• March 11, 2024

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to CISSP


Information security is becoming more important than ever in our digital world. Organizations are looking for qualified people to safeguard their important data and assets as cyber threats continue to develop and become more sophisticated. 

One of the most prestigious and widely recognized qualifications for information security professionals is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. In this ultimate beginner’s guide, we’ll explore what CISSP is, its requirements, how to become certified, the CISSP exam, associated costs, training options, concentrations, benefits, statistics on information systems jobs, and CISSP salaries. 


CISSP, short for Certified Information Systems Security Professional, is a certification offered by (ISC)², the International Information System Security Certification Consortium. CISSP is designed to validate the expertise and knowledge of information security professionals. It is widely regarded as a benchmark for professionals working in the field of cybersecurity. CISSP covers a broad spectrum of security topics, making it an excellent choice for those aspiring to become security experts.


Before you can pursue the CISSP certification, you must meet certain prerequisites. These requirements are designed to ensure that candidates have the necessary background and experience to tackle the CISSP exam effectively: 

  1. Experience: You must have a minimum of five years of full-time work experience in two or more of the eight CISSP domains. However, you can substitute one year of experience with a relevant four-year college degree or an approved credential from (ISC)²’s list.
  2. Endorsement: After passing the CISSP exam, you need an existing (ISC)² member to endorse your application, attesting to your professional experience.


Becoming CISSP certified involves several steps: 

  1. Study: Acquire the necessary knowledge and skills through self-study, training courses, or CISSP exam prep books. Online resources, study guides, and practice exams are available to help you prepare (learn.cyberfrat.com).
  2. Exam Registration: Register for the CISSP exam through the (ISC)² website. Choose a suitable exam location and date.
  3. Pass the Exam: Successfully complete the CISSP exam, which consists of 250 multiple-choice questions. You have up to six hours to complete it. Candidate needs to score at least 700 points out of 1000 points to pass the examination
  4. Endorsement: Once you pass the exam, submit your endorsement application to (ISC)² for verification.
  5. Pay Annual Maintenance Fees: Maintain your certification by paying annual maintenance fees and earning continuing professional education (CPE) credits.


Knowledge and skills in various information security domains. The eight domains covered in the exam are: 

  1. Security and Risk Management (15%)
  2. Asset Security (10%)
  3. Security Architecture and Engineering (13%)
  4. Communication and Network Security (13%)
  5. Identity and Access Management (IAM) (13%)
  6. Security Assessment and Testing (12%)
  7. Security Operations (13%)
  8. Software Development Security (11%)

To pass the exam, you need to demonstrate your proficiency in each of these domains. Proper preparation is crucial, and many candidates opt for formal training or exam prep courses. 


There are several training options available to help you prepare for the CISSP exam: 

  1. Self-Study: Many candidates opt for self-study using CISSP study guides and practice exams. (ISC)² also provides official study materials.
  2. Training Courses: Various organizations and institutions offer CISSP training courses, which can be classroom-based or online. (Visit learn.cyberfrat.com for full training)
  3. Boot Camps: CISSP boot camps are intensive, short-term training programs designed to prepare you for the exam in a matter of days.


Earning the CISSP certification offers several advantages, including: 

  1. Global Recognition: CISSP is recognized worldwide as a symbol of excellence in information security.
  2. Career Advancement: CISSP certification can open doors to higher-paying positions and leadership roles in cybersecurity.
  3. Network Building: Becoming part of the CISSP community allows you to network with fellow professionals in the field.


After completing CISSP certifications one can get many job roles in the security domain top ones include: 

  1. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO): The CISO is the highest-ranking information security officer in an organization. They are responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s overall information security strategy and ensuring that security initiatives align with business goals.  Salary Scale: $106,727 to $203,345 
  2. Security Manager/Director: Security managers or directors oversee an organization’s entire security program. They are responsible for developing security policies, managing security teams, and ensuring compliance with regulations and standards.  Salary Scale: $81,930 to $140,311 
  3. Security Architect: Security architects design and build the security infrastructure for organizations. They create security frameworks, develop security policies, and ensure that security measures are integrated into all aspects of an organization’s IT environment.  Salary Scale: $90,834 to $153,280 
  4. Information Security Analyst: Information security analysts are responsible for protecting an organization’s computer systems and networks. They monitor for security breaches, investigate security incidents, and implement security measures to safeguard data. Salary Scale: $90,834 to $153,280


In addition to the standard CISSP certification, (ISC)² offers specialized concentrations for CISSP holders who want to deepen their expertise in specific areas of cybersecurity. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the available concentrations were: 

  1. CISSP Concentration in Architecture (CISSP-ISSAP): Focused on security architecture and infrastructure.
  2. CISSP Concentration in Engineering (CISSP-ISSEP): Concentrates on security engineering principles.
  3. CISSP Concentration in Management (CISSP-ISSMP): Emphasizes leadership and management skills.


Becoming a CISSP-certified professional can be a rewarding career move, providing you with the knowledge and credentials needed to excel in the dynamic field of information security. With the ever-increasing importance of cybersecurity, CISSP certification can open doors to a wide range of opportunities in both the public and private sectors. For more information and full CISSP training visit: learn.cyberfrat.com.

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