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Reasons to Become CISSP Certified. Keith A. Watson, CISSP CERIAS. Overview. Certification review Organizational needs Individual needs Get paid more! See the world! CISSP requirements Common Body of Knowledge Areas Study Suggestions. Certification Review.

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Reasons to BecomeCISSP Certified

  • Keith A. Watson, CISSPCERIAS

Overview l.jpg

  • Certification review

  • Organizational needs

  • Individual needs

    • Get paid more!

    • See the world!

  • CISSP requirements

  • Common Body of Knowledge Areas

  • Study Suggestions

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Certification Review

  • Multiple types of certification available:

    • Professional

    • Vendor

    • Technical

  • Each type provides a different focus

  • The one right for you depends on:

    • Your career objectives

    • Your time available to seek certification

    • Your (or your employer’s) budget

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Commonalities in Certification Programs

  • Understand a common body of knowledge

  • Previous education and/or work experience

  • Demonstrate a level of understanding

  • Certification time period

  • Re-certification procedures

  • Reinstatement

  • Dues, Fees, or Memberships

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Professional Certification

  • Body of Knowledge encompasses the majority of the field

  • Managed by a non-profit organization

  • Exam requires NDA

  • Requires commitment to code of ethics

  • Requires endorsement and may involve an audit

  • Examples:

    • (ISC)2 CISSP


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Organizational Needs

  • Risk Management

    • Regulatory requirements (GLBA, HIPAA, SOX, FERPA, FISMA, DoD Directive 8570.1, etc)

    • Insurance requirements

    • Evolving and emerging security threats require staff with new skills and knowledge

  • Human Resources

    • Independent evaluation of knowledge and skills

    • Measurable level of knowledge

    • Defined skill set

    • Makes resume searching easier

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More Organizational Needs

  • Organizational Marketing

    • Better visibility to customers that need security expertise and services

    • Easier to sell services with certified employees

    • Customers may not know the acronyms, but they always seem impressed by them

  • Quality Employees

    • Generalists (breadth of knowledge)

    • Specialists (depth of knowledge)

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Individual Needs:Get Paid More!

  • Surveys by professional organizations and market research firms indicated certified employees earn more (IDC, SANS)

    • CISSP median income: $95,155 (SANS)

    • Salary increases outpacing other IT fields (IDC)

  • Internally, your certification may lead to a promotion or raise, your mileage may vary

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Individual Needs:See the World!

  • Great demand for certified individuals around the world and in most industries

  • More job postings include requirements for (or desire to obtain) certification

  • Because information security is important throughout an organization, your job may evolve

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  • Significant costs are involved

    • CISSP: $500 (exam) $85 (yearly dues)

    • Professional training courses > $1500

  • Time involved to prepare for exams

    • CISSP: I studied 2 hours/day for 4 months

    • Professional training courses 5 days or longer

  • May not be seen as beneficial to current employer or management

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CISSP Requirements

  • Commit to Code of Ethics

  • Have required work experience (as of 1 Oct)

    • five years relevant security work -- OR --

    • four years work + college degree

  • Pass the Examination

    • 250 multiple choice questions; Six hours

  • Continuing Professional Education

    • 120 credits per three year certification period

  • Pay yearly maintenance fee

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  • Access Control Systems and Methodology

  • Application and Systems Development Security

  • Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery Planning

  • Cryptography

  • Law, Investigation, and Ethics

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More CISSP CBK Areas

  • Operations Security

  • Physical Security

  • Security Architecture

  • Security Management Practices

  • Telecommunications and Networking Security

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Study Methods

  • Professional training

    • Focused, expensive, time-consuming

  • Self study

    • Read, read, read

    • Find and use collection of sample questions

  • Group study

    • Find a group of people that will take the test about the same time

    • Set an agenda; keep to a schedule

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Keith’s Suggestions for Preparing for the Exam

  • Sign up for the test today!

    • A deadline is a great motivator for study

    • Schedule it out no more than 6 months, if possible

  • Collect your study materials

    • Build a library of documents in the subject areas

  • Set time aside every day for study

    • Avoid taking too much time off between study

  • Group study can be helpful for some

  • Find a CISSP to help mentor

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In summary...

  • Certification will require significant effort on your part to master the subject areas

  • Certification can be very beneficial to your career

  • Your certification can be beneficial to your employer too

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  • IDC, 2006 Information Security Workforce Study, October 2006.

  • SANS, The SANS 2005 Information Security Salary & Career Advancement Survey, January 2006.

  • Ronald L. Krutz, Russell D. Vines, The CISSP Prep Guide: Gold Edition, Wiley, October 2002.

  • Harold F. Tipton, Kevin Henry, Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, Auerbach, November 2006.