Choosing Your Ideal Cybersecurity Certifications: CISSP, CCSP, CEH, CISM, and CRISC

Though certifications are important, your options are numerous. It’s critical to select the appropriate certification for your career goals. There are five primary cybersecurity certifications:

  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  • CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional)
  • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
  • CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
  • CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control)

These involve differing qualifications, benefits, and ongoing requirements. Some cybersecurity professionals will benefit from holding multiple certificates, but others may require only one or two at most.

If you’re trying to figure out which credentials to secure, this article will help you choose the right one(s).

What is the CISSP certification?

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is regarded as the world’s premiere cybersecurity certification – the gold standard of all certifications. It confirms that you have the skills to create and implement a world class cybersecurity program across any platform.

Created by the (ISC)², CISSP certification has existed for more than twenty-five years. Candidates who have this credential are in high demand worldwide.

Who should get CISSP-certified?

This is the certification you need if you wish to assume a senior role in Information Security. With CISSP certification, you’ll earn more money, gain more respect, and be seen as a true cybersecurity expert.

Four benefits of obtaining CISSP certification

1. A high salary

According to the (ISC)², the average CISSP in the United States earns just above $130,000 per year. Employers know the value of this certification, so it’s in high demand. In fact, there are routinely more job openings than qualified candidates, which means you’ll have an advantage when you look for a position.

2. Expert status and respect

As with all professional credentials, you’ll earn respect and be regarded as an expert when you’re CISSP-certified. Depending on the career path you take, you might also pursue CISSP concentrations:

  • CISSP-ISSMP for management
  • CISSP-ISSEP for engineers
  • CISSP-ISSAP for architects

These specialties enable you to develop your expertise even further, which will increase your career options.

3. A thorough understanding of cybersecurity

Since the CISSP exam is extremely difficult to pass, when you get certified, you’ll have a more thorough understanding of cybersecurity. There’s no way around it: you’ll have to possess a strong understanding to pass.

On your path to this certification, you’ll learn the fundamentals in every area of cybersecurity, including security, risk management, communication, network security, security testing, and operations. You’ll also learn how your security implementations can affect the entire security ecosystem.

4. Job security

As mentioned earlier, there is currently a shortage of cybersecurity personnel compared to the demand. This means you won’t have a difficult time finding a job – assuming you qualify in every other way.

CISSP certification qualifications

To qualify for this certification, you’ll have to have at least five cumulative years of paid work experience in a minimum of two of the following eight domains:

  • 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

Paid and unpaid internships also count as work experience. Substitutions for work experience include:

A four-year college degree (or regional equivalent) or possession of an approved (ISC)² credential may be substituted for one year of experience. If you don’t qualify at the moment, you could pass the exam to become an Associate of CISSP, at which point you’ll have six years to gain the five years of required experience.

Ongoing requirements of CISSP certification

To maintain your CISSP certification, you’ll be required to earn 120 CPE credits every three years, or 40 credits each year.

Get CISSP-certified with Readynez

If you’re ready to get CISSP-certified, you must prepare thoroughly in advance. Our CISSP prep course led by experienced instructors will prepare you for the exam so you may claim the gold standard in cybersecurity certifications. You may take our prep course live or online for your convenience.

What is the CCSP certification?

The Certified Cloud Security Professional certification is a globally recognized credential that verifies your ability to secure data, applications, and infrastructure in cloud environments.

The CCSP credential has been ranked as the top certification for IT professionals to advance their career.

Who should get CCSP certified?

Created between the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and the (ISC)², the CCSP was designed to supplement other certifications: the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge and Certified Information Systems Security Professional. If you have these two existing certifications, you should pursue your CCSP certification, as well.

If you’re a cybersecurity professional who is passionate about cloud security, and you’d like to take your career to the next level, CCSP certification will help you get there.

Unlike the CISSP certification, which helps you move into management, the CCSP certification will keep you working with the technical, practical aspects of information security.

Three benefits of obtaining CCSP certification

1. Your skills will be in high demand

Businesses rely on cloud security professionals to keep their applications and data secure in the cloud, regardless of the platform. Whether company data resides on a private server or a cloud-based file sharing account, organizations depend on a CCSP to keep their information secure.

2. More career options

Since the CCSP is a vendor-neutral certification, you may take your skills and expertise to any firm, which should give you more career options.

