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All You Need To Know About CISSP Certification

If you are an IT professional with a considerable amount of experience in information security, you have quite a few certifications and courses that you can pursue to improve and boost your career. Among all the others, perhaps the most common course or certification IT professionals go for is CISSP, or Certified Information Systems Security Professional, provided by the world renowned organisation (ISC)2 or the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. In case you were thinking about getting a CISSP Certification to improve your career, you need to take a look at some useful facts and information that might help you to accomplish the same. So read on to find out more.

Applying for the course

CISSP, in reality, is a complex certification course, and quite literally never-ending in nature. You need to first submit an application if you want to sit for the examination, along with a certain application fee. You must show and justify that you have at least 5 years of working experience in the field of information security, or four years of work experience along with a college degree in the similar field. Along with the application form, you need to attach a signed copy of the Candidate Agreement form, which gives evidence and testament of your total work experience, and acts as a legal document that binds you to the Code of Ethics associated with CISSP certification. The application also includes questions pertaining to your background and criminal history, which must be answered carefully and accurately to avoid problems during verification.

The examination process

For anyone sitting for the CISSP examination, it is vital to note that there are a total of 250 MCQs in the examination paper, which must be completed within a stipulated time period of 6 hours. To qualify successfully in the examination, a candidate must score 700 points or more. The examination curriculum mainly consists of the 10 domains of CISSP, which give detailed knowledge and information of the Common Body of Knowledge. These 10 domains include the following:

  • Business continuity planning
  • Access control systems and methodology
  • Cryptography
  • Security management practices
  • Law, investigation, and ethics
  • Applications and systems development
  • Physical security
  • Telecommunications, network, and internet security
  • Operations security
  • Security architecture and models

If you qualify in the examination, an endorsement form, signed by another CISSP professional, must be submitted. The signature will attest your work experience declaration, and must be a member of the (ISC)2 or must be in good standing with the consortium.  

If you cannot get the endorsement form signed by any CISSP professional, (ISC)2 will conduct a formal audit, where your resume will be verified and investigated for any discrepancies, and on successful completion of the audit, (ISC)itself will act as your endorser. Note that all your references and credentials will be verified during the audit, so it is best not to falsify any data in your resume.

Life after certification

Every CISSP certified candidate must renew his or her certification every 3 years as per rules, along with adhering to the Code of Ethics pertaining to CISSP certification. The candidate must also pay a maintenance fee of USD 85 on an annual basis. You need to take the examination mentioned above every three years to keep your CISSP certification active.

Another vital thing that CISSP certified candidates need to do is earn CPE credits. Earning CPE credits is quite easy, and can be done by following one of many ways, such as attending seminars and educational courses, publishing books and articles on Information security, providing high-grade security training, going for conferences, and many others. If you plan on earning CPE credits for the betterment of your career, you have to target a CPE score of 120 points, to be accumulated within a time span of 3 years, i.e., in between every renewal phase. An annual CPE point count of 20 must also be maintained before you pay your annual membership fee.

A point of debate among experts

CISSP is known to be a one of a kind certification that has received global accreditations, experts often debate on the topic of credibility and income opportunity associated with CISSP. The costs associated with maintaining your CISSP certification is quite high, but you must always keep it in mind that the income opportunity associated with your CISSP certification is quite high and impressive.

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