Key Takeaways:

  • CISSP certification enhances professionals' credibility, positioning them as valuable assets within organizations and attractive candidates in the job market.
  • CISSP-certified professionals can pursue leadership roles such as security analysts, consultants, architects, and chief information security officers (CISOs), propelling their careers to new heights.
  • CISSP certification signifies mastery of key domains of information security, establishing professionals as recognized subject matter experts within their organizations and the broader information security community.
  • CISSP certification provides a significant competitive edge in today's job market, with employers prioritizing candidates who demonstrate a commitment to professional development and industry best practices.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Certification is one of the most demanded certification in information security. It is an independent information security certification governed by the reputed International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2. Professionals need to qualify the CISSP exam in order to achieve the CISSP Certification.


CISSP Exam consists of 250 multiple choice questions out of which 25 are pre-test questions. The passing score for CISSP Exam is 700 out of 1000 and CISSP Exam duration is 6 hours. Exam fee of the CISSP Exam is $599.

CISSP Exam Eligibility Criteria

  • Minimum five years of direct full-time security professional work experience in two or more of the ten domains of the information systems, OR
  • Four years of direct full-time professional security work experience in two or more of the ten domains of the CISSP CBK with a college degree, OR
  • If you don’t have experience, then become an Associate of (ISC)² by successfully passing the CISSP exam and earn six years of experience to become a CISSP.

CISSP Exam Format

The CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) exam is a rigorous test designed to assess candidates' knowledge and skills in various domains of information security. The exam consists of 100-150 multiple-choice and advanced innovative questions, covering eight domains of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). These domains are:

  • 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

Candidates have up to three hours to complete the exam, and a passing score of 700 out of 1000 points is required. The CISSP exam is challenging and requires thorough preparation and understanding of each domain's concepts, principles, and best practices in information security.

CISSP Application Process

The CISSP certification is administered by (ISC)², a globally recognized organization in the field of cybersecurity. The application process for the CISSP exam involves several steps:

  1. Eligibility Check: Ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the CISSP exam. Candidates must have a minimum of five years of cumulative, paid, full-time work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the CISSP CBK. However, candidates with a four-year college degree or an approved credential may be eligible for a one-year experience waiver.
  2. Prepare Documentation: Gather documentation to support your work experience, including job titles, employment dates, and descriptions of duties performed in each of the CISSP domains.
  3. Submit Application: Complete the online application form on the (ISC)² website and pay the exam fee. Ensure that all information provided is accurate and verifiable.
  4. Application Review: (ISC)² will review your application to verify your work experience and eligibility for the CISSP exam. This process may take several weeks, so be patient.
  5. Schedule Exam: Once your application is approved, you will receive authorization to schedule your CISSP exam at a Pearson VUE testing center. Choose a convenient date and location for your exam.
  6. Prepare for Exam: Study diligently to prepare for the CISSP exam. Utilize study materials, practice exams, and training courses to reinforce your knowledge and skills in information security.
  7. Take Exam: On the day of the exam, arrive at the testing center on time and bring valid identification. Follow the instructions provided by the exam proctor and carefully read each question before answering.
  8. Receive Results: After completing the exam, you will receive your score immediately. If you pass the exam, you will receive official confirmation from (ISC)² within a few weeks.

CISSP Exam Tips and Tricks

Preparing for the CISSP exam requires dedication, focus, and effective study strategies. Here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed:

  • Understand Exam Objectives: Familiarize yourself with the CISSP exam objectives and the eight domains of the CISSP CBK. Focus your study efforts on areas where you have the least experience or knowledge.
  • Use Official Study Materials: Utilize official study guides, practice exams, and training courses provided by (ISC)² and reputable organizations. These materials are designed to align with the exam content and can help you gauge your readiness.
  • Practice Time Management: Pace yourself during the exam to ensure you have enough time to answer all questions. Allocate time for each domain based on its weightage and difficulty level.
  • Focus on Weak Areas: Identify your weak areas through practice exams and prioritize studying those topics. Use flashcards, mnemonic devices, and other memory aids to reinforce key concepts.
  • Simulate Exam Conditions: Take practice exams under simulated exam conditions to familiarize yourself with the format, timing, and pressure of the actual exam. This will help reduce test anxiety and improve your confidence.
  • Review and Reinforce: Review your performance on practice exams and identify areas for improvement. Reinforce your knowledge through additional study, hands-on practice, and discussions with peers and mentors.
  • Stay Calm and Confident: On the day of the exam, stay calm and confident in your abilities. Trust in your preparation and focus on each question one at a time. Don't dwell on difficult questions; mark them for review and move on.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Get plenty of rest, eat a healthy meal, and stay hydrated before the exam. Arrive at the testing center early to avoid stress and last-minute rush.

CISSP Exam Course Syllabus

The CISSP Exam includes ten domains as per the CBK – Common Book of Knowledge.

