What is a Certified Information Security Manager? A CISSP is a person who hold an information security management certification and is typically employed as a consultant working for a large or international firm. Certified Information Security Managers (CISMs) are expected to know not only the theoretical aspects of information security, but also the practical application of that knowledge. For instance, they must be able to analyze a large-scale system’s potential vulnerabilities, as well as understand the ways in which corporate policies can be improved to ensure that information security goes hand-in-hand with the business goals. Many smaller companies only hire a handful of professionals to oversee their network, so for those who want to work in the field and find a competitive advantage over the larger firms, becoming a CISSP is the way to go.
Information security exams aren’t easy to pass, but if you work at it intelligently and consistently, you’ll have no trouble passing the exams required to become a CISSP. There are three certification exams offered by the Computing Professionals Organization (COP), which measure your knowledge on web security and software installation. You’ll need to know at least some of the following terms, including HTTP, XML, SMTP, TCP/IP, and Java. You should have a working knowledge of how to use database management systems as well, because these are often used in network security.
The exam is not written in an academic style like a book. Rather, it’s more like an examination. The questions are based on real security situations, and they’re presented to you through an exam board. You’ll need to work rapidly to answer all the questions and pass with a certain grade in order to become a Certified Information Security Manager.
In order to protect companies from outside attack, information security is a key requirement. It’s also a key element for companies who have a smaller budget and/or a smaller target market. In many cases, CISSPs earn their pay based solely by the hours that they work and the number of classes they complete. This makes the exam even more challenging.
The cost of taking the exams varies greatly depending on your location and level of experience. Usually, you’ll have to work as a professional to earn your CISSP designation, and you will likely pay a reasonable amount for coursework and lab time. On the other hand, an Associate’s degree or higher is typically required in order to be hired at the highest levels of security positions. The exams and certification itself can take up to two years to complete, and the salary boost isn’t worth it unless you’re willing to work a lot in order to do it.
In order to succeed as an information security manager, you need to have a solid background in the field. Having worked in a managerial position in the military is an obvious plus. Your coursework will include information security management, reporting, and software development. The exams will measure things such as your ability to analyze data and draw sound policy conclusions, which is necessary in this type of position. As a matter of fact, the CISSP exam is divided into three parts and the third part is the capstone of the entire process: the Exam Review and Skills Assessment.
Of course, there are a few other things that you’ll need to take into account if you want to become a certified information security manager. For instance, you will need to take a foundation class in Information Systems Management and a general knowledge class in computer science. You will also need to take general studies, which will allow you to develop specific skills that are required of a good information security manager. If you feel like you’re ready, it’s time to start looking at colleges that offer the exam. Get started on your education now!