If you’re in IT, one of the best certificates to get is the CISSP. If you manage to acquire this, you’ll become a Certified Information Systems Security Professional. This certificate can help you get jobs, be considered more often for big promotions, and help you achieve your greater career ambitions.
But it takes a lot of work to get CISSP certification. Let’s break down the four major steps you’ll need to follow now.
Get the Experience You Need
First, you’ll need to acquire the relevant experience so you can take and actually pass the CISSP exam. What exactly are those experience requirements? In a nutshell, you need:
- five years of experience in information security
- computer and information security experience in 2 of all 10 security domains listed by the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge
Alternatively, you can take and pass the exam with only four years of experience in information security, if you have additional experience such as:
- a four-year college degree in a relevant field
- an advanced degree in information security from an institution recognized as a US National Center of Academic Excellence
- a credential from the (ISC)2-approved list, such as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, CompTIA Security+, and so on
You cannot, however, combine two of these categories. Be sure to utilize good CISSP online training resources so you’re ready for the exam when the time comes to take it.
Pass the Exam
Taking the exam is one thing. You also have to pass the CISSP certification exam with a score of at least 700 out of 1000. Taking the exam can also be difficult depending on your location – you first have to register with the CISSP directly and then have to travel to an authorized testing location.
The exam is pencil and paper only and consists of 250 multiple-choice questions. You’ll have six hours to answer as many as possible correctly.
Get an Endorsement
Your journey isn’t over after passing the exam. Then you’ll need to obtain an endorsement from an active (ISC)2 credential holder. If you don’t already know a credential holder, try networking with other individuals in your industry or company.
This credential holder should attest to your industry experience and complete the requisite endorsement form. After receiving your endorsement, you’ll officially be CISSP-certified and be entitled to the privileges and enhanced industry clout therein. You’ll also find it easier to get a great job in the industry!
Be Ready for Audits
However, even after obtaining your certification, you’ll need to be ready for an audit at any time. That’s because the (ISC)2 selects various certified individuals for auditing on a random basis. If you have falsified any of your application data or skipped a step in any part of the process, your certification may be revoked and you’ll have to retake the exam or, worse, be barred from ever being certified in the future.
But this possibility shouldn’t be an issue so long as you follow the above steps and obtain your CISSP certification legitimately. Remember to study well for the exam and you’ll maximize your chances of passing the first time.