International Information Security Certification Consortium (ISC)²
The worldwide integration and use of the internet in the late ’80s and early ’90s led to a meaningful discussion about the need to secure information shared in cyberspace. The many contributing voices to this discussion meant a need to develop a standardized set of rules for the study and application of security measures.
Recognizing these needs, the International Information System Security Certification Consortium was formed as a non-profit organization, and it specialized in educating and certifying professionals working on information security. Today, (ISC)² has become the world’s largest IT security organization, and its certifications are respected globally.
An Introduction to (ISC)²
The world-renowned (ISC)² —pronounced eye-ess-cee squared—is a non-profit organization that was developed in 1989 for the sole purpose of educating and certifying individuals in the IT security industry. Since then, its’ phenomenal growth has seen the organization establish offices in the United States, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
(ISC)² also boasts of thousands of members in over 160 countries and a reputation second to none. The certification program is known for its Common Body of Knowledge framework, which serves as one of the guiding standards and principles for the IT security industry. Therefore, network security experts, IT security professionals, and engineers can validate their abilities by attaining an (ISC)² certificate.
Is the (ISC)² Certification Program for You?
Although your professional development is a personal matter, it is still essential for one to seek a more informed opinion from mentors and other sources of knowledge when pursuing a career.
Here, the benefits of becoming (ISC)² certified for both professionals and businesses will be discussed to help you make an educated decision when considering a certification program.
The Benefits of an (ISC)² certification
Anyone who is active in the cybersecurity industry has a lot to benefit from by partaking in the (ISC)² certification program. Aside from the knowledge to be gained, many other benefits will be explored in the coming paragraphs.
Benefits to IT Professionals
The Benefits to Corporate Organizations
(ISC)² Certification: An Overview
The entire (ISC)² certification program is built on the backs of seven core disciplines in information security. These certificate programs were developed with professionals and IT security practitioners working in the cybersecurity niche. The professional certification programs include:
The first step to becoming certified is obtaining your SSCP credentials; this grants you the status of an Associate (ISC)² professional as well as one of the critical prerequisites needed to get a specialized certificate. It is also important to note that the same certification path applies to CAP, CSSLP, or CISSP. And professionals with these credentials fall under the Associate of the (ISC)² umbrella.
The SSCP certification program focuses on IT administration and the task that comes with integrating the necessary security policies to keep an IT infrastructure standardized and its data secure. The program is ideal for network security engineers, system administrators, and security analysts looking to validate their abilities.
Examinations—the SSCP program consists of an exam that tests your understanding of the IT operational roles needed to ensure security. The topics to be covered by interested candidates cover 7 CBK domains, including:
The SSCP exam runs for 3 hours, and it consists of 125 multiple choice questions prepared for participants and interested in sitting for the program? Then you are required to have a minimum of a year’s experience working full-time in one of the specified domains. Successful candidates are automatically Associates of (ISC)² and are privy to the benefits that come with the association.
As with all (ISC)² certifications, the CISSP is a vendor-neutral program dedicated to IT security. It also happens to be the most visible and popular certification program (ISC)² has to offer. The program was designed to help network security specialists, engineers, network architects, etc., interested in pursuing a professional certificate program. Therefore, if you fall into the category of people who implement, manage, and troubleshoot IT security issues, the CISSP was developed for you.
Examination—the CISSP examination you have to pass to become certified is designed to test your knowledge on the eight domains of CISSP’s standard body of knowledge. This means you will have to be conversant with;
The length of the exam is 6 hours, and, in that time, you will be tasked with answering 250 multiple choice questions. It is also important to note that you are expected to have a minimum of 5 years of experience working in at least 2 of the above-listed CBK niches. It is also important to note that the certificate is valid for three years and to recertify; you are expected to earn at least 40 CPE credits annually for the succeeding three years.
CAP certification program focuses on measuring your understanding of management and your skill with authorizing and maintaining information systems. The program was developed for information security experts, IT managers, and system managers looking to validate their abilities to assess, secure, and authorize interactions within an IT ecosystem.
Examinations—like other programs offered by (ISC)², it is essential to note that the CAP exam is vendor-neutral and focuses on seven domains of the CAP certification program CBK. These domains include;
The exams covering these seven domains consist of 125 multiple choice questions, which you must answer to the best of your abilities in 3 hours. There are specific criteria you need to meet in other to be able to sit the exam. This includes; work experience of 2 years in any of the seven domains listed above and an understanding of (ISC)² code of ethics.
The CAP certificate remains valid for three years, and if you are interested in recertification, you will have to earn a minimum of 20 CPE points every year for the three years your certificate remains valid. This means a total of 60 CPE points get you recertified.
The CSSLP program was developed as a means for everyone involved in the software industry to validate their abilities. Therefore, if you are a software developer, architect, project manager, quality assurance provider, etc., the CSSLP is a great way to highlight your particular skill sets. The entire program focuses on software design, implantation, testing, and deployment.
Examinations—the CSSLP program focuses on what it takes for you to build secure software through its entire lifecycle. The program is centered on eight domains of the CSSLP’s CBK. These domains include;
The examination runs for 4 hours, and it consists of 175 multiple choice questions covering the above domains. To be considered as a participant for CSSLP, you are required to have at least four years of experience working full-time in at least one of the domains outlined above. The certificate’s validity expires after three years, and to recertify, you will have to earn at least 30 CPE credits annually for three years and also pay an annual fee of $100.
The CCSP is a certification program backed by both the (ISC)² and the Cloud Security Alliance—a cloud computing non-governmental organization. The certification program focuses on providing Systems Engineers, enterprise architects, security experts, and IT managers with a way to validate their abilities. It is also one of the popular certifications (ISC)² has to offer.
Examinations—if interested in attaining the CCSP certificate, it is essential for you to seek knowledge across the different domains that make up the entire program. There are 6 CBK domains that make up the CCSP, and they are:
The CCSP exam runs for 4 hours, and in that time, you will be expected to answer 125 multiple-choice questions focused on the six domain niches above. In order to be a part of the CCSP program, it is essential to note that there are specific requirements you are required to meet.
These requirements include; a minimum of 5 years of experience working within one of the above niches, and it is essential to note that 3 of these years must be from the field of information technology.
The CCSP certificate is valid for only three years, and recertification must be considered if you want to keep your certificate. The recertification process consists of acquiring at least 30 CPE credits annually as well as the payment of an annual $100 fee. This means you require a total of 90 CPE units for the three years your certificate stays valid.
The Salary Advantages of Obtaining an (ISC)² Certificate
Everyone, including you, believes that acquiring an (ISC)² certificate is a pathway to both personal and professional development in the field of IT security, and this is indeed true. One of the significant advantages your certification will give you is the ability to earn more than your peers without one.
Since its inception, the (ISC)² has remained one of the most popular IT security certification bodies in the tech community. Today, (ISC)² boasts of thousands of members across 160 nations. Successfully participating in its programs puts you in its select community of professionals with validated credentials.
Our (ISC)² Training Programs: