How to Earn the CISSP Certification: Cost, Requirement and Study Tips

How to Earn the CISSP Certification: Cost, Requirement and Study Tips

Certified Information Systems Security professional that’s where you get the acronym CISSP. CISSP certification is hosted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)2. These are the folks who actually sponsor and have created an award for the CISSP certification


The focus of the CISSP certification is vendor neutrality, which adds and makes your credential ideal 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 their organization form vector attacks. It’s really for anybody in the InfoSec domain, be it security consultants, analysts, managers, systems engineers, CIO, auditors, Network architects, etc.

A minimum of 5 years of full-time security work experience in two or more of the 8 domains of the CISSP CBK is required.

  • Introduction to Security and Risk Management.
  • Asset Security.
  • Security Architecture and Engineering.
  • Communication and Network Security.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Security Assessment and Testing.
  • Security Operations.
  • Software Development Security.

Remember that every domain is no identical and differ completely from each other, so prioritize each domain with equal and undivided attention.

The length of the exam is revised from 6 hours to 3 hours with 100-150 questions in which you have to score a total of 700 out of 1000 to pass the exam. There is a catch with the CAT format. For instance, as you get questions right, they continue to ask harder questions while the other big change is you cannot mark the questions for review, you have to answer it right now. A scoring algorithm runs in the background, which will determine if you pass or fail based on probability.

The format remains the same as before in CAT format and a proctor observing you with MCQs and advanced innovative questions.

Requirements and study tips

CISSP is traditionally for people who have at least 5 years of experience in this industry, or you can, however, do the associate track where you get the certification early, and then as you build the experience, you get closer to become a full-fledged CISSP. So I think you need to have three things in your mind when you are certain to take the certification exam. 

  1. Do you have enough experience laid out in all the domains for the CISSP CERTIFICATION? To grasp the concept fully, I recommend the CYBEX book, strictly practice every question in the book. Cover every domain page to page.
  2. Have a good learning source besides the book: if you can take a boot camp, then go for it. Boot camps are extensive training on all valuable information, including risk management, framework, and laws, etc.
  3. If you can’t afford boot camps, then you can go to the cyber area and look for Kelly Hander’s hand’s video. They are phenomenal.
  4. Good practice test question bank: go for Boson practice banks. They are recommended by many successful candidates. Their questions are realistic considering the exam.

Cost involved

There is a variable cost to the CISSP certification. It can range from $2000 to $4000 depending on the choice of study. You can have classroom training like boot camps, regular classroom training, and online training.

If you apply for the exam 16 days before the exam, you spend $649; otherwise, it is going to cost you $699. This is a lot of money that is nonrefundable, whether you pass or fail. Get this very straight you need to study well, and for that, you need real-time for study. The annual maintenance fee is $85 to maintain your records and other things. So check the schedule and payment schedule and understand how much you are going to have to pay depending on where you live. The CPE cost $200 annually and demands you to invest time. You need to earn and submit a minimum of 40 CPE credits every year, totaling to 120 CPEs for a certification cycle of 3 years.

CISSP benefits

It is recognized globally and acknowledged worldwide in the InfoSec domain. Employers consider this the gold standard credential. It’s extreme in-demand cybersecurity certification in the world. It can validate and prove that you possess deep technical knowledge and experience.

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