Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an independent information security certification governed by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)².
As of 16 November 2016, there are 110,980 (ISC)² members holding the CISSP certification worldwide, in 162 countries. In June 2004, the CISSP obtained accreditation by ANSI ISO/IEC Standard 17024:2003 accreditation. It is also formally approved by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in both their Information Assurance Technical (IAT) and Managerial (IAM) categories for their DoDD 8570 certification requirement. The CISSP has been adopted as a baseline for the U.S. National Security Agency's ISSEP program. CISSP is a globally recognized certification in the field of IT security.
In the mid-1980s a need arose for a standardized, vendor-neutral certification program that provided structure and demonstrated competence. In November 1988, the Special Interest Group for Computer Security (SIG-CS), a member of the Data Processing Management Association (DPMA), brought together several organizations interested in this goal. The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium or "(ISC)²" formed in mid-1989 as a non-profit organization.
By 1990, the first working committee to establish a Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) had been formed. The first version of the CBK was finalized by 1992, and the CISSP credential was launched by 1994.
Certification subject matter
The CISSP curriculum covers subject matter in a variety of Information Security topics. The CISSP examination is based on what (ISC)² terms the Common Body of Knowledge (or CBK). According to (ISC)², "the CISSP CBK is a taxonomy – a collection of topics relevant to information security professionals around the world. The CISSP CBK establishes a common framework of information security terms and principles that allow information security professionals worldwide to discuss, debate and resolve matters pertaining to the profession with a common understanding."
From 2015, the CISSP curriculum is divided into eight domains:
Before 2015, it covered ten similar domains.
Holders of CISSP certifications can earn additional certifications in areas of specialty. There are three possibilities:
- Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSP-ISSAP)
- Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (CISSP-ISSEP), an advanced information security certification issued by (ISC)2 that focuses on the engineering aspects of information security. In October 2014 it was announced that some of its curriculum would be made available to the public by the United States Department of Homeland Security through its National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies program. Both ZDNet and Network World have named ISSEP one of tech’s most valuable certifications.
- Information Systems Security Management Professional (CISSP-ISSMP), an advanced information security certification issued by (ISC)2 that focuses on the management aspects of information security. In September 2014, Computerworld rated ISSMP one of the top ten most valuable certifications in all of tech.
The CISSP credential is valid for three years; most holders renew by submitting Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.
In 2005, Certification Magazine surveyed 35,167 IT professionals in 170 countries on compensation and found that CISSPs led their list of certificates ranked by salary. A 2006 Certification Magazine salary survey also ranked the CISSP credential highly, and ranked CISSP concentration certifications as the top best-paid credentials in IT.
In 2008, another study came to the conclusion that IT professionals with CISSP (or other major security certifications) tend to have salaries $21,000 higher than IT professionals without such certificates. However, there's no proof that there's any cause-and-effect between the certificate and salaries.
ANSI certifies that CISSP meets the requirements of ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard 17024, a personnel certification accreditation program.