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What is CISSP Certification and how hard is the exam?

Cybersecurity is gaining importance as organizations are going digital. Individuals are willing to pursue certification courses in cybersecurity and acquire the skillset. One such certification that was released in 2003 was the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Certification. Today, the certification of CISSP is the premier credential awarded to individuals in IT security. This renowned credential is governed by International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2).

What is CISSP ?

The CISSP Certification is the benchmark credential that was launched by ISC2. Individuals pursuing this credential need vast experience in the cybersecurity field to obtain CISSP Certification. Professionals owning this credential demonstrate their skills in designing, implementing, and managing a robust cybersecurity system. The credential is globally recognized, assisting professionals to further their careers in IT Security. Several organizations even consider CISSP as the benchmark for recruiting security professionals. In a recent survey, it was observed that only 147,000 CISSP Certification holders are present all over the world. Hence, there is no doubt, holders of CISSP Certification are highly sought after.

Why do I need CISSP Certification?

Individuals pursuing CISSP Certification can look for career opportunities beyond the borders of their home country. Undergoing CISSP Certification Training assists candidates to gain hands-on experience in developing a top-notch cybersecurity system. Among the community of cybersecurity professionals, CISSP certified individuals gain credibility. The CISSP Certification is based on the latest practices followed in IT security. This entitles professionals to acquire updated knowledge on IT security concepts, terminologies, procedures, and techniques. Pursuing the certification enables individuals to become members of ISC2. This helps individuals network among their peers and exchange information about the latest trends in cybersecurity.

How Hard is the CISSP Exam?

How hard is the CISSP Exam, What is CISSP
How hard is the CISSP Exam

Prior to choosing CISSP Certification, individuals need to determine whether pursuing this renowned credential is the right path for them. On making this decision, individuals can go through the topics covered in the CISSP Exam. The ISC2 has set a certain set of requirements that have to be fulfilled by aspirants in order to pursue the CISSP Certification. An individual needs to mandatorily have 5 years of experience in 2 or more domains of cybersecurity. This showcases that the certification has a high entry barrier. The domains covered in the CISSP Certification is as follows:

  1. Security and Risk Management
  2. Asset Security
  3. Security Architecture and Engineering
  4. Communication and Network Security
  5. Identity and Access Management
  6. Security Assessment and Testing
  7. Security Operations
  8. Software Development Security

Each of these domains has different weights while attempting the CISSP Exam. The topic which is given utmost importance in the CISSP Exam is the Security and Risk Management domain. CISSP Exam consists of 250 questions that have to be answered within 6 hours. As a result, the difficulty of the exam solely depends on the preparation process of aspirants.

Some individuals may be well-versed in the field before taking up the exam. This may help them to clear it in the first attempt. On the other hand, a few individuals may commit a few common mistakes while taking up the exam. It is important to note that the CISSP Exam is difficult when compared to other cybersecurity certifications. The whole purpose of the certification is to highlight the skills of an individual in implementing IT Security system. Let us have a look at few tips which has helped individuals to clear the CISSP Exam.

Tips to clear CISSP Exam:

Tips to clear CISSP Exam
Tips to clear CISSP Exam
  • Know the exam format

The exam format plays a vital role in the preparation process of CISSP aspirants. Knowing the format of questions and the duration of the exam assists aspirants to prepare accordingly and manage their time.

  • Create a study plan

Having a study plan helps CISSP aspirants to equally give importance to all the topics that need to be covered for the CISSP Exam. This allows individuals to make ample time for taking practice exams and revise the topics well before the exam.

  • Enroll in CISSP Certification Training

Taking up the CISSP Certification Training course assists individuals to gain practical knowledge of the domains. The training sessions are designed to offer individuals hands-on experience in IT Security.

  • Take up mock tests

Mock Tests play an important role in determining an individual’s level of preparation. Taking up practice tests helps individuals to understand how the questions would be presented. Practice Exams for CISSP can be availed from various websites.

  • Refer multiple study resources

The reference book suggested by ISC2 is the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). However, individuals can refer to multiple resources while preparing for the CISSP Exam. Furthermore, individuals need to ensure that these reference books cover all the domains mentioned in the CBK.


Summing up, individuals aspiring to further their careers in cybersecurity need to showcase dedication and commitment. The CISSP Exam cannot be termed as difficult or easy as it depends on the efforts put in by aspirants. Individuals who are passionate about being risk managers or security managers can acquire CISSP Certification and land their dream jobs in large enterprises. Furthermore, CISSP certified professionals can grow in the field by engaging in various activities required to maintain the certification.

You may be also interested in reading CISSP vs CISA and CISSP vs CISM certification.

Posted in IT Governance

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