Which is Better CISSP or CISM?

CISSP or CISM

The world has shifted to digital platforms like never before. Even during the time of the pandemic, it was the digital platforms and services that were making the work even possible. So with the increase of data and services in digital platforms, it has even become more prone to data breaches and security threats. Over the past ten years, there have been 300 Data Breaches involving the theft of 100,000 or more records. Also, the United States saw 1244 Data Breaches in 2018 and had 446.5 million exposed records. 

There is a need for organizations to keep their database and networks protected. It is time that there is a huge demand for cybersecurity professionals across the world. While the supply of professionals is very less compared to demand. As such the organizations are willing to pay even more salaries to get these professionals hired. Also, the cybersecurity roles will be seeing evolution as well in the future just like other technical roles. We can say that it will be safe for professionals to opt for cybersecurity as a career option.

Getting a cyber security certification is the best way to demonstrate your skills in the field. When you have some experience in this domain, you can choose any one of the renowned cyber security certifications for your career growth. Two of the top certifications are CISSP and CISM. The information security professionals looking for CISSP Training online or CISM course must read the rest of the article to find out what are these and the role they play in your career. 

 What is CISSP?

CISSP stands for Certified Information System Security, which is offered by the ISC2 (International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium). The CISSP is a first-ever certification in the field of cybersecurity which is ISO/IEC 17024 and ANSI ISO/IEC 17024:2003 CERTIFIED that makes it an international standard. The CISSP has also got approval from the US Department of Defense in both the Information Assurance Managerial(IAM) and Information Assurance Managerial(IAT). Also regarded as a baseline for the U.S national security agency ISSEP program.

So, the CISSP certifies a professional on the basis of their capabilities and expertise in all aspects of cyber-security. The CISSP certified professionals define the design, architecture, controls, and management of secured business environments.

The eligibility criteria for the candidates is that they should have at least five years of full-time work experience in the relevant field, as per the guidelines by ISC2 CISSP CBK (Common Body of Knowledge). In case the candidates don’t have the work experience, then they must have a four-year bachelor’s degree or an equivalent education background recognized under ISC 2 list. The non- experienced candidates are not offered the CISSP credibility but they are offered associate-level certificates, which can provide them opportunities in the cybersecurity field.

CISSP conducts a six-hour exam, which has 250 questions. We can say that cracking the CISSP exam is quite challenging. The Topics covered in the CISSP are the following:

  •  Access control systems and technology
  • Systems and application security development
  •  Cryptography
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity plans
  • Investigation laws and ethics
  • Security models and architectures
  • Physical security
  • Best management practices
  •  Networking and telecommunications security
  •  Operations Security 

If you successfully clear the CISSP certification, the job profiles that you will get are Security Architect, Network Architect, Security Consultant, Security Analyst, Security Auditor, Security Manager, Security Systems Engineer, Director of Security, IT manager/ Director, Chief Information Security Manager.

What is CISM?

CISM stands for Certified Information Security Manager and is offered by a non- profit organization named ISACA. This demonstrates the candidate’s ability in areas of Information security governance, program development management, incident management, and risk management. CISM is right for those professionals who gained expertise in all the cybersecurity aspects and want to move ahead with their careers by managing those technical aspects.

CISM is accredited under ISO/IEC 17024:2012. So the domains in which CISM mainly checks out expertise are information security governance, information risk management, information security program development and management, information security incident management.

The CISM certification process conducts the exam which has 200 multiple-choice questions. The ICASA standard committee has set 450 as the standard passing score for getting certified. As mentioned earlier, the topics covered in the exam are Information security, information risk management and compliance, information security program development and management, information security incident management.

The eligibility criteria required for the candidates to fulfill are that CISM requires at least 5 years of verified work experience in the field of information security, along with management experience of three or more CISM areas. The experience must be gained within the 10 years preceding from the date of application for the exam. In case, the individual doesn’t have it, then must go through the detailed guidelines provided by ISACA for the Examination.

Getting a certification in CISM is also quite challenging, but after the individual has invested the time and resources into it, it will be worthwhile for him to retain it for the longer-term. So, the professional must be excellent in his skills and provide valuable experiences to the business challenges. The ISACA also renews the certification and for that, the candidate must complete 20 Continuing professional Hours(CPE) annually and pay the cost as per the requirement of ISACA.

The job roles that you can get after getting certified in CISM are security designer, security consultant, security auditor, information risk manager, information risk consultant, chief information officer, chief operating officer, chief technology officer, chief Information Security officer, chief Architecture officer, etc.

CISSP or CISM – Which One Should I Achieve?

From the mentioned explanation of the CISSP and CISM, it is quite clear that both of these certifications are equally challenging and popular ones for technical professionals. Acquiring these certifications will give them global accreditation for the lifetime. In Linked In it is observed that the jobs for CISSP professionals are more than 55000 worldwide. And for CISM the job openings are more than 10,000 worldwide. No doubt that it opens the door for a wide range of wonderful opportunities across the world. 

But one question always remains in mind, which certification should one go for? So answering this question is not a straightforward one but rather it depends upon the skills and capabilities of the individual. Both of these certifications require experience in the information security domain. CISM and CISSP lead to different career paths. The CISSP leads a professional to more technical domains in information security. Mostly they gain expertise as an information security engineer and higher roles associated with it. The CISM leads an individual to the managerial roles in the domains of information security, particularly of a consultant, analyst, or manager. 

So the key here is to ask yourself your long-term career goals. See whether you like to dig deeper into the information security or you are more of a team leader who wishes to manage those operations. The choice is that of an individual and differs among professionals. It is also seen that professionals also opt for both certifications. They start with CISSP and then upgrade their career in managerial roles with the help of CISM. 

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