You prove every day that you have what it takes to secure critical assets. But our profession is always changing, and even the brightest minds can benefit from having a guide on the journey to success. (ISC)² is here to help you discover the right path, create your plan and thrive throughout your career. The Ultimate Guide to the CISSP covers everything to know about the world’s premier cybersecurity certification. See how the CISSP – and (ISC)² – can distinguish you as a globally respected security leader.

In this guide, the following will be addressed:

  • Is the CISSP right for me?

  • CISSPs from around the globe

  • Fast facts about CISSP

  • Benefits of being CISSP-Certified

  • Benefits of (ISC)² membership

  • CISSP exam overview

  • Official CISSP training

  • Pathway to CISSP Certification

  • Free CPE opportunities

The CISSP is ideal for information security professionals seeking to prove their understanding of cybersecurity strategy and hands-on implementation. It shows you have the advanced knowledge and technical skills to design, develop and manage an organisation’s overall security posture.


To qualify for the CISSP, candidates must pass the exam and have at least five years of cumulative, paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the (ISC)² CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK®). A candidate who doesn’t yet have the required experience to become a CISSP may become an Associate of (ISC)² after successfully passing the CISSP exam. The Associate of (ISC)² will then have six years to earn the experience needed for CISSP certification.

Practical Application

Now, let's delve deeper into the importance of experience in the CISSP certification process. The requirement for a minimum of five years of cumulative, paid work experience ensures that CISSP holders not only possess theoretical knowledge but also have practical experience in the field. This hands-on experience is crucial for effectively managing and implementing cybersecurity strategies in real-world scenarios.

The Eight Domains

The eight domains of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge cover a broad spectrum of topics, including 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. Having experience in at least two of these domains demonstrates a well-rounded expertise in various aspects of information security.

Associate of (ISC)²

For those who have the knowledge but lack the required experience, the Associate of (ISC)² option provides a valuable opportunity. Successfully passing the CISSP exam grants you the 'Associate' status, allowing you to join the (ISC)² community and start benefiting from its resources and networking opportunities. The six-year timeframe to earn the necessary experience provides a realistic and flexible path for individuals at various stages of their careers.


The CISSP certification not only validates your skills and expertise but also opens doors to a global network of cybersecurity professionals. Being part of the (ISC)² community means having access to a wealth of knowledge, best practices, and collaborative opportunities. Networking with other CISSP-certified individuals allows you to stay updated on industry trends, learn from real-world experiences, and enhance your professional growth.

Worldwide Recognition

Moreover, the CISSP certification is recognised and respected worldwide. Employers value CISSP-certified professionals for their proven ability to safeguard critical assets and contribute to the overall security posture of an organisation. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your career in cybersecurity, holding the CISSP certification enhances your credibility and marketability in the competitive job market that values the software development life cycle.


The field of cybersecurity is dynamic, with new threats and technologies emerging regularly. The (ISC)² CISSP certification acknowledges the importance of continuous learning and professional development. CISSP-certified individuals are required to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits to maintain their certification as a certified information systems security. This ensures that CISSP holders stay current with the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices on security assessment.

CPE Activities

CPE activities can include attending conferences, participating in webinars, pursuing additional certifications, taking a certification exam, contributing to industry publications, and engaging in other activities that contribute to professional growth such as learning about security governance principles and asset security domain.

The commitment to ongoing learning not only benefits individual CISSP holders but also strengthens the overall cybersecurity community by promoting a culture of continuous improvement and knowledge sharing in software development security.


The CISSP certification is a powerful tool for information security professionals looking to advance their careers and make a significant impact in the field. The combination of rigorous exam requirements, practical experience, and a commitment to continuous learning sets the CISSP certifications apart as a premier cybersecurity certification.

As you start your CISSP journey, remember that it's not just a certification; it's a commitment to excellence and a demonstration of your dedication to the highest standards of information security. The (ISC)² community is here to support you every step of the way, providing resources for security audits, networking opportunities, and a platform to share your knowledge and experiences with an information systems security professional and their security services.

Earning the CISSP certification is a testament to your expertise, and it positions you as a leader in the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity. So, take the plunge, invest in your professional development, and join the ranks of CISSP-certified professionals who are shaping the future of information security. Your journey to becoming a globally respected security leader starts here, and (ISC)² is ready to guide you to success.

You can download the full guide here.

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