What is CISSP – Concepts, Eligibility Criteria and Pluses Associated?

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Eshna Verma

Last updated September 16, 2017


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CISSP or Certified Information System Security Professional is a globally recognized certification offered by the ISC2 (International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium). The certification validates a candidate’s ability and expertise in all fields of information security. CISSP certified professionals are called upon to define the design, architecture, controls and management of highly secure business environments.

And CISSP recipients are part of a pretty exclusive club. Only 94,000 professionals hold the CISSP certification worldwide (149 countries). The exam itself has an 80% failure rate. 

CISSP was the first certification ever in this field and levies stringent standards of ISO/IEC 17024 and is ANSI ISO/IEC 17024:2003 accredited to make it an international standard. It is also approved by the U.S Department of Defense in both the Information Assurance Managerial (IAM) and Information Assurance Technical (IAT). It is regarded as the base line for U.S. National Security Agency ISSEP program.

What is the CISSP Concept?

The CISSP constitutes various topics under information security studies. The final examination is based upon a Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) – a taxonomy or collection of relevant topics for IS security professionals worldwide. The CBK is a large framework of terms and principles allowing professionals worldwide to debate, discuss and solve situations relevant to common information security understanding. 

The exam covers 10 different areas, including:

  1. Access controls system and methodology
  2. Systems and application security development
  3. Cryptography
  4. Disaster recovery and business continuity plans
  5. Investigation laws and ethics
  6. Security models and architectures
  7. Physical security
  8. Best management practices
  9. Networking and telecommunications security
  10. Operations security

It is a six hour exam, and candidates must solve 250 questions. Cracking the CISSP exam is a tough task but those who are skilled enough to pass it are well-positioned to lead in the information security field and achieve success in their careers.

What is CISSP Eligibility?

CISSP Eligibility: Candidates looking to take the CISSP exams must have five years of cumulative full time work experience in two or more domains required under the ISC2 CISSP CBK (listed above). ISC2 provides a one year professional experience waiver if the candidate possesses a four year college degree in the same field, its regional equivalent or educational eligibility as recognized under the ISC2 list.

Candidates without the experience may also take the exam, but they won’t immediately be rewarded the CISSP tag. They will be given an Associate of ISC2 certification, and once they do earn the required work experience (in the following six years), they can then earn the CISSP credential. 

Here is a sample video that takes you through introduction to Introduction to CISSP Certification:

What are the Advantages of the CISSP Certification?

Being recognized by ISC2 is in itself an honor and says a lot about the professional you are. Every business, from national defense to online shopping, is susceptible to security threats. A CISSP certification means that you have the education, backing, networking and support systems to fight the dangers head on. It’s a prestigious job and impacts companies at the highest levels, so employers are willing to pay high salaries for the right candidate.

Organizations benefit significantly from employing CISSP-certified professionals: 

Better Risk Management – CISSP professional stay current with international regulatory standards like GLBA, HIPAA, SOX, FERPA, FISMA, DoD Directive 8570.1 and more. Insurance requirements mandate that all the emerging and evolving security threats are met with well equipped and experienced professionals. CISSP candidates are highly knowledgeable in all fields of information system security and controls to meet those needs.
Human Resources – Organizations know that CISSP professionals are the best bet when it comes to information security. The ISC standards require professionals to have measurable knowledge, defined skill sets and categorized experience. HR departments that employ CISSP professionals affirm their stronger hiring standards and processes. 
Marketing – Customers and clients who interact with companies want to know that communications, interactions and all other information is protected and kept private. CISSP professionals can help ensure that the company is meeting security and ISO standards and that their reputation with customers remains strong.  
Quality employees – CISSP certified professionals come with a high breadth of knowledge. They are generalists with specialties in various domains of IT security and considered among the most valued employees to keep infrastructure safe and secure.

Individual Advantages

CISSP professional salary range

Individuals can benefit from having a CISSP certification in the following ways: 

  • Get paid – Market surveys have revealed that CISSP certified candidates are the highest paid in the IT industry. The median income of a CISSP certified professional is approximately $98,000. IDC also suggests that with increasing threats to security systems, businesses are willing to pay much more for the right candidate and the growth rate of a CISSP’s salary has clearly outpaced every other sector. Go international – CISSP certified professionals are in great demand across organizations and industries globally. Most modern job postings in security systems prefer a CISSP certified candidate. While this is a globally recognized certification, professionals can look to get a quantifiable job anywhere in the world.
  • Recognition – Passing a CISSP is not an easy task. There’s a reason only 94,000 professionals worldwide hold the degree. It requires a lot of effort, motivation and hard work, but also gives you high standing among your peers and colleagues if you can reach this pinnacle of professional success. 

Job Profiles

  • Security consultant
  • Security analyst
  • Security manager
  • Security systems engineer
  • Security auditor
  • Director of security
  • Chief information security manager
  • IT manager/Director
  • Network Architect
  • Security Architect

 

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Conclusion

A CISSP certification places you among a globally recognized family of networking security professionals. You put yourself in an exclusive club and have full access to a global spectrum of information resources, peer networking, educational tools and industries. You’re on every recruiter’s radar and salaries are higher than other positions that don’t require the certification. If you are looking to take your security systems career to its highest level, strive for the CISSP certification.
CISSP Training

About the Author

Eshna writes on PMP, PRINCE2, ITIL, ITSM, & Ethical Hacking. She has done her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT, and The Telegraph. She loves travelling and photography.


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