The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, known in shorthand as (ISC)², is a nonprofit provider of educational services and professional credentials to IT security personnel. The mission of the Consortium is to contribute to the health of the information landscape by offering gold-standard certifications while maintaining a body of critical knowledge, including principles and terms that help define global industry standards.
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential is one of the world’s top–and top-earning–certifications, for IT pros entrusted with the most sophisticated security challenges.
(ISC)2, short for International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, is renowned for several of its information security certifications, one of which is the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP).
The SSCP certification, a vendor-neutral certification administered by a leading nonprofit organization sets the agenda for early-stage network security professionals.
Who can benefit from (ISC)² certifications?
While server administrators, software developers or other specialized IT careers do stand to gain academic or professional advantages from some of these credentials, specialists and educators in the data security field can get the most out of the balance of (ISC)² certifications. For example, IT training firm Global Knowledge, in its 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report, showed that data security personnel with the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification earned a mean salary of $100,735 in 2010. Here’s a bit of detail on five popular (ISC)² certifications.
Associate of (ISC)²: This credential is best used by recent graduates or career-changers looking to carve out a niche in the data security field, but may be lacking the work experience required for SSCP or CISSP certification. Associates of (ISC)² gain access to the organization’s network of message boards, where like-minded professionals discuss matters of the trade, and establish themselves as dedicated, qualified candidates for solid IT security positions.
Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP): With the least demanding requirements among (ISC)² certifications that require work experience, the SSCP credential can give a leg up to entry-level data and network security personnel, as well as provide a functional understanding of security to professionals in non-security disciplines. Domains of work experience required for this credential include the following:
- Networks and communications
- Monitoring and analysis
- Risk, response and recovery
- Access control
Certified Authorization Professional (CAP): This credential helps systems professionals better assess and manage risk. It requires work experience in systems administration, information security policy, information assurance or one of many other domains.
Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP): According to the 2011 (ISC)² Global Information Security Workforce Study, application vulnerabilities took the top spot among information security threats. Any individual with more than four years’ experience in the software lifecycle is encouraged to earn this certification, which promotes attention to security at each phase of software development.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): This most lucrative of (ISC)² certifications holds the distinction of being the first information security credential accredited by the American National Standards Institute and the International Organization for Standardization. It requires five or more years of work experience in the IT security field, and mandatory domains include the following:
- Business continuity and disaster recovery planning
- Legal, regulations, investigations and compliance
- Security architecture and design
- Application development security
These internationally recognized credentials can help any security professional stand out in his or her field. Whether for a rookie or a veteran in the industry, (ISC)² certifications are worth considering.