Doing your research before you take the plunge and get a CISSP certification? Unsure of the impact a CISSP could have on your career?
In this article, we explore the various reasons professionals in the information security domain choose to obtain a CISSP certification, and the impact the credential would have on your own career.
First Things First: What Is The CISSP?
CISSP stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional. The certification is devised and presented by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium ((ISC)²), a global non-profit organization specializing in IT security. Often termed the world’s largest IT Security organization, (ISC)² maintains a Common Body of Knowledge for the domain, and offers various security certifications, including CISSP, CSSLP, and CAP.
The vendor-neutral CISSP certification is the ideal credential for those with proven deep technical and managerial competence, skills, experience, and credibility to design, engineer, implement, and manage their overall information security program to protect organizations from growing sophisticated attacks.
The CISSP was the first credential in the field of information security to meet the stringent requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17024. Not only is the CISSP an objective measure of excellence, it is also a globally recognized standard of achievement.
So Why Would I Want To Get A CISSP Certification?
There are many benefits why one could choose to have the CISSP certification, but we can explore three main areas that make this certification important.
Area A: Recognition
- We have to consider if the CISSP certification is recognized by the concerned industry (Information security)
Area B: Effort or Risk
- We would need to consider the amount of effort that is expended in acquiring the certification, including time, resources, and energy.
Area C: Earning and Advancement Potential
Consider the extent of future earnings accruable with a certification. Certified professionals stand to earn much more than their non-certified peers: a credential serves as validation of their skillset, proof of their commitment to professional advancement and domain expertise, and also acts as a seal of approval to prospective future employees.
Accordingly, after consultation with certified CISSP professionals, industry experts, and exam-trainers, we have arrived at a list of the most-important reasons you should consider adding a CISSP certification to your accomplishments:
The CISSP credential is a valued certification for most professionals and is highly respected by a majority of large, global majors like Google, P&G, IBM, etc. These organizations attest to the fact that the CISSP certification demonstrates an individual’s working knowledge of information security and commitment to their profession.
The US ISSEP has adopted this certification as a baseline for the NSA. And multiple sources have confirmed the CISSP certification as being one of the most recognized certifications in the IT industry. Bank Info Security is one such – according to BIS, CISSP continues to remain the most sought-after certification in the information security domain.
(ISC)2 reports from May, 2014, indicate that over 93,391 individuals have attained the CISSP credential in over 149 countries worldwide. Since its inception in 1989, the CISSP has been the most-popular IT security certification for over two and half decades, which speaks volumes about the worth certified professionals derive from acquiring a CISSP and its relevance in a changing world.
As the oldest IT security certification in the world, the CISSP certification is considered the grand-daddy of certifications and has had almost three decades to develop, resulting in a vast body of knowhow and expertise.
According to the Global Information Security and Workforce study, CISSP professionals earn a worldwide average salary that is 25% more than that of their non-certified counterparts. Most surveys such as the Tech Republic survey ranked jobs for CISSP professionals at number 4 in the top 15 highest paying jobs.
Surveys by professional organizations and market research firms also indicate CISSP employees earn more with a certification in hand (IDC, SANS).
In addition, surveys note that the salary-gap between members of the ISC2 and non-members continues to widen.
Scope of Roles
Information security is a crucial domain in any organization and with a CISSP credential; holders may find their job evolving into something even bigger. ISC2 has also stated that the CISSP certification serves as a differentiator for candidates, with the credential enhancing the marketability and credibility of a professional. Further, with information security becoming increasingly vital in organizations of all shapes, sizes, and types, holders of this certification are given a better welfare package compared to non-holders.
Stability Of Information Security Positions
According to ISC2’s Global Workforce Survey, 2013, prepared by Frost and Sullivan, information security is among the most stable professions in IT, with over 80% of respondents having had little to no change in their employment or employer status in the preceding year.
Must-Have For Some Roles
If you have been scouring the internet looking for IT related jobs, you may have seen many of the larger organizations listing the CISSP certification as a basic requirement. This is because the breadth and depth of CISSP training prepares a security professional to tackle any security threats to the IT infrastructure of an organization, and is considered to be the starting point for advanced security expertise.
As an illustration, the NSA lists this certification as a must-have for any position.
Increased Spending In IT Security
Over 33% of respondents on the Frost and Sullivan survey suggest an increase in budget availability and spending into the IT security domain. With a CISSP certification, you are assured of a place at the very front of the queue as increased spending begins to translates to IT security hiring sprees.
Highly-Regarded In The IT Sector
With respect to relative importance when securing infrastructure, CISSP professionals are considered more competent and effective than IT professionals specializing in other domains: software and hardware specialists are widely perceived as being lower down the ladder than security professionals, in terms of effectiveness.
Recent Trends And Technological Developments Call For CISSP Expertise
With such trends as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), cloud computing application, Social Media engagement, and Big Data-driven solutions spreading like wildfire, the need for CISSPs -who are trained not only to address security flaws effectively but also to manage large operations in environments that are not risk-averse- has never been greater.
With a CISSP certification, you are accorded automatic entry and membership to the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2. Members can avail of free access to the wealth of material available on the ISC2 website.
Membership brings in its wake other benefits and value-adds, such as access to a vast network of security professionals for knowledge transfer and exchange of ideas, discounts on industry conferences, subscription to ISC2’s digital magazine, membership to their Affiliated Local Interest Group program, etc.