CCSP vs CISSP: How to Choose the Right Certification for You

Taylor Karl
CCSP vs CISSP: How to Choose the Right Certification for You 4928 0

There are many ways to get yourself noticed in the cybersecurity field; one way is to increase your certification level by obtaining the CCSP or CISSP certifications. However, choosing the right certification is crucial: one that will work for your situation and help you reach your goals. Both certifications are among the top information security certifications in the industry and are made by the same organization — ISC2. This article will discuss the differences between the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certifications.

Eligibility Requirements & Exam Details

Are you ready to take on the challenge of becoming a Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)? There are a few requirements you need to meet before you can claim either of these coveted titles and there are a few details that are helpful to know about the exams:

CCSP

Eligibility: You’ll need to have at least five years of paid work experience in information technology under your belt, with three of those years specifically focused on information security. You also need to have at least one year of experience in one or more of the six domains of the CCSP CBK (Certified Cloud Security Professional Common Body of Knowledge).

If you don’t have the required one year of experience, you can substitute that requirement by earning the Cloud Security Alliance’s Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK). If you have the CISSP credential from ISC2, that can also be used to fulfill the complete CCSP experience requirement.

But what if you don't meet any of those requirements? You can still take the CCSP exam and become an Associate of ISC2. You'll have six years to gain the necessary five years of experience.

Exam: This exam, available in both English and Japanese, covers six domains that are critical for securing cloud computing systems: Cloud Concepts, Architecture and Design, Cloud Data Security, Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security, Cloud Application Security, Cloud Security Operations, and Legal, Risk, and Compliance.

You'll be tested with 125 multiple-choice questions spanning a three-hour timeline. To pass the CCSP exam, you'll need to earn at least 700 points out of a possible 1000.

Time Requirement: Most people need around 120 days to adequately prepare for the test.

CISSP

Eligibility: To qualify for the CISSP exam, you'll need to have at least five years of paid work experience in at least two of the eight domains covered by the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK).

A four-year college degree, a regional equivalent, or an extra certification from the ISC2 recognized list can satisfy one year of needed experience. If you have education credit, only one year of experience will suffice.

If you don't have the required experience, you can still take the CISSP exam and become an Associate of ISC2. As an Associate, you'll have six years to gain the necessary five years of experience to become a full-fledged CISSP.

Exam: This exam, available in English, Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish, covers eight domains that are essential for any security professional to master: asset security; security architecture and engineering; security and risk management; communication and network security; security assessment and testing; security operations; identity and access management; and software development security.

The CISSP exam includes a mix of multiple-choice questions and advanced questions to test your knowledge. To pass the CISSP exam, you'll need to earn at least 700 points out of a possible1000.

Time Requirement: Most people need around three to six months to adequately prepare for the test.

CISSP vs CCSP FAQs

Q: Is CCSP more difficult than CISSP?

A: The CCSP focuses on the risks associated with cloud computing, whereas the CISSP focuses on cybersecurity in general. While the CISSP certification covers a broader range of topics and requires more time to study for and pass than the CCSP, the difficulty of one over the other is based on your experience and area of expertise.

Q: Is CCSP equivalent to CISSP?

A: No. The difference between the two lies in the focus of each certification's exam: The CCSP certification is based on Cloud Services, while the CISSP certification focuses on overall security.

Q: Can I take CCSP before CISSP?

A: Yes! CCSP is a great way to get your feet wet with the Security+ certification, and it can be a great step toward achieving CISSP certification.

Job Roles & Salary Potential

When choosing which certification is right for you, it’s important to consider the potential job roles and annual pay for each certificate. Here’s what you can expect:

CCSP

Common Job Roles

  • Enterprise Architect
  • Security Administrator Security Architect
  • Security Consultant
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Manager
  • Systems Architect
  • Systems Engineer

Salary

CCSPs earn an average of $114,172 in North America and $80,717 globally. Salary is dependent upon region, company size, experience level, and job role requirements.

CISSP

Common Job Roles

  • Chief information security officer.
  • Security systems administrator.
  • Information assurance analyst.
  • IT security engineer.
  • Senior IT security consultant.
  • Senior information security assurance consultant.
  • Information security assurance analyst.

Salary

CISSPs earn an average of $120,552 in North America and $92,639 globally. Salary is dependent upon region, company size, experience level, and job role requirements.

Cost & Benefits

What are the costs and benefits of each certification? The CCSP certification exam costs $599, while the CISSP certification exam costs $749. When considering the cost, don’t forget to factor in any additional resources, such as a practice test or training program you purchase to study for the exam. However, with higher salaries and benefits for either certification, you can be sure that your investment will pay off both personally and professionally.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the benefits you can expect from each certification:

CCSP

By attaining a CCSP certification, you'll not only increase your credibility and marketability but also gain greater job security and open new doors to exciting job opportunities. In addition, the skills you'll acquire through CCSP are vendor-neutral and applicable across a range of technologies, ensuring you'll be an asset to any organization.

As a CCSP holder, you'll also gain access to a global network of industry experts and peers, allowing you to exchange ideas and learn from the best in the business. Plus, you'll be better equipped to prevent cyberattacks and increase overall cloud security, making you a vital member of an organization’s IT team.

CISSP

Not only does obtaining a CISSP demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of information security, but it also boosts your credibility and marketability in the ever-growing field of cybersecurity. By earning this highly respected certification, you gain access to a global network of industry experts and peers, allowing you to exchange ideas and learn from the best in the business.

As a CISSP holder, you'll have access to a wealth of broad-based security information resources, giving you an edge in both business and technology risk management.

Which Cybersecurity Certification is Better?

The CCSP is a specialized cloud security certification focusing on security and threat protection for cloud-based applications. It's designed to help network administrators recognize risks and vulnerabilities related to cloud computing and help them identify ways to mitigate those risks.

The CISSP focuses more on general security principles and practices across multiple platforms, including cloud-based platforms. The CISSP will also give you a broad understanding of how different types of systems work together, which means you'll be able to manage your organization’s security infrastructure and sensitive data as a whole more effectively.

Both certifications are valuable, so one is not simply better than the other. However, you should choose to pursue the certification that best aligns with your experience, goals, and desires for your career path.

Summary

Both certifications are valuable and worthwhile, but they also have their own pros and cons and may be more beneficial to different types of work scenarios. While one is not necessarily better than the other, it can make sense to pursue the CCSP certification if you are a beginner in the field of cybersecurity, as its requirements are less comprehensive. On the other hand, CISSP can be more valuable if you have experience in information security or if you want to be a high-level consultant. Considering your situation is important when selecting which certification to pursue.

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