Jon Baleva Jan 25, 2024
Entrance Tips

What is CISSP: An Introduction to CISSP Exam

Cyber Security professionals use the CISSP certification to validate their skills and knowledge in information security. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam evaluates the candidate's ability in 8 different domains, including risk management, cryptography, physical security, social engineering attacks like phishing and spear-phishing. The level of difficulty for the exam can vary depending on what domain you are testing.

A CISSP certification is a valuable credential in the information security industry, recognizing your commitment to ongoing professional development and knowledge of how to design, engineer, implement and manage security systems.

The CISSP Certification is one of the most highly respected certifications for any IT Security Professional. It has also been getting more popular over the years, with an average increase in demand. In this blog post, we will discuss what CISSP stands for, why it is essential, and an overview of the CISSP examination.

What is CISSP?

CISSP stands for "Certified Information Systems Security Professional" and is an advanced information security certification that demonstrates a high level of competency in the cybersecurity field. CISSP is developed by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ICS)2.

CISSP is designed for individuals who know about computer and network security, risk management, disaster recovery planning, and legal issues related to IT systems. Their expertise can also include cybercrime laws and regulations, international aspects of IT security such as cross-cultural communication skills or diplomacy. As a part of Cyber Security Courses, CISSP is a certification sought by IT professionals to gain adequate cybersecurity knowledge and CISSP credentials. With the CISSP Training, they will have the hands-on experience of a professional that well-reputed firms highly demand.

Why get CISSP Certification?

CISSP is one of the most recognized certifications in cybersecurity. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) primarily focus on information security management to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of an organization's data from unauthorized access or destruction by employing a wide range of technical measures.

The CISSP certification is one way to prove your competence as a cybersecurity professional. It demands rigorous educational standards from candidates who wish to become certified professionals in this field. CISSP Certification covers all aspects of cyber threats, such as policies and legal issues like intellectual property rights protection laws. Therefore, it is one of the most valued information security certifications in the world.

The benefits of the CISSP certification includes :

  • Maximize earning potential from reputed companies
  • Increased credibility
  • Immense career growth and potential
  • Qualified knowledge about all aspects of cybersecurity
  • High-level positions in leading companies

What is the CISSP Exam?

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designation is an internationally recognized certification for professionals who work with cybersecurity strategies and demonstrate their commitment to professional development.

The CISSP exam is a 6-hour long exam with 250 questions. The computer-based testing of the CISSP exam through Pearson VUE retained the question count and the time limit of the predecessor exam format.

CISSP CAT is the current model of exam employed by (ICS)2. CAT stands for Computer Adaptive Test. The duration and number of questions have reduced to 3 hours and a minimum of 100 questions. To obtain a result, the candidate must answer a minimum of 75 scored questions.

The CISSP exam includes topics of eight domains of common body knowledge. It comprises Security and Risk Management, Asset Security, Security Engineering, Communications and Network Security, Identity and Access Management, Security Assessment and Testing, Security Operations, and Software Development Security.

What are the CISSP eligibility requirements?

CISSP requires a comprehensive understanding of IT Infrastructure Security issues. In addition, it should know how to safeguard information by protecting its disclosure from unauthorized access through knowledge about operating systems in use today with their different features.

Hence, CISSP Certification is ideal for those with a minimum of 5 years of experience in two or more of the eight domains. It includes positions such as:

  • Security Manager
  • Security Auditor
  • Network Architect
  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Director of Security
  • Security Systems Engineer
  • Security Analyst

The Eight Domains of CISSP Certification

The domains are the groupings of topics defined and organized by (ISC)2 based upon their survey of the cybersecurity industry, previously referred to by the term Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) and their annual Cybersecurity Workforce Study. The CISSP exam has eight domains:

  • Security and Risk Management
  • Asset and Security
  • Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Security Operations
  • Software Development and Security

1.Security and Risk Management

The first domain is Security and Risk Management, which deals with the protection and a comprehensive overview of information system management. This domain includes security policies, procedures and plans, service continuity planning, risk assessment and management, information assurance principles for IT products, including hardware, software and wireless technologies.

2.Asset Security

The Asset Security domain deals with the protection of information systems. It includes identification and authentication management, authorization control measures, classification and ownership of information and assets. It also covers privacy, retention periods, data security controls and handling requirements.

3.Security Architecture and Engineering

The Security Architecture and Engineering domain authorises the design, implementation and management of a secure infrastructure. It includes governance principles for IT security, engineering processes using certain design principles, fundamental concepts of security models, security capabilities of information systems, assessing and mitigating vulnerabilities in systems, cryptography and designing and implementing physical security.

4.Communication and Network Security

Communication and Network Security focus on securing the network infrastructure, designing secure communication channels to ensure confidentiality of data transmitted over a public medium. The domain covers security design principles of network security, secure network components, and secure communication channels.

5.Identity and Access Management

The Identity and Access Management domain covers the security of user access to data, network resources, or other privileges. It includes physical and logical access, integrating identity as a service, and authorization mechanisms. This includes authentication process design for physical and logical systems, biometrics, credentials, certificates, smart cards, and procedures for managing risk associated with losing these means on individual users or organizations.

6.Security Assessment and Testing

The Security Assessment and Testing domain covers the design, performance, and analysis of security testing. It includes management practices to identify vulnerabilities in software and network configurations, evaluate risks associated with new products or system changes and develop tests for assessing the effectiveness of countermeasures of known threats. It also encompasses security control testing, collecting security process data, test outputs, and internal audits.

7.Security Operations

Security Operations is concerned with providing security services and includes all related tasks to monitor, detect, prevent, and respond to computer crime incidents. It covers developing an incident response plan, conducting forensic analysis on compromised systems, performing vulnerability management such as patching or remediating reported vulnerabilities promptly. The Security Operations domain covers incident management, disaster recovery, business continuity, and managing physical security.

8.Software Development Security

The Software Development Security domain is concerned with providing security services and includes all related tasks to secure the development, testing, deployment and maintenance of software. It covers building a risk management strategy for each project, security in the software development lifecycle, effectiveness in software security, securing business logic in application programming interfaces, and secure coding guidelines and standards.

CISSP Test Format and Exam Cost

A certification like the CISSP will not only boost your resume but provide you access to more lucrative salary opportunities worldwide. The CISSP exam is a computer-based test that consists of 250 multiple choice and 25 performance-based questions. The passing score for the CISSP exam is 700/1000 or 70%. It costs around $699 to take the examination, which can be taken at Pearson VUE testing centres in 120 countries.

In addition, the CISSP CAT format is the current, most precise form of testing that needs only a minimum of 100 questions answered. Thus, it enables you to prove your knowledge by answering fewer items and completing the exam in half the time.


Jon Baleva is an IT professional with 20 years of experience in programming and networking. He is an expert in Python & IT Security domains as well as in Operating Systems (OS). He has trained professionals and students in IT Programming courses, Microsoft Azure, Linux   & MAC OS. He is also a writer who writes on tech-related topics for various tech magazines in Philippine. He is now an IT Trainer with Edoxi Training Institute, Dubai.