CISSP is a comprehensive and vendor-neutral accreditation of your practical skills in running infosec programs by (ISC)2.
CISSP, which stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional, is a comprehensive and vendor-neutral certification that attests to an IT professional’s practical understanding and skills in running enterprise infosec programs. This article takes you through the CISSP certification requirements, exam costs, jobs, and the salaries to expect in 2022.
CISSP, which stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional, is a comprehensive and vendor-neutral certification that attests to an IT professional’s practical understanding and skills in running enterprise infosec programs.
Pictorial Representation of a CISSP Certification | Source
The CISSP certification was introduced in 1994 by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)2. It is a vendor-neutral, internationally recognized, CISSP qualification that attests to an IT security professional’s technical proficiency and practical expertise in designing and administering security programs in an enterprise environment.
Certification in the CISSP course is something that many IT workers want to achieve. In addition, companies that are looking to fill open positions in their cybersecurity departments search for candidates who have already acquired this certificate since they are confident in their ability to pass the test with flying colors. Some bring practical experience; others may even receive formal CISSP training.
In June of 2004, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) — in sync with the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17024:2003 standard — provided accreditation to the CISSP. It is the first certificate in the area of information security to be approved by ANSI concerning infosec.
In addition, it has obtained the Department of Defense’s (DoD) official approval for its DoDD 8570 certification requirement in several categories — namely, the Information Assurance Technical (IAT), Managerial (IAM), and IA System Architect and Engineer (IASAE). The United States Department of Defense granted this approval.
The exam is offered in 882 locations throughout 114 nations and eight languages. This exam, ordinarily available to network security professionals and system administrators, requires candidates to have at least four years of direct work experience in two or more of the ten test areas. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification provides information security professionals with not only an objective evaluation of their expertise but also a level of accomplishment that is recognized all around the world.
CISSP may not be suitable for all security professionals or business leaders. But it is a certification that anyone who wants to work in information security, no matter what level, should at least think about. The CISSP certification can be a requirement for a wide range of security jobs, such as IT director, CISO, or even security analyst.
See More: What Is a Secure Web Gateway? Definition, Benefits, and Best Practices
The CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) domains are changed once every three years to ensure that professionals are tested on the most current topic areas relevant to the activities and responsibilities of today’s information security professionals. (ISC)2 revised the certificate’s structure in 2015 by reducing the number of domains from ten to eight and further changed the examination length in 2022.
CISSP Certification Course Curriculum
The CISSP is made up of numerous updates and curriculum components. Indeed, regular upgrades and changes ensure that the CISSP is in line with the knowledge and skills required in the constantly changing IT industry. From May 1, 2021, the (ISC)2 CISSP qualifying exam will include the following eight CISSP domains:
This is the primary CISSP domain, and it covers 15% of the exam. It provides an exhaustive description of the concepts related to information systems management. Principles of security control, IT policies and procedures, and calculation of observance requirements are all covered under security and risk management. It also covers areas like enterprise continuity, compliance standards, and threat modeling techniques.
In the new CISSP curriculum, candidates will also be tested on their knowledge of social engineering and phishing defensive strategies and how they can utilize gamification to enhance their enterprise’s cybersecurity.
This CISSP domain focuses on resource protection and covers 10% of the CISSP exam. Asset security addresses issues about information management and the concept of information ownership. It includes the skills of several roles in data management, ownership, processing, privacy concerns, and usage restrictions. Some of this curriculum component’s key areas include:
Additionally, it verifies a candidate’s understanding of various tasks involving the processing of data, as well as data security strategies and data states. As part of the CISSP exam, you will also be tested on handling resource allocation, asset classification, and the data lifecycle.
This CISSP domain is all about using ideas to design the architecture of IT and data systems. It accounts for about 13% of the CISSP exam. It is a broad field that includes many important data security topics. Candidates are tested on safety engineering procedures, models, design guidelines, exposures, database security, cryptography, and cloud computing systems. These are some of the areas covered by security architecture and engineering:
Additionally, it discusses the fundamental ideas behind security prototypes and how to recognize cryptanalytic attacks.
