Essential CISSP Requirements: Complete Cybersecurity Excellence

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Sara Ali

May 2, 2023


5 min read

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In an evolving digital environment such as today’s, cybercrimes are more common than ever. Organizations and people alike are completely aware of the importance of safeguarding sensitive information from the ever-increasing threat of cyber assaults.

As a result, the field of cybersecurity has become increasingly critical and these organisations or individuals are seeking for trained individuals who can effectively navigate the complexities of cybersecurity and safeguard their sensitive information from cyber threats. 

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential, issued by the International Information System Security credential Consortium (ISC), is one of the most recognized in the cybersecurity sector. In this article, we will look into the CISSP requirements and explore the various aspects related to it.

Introduction to CISSP

Definition of CISSP

CISSP stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional. It is a worldwide recognized credential that verifies cybersecurity professionals’ knowledge and abilities in planning, executing, and managing information security programs. CISSP certification is awarded by the ISC², a renowned organization that sets the standard for information security certifications.

Importance of CISSP Certification

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise in today’s fast-paced digital environment, posing substantial hazards to corporations, governments, and individuals. Organizations are increasingly seeking skilled professionals who can protect their valuable data and mitigate cyber risks.

The CISSP certification is highly appreciated in the business since it indicates an individual’s knowledge of information security. It has the ability to improve cybersecurity experts’ career prospects, open up new work options, and raise their earning potential.

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Overview of CISSP Requirements

To obtain CISSP certification, candidates must meet certain eligibility criteria, pass a rigorous exam, and fulfill continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. The following sections will provide a detailed overview of these CISSP requirements.

What is CISSP Certification?

CISSP Requirements: Shield of Complete Cybersecurity Excellence

The CISSP certification is a globally recognized credential that validates cybersecurity professionals’ skills and knowledge in areas such as security and risk management, asset security, security architecture and engineering, communication and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations, and software development security.

Who Should Pursue CISSP Certification?

CISSP certification is more suitable for experienced professionals who are looking to upskill their careers in the field of information security. It is suitable for individuals who have a solid foundation in cybersecurity and possess a minimum of five years of cumulative, paid work experience in two or more of the eight CISSP domains.

CISSP certification is well-suited for security consultants, security managers, IT directors, chief information security officers (CISOs), and other high-level security professionals.

CISSP Requirements

CISSP Requirements: Shield of Complete Cybersecurity Excellence

Eligibility Criteria for CISSP Certification

To be eligible for CISSP certification, candidates must meet certain criteria set by ISC². The minimum CISSP requirements include:

  • Five years of cumulative, paid work experience in two or more of the CISSP domains, or four years of work experience with a relevant college degree, or an approved credential from the CISSP Prerequisite Pathway.
  • Passing the CISSP exam, which consists of 100-150 multiple-choice and advanced innovative questions, testing the candidate’s knowledge and expertise in the eight CISSP domains.
  • Agreeing to abide by the ISC² Code of Ethics and completing the endorsement process, which requires the candidate to be endorsed by an existing CISSP, or other approved professional, who can verify the candidate’s professional experience.

CISSP Exam Details

The CISSP exam is a challenging and comprehensive test which covers a wide range of topics involving information security. The exam is designed to assess the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in the eight CISSP domains, which are:

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

It is a computer-based exam and is administered by Pearson VUE, who is a global leader in computer-based testing. The passing scaled score for the CISSP exam is 700 out of 1000, and the candidate has up to 3 hours to complete the exam.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Requirements

CISSP Requirements: Shield of Complete Cybersecurity Excellence

Once an individual acquires CISSP certification, they are further required to maintain their certification through continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

CISSP-certified professionals must earn and submit a minimum of 40 CPE credits annually, with a total of 120 CPE credits required over a three-year certification cycle. Attending conferences, participating in webinars, writing articles, and engaging in other professional development activities relating to information security can help you earn CPE credits.

Preparing for CISSP

Steps to Prepare for CISSP Exam
Preparing for the CISSP exam requires dedication, time, and effort. Here are some steps to help candidates prepare for the exam:

Understand the CISSP domains: Familiarize yourself with the eight CISSP domains and their respective knowledge areas. Review the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) to gain a thorough understanding of the exam topics.

Create a study plan: Develop a study plan that suits your schedule and allows you to cover all the CISSP domains in a systematic manner. Set realistic goals and allocate time for studying, reviewing, and practicing.

Utilize study materials: Choose reliable study materials, such as CISSP textbooks, study guides, online resources, and practice exams. Ensure that the materials are up-to-date and aligned with the latest CISSP exam objectives.

