How To Get CISSP Certification - The Requirements, Exam Cost, Pass Rate And Salary

This page explains how to get CISSP Certification and start earning some decent income with it.

Are you interested in Systems security? Would you like to obtain a CISSP certification? Wondering what CISSP is all about? All these questions except the first one will be answered in this piece. The first question is exempted because the answer is meant to come from you and not from this article. Here, you will find everything you need to know about CISSP certification. Keep reading.


CISSP means Certified Information Systems Security Professional. It is granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, which is also known as ISC. CISSP is an independent information security certification. There are 152,632 CISSP holders as at January 2022.

With CISSP, your ability skills, and capacity to design, maintain, and implement a cyber-security program is validated. For cyber security job openings in the US, CISSP is the most requested certification, and this is not a surprise anyway.

Employers understands that CISSP covers a broad range of materials, endorsement requirement and experience on the job requirement. Therefore, with the CISSP, it is easy for employers to confirm that a job candidate already has a certain level of real world cyber security knowledge and experience.

About CISSP Exam

CISSP exam consist of about 250 questions, and it normally goes for about 6 hours duration. It is a challenging examination that needs a lot of dedication and commitment. 70% is the minimum requirement, and the passing score is a minimum of 700 out of 1000.

The CISSP exams has 8 domains or knowledge areas. They are;

  • Security and Risk Management

It is the largest of the 8 CISSP examination domains taking 15%. It comprises of needed knowledge about information systems management. Areas covered in this domain includes; security governance principles, availability, confidentiality and integrity of information, compliance requirements, risk based management concepts, IT procedures and policies, legal and regulatory issues relating to cyber security.

  • Security Architecture and Engineering

Security Architecture and Engineering takes 13% of the CISSP knowledge domain. Areas covered in this domain includes; security processes, security controls, security models, cryptographic solution determinations, and mitigation of vulnerabilities in security architecture.

  • Asset Security

Asset Security takes 10% of the CISSP knowledge domain. Areas covered by this domain includes; assets classification, retention and handling, compliance requirement, determining data security control, data and data life cycle.

  • Communication and Network Security

Communication and Network Security also takes 13% of the CISSP exam domain. Areas covered in this domain includes; implementing secure communication channels,  securing network components, and securing design principles in network architectures

  • Identity and Access Management

Identity and Access Management also covers 13% of the CISSP examination domain. Areas covered in identity and access management includes; federated identity with a third party service, authorization and authentication mechanisms management, and the identity and access provisioning life cycle.

  • Security Operations

It also covers 13% of the CISSP exam domain and it includes; conducting logging and incident management, compliance with investigations, detective and protective measures operation and maintenance, recovery strategies, and so on.

  • Security Assessment and Testing

The security assessment and testing domain covers areas such as; design validation, security control testing, test output analysis, data collection and auditing. It takes 12% of the CISSP exam domain.

  • Software Development Security

Software development security takes 11% of the CISSP exam domain. Included in this domain area are; as seeing software security, SLDC (Software Development Life Cycle), impact of acquired software, security control in software development systems and so on

CISSP Exam Cost

Typically, the CISSP exam cost $699. However, the location you where you are taking the exam and potential additional prices may influence a change in this amount. If you want to cancel, you will have to $100, and if you are planning on rescheduling the test, there is a. $50 fine penalty to be paid.

How To Get CISSP Certification

  • To get the CISSP Certification, here are the processes and steps to follow;
  • You must have a minimum of 2 years experience in two or more than two of the CBK domains
  • You must pass the CISSP examination
  • You must complete the endorsement process and must subscribe to the Information System Security Certificate Consortium (ISC) code of ethics
  • And finally, maintain certification through CPE (continuing professional education) credits.

These are the processes and steps involved in obtaining CISSP Certification.

Note that if you don’t have the above stated experience, you can still access and take the exam, and if you pass, it can make you an associate of (ISC)² not a CISSP. Then, you will have 6 years to earn the experience necessary for becoming a CISSP.

What Is The CISSP Exam Pass Rate?

As mentioned earlier, CISSP exam is a challenging one, not a walkover in any regard. It required good attention and dedication to scale through. This reflects on the pass rate as statistics shows that CISSP exam pass rate is 20%.

How Long Does It Take To Get CISSP Certification

If you have gained the five years of working experience in any 2 of the 8 CISSP domains needed already, getting CISSP qualification can be done in 3 to 8 months. However, some factors may trigger a change in this time frame. These factors include the individual in question and the time taken to prepare for the examination.

CISSP Certification Salary

One of the greatest benefits of a CISSP certification is the fattening of the holders paycheck. CISSP holder average salary in the US is around $125,470. It is a Certification that is quite useful in maximizing of earning potentials.

Benefits Of CISSP Certification

Knowing all the energy and efforts needed to obtain CISSP Certification, one is force to ask if it is worth it, if the returns and benefits having a CISSP will give is worth all the labor and time needed to invest in the process. Here are some of the benefits of having a CISSP certification. You can make up your mind after reading through them.

  • CISSP is a certification that is recognized all over the world
  • It gives the holder high salary earning potential. As an individual with a CISSP, you get to earn more than your colleagues in the field who has not attained that level of qualification.
  • It gives you access to enjoy CISSP membership benefits such as networking opportunities, free webinars, free and discounted events, and so on.
  • CISSP gives you a great understanding of the cybersecurity landscape. This will enable you to stand out among your peers. You will be recognized as one of the best of the best!

These are a few of the benefits offered by having a CISSP certification.


So, here you have it, all you need to know about obtaining a CISSP certification. Sure you’ve gotten adequate clarity concerning the topic now? Please share!

Also Read