The Ultimate Guide to CISSP Certification: Everything You Need To Know

Advancing your cybersecurity career will require you to become certified eventually. Without certification, your opportunities for advancement will remain limited. Choosing which certification to pursue will depend on what your skills are and what your IT interests may be.

Many choose to obtain CISSP certification. A unique advantage to this certification is that it’s for those who want a mix of technical and managerial aspects to their career but don’t want to be locked into one or the other.

We’ll discuss what it is, who can apply for it, and how to prepare for the exam so you can better decide if CISSP certification is for you.

What Is CISSP Certification?

Certified Information Systems Specialist Professional or CISSP is a worldwide respected cybersecurity certification issued by the ISC2 (International Information System Security Certification Consortium), a non-profit organization. They’re most well known for CISSP certification. Once certified, IT experts are internationally recognized as part of an elite group of cybersecurity specialists.

CISSP certification is necessary for career advancement, and many higher-paying desirable information security positions require this certification. The exam tests a candidate’s overall knowledge of specific cybersecurity areas known as the CISSP eight domains of the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK).

The Common Body of Knowledge is a collection of information important to the IT world. It creates common language, principles, and terms that information technology experts can use when discussing the issues and challenges of the information security community.

Who Can Apply for CISSP Certification?

To apply for the CISSP exam, the ISC2 has a few prerequisites. To be eligible for certification, you’ll need to have:

  • A four-year college degree or regional equivalent
  • Five years of cumulative paid employment focusing on two of the CISSP’s eight domains

Fortunately, candidates who don’t meet the work requirements are still eligible to take the exam. However, they won’t be issued the certification. With a passing grade, they’ll become an Associate of ISC2 and have six years to complete the five years of paid employment requirement.

What Is the Best Way to Prepare for the CISSP Exam?

The CISSP exam covers a lot of territory, and candidates should set aside a minimum of 3 months for study. Having a weekly study schedule can help keep candidates focused on learning as much as possible about the 8 domains of CISSP.

Online CISSP masterclasses are a good resource for exam preparation. They use various methods, such as digital flashcards, video explanations, and practice exams. The practice exams mimic what candidates will experience when taking the actual test and will help to point out the areas where they need improvement. Some even offer one-on-one mentoring with video calls to help candidates gain confidence and lessen their exam anxiety.

What Challenges and Skills Does the CISSP Exam Involve?

The CISSP exam poses several challenges that require deep knowledge and a strong skill set.

  • Firstly, it tests the candidate’s ability to comprehend and apply a wide range of complex security concepts across eight domains.
  • Additionally, the exam requires critical thinking and analytical skills to analyze scenarios, identify vulnerabilities, and select the most appropriate security controls.
  • Effective time management is crucial as the exam consists of multiple-choice questions to be completed in a limited timeframe.
  • Moreover, the CISSP exam assesses the candidate’s knowledge of various frameworks, regulations, and best practices, necessitating a comprehensive understanding of industry standards.
  • Lastly, effective communication skills are vital for accurately interpreting and articulating security concepts.

Mastering these challenges and skills is essential for success in the CISSP exam and demonstrates the candidate’s readiness to tackle real-world security challenges.

What are the Benefits of CISSP Certification?

The benefits of becoming CISSP certified are many. The exam is set up to test a candidate’s weaknesses and has a reputation for being challenging. Some of the benefits of certification include:

  • Earnings potential – Those with CISSP certification can expect a salary increase. Many companies will pay more once an employee has been certified. Most with certification will earn more.
  • Job growth and opportunities – Without certification, many cybersecurity professionals quickly see that their growth opportunities can be limited. Many of the high-paying, more desirable positions require CISSP certification.
  • Respect from your peers – CISSP-certified individuals have proven that they have extensive cybersecurity knowledge and have joined a well-respected organization.

CISSP Certification: All You Need to Know

To advance your cybersecurity field, it’s all about the certifications. Without them, you’re IT career could be dead in the water with few opportunities for a better salary or career growth. Although the CISSP exam can be difficult and requires proactive study, the benefits far outweigh any inconveniences.

CISSP-certified individuals have the respect of those in the industry and are known as the best of the best. If this sounds desirable, consider enrolling in a CISSP masterclass course to see if you have what it takes to pass the exam.