There has never been a better time to enter the world of cybersecurity. Data breaches are occurring at an alarming rate and causing companies losses of millions of dollars and affecting their reputation in the market. Let’s face it – digital transformation is on the rise and a business cannot survive without collecting a massive amount of customer data and gaining insights from it. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to allow remote working, and this trend isn’t going away any time soon. Evidently, more sensitive information is available online and comes under the radar of malicious hackers.
Companies are now serious about their cybersecurity plans and trying hard to hire the right candidates who can keep their digital assets secure. The popularity of cybersecurity has spurred a plethora of certification offers to claim to make candidates capable of handling different cybersecurity roles. If you are aspiring to become a cybersecurity expert, then these certifications are worth your time and effort. One of the top certifications in this domain is CISSP or Certified Information Systems Security Professional administered by the prestigious certifying body (ISC)2.
CISSP certification is an elite way to validate your knowledge and skills and take charge of your career to become a part of the global community of cybersecurity leaders. Now when you start exploring more about CISSP, you will come across many statements regarding the CISSP exam to be bewilderingly difficult. In fact, many aspirants prefer taking an online CISSP course to gain a lot more confidence and ensure they are on the right track. But before directly jumping into cracking the CISSP exam, first, learn more about the certification and whether you are qualified to take the exam or not.
What is CISSP all about?
The CISSP certification is the most globally acknowledged credential in the information security landscape. Professionals achieve it to demonstrate their deep technical and managerial knowledge and skills to design, engineer, and manage the overall security posture of an enterprise effectively. It boasts of being the first certification in the field of information security that meets the stringent requirements of ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard 17024. Additionally, it meets the US Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 8570.1.
The certification opens your door to a variety of cybersecurity job roles like security manager, security auditor, security consultant, security systems engineer, and Chief Information Officer as well. CISSP is based on a very wide Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) that involves 10 domains or areas of expertise. It has been observed that most security professionals are aware of 4 to 6 domains and need to dedicate more time to the domains they are less exposed to in their job.
The best part? (ISC)2 keeps on updating the curriculum of the CISSP exam based on the latest trends in the cybersecurity world. The new version of the CISSP certification exam just launched on May 1, 2021. It has been refreshed to reflect the most pertinent issues faced by cybersecurity professionals at present, including the best practices to deal with those issues. Here are the updated exam details:
- The exam duration is 3 hours.
- The number of questions asked is in the range of 100 to 150 and their format is multiple choice and advanced innovative items.
- The passing score is 700 out of 1000 points
- The questions are based on the following eight domains (along with their weightings)
- Security and risk management – 15%
- Asset Security – 10%
- Security Architecture and Engineering – 13%
- Communication and Network Security – 13%
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) – 13%
- Security Assessment and Testing – 12%
- Security Operations – 13%
- Software Development Security – 11%
Are you eligible?
Before making any decision regarding CISSP, it is important to know the CISSP qualifications. Well, (ISC)2 states that you need to have at least five years of cumulative paid work experience in 2 or more of the eight domains mentioned in the CISSP CBK. There is an experience waiver of one year if you have earned a four-year college degree/regional equivalent or an additional credential from the (ISC)2 approved list.
However, if you don’t have the required experience and you pass the CISSP exam, then you become an Associate of (ISC)2. Post that, you will have 6 six years to earn the requisite five years of experience.
How to crack the CISSP exam?
Aspirants have different ways to qualify for the CISSP exam – some prefer independent study while others take up training programs. If books are your choice, then you can go for the CISSP Study Guide by Ed Tittel or Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP Exam by Susan Hansche, John Berti, and Chris Hare. If you prefer training courses, then (ISC)2 offers both self-paced and instructor-led CISSP training programs. There are some third-party reputed training providers like Simplilearn and Coursera where you will get high-quality, in-depth CISSP training courses.
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After completing a course, you can take practice quizzes and check your level of preparation. It is recommended to visit the CISSP and SSCP Open Study Guides quiz engine where you can attempt over 2000 questions for free and know which domain and subdomain you experience the most difficulties with.