The fourth domain of the CISSP curriculum assesses candidates’ proficiency in securing networks and communication channels. Candidates must respond to questions on secure and convergent protocols, wireless and cellular networks, network hardware functioning (redundant power and warranty), and third-party connectivity.
This domain also includes IP networking (i.e., IPsec, IPv4, and IPv6). The weight of the communication and network security area in the most recent CISSP exam was recently reduced from 14% to 13%. After completing this part of the curriculum, CISSP-certified professionals would be able to:
See More: What Is Privileged Access Management (PAM)? Definition, Components, and Best Practices
This CISSP domain sheds light on attacks that utilize the human factor to access data. It also includes strategies for identifying authorized people to connect to systems and access data. Further, candidates are assessed on recognizing people who have access to servers and information. This section of the CISSP test accounts for around 13% of the total score and covers important topics such as phase conceptualization, credentials, and multifactor authentication. The areas covered in identity and access management include data access, approval systems, and identity services.
This area of study, comprising 12% of the exam, focuses on all methods and instruments for identifying system flaws and other critical areas that security protocols and policies don’t cover. This domain also includes ethical disclosure and attack simulations. Candidates are also put through vulnerability analysis and penetration testing tests. Compliance checks are included as one of the subjects evaluated on the most recent CISSP exam. You will be required to know about audit strategies, security testing, security process information gathering, and test result examination.
This CISSP domain emphasizes initial concepts, inspections, incident management, and disaster recovery, comprising 13% of the CISSP exam. It is a broad and helpful domain that includes sandboxing, firewalls, intrusion avoidance and exposure tools, probes, and digital forensics. The exam will test candidates on behavior analytics, threat intelligence, log management, machine learning, and artificial intelligence-based security tools.
This domain’s coverage includes enabling security inspections and different types of investigations, acquiring secure information, ensuring company resilience, protecting the supply of assets, and documenting and evaluating incidents.
Implementing software-based security mechanisms in contexts where an IT expert is in charge is the focus of this domain. This segment covers risk analysis, vulnerability spotting, and source code auditing, among other things. In addition, candidates are tested on the security of open-source and third-party development, maturity models, and application security. This component of the curriculum includes the following types of questions on the associated exams:
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The total cost of CISSP certification (course and exam) varies from region to region and frequently from city to city.
The CISSP certification is only awarded to candidates who complete all prerequisites within three years. CISSP certificate holders can recertify after three years, providing they continue to fulfill the program’s requirements by earning 40 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits annually and paying the yearly maintenance fee.
The CISSP certification fee comprises training courses, which range from $300 to $3200, examination fees, which are $699 in the US, and at least 50 to 70 hours of preparation time, which should count as a hidden cost.
In addition to traditional classroom instruction, CISSP courses are also available online for self-paced learning. The price of self-paced, online CISSP training varies significantly. A CISSP training costs $300 but may also be offered for $900. Your CISSP certification costs will be reduced if you choose this option because online self-paced courses are less expensive than traditional classroom training and even live online training. However, live online classes can be costly. The price range for an online CISSP course might be anywhere between$600 and $1500.
The second component of the CISSP certification cost is the exam fee, which is currently set at $599. The CISSP exam cost is slated to increase from $699 to $749 very soon. The on-paper cost of CISSP certification does not include the time required to prepare for the exam. However, the time you devote to studying for the test will cost you money. Your time requirements will also vary depending on various factors, such as your prior work history, level of competency, and the need to become certified.
See More: What Is a Security Vulnerability? Definition, Types, and Best Practices for Prevention
Where you reside in the nation significantly impacts your income when it comes to infosec wages. A big city well-known for its technological industry, such as New York or Silicon Valley, will have a higher average salary for those who have earned the CISSP certification. According to statistics provided by PayScale, a person with the CISSP certification may anticipate earning an annual salary of more than $120,000 by 2022. (last updated on June 15, 2022).
