CISSP: A Global Force at 100,000 Strong

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Whenever we look toward the future, we have to first look back and think about where we came from. Back in 1989, (ISC)² was established by a handful of passionate volunteers who wanted to create a set of standards for a newer concept, not yet a full-fledged career field, called information security. In the minds of these volunteers, having the initial 500 applicants sign up to take the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) was considered quite a success. Little did they imagine that 26 years later, not only would those 500 applicants grow to a cadre of 100,000 CISSP credential holders across more than 160 countries, further, the CISSP would also become recognized as the standard certification for the information security industry.

(ISC)² was honored to be named ‘Best Professional Certification Program’ for the CISSP by SC Magazine US for the second year in a row, marking our fourth total SC Magazine Award for CISSP. And we’ve been named a finalist for the first ‘Best Professional Training or Certification Programme’ SC Magazine Award UK for CISSP. Those results are to be announced June 2.

As an organization, we certainly aren’t resting on our laurels, satisfied that the CISSP has “arrived.” We continue to actively maintain and enhance the credential, while also focusing on developing and raising awareness for our other credentials. A perfect example of this commitment occurred last month when we refreshed the domains of the SSCP and CISSP to ensure that the examinations and subsequent continuing professional education requirements encompass the topic areas relevant to the roles and responsibilities of today’s practicing information security professionals. We have an obligation to the (ISC)² membership and the industry to maintain the relevancy of our credentials.

Refreshed technical content has also been added to the Official (ISC)² CISSP CBK to reflect the most current topics in the information security industry today. Some topics have been expanded (e.g., asset security, security assessment and testing), while other topics have been realigned under different domains. The result is an exam that most accurately reflects the technical and managerial competence required from an experienced information security professional to effectively design, engineer, implement and manage an organization’s information security program within an ever-changing security landscape.

While we recognize this milestone achievement of 100,000 certified members and look toward the future of the CISSP within the industry, we also need to take into account that (ISC)² has an entire suite of credentials that encompass a holistic, programmatic approach to information security. The CISSP has a 25+ year history and is our most recognized credential; however, it is not necessarily the most appropriate certification for every security professional. (ISC)² has a portfolio of credentials appropriate for the entire security team comprised of information security professionals, software security professionals, IT practitioners, authorization professionals and those specializing in healthcare, forensics and cloud security. For those just starting in the field, we also offer an Associate of (ISC)² program.

As executive director, I’m committed to advancing our vision to inspire a safe and secure cyber world. Hopefully that vision is getting closer to becoming reality with our global force of 100,000 CISSPs and growing. I thank all of the current CISSPs for the great work they’re doing and wish the best of luck to aspiring CISSPs. Keep fighting the good fight.

David Shearer, CISSP, PMP, Executive Director, (ISC)²

[(ISC)² Blog]

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