The CISSP exam uses Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) mode and there are (ISC)² Authorized Pearson VUE testing centers to take the exam. The exam incorporates 100 to 150 multiple choice and advanced innovative items type questions that need to be attempted in 3 hours. The passing score of the exam is 700 out of 1000 points. The exam is based on the eight domains mentioned above. Note that effective from May 1, 2021, the domain weights will change and you can refer to the CISSP  Exam Outline provided on the (ISC)² website.

Requirements for CISSP Certification

There are some experience requirements that a candidate needs to become eligible for achieving this certification. Firstly, he must have at least five years of paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains (mentioned above) of the CISSP CBK. a four-year graduate degree can account for one year of experience out of the total required. An experience is considered full-time for one month when a minimum of 35 hours/week for four weeks are dedicated by the candidate.

If the experience is part-time, it cannot be less than 20 hours a week and not more than 34 hours a week. A paid or unpaid internship is also acceptable.

Do not have the required experience? You can still apply for the CISSP exam. If you clear it, you will be awarded the title of Associate of (ISC)² and a total of six years’ time will be allowed to gain the required five years of experience.

Apart from the four-year college degree, you can also satisfy the one-year work experience if you hold one of the approved credentials mentioned in the (ISC)² Approved List. Its details are available on the (ISC)² website.

The Next Step

Now that you know the details regarding the CISSP certification, you shouldn’t wait for more to add it to your portfolio. As the certification is globally recognized, you may conclude that the exam must really be difficult and would require your constant dedication. But, what if you are already working and don’t want to spend time researching the right materials and start preparation without any guidance? Well, people in similar situations turn to CISSP online courses. Many reputed training providers offer in-depth programs on CISSP and their syllabus is aligned with the latest modifications introduced by (ISC)².

The trainers for such courses are often CISSP certified and have rich experience in the field of information security. Learning from them will definitely increase your chances of qualifying for the CISSP exam in a single attempt. The only effort you need to put in is to find an online training platform and get yourself enrolled. Since the outcome will be quite fruitful for your career, you won’t regret investing your time and effort in a CISSP course and certification.

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