Global Knowledge announced in its 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report that the Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification, also known as CISSP, helps professionals earn some of the largest salaries in the information technology field. Posting a mean salary figure of $100,735 annually, personnel who hold CISSP certification provide qualified and advanced security support in one or many of several vital domains of the IT industry.
Why get CISSP certification?
The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, better known as (ISC)², or ISC squared, is the longest-standing body issuing professional credentials in the field of information security, and the CISSP certification holds the distinction of being the oldest of such credentials still in circulation. Limited to IT personnel with five years or more of experience in the information security industry, this certification prepares individuals for the responsibilities of developing and managing the policies, procedures and standards of IT security.
Specific requirements for CISSP certification
(ISC)² mandates that a candidate for CISSP certification have experience in two or more of the following domains:
- Legal, regulations, investigations and compliance
- Physical or environmental security
- Operations security
- Business continuity and disaster recovery planning
- Telecommunications and network security
- Application development security
- Security architecture and design
- Information security governance and risk management
- Access control
This internationally recognized credential stands to benefit nearly any professional with the required experience and the desire to join the upper ranks of the information security workforce.
CISSP training concentrations
The continuous evolution of the IT security field prompted (ISC)² to develop specific credential areas to match the demands of particular skill sets. Here's a brief rundown of each:
- The concentration in information security architecture requires two years in an information architecture profession and qualifies candidates to develop, design, or analyze overall plans of security on information networks.
- The information security engineering concentration, developed in tandem with the U.S. National Security Agency, gives security personnel the training necessary to incorporate workable security methodologies into business processes, applications, and all information systems.
- The CISSP concentration that focuses on information security management contains deeper elements of managerial practice than the rest, including risk management, project management, security awareness and business continuity planning.
CISSP boot camps
CISSP boot camps are designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of an internationally recognized body of information security standards and practices. Boot camps can deliver the knowledge and skills necessary to earn this credential in accelerated learning environments, with on-site testing services.
A 7-day official CISSP boot camp, offered by an (ISC)² authorized provider, encompasses lectures, lab work, review sessions, up-to-date courseware and exam preparation kits, and even post-class support. Candidates must have experience in two or more of the listed career specializations, known as Common Body of Knowledge or CBK domains. Candidates may have a background such as IT security consultant, information systems auditor, security architect or chief information officer.
Intensive immersion boot camps from third-party training organizations are generally in-person, but online variants also exist. Some boot camps also come with self-paced online pre-study courses. CISSP boot camps may feature an exam-pass guarantee and free exam re-sit if needed, along with self-assessment exercises, mentoring and a mock exam. It's important to find a training provider that synchronizes its materials with the latest (ISC)² information; for example, some changes are coming in CBK names as of January 1st, 2012.
CISSP certification and the job market
Only 235 of the 12,000 professionals surveyed for the 2011 Global Knowledge report possessed CISSP certification. IT personnel with the proper experience and expertise can gain vital value in the career marketplace as holders of a Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification, and may stand confident that they can produce results that surpass global quality standards.