  • Access Control
  • Telecommunications and Network Security
  • Information Security Governance and Risk Management
  • Software Development Security
  • Cryptography
  • Security Architecture and Design
  • Operations Security
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
  • Legal, Regulations, Investigations and Compliance
  • Physical Security
  • Cybersecurity

Here are the most important sections from CISSP syllabus:

Security and Risk Management

This domain focuses on understanding the principles of security governance, risk management, and compliance within an organization's overall security posture. It involves identifying, assessing, and prioritizing risks to information assets and implementing appropriate risk mitigation strategies. Key topics include security policies, procedures, and standards; legal and regulatory compliance; security awareness and training; and business continuity planning and disaster recovery.

Asset Security

Asset security involves the protection of information assets throughout their lifecycle. This includes identifying and classifying information assets, implementing appropriate controls to safeguard them, and ensuring their confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Key topics include data classification and handling, asset management, data retention and disposal, and information protection mechanisms such as encryption and access controls.

Security Architecture and Engineering

This domain focuses on designing, implementing, and managing a secure architecture and infrastructure to support organizational security goals. It involves understanding security models, frameworks, and principles; designing secure networks, systems, and applications; and implementing security controls to mitigate threats and vulnerabilities. Key topics include security models and frameworks, secure design principles, cryptography, secure network architecture, and secure software development practices.

Communication and Network Security

Communication and network security encompass the principles, technologies, and best practices for securing network infrastructure and data transmission. It involves designing secure network architectures, implementing secure communication protocols, and protecting against network-based attacks. Key topics include network protocols and services, secure network design and architecture, secure transmission methods (e.g., VPN, TLS), and network access control mechanisms (e.g., firewalls, IDS/IPS).

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

IAM focuses on managing and controlling access to resources within an organization's IT environment. It involves establishing and enforcing identity and access policies, managing user accounts and privileges, and implementing authentication and authorization mechanisms. Key topics include identity management concepts, authentication methods (e.g., passwords, biometrics), access control models (e.g., RBAC, ABAC), and identity federation and single sign-on (SSO) solutions.

Security Assessment and Testing

This domain covers the methods and techniques for assessing and testing the effectiveness of security controls and mechanisms. It involves conducting security assessments, vulnerability assessments, and penetration testing to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities in systems and applications. Key topics include security assessment methodologies, vulnerability management processes, penetration testing techniques, and security testing tools and frameworks.

Security Operations

Security operations focus on the day-to-day tasks and activities involved in managing and responding to security incidents and events. It involves monitoring security controls, detecting and analyzing security threats, and coordinating incident response efforts. Key topics include security monitoring and analysis, incident response procedures, threat intelligence and information sharing, and security operations tools and technologies.

Software Development Security

Software development security addresses the principles, practices, and controls for building secure software applications. It involves integrating security into the software development lifecycle (SDLC), identifying and mitigating security vulnerabilities in code, and ensuring secure coding practices. Key topics include secure coding standards and guidelines, secure software development methodologies (e.g., secure SDLC), security testing techniques (e.g., static and dynamic analysis), and secure software deployment practices.

Each of these domains plays a critical role in ensuring the overall security and resilience of an organization's information assets and infrastructure. A thorough understanding of these concepts and principles is essential for professionals seeking CISSP certification and for effectively managing and securing IT environments.

Importance of CISSP Certification in the Field of Information Security

In the dynamic realm of information security, where cyber threats loom large and data breaches are a constant concern, the importance of certifications cannot be overstated. Among the plethora of credentials available, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification stands out as a hallmark of excellence and expertise in the field. Its significance lies not only in validating the skills and knowledge of individuals but also in elevating the standards of information security practices across industries. Let's delve into the importance of CISSP certification in the field of information security:

Validation of Expertise

CISSP certification serves as a validation of an individual's proficiency in various domains of information security. By passing the rigorous CISSP examination, professionals demonstrate their mastery of key concepts, principles, and best practices in areas such as access control, cryptography, security architecture, and risk management. This validation enhances their credibility and establishes them as trusted authorities in the field.

Industry Recognition

CISSP certification is widely recognized and respected within the information security community and beyond. Employers, clients, and peers acknowledge CISSP-certified professionals as experts who possess the skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard sensitive information and mitigate security risks effectively. As such, CISSP certification opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities and positions of leadership within organizations.

Adherence to Standards

CISSP certification is governed by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)², a globally renowned organization dedicated to promoting best practices in information security. By adhering to the stringent standards set forth by ISC², CISSP-certified professionals uphold the highest levels of professionalism, ethics, and integrity in their work. This commitment to excellence contributes to the overall enhancement of security practices across industries.

Risk Mitigation and Compliance

In today's regulatory landscape, organizations face increasing pressure to comply with stringent data protection regulations and industry standards. CISSP-certified professionals play a crucial role in helping organizations navigate these complexities by implementing robust security measures, conducting risk assessments, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. By leveraging their expertise, CISSP-certified professionals help mitigate security risks and protect organizations from potential breaches and regulatory penalties.

