Thursday, 11 August 2016

Why CISSP is a must have certification, now more than ever


ISC2's CISSP course is essential if your pursuing a senior role in Information Security. CISSP provides an extensive overview of the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK): a compendium of information security practices and standards compiled and continually updated by (ISC)2.

CISSP is integral in developing an extensive understanding of information security and has gained importance as a key component in the selection process for management-level information security positions. But, for those that are unfamiliar, here are the top reasons why CISSP is the certification to choose, now more than ever.


1. Worldwide recognition:


A certification is only as good as the recognition attached to it. Unlike many standard certs, CISSP boasts industry wide recognition, acknowledged in 2015 by SC Magazine (for the fifth time) as the ‘Best Professional Certification Program’.

This Gold Standard credential is not only recognised by the world’s leading multinationals - such as Google, IBM and P&G - it’s also deemed a requirement in 56% of cyber jobs in the contracting industry. If you’re looking to take on the complicated world of IT security, a CISSP certification is a must have.






2. Job competence:


In the 2015 (ISC)2 Global Workforce Study, the report found that the attributes that best characterise ‘successful’ information security professionals came down to a broad understanding of the security field, communication skills and awareness of the latest security threats. 


2015 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study

CISSP’s core content, seen in the domains listed below, actively seeks to develop this wide range of information and security management. The CISSP CBK consists of the following eight domains:
  • Security and Risk Management: Addresses a broad spectrum of general information security and risk management topics.
  • Asset Security: Addresses the collection, handling and protection of information throughout its life cycle. 
  • Security Engineering: Is the practice of building information systems and related architecture that continue to deliver the required functionality in the face of threats that may be caused by malicious acts. 
  • Communication and Network Security: Encompasses the network architecture, transmission methods, transport protocols, control devices and the security measures used to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information transmitted over both private and public communication networks. 
  • Identity and Access Management: Involves provisioning and managing the identities and access used in the interaction of humans and information systems, of disparate information systems and even between individual components of information systems. 
  • Security Assessment and Testing: Involves the evaluation of information assets and associated infrastructure using various tools and techniques for the purposes of identifying and mitigating risk. 
  • Security Operations: Involves the application of information security concepts and best practices to the operation of enterprise computing systems.
  • Software Development Security: Involves the application of security concepts and best practices to production and development software environments. 
The Global Workforce study also compares the job roles of (ISC)2 members versus non-members. 

The findings show those with an (ISC)2 certification such as CISSP, although in possession of a wide range of information, are more likely to take on specialised job roles. Examples of such specialist positions include Security Consultant, Security Architect, Information Assurance Manager or Security Advisor. Nannette Ripmeester, founder of Expertise in Labour Mobility, believes these “specific skills are valued more [by employers] because they are more difficult to teach”. Non-members, however, are more likely to have generalist IT roles such as Network Administrator, Security Systems Administrator or Technical Consultant. 



3. (ISC)2 Membership:

Once you have completed an (ISC)2 certification and subject to annual maintenance fees, you become an (ISC)2 member. This membership offers plenty of resources and benefits that can help further your knowledge and network. Some of these include:

  • Access to a vast network: With over 110,000 members across 160 countries, you will gain access to other CISSP certified individuals and the shareable knowledge of this community. 

  • The opportunity to earn CPEs - critical for maintaining your certification in good standing

  • Discounts on industry conferences and access to free online events. 

  • Access to industry-leading research: Includes the ISC Journal and the Global Information Security Workforce Study. 
  • Security central: An exclusive resource that researches and tracks vulnerabilities using proprietary, state-of-the-art algorithms to aggregate, categorise and prioritise vulnerabilities affecting tens of thousands of products.
  • Industry recognition: An event acknowledging distinguished information security professionals. 
  • Digital badges: Allows you to share your credentials online through the use of a badge.

4. Earning potential:


The CISSP certification proves you have the advanced skills, knowledge and commitment required, to command higher wages.

The challenging standards require students to have at least 5 years of experience in two of the eight (ISC)2 domains listed above. Additionally, the student must complete a 250 question multiple choice exam in order to be officially certified.

Although a difficult process, requiring students to fully understand the CBK and framework of information security practices and standards, the return on investment makes it one of the most highly sought after courses available. 


Those with a CISSP certification command an average an salary of £76,700, compared with £62,500 for similar job titles without a CISSP certification.



5. Growing demand for Security Professionals/Higher spending on IT security:


CISSP has and is likely to always remain a well-performing certification, but what makes it so special today?

As businesses become increasingly dependent on information technology, the importance of cyber security has never been so important. Cybersecurity Ventures projects $1 trillion will be spent globally on cyber security from 2017 to 2021. Editor-In-Chief, Steve Morgan, stated that “IT analyst forecasts are unable to keep pace with the dramatic rise in cyber-crime”. Forbes echoed this in a recent article, stating that the booming cyber security market is expected to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020.

Despite the industry experiencing rapid growth, (ISC)2 found that by 2019 there will be a shortage of 1.5 million information security professionals. So, not only is CISSP a qualification that can propel your IT career, its current high demand in a growing industry make 2016 the best time to start.