CRISC Certification: Overview, Benefits and Career Path

If you’re an IT professional, then you know it’s essential to improve your skill set continuously. There are a host of certifications available to help you upskill yourself into a promotion or a better position.

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on CRISC certification.

What Is a CRISC Certification?

CRISC is an acronym for Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control. The ISACA website defines CRISC as “the most current and rigorous assessment available to evaluate the risk management proficiency of IT professionals and other employees within an enterprise or financial institute.”

CRISC certification is an earned qualification that verifies your knowledge and expertise in risk management. CRISC-certified professionals aid enterprises in understanding business risk and possess a technical understanding to implement the most useful information security procedures and controls.

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The following professionals benefit the most from CRISC certification:

  • Business analysts
  • Compliance professionals
  • Control professionals
  • IT professionals
  • Project managers
  • Risk professionals

Anyone who manages a company’s IT risks and controls should add this certification to their skill set.

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Why Is CRISC Important?

Risk management is a big thing these days, considering the proliferation of cybercrimes, especially in terms of data theft and fraud. With more of our personal and professional lives moving to the digital world, cybersecurity has become a top priority, especially for businesses. After all, a significant data breach could result in substantial financial losses or even bankruptcy for a company. A business that’s unable to keep its transactions secure gains a reputation for being untrustworthy and risky, which could cause irreversible damage.

Professionals certified in CRISC create a greater understanding of information technology risks and how they impact an entire organization. Furthermore, they devise plans and strategies for mitigating those risks. Finally, CRISC professionals establish a common language to facilitate communication and understanding between the IT groups and stakeholders.

CRISC certification:

  • Is a tangible indicator of your knowledge and expertise as a risk professional
  • Increases your value for any company or organization that wants to manage IT risk effectively
  • Grants you a competitive edge over other candidates who are applying for a position or are seeking a promotion
  • Grants you access to the ISACA global community of knowledge, including the most current ideas regarding IT risk management
  • Helps you gain and maintain a high standard of professional conduct via ISACA’s requirements for continuing education and ethics

How Do You Get CRISC Certification?

Considering all of the benefits, you’re no doubt wondering how to go about getting ISACA CRISC certification eligibility. Here’s what you need to do to gain certification in risk and information systems control:

  1. Pass the CRISC examination.
  2. Gain experience in IT risk management and information systems control; a minimum of three years of cumulative work experience as a CRISC professional across at least two of the four CRISC domains. One of the two required domains must be either Domain 1 or 2. Note that there are no experience waivers or substitutions. You have to put in the work! All work experience must be verified independently by your employers.
  3. Complete and submit a CRISC Application for Certification. The work experience must be earned within the ten years preceding the certification application date, or within five years from the date that you passed the examination.
  4. Adhere to the Code of Professional Ethics, designed to maintain standards for professional and personal conduct. This includes not disclosing information gained while fulfilling one’s duties unless required to do so by law. The member must perform their duties professionally, with due diligence and objectivity in keeping with best practices and professional standards. Finally, they must maintain a high level of conduct, character, and standards at all times.
  5. Adhere to the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Policy, which requires an annual minimum of 20 contact hours of CPE, plus maintenance fees. Certified CRISX professionals must log a minimum of 120 required contact hours during a fixed, three-year period.

How Much Is the CRISC Exam?

You have your choice of many different places and times to take the CRISC exam, depending on your place of residence and what your time constraints are. Check here for the most convenient time and place. The 2019 CRISC exam cost is USD 575 for ISACA members and USD 760 for non-members. Exam fees are not transferable nor refundable.

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What Are the CRISC Domains In the Context of the Exam? How Hard is the CRISC exam?

The most effective way to pass the CRISC exam is to learn how it’s structured and what’s covered. There are four job practice domains featured in the examination developed by the CRISC Task Force. They are:

Domain 1: IT Risk Identification (27 percent)

This part focuses on the actions and requirements needed to collect an organization’s information and data to identify present or potential risks, threats, and vulnerabilities. These questions also cover the preparation of scenarios to determine the potential impact of risks to an organization, who the stakeholders are, and the business risk tolerance.