Join a study group or engage in discussions with fellow CISSP aspirants: Collaborating with other candidates can provide valuable insights, exchange of ideas, and help clarify any doubts or concepts.

Practice with mock exams: Taking practice exams to familiarize yourself with the exam format, types of questions, and time management will help you analyze your performance and identify areas that need improvement.

Review regularly: Review your study materials regularly to reinforce your understanding of the CISSP domains. Focus on areas where you may be weak and seek additional resources or guidance if needed.

Stay updated with industry trends: Stay informed about the latest trends, best practices, and technologies in the field of information security through industry publications, websites, and forums.

Manage exam day stress: Practice relaxation techniques and ensure you get enough sleep before the exam day. Arrive early at the exam center and carry all the required documents and identification.

Benefits of CISSP Certification

Obtaining CISSP certification can bring numerous benefits to professionals in the field of information security. Some of the key advantages include:

Career advancement: CISSP certification is widely recognized and respected in the industry, and it can open up new career opportunities, such as higher-level security roles, management positions, and consulting engagements.

Higher earning potential: CISSP-certified professionals typically command higher salaries compared to non-certified peers due to their specialized skills and expertise.

Industry recognition: CISSP certification demonstrates your commitment to the information security profession and showcases your competency and credibility to employers, clients, and peers.

Enhanced knowledge and skills: Preparing for the CISSP exam requires in-depth study of the CISSP domains, which enhances your knowledge and skills in various areas of information security.

Networking opportunities: CISSP certification provides access to a global community of information security professionals, allowing you to network, share knowledge, and learn from industry experts.

Is CISSP Beginner-Friendly?

CISSP Requirements: Shield of Complete Cybersecurity Excellence

The CISSP certification is considered an advanced-level certification and is typically targeted towards experienced professionals in the field of information security.

While the certification does not explicitly require a specific number of years of experience, it is recommended to have a solid foundation and practical knowledge of information security concepts, technologies, and practices before attempting the CISSP exam.

It is advisable for beginners to gain relevant work experience and obtain other entry-level certifications, such as CompTIA Security+ or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), as a stepping stone towards the CISSP certification.

Is CISSP Permanent?

The CISSP certification is not permanent. To maintain the CISSP credential, certified professionals are required to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits and submit them on a regular basis.

The CISSP certification requires earning a minimum of 40 CPE credits annually and 120 CPE credits within a three-year certification cycle.

CPE credits can be obtained through various activities, such as attending training sessions, participating in industry conferences, publishing articles, or engaging in professional development activities related to information security.


The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is not a mandatory requirement for obtaining the CISSP certification.

CISSP focuses on broader information security concepts, while CCNA is specifically focused on networking technologies.

However, having a strong understanding of networking fundamentals can be beneficial for professionals pursuing the CISSP certification.

It is recommended to have a well-rounded knowledge of information security domains, including networking, but obtaining the CCNA certification itself is not a prerequisite for CISSP.


CISSP Requirements: Shield of Complete Cybersecurity Excellence

CISSP certification is a very valuable credential for experienced professionals who are looking to advance their careers in the field of information security. It requires meeting certain eligibility criteria, passing a comprehensive exam, and fulfilling continuing education requirements.

CISSP Requirements includes: Proper preparation, including understanding the CISSP domains, creating a study plan, utilizing study materials, practicing with mock exams, and staying updated with industry trends, can increase your chances of success.

Obtaining CISSP certification can bring benefits such as career advancement, higher earning potential, industry recognition, enhanced knowledge and skills, and networking opportunities.

To check out certifications and career options, check out these amazing blogs!

Can CISSP Certification Help Enhance Collaboration Between IT and Non-IT Departments?

Absolutely! The CISSP certification can play a vital role in fostering collaboration between IT and non-IT departments within an organization. By obtaining the CISSP certification, professionals gain a comprehensive understanding of information security principles and practices, enabling them to effectively communicate and bridge the gap between technical and non-technical teams.

Can I Take the CISSP Exam if I’m Not a Full-Time Employee?

Yes, you can take the CISSP exam even if you’re not a full-time employee. The certification is open to professionals in various employment arrangements, including part-time employees, independent consultants, and freelancers. What matters most is your knowledge, skills, and experience in information security. The CISSP certification recognizes expertise regardless of employment status, as long as you meet the other requirements and pass the exam.

Can I Pursue the CISSP Certification if I Have a Non-Technical Background?

Absolutely! While a technical background can be advantageous, the CISSP certification is designed to encompass a wide range of information security domains. It values diverse perspectives and encourages professionals from various backgrounds, including business, law, and management, to pursue the certification. The key is to have a solid understanding of information security principles and the ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.
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