3. You’ll be treated as a cloud security expert

While you earn your CCSP, you’ll learn far more about cloud security than you knew before. As a large number of businesses transition to remote workforces and use of cloud infrastructure, cloud security has become more valued than ever.

CCSP certification qualifications

You’ll need to show five years of cumulative, paid work experience in IT, with three years in information security and one year in at least one of the following domains:

  • Cloud Concepts, Architecture, and Design
  • Cloud Data Security
  • Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security
  • Cloud Application Security
  • Cloud Security Operations
  • Legal, Risk and Compliance

Ongoing requirements for CCSP certification

To maintain your CCSP certification, you’ll have to earn 90 CPE credits every 3 years, or 30 credits each year.

Get CCSP-certified with Readynez

If you’re ready to get CCSP-certified, make sure you fully prepare first. Our CCSP prep course led by experienced instructors will equip you for the exam so you can advance your cybersecurity career. Take our prep course live or online, whichever is more convenient.

What is the CEH certification?

Earning the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification will train you to secure and improve technology by thinking like a hacker, and becoming familiar with the tactics used by hackers. As a CEH, you’ll search for, test, and report vulnerabilities to your organization and work on solutions.

Who should get CEH-certified?

If you love the idea of staying ahead of cybercriminals, learning how they think and the tools they use, and cutting off vulnerabilities before they’re discovered, you’ll enjoy being a Certified Ethical Hacker.

Getting your CEH credential will help you obtain these positions:

  • Security Engineer
  • Application Security Manager
  • Information Security Consultant
  • Penetration Tester
  • IT Security Admin
  • Network Security Analyst

Four benefits of obtaining CEH certification

1. A higher salary for an entry-level certification

Ethical hacking is quickly becoming a required position in many organizations. As a CEH, you’ll be the one in charge of staying ahead of hackers, which is a huge responsibility on your part. That ability is well-rewarded, with the median salary in the U.S. being $168,948, and the top 86 percentile earning $786,676 annually.

2. Quickly advance your cybersecurity career

The Certified Ethical Hacker credential is entry-level, which means you can start advancing your cybersecurity career fast. The CEH certification is recognized all over the world, so no matter where you go, you’ll be acknowledged as a critical, cybersecurity expert.

3. You’ll learn how to use the same tools hackers use

You can’t stay ahead of the hackers unless you know what they’re doing. To be a successful CEH, you’ll learn to use all the same tools and tricks that hackers use. If you enjoy figuring out problems, this will make earning your CEH certification fun and rewarding.

4. More cybersecurity knowledge

When you become a CEH, you’ll learn more than what’s covered under other cybersecurity certifications. Ostensibly, this is an entry-level certification, but it’s fascinating, and you’ll gain a sharper understanding of threats by learning how to think like a hacker.

CEH certification qualifications

No prior experience is required to take the exam. But it’s widely recommended that you take a prep course first. That should ensure you master the correct information necessary to pass the exam.

Ongoing requirements for CEH certification

To maintain your CEH certification, you’ll be expected to earn 120 CPE credits every three years, or 40 credits each year. You’ll also be required to pay $80 annually to the EC-Council.

Get CEH-certified with Readynez

If you’re ready to get CEH-certified, you’ll want to prepare thoroughly first. Our CEH prep course led by experienced instructors will prepare you, so you may advance your cybersecurity career. You can opt to take our prep course live or online.

What is the CISM certification?

ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) credential backs up your expertise in risk management, program development/management, incident management, and information security governance.

Who should get CISM certified?

If you have a love for, and experience in, IS/IT security and you’re looking to step up into management, you’ll want to get CISM certified.

Three benefits of obtaining CISM certification

1. Higher earning potential

The average CISM earns $118,000 a year in the U.S. Although other certifications may earn more, that’s a substantial salary.

2. More credibility

Holding a CISM certification makes you more credible to organizations, teams, stakeholders, regulators, and even your co-workers. People will look to you for answers and they’ll respect your expertise.

3. Higher value to organizations

People who hold a CISM certification provide immense value to their organization. Your expertise can help your employer increase customer retention and validate its commitment to compliance and security before stakeholders.

CISM certification qualifications

To obtain CISM certification, you’ll have to show at least five years of experience working in information security management within the ten years that precede your date of application.