Continuous Learning and Skill Enhancement

Maintaining CISSP certification requires ongoing professional development and adherence to ISC²'s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements. This commitment to continuous learning ensures that CISSP-certified professionals stay abreast of the latest developments, trends, and technologies in the ever-evolving field of information security. By continuously enhancing their cybersecurity skills and knowledge, CISSP-certified professionals remain at the forefront of cybersecurity innovation and prepared to tackle emerging threats.

Leadership and Mentorship

CISSP certification empowers individuals to assume leadership roles within their organizations and the broader information security community. CISSP-certified professionals often serve as mentors, guiding and mentoring aspiring security professionals, sharing their expertise, and contributing to the collective growth and advancement of the industry. Through their leadership and mentorship, CISSP-certified professionals inspire others to excel in the field of information security and uphold the highest standards of professionalism and excellence.

Career Advantages of CISSP certification

Obtaining the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification offers a multitude of career advantages, positioning individuals as highly sought-after professionals in the field of information security. Let's delve into each of these advantages:

Enhanced Credibility and Marketability

CISSP certification serves as a powerful testament to an individual's expertise and commitment to excellence in information security. Employers and clients recognize CISSP-certified professionals as trusted authorities who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to safeguard critical assets and mitigate security risks effectively. This enhanced credibility translates into increased marketability, as CISSP-certified professionals are often viewed as valuable assets within organizations and attractive candidates in the job market.

Opportunities for Career Advancement

CISSP certification opens doors to a wide range of career advancement opportunities within the field of information security. With the CISSP credential, professionals can pursue roles such as security analyst, security consultant, security architect, chief information security officer (CISO), and other leadership positions. CISSP-certified professionals are well-equipped to take on roles with greater responsibility, influence, and compensation, propelling their careers to new heights.

Recognition as a Subject Matter Expert

CISSP certification signifies mastery of key concepts, principles, and best practices in various domains of information security. As such, CISSP-certified professionals are recognized as subject matter experts who possess in-depth knowledge and expertise in areas such as access control, cryptography, risk management, and security architecture. This recognition elevates their status within their organizations and the broader information security community, positioning them as go-to resources for guidance, advice, and leadership.

Competitive Edge in the Job Market

In today's competitive job market, CISSP certification provides a significant competitive edge to professionals seeking employment opportunities in the field of information security. Employers prioritize candidates with recognized certifications such as CISSP, as they demonstrate a commitment to professional development and a dedication to staying abreast of industry best practices. CISSP-certified professionals stand out from other candidates, commanding higher salaries, better job prospects, and greater opportunities for advancement.

CISSP Certification Training by Simplilearn

Simplilearn offers CISSP Certification Training through its unique learning model that includes CISSP Classroom and CISSP Certification Training Course Online. One can also opt for 100% online CISSP Exam training.

CISSP Training

Introduction to CISSP Certification – Video

To know more about CISSP Exam and get registered for CISSP Certification training, you can visit Simplilearn’s CISSP Certification page. Rise up in the corporate ladder with a CISSP Certification.


1. What is taught in CISSP?

CISSP, or Certified Information Systems Security Professional, covers a broad range of topics related to information security. The CISSP curriculum encompasses eight domains, including 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, and Software Development Security. These domains cover various aspects of information security, such as security governance, risk management, access control, cryptography, network security, and software development security.

2. Is the CISSP exam easy?

The difficulty of the CISSP exam varies depending on the individual's level of experience, knowledge, and preparation. For candidates with a strong background in information security and relevant work experience, the exam may be challenging but manageable with adequate preparation. However, for those with less experience or familiarity with the CISSP domains, the exam can be quite difficult. Success in the CISSP exam typically requires thorough study, understanding of the exam content, and practice with sample questions and simulations.

3. Does CISSP have coding?

CISSP does not focus extensively on coding or programming skills. While some basic understanding of programming concepts may be beneficial, especially in the Software Development Security domain, CISSP primarily emphasizes security principles, best practices, and management concepts rather than hands-on technical skills. However, candidates should have a solid understanding of security-related technologies, protocols, and tools commonly used in information security practice.

4. How long is CISSP valid?

CISSP certification is valid for three years from the date of certification. To maintain CISSP certification, individuals must earn and submit a minimum of 40 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits annually and adhere to the (ISC)² Code of Ethics. Additionally, every three years, CISSP holders are required to complete the certification renewal process, which involves paying a certification maintenance fee and meeting the CPE requirements.

5. Is CISSP in demand?

Yes, CISSP certification is in high demand in the field of information security. As organizations increasingly recognize the importance of securing their digital assets and mitigating cybersecurity risks, the demand for skilled and certified professionals like CISSP holders continues to grow. CISSP certification is widely recognized and respected in the industry, and CISSP-certified professionals are sought after for a variety of roles, including security analysts, security architects, security consultants, and security managers.

6. How long is the CISSP exam?

The CISSP exam consists of up to 150 multiple-choice and advanced innovative questions and has a duration of three hours. The exam covers the eight domains of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK), and candidates must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of each domain to pass the exam. The exam is challenging and requires candidates to manage their time effectively to answer all questions within the allotted time frame.

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