4 Steps to Earn a CISSP Certification | CISSP Process

Taylor Karl
4 Steps to Earn a CISSP Certification | CISSP Process 2023 0

How to Get a CISSP Certification

CISSP Certification Process

The CISSP certification is the gold standard for information security professionals, and it's a great way to show off your knowledge and experience and further your career. Here's the process to get certified:

  1. Candidates must have five years of verifiable information security experience.
  2. Candidates must pass the exam.
  3. Candidates must agree to the Code of Ethics.
  4. Candidates must attain 120 continuing education credits within a three-year window to maintain certification.

Meet the CISSP Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must meet the CISSP Eligibility requirements listed above to attain the certification.

In regard to the required 5-year of verifiable work experience in information security, candidates must be sure they have five years of cumulative paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK):

  • Domain 1: Security and Risk Management
  • Domain 2: Asset Security
  • Domain 3: Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Domain 4: Communication and Network Security
  • Domain 5: Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Domain 6: Security Assessment and Testing
  • Domain 7: Security Operations
  • Domain 8: Software Development Security

Obtaining a credential from the (ISC)2 approved list, or a college degree from an accredited four-year institution, is equivalent to one year of the necessary experience.

Pass the CISSP Certification Exam

The CISSP exam evaluates a candidate's ability to design, engineer, and manage an organization's entire security posture. It's no secret why the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is so highly sought after among IT professionals: passing the rigorous assessment is no easy feat.

The English computerized adaptive testing (CAT) test lasts three hours and consists of 100–150 questions. The linear, fixed-form examination, given in all other languages, lasts for six hours and consists of 250 questions with traditional multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and hotspot questions.

Though it is difficult, you can prepare for it. Here are some tips to help you study and pass the exam:

  • Read the coursework. The more time you spend with the material, the better you will understand it.
  • When taking a class, be sure to participate, take notes, and ask questions.
  • Know the (ISC)2 terms and definitions.
  • Use your practice assessment wisely to find areas of weakness to study.
  • Go into the exam thinking like a Project Manager with no IT experience.
  • Do not try to become a subject matter expert on every topic.
  • Ignore all CISSP-based social media focus on the course material.

If you do not pass, you must wait 30 days to repeat it. If you do not pass again, you must wait 90 days to retake the exam. If you do not pass a third time, you must wait 180 days before retaking the exam. This exam is limited to three attempts per candidate each calendar year; thus, you should be well-prepared before scheduling and taking the exam.

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The CISSP exam is a difficult one. However, if you pass it, you'll not only be rewarded with an information security certification that will look great on your resume but also with validation of your knowledge and experience in information security which will open up numerous doors for your career in the world of IT security.