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CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional

Best Information Security Certifications
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The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an advanced-level certification for IT pros serious about careers in information security. Offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, known as (ISC)2 and pronounced "ISC squared," this vendor-neutral credential is recognized worldwide for its standards of excellence.

CISSP credential holders are decision-makers who possess expert knowledge and technical skills necessary to develop, guide and then manage security standards, policies and procedures within their organizations. The CISSP continues to be highly sought after by IT professionals and well recognized by IT organizations. It is a regular fixture on most-wanted and must-have security certification surveys.

CISSP is designed for experienced security professionals. A minimum of five years of experience in at least two of (ISC)2's eight Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) domains, or four years of experience in at least two of (ISC)2's CBK domains and a college degree or an approved credential, is required for this certification. CBK domains include Security and Risk Management, Asset Security, Security Engineering, Communications and Network Security, Identity and Access Management, Security Assessment and Testing, Security Operations, and Software Development Security.

(ISC)2 also offers three CISSP concentrations targeting specific areas of interest in IT security:

  • Architecture (CISSP-ISSAP)
  • Engineering (CISSP-ISSEP)
  • Management (CISSP-ISSMP)

CISSP concentration exams are $599 each, and credential seekers must currently possess a valid CISSP.

An annual fee of $85 is required to maintain the CISSP credential. Recertification is required every three years. To recertify, candidates must earn 40 continuing professional education (CPE) credits each year for a total of 120 CPEs within the three-year cycle.

CISSP Facts & Figures

Certification Name
Certified Information  Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Optional CISSP concentrations:
  • CISSP Architecture (CISSP-ISSAP)
  • CISSP Engineering (CISSP-ISSEP)
  • CISSP Management (CISSP-ISSMP)
Prerequisites & Required Courses
At least five years of paid, full-time experience in at least two of the eight (ISC)2 domains or four years of paid, full-time experience in at least two of the eight (ISC)2 domains and a college degree or an approved credential.
Number of Exams
One for CISSP (250 multiple-choice and advanced innovative questions, six hours)

One for each concentration area
Cost of Exam
CISSP is $699; each CISSP concentration is $599
URLhttps://www.isc2.org/Certifications/CISSP
Self-Study Materials
A variety of training materials are available, including instructor-led, live online, on-demand and private training. An exam outline is available for candidate review, as well as study guides, a study app, interactive flashcards and practice tests.

MORE: (ISC)2 Certs & Career Paths

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Training

With the popularity of the CISSP certification, there is no shortage of available training options, including classroom-based training offered by (ISC)2 as well as online video courses, practice exams and books from third-party companies.

Pluralsight's CISSP series of courses cover the security concepts required for the certification exam. Current courses include security engineering, asset security, software development security and physical (or environmental) security. There are several courses still in development that will cover the topics of security and risk management, communications and network security, identity and access management, and more. Available for a low monthly fee, the CISSP is part of a subscription plan that gives IT professionals access to Pluralsight's complete library of video training courses.

When you're ready to test your security knowledge, you can take a simulated exam that mimics the format and content of the real CISSP exam. Transcender offers a CISSP practice exam that includes over 900 practice questions and almost as many flashcards to help you prepare for this challenging exam. The practice exam covers all the CISSP exam objectives and helps you identify your weak areas so that you're confident in your understanding of all the CISSP content.

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