What Are the 8 Domains of CISSP Certification that Your IT Workers Should Know?

Cybersecurity. To criminals, the word represents a challenge to be overcome in their pursuit of ill-gotten gains. To businesses and government agencies, it's a top priority as they work to keep data secure.

To your customers, it's an expectation.

Last year, more than $150 billion was spent on cybersecurity in the United States, according to Statista. By 2023, that number is expected to soar to nearly $250 billion. As a business leader, you've probably contributed to the industry's growth, likely by investing IT professionals to help protect your business from cybercriminals.

But how can you be sure you're hiring and training the best of the best? Simple, by focusing on one important acronym: CISSP.

CISSP Certification Explained

CISSP stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional. To receive the designation, candidates must pass an intensive exam administered under the authority of the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, which is also known as (ISC)2.

The exam is rigorous, designed to identify the best of the best. It's a three-hour, 100- to 150-question quest that requires preparation, focus, and determination. It focuses on eight domains, each critically important to ensuring that your data--and that of your customers can clients--is secure.

The Eight Domains

The CISSP exam focuses on eight core content areas related to information and security management. In order to become certified, your workers will need to demonstrate their expertise in each of them:

  1. Security and Risk Management: This domain requires cybersecurity professionals to demonstrate a thorough understanding of and the ability to apply an array of general information and security risk management applications.

    Topics include confidentiality, integrity, and availability; security governance principles; and professional ethics.
  2. Asset Security: This domain is designed to test knowledge of data collection, handling, and protection throughout its life span. Focus areas include identifying and classifying information and assets, protecting privacy, and ensuring appropriate data security controls.
  3. Security Architecture and Engineering: For this domain, exam takers need to show that they possess the ability to build information systems and related architecture that can withstand malicious acts. This is a critically important function for any organization that handles information security in-house.

    Topics include selecting controls based on system security requirements, assessing and mitigating vulnerabilities