Domain 2: IT Risk Assessment (28 percent)

This domain covers the creation of an efficient security assessment program that allows the identification of any issues that could pose a threat to the organization. Questions test your knowledge of the current and desired states of a given IT risk environment for securing reasonable and appropriate controls. This domain also focuses on testing current controls and communicating the assessment results to management and other stakeholders.

Domain 3: Risk Response and Mitigation (23 percent)

This section focuses on the development and implementation of effective risk responses, followed by the application of appropriate controls to mitigate exposure. It also covers evaluating the effectiveness of threat response and restoring the organization’s processes to normal, including who is accountable for what roles in the recovery. Finally, this domain covers the documenting controls and procedures, updating risk registers, and ensuring that all established risk control policies are followed.

Domain 4: Risk and Control Monitoring and Reporting (22 percent)

This domain deals with the requirements for continuously monitoring both the IT risks and the controls put in place, as well as the continued effectiveness of the risk management strategy and how it supports business objectives. This domain also covers the process of reporting these findings to stakeholders. The questions revolve around metrics value, including the monitoring and critical risk indicator (KRIs) analysis, and the means of analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs), the latter which can be used to identify changes or trends related to the controls’ efficiency and effectiveness.

This domain breakdown should give you some idea of how to best prepare for the CRISC exam. For a little extra help, here’s a set of exam resources to make the whole process easier.

All ISACA certification exams are made up of 150 multiple choice questions covering the appropriate job practice areas, derived from the most recent job practice analysis. You have four hours to complete the exam.

CRISC Job Opportunities and Salary

The annual average CRISC salary in the United States is $107,399, according to ZipRecruiter. You can find CRISC job opportunities in roles such as security risk strategist, IT security analyst, information security analyst, IT audit risk supervisor, and technology risk analyst.

Some Useful Certifications for CRISC

Certifications help you round out your skill set and could be useful when you take the CRISC exam. Simplilearn offers you a variety of valuable courses to get you started.

The CEH (v10) Certified Ethical Hacking course trains you on the advanced, step-by-step methodologies that hackers use, such as writing virus codes and reverse engineering. This course helps you master advanced network packet analysis and advanced system penetration testing techniques so you can build your network security skill set and would-be foil hackers and other cybercriminals.

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The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is considered the gold standard in the field of information security. This training aligns with (ISC)² CBK 2018 requirements and trains you to become an information assurance professional proficient in all aspects of IT security, such as architecture, design, management, and controls. Many IT security positions require or prefer a CISSP certification, so this should be considered a vital resource for CRISC certification.

Finally, the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) course is an essential certification for information security professionals who manage, design, oversee, and assess enterprise information security. This course is closely aligned with ISACA’s best practices. It will enable you to define and design enterprise security architecture, achieve IT compliance and governance, deliver reliable service to customers and understand how IT security systems can contribute to broader business goals and objectives.

Do You Want a Career In CRISC?

The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification course is an essential resource that aligns with the latest 2019 edition of the CISA exam. It'll give you the skills needed to govern and control any enterprise IT and equip you to perform effective security audits of any organization. You will also obtain expertise in the acquisition, development, testing, and implementation of information systems while learning the guidelines, standards, and best practices of protecting those systems.

This course is the best way to prepare you for one of the many jobs available in the CRISC-related field. Simplilearn’s many course offerings can help you take those first steps to a better, more rewarding career. Check it out now!

About the Author

John TerraJohn Terra

John Terra lives in Nashua, New Hampshire and has been writing freelance since 1986. Besides his volume of work in the gaming industry, he has written articles for Inc.Magazine and Computer Shopper, as well as software reviews for ZDNet. More recently, he has done extensive work as a professional blogger. His hobbies include running, gaming, and consuming craft beers. His refrigerator is Wi-Fi compliant.

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