Where you live, and the type of work you do both have an impact on your wages. Ziprecruiter has identified 10 cities where the usual CISSP job income is higher than the national average. San Mateo, California, is at the top of the list, closely followed by Berkeley, California, and Daly City, California. When weighing location and pay for a CISSP career, the likelihood of a lower cost of living can be the most crucial consideration. Why is the CISSP certification so popular? Here are a few reasons why IT professionals can consider earning the CISSP certification:
The annual salary of a CISSP is $131,030 as per PayScale data. This shows that the person has deep knowledge of cybersecurity, practical cybersecurity experience from at least four years of paid work in the field, and a solid commitment to a strict code of ethics. Employers value and respect the CISSP certification, which can help you earn more.
More people with the CISSP certification are needed than are now available. The CISSP focus areas (CISSP-ISSMP for Management, CISSP-ISSEP for Engineers, and CISSP-ISSAP for Architects) allow you to build on CISSP, and boost the career and wage opportunities available to you even more.
The CISSP is something to be proud of because it shows the industry and your peers that you are a professional with the wide range of knowledge needed to lead in cybersecurity. CISSP covers the essential parts of the cybersecurity industry, such as security and risk management, network security, testing, and security operations. It guarantees that you are aware of all information security issues and, more importantly, how the infosec environment connects with the larger organizational ecosystem.
See More: What Is Vulnerability Management? Definition, Lifecycle, Policy, and Best Practices
CISSP certification prepares IT professionals for the following key jobs:
A highly qualified Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who has acquired the CISO credential is a C-level executive responsible for overseeing information security inside an organization. An infosec program – which consists of procedures and guidelines to protect business communications, systems, and assets against internal and external threats – is developed and put into place by a CISO.
In addition to a solid knowledge of information security, a CISO needs a wide range of IT experience, excellent leadership and communication abilities, and other qualifications. These days, the job role is frequently used reciprocally with the CSO and VP of security, indicating a more considerable responsibility.
Senior information security consultants help organizations ensure data security. They should know how cyber threats, including information security concerns, may harm an organization’s business objectives. They put safeguards in place to aid in identifying the most persistent risks and mitigating them. To check for information system vulnerabilities, consultants deploy various cybersecurity solutions.
A senior information security consultant’s primary duties include conducting security assessments, ensuring that infosec programs are implemented, collaborating with businesses to develop security policies, and offering support for security management systems.
Information security analysts protect the computer networks used by for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and private businesses. These analysts will identify and address vulnerabilities, deploy security tools, enhance user education and awareness, and assist with incident response preparation. They will also support the creation of security policies and programs and the selection, adoption, and practical use of appropriate technological solutions.
Part of a senior IT security consultant’s job responsibilities includes doing internal research and analysis to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the current IT security systems. They must also draw on their CISSP knowledge to offer remedies for problem areas and recommend new tools and methods to improve data security.
They may oversee security operations for a single company, consult with clients individually or through a larger organization, or manage security operations for multiple companies. This helps companies identify potential gaps in their cybersecurity standards.
An administrator of security systems is the person in charge of overseeing and managing all areas of information security and safeguarding digital data resources. They are answerable for implementing, administering, and debugging a company’s security mechanisms – spanning the entire spectrum of desktop, mobile, and network security.
See More: Cybersecurity Specialist: Key Skill Requirements and Salary Expectations
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, infosec jobs will dramatically rise in the next few years. Between 2021 and 2029, the demand for information security analysts will grow at a pace of 33%, much faster than the average. This means that certifications like CISSP will be critical.
Further, in preparing for the exam, IT professionals and aspiring cybersecurity specialists will learn about a wide range of topics. How do you link cybersecurity with business continuity? How does user privacy impact information asset security? What are the methods for designing a secure network architecture? These are some of the most pertinent questions that the CISSP curriculum answers, laying the foundation for a rewarding career in the Infosec field.
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