It’s possible to get up to two years’ credit through substitutes if you meet ISACA’s strict substitution requirements.

Ongoing requirements for CISM certification

To maintain your CISM certification, you’ll have to secure 120 CPE credits every three years, and a minimum of 20 credits in each. Other certifications will allow you to report only every three years, but you’ll be expected to report annually with at least 20 CPEs to maintain your CISM certification.

Get CISM-certified with Readynez

If you’re ready to get CISM-certified, prepare yourself for the exam up front. Our CISM prep course led by experienced instructors will prepare you, so you may advance your cybersecurity career. Take our prep course live or online if you prefer.

What is the CRISC certification?

The Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control credential is geared toward enterprise and financial risk management. This certification confirms your ability to implement information security procedures and controls.

According to ISACA, CRISC is the only cybersecurity credential focused on enterprise IT risk management.

Who should get CRISC-certified?

The CRISC certification is ideal for any security professional who manages IT risks and controls. However, the following professionals will especially benefit from becoming certified:

  • Compliance professionals
  • Business analysts
  • Control professionals
  • Project managers
  • IT professionals
  • Risk professionals

When you’re CRISC-certified, you’ll be responsible for more than just mitigating risk. You’ll also facilitate communication between various IT groups and corporate stakeholders.

Four benefits of obtaining CRISC certification

1. You’ll be more valuable to companies

Organizations that need to manage risk know that CRISC-certified candidates have more to offer. The certification will make you instantly more valuable to any firm you apply to.

With this increase in value comes a competitive edge over other job seekers as well as colleagues within your company who pursue a promotion.

2. A higher salary

As with most cybersecurity certifications, your salary will increase when you hold a CRISC credential. However, the amount will depend on your position.

For instance, CRISC-certified Information Security Officers earn an average of $123,648 per year, while CRISC-certified Risk Management specialists earn an average of $153,228 a year.

3. Access to the ISACA community

With your CRISC certification, you’ll gain access to the ISACA global community, which includes plenty of information about IT risk management that you can use to support your role within your operation.

4. Respect and expert status

A CRISC certification will automatically command respect from your co-workers, stakeholders, and higher-ups in your outfit. Possession of this credential makes you an expert in risk management, and your opinions and advice will be taken seriously.

CRISC certification qualifications

To qualify for CRISC certification, you’ll need a minimum of three cumulative years working across at least two of the CRISC domains, and one of those us required to be the first or second:

  • IT Risk Identification
  • IT Risk Assessment
  • Risk Response and Mitigation
  • Risk and Control Monitoring and Reporting

Unlike other cybersecurity certifications, no experience substitutions are available, so you must meet the work experience requirements in full.

CRISC certification ongoing requirements

To maintain your CRISC certification, you’ll be required to earn 120 CPE credits every three years, and a minimum of 20 credits each year. Although other certifications allow you to report only every three years, you’ll be expected to report yearly, with at least 20 CPEs, to maintain your CRISC certification.

Get CRISC-certified with Readynez

If you’re ready to get CRISC-certified, be sure to prepare thoroughly first. Our CRISC prep course led by experienced instructors will fortify you for the exam so you may advance your cybersecurity career. You may choose to take our prep course live or online, at your convenience.

Get your next cybersecurity certification with Readynez

Now that you know the difference between CISSP, CCSP, CEH, CISM, and CRISC certification, it should be easier to select the right credential for your career path.

Which is best for you? That depends on your goals and interests. If you enjoy cloud security, you’ll probably want to get the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification.

However, if you’re more hands-on and prefer to do technical work, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification may have greater appeal for you.

Regardless of which certification(s) you choose to pursue next, make sure you undergo a prep course. All of these IT security certifications entail a required, rigorous exam you are unlikely to pass without serious preparation.

At Readynez, we offer instructor-led prep courses for all of these exams. Our prep courses are specifically designed to help you acquire the knowledge you need to pass the exam and obtain your certification.

Sign up for your cybersecurity certification prep course today

If you’re ready to take your IT security career to the next level, sign up for your prep course today. The following courses may be completed either in person or online and are scheduled periodically throughout the year:

Don’t wait to sign up for your prep course. The sooner you prepare for the exam, the sooner you’ll move ahead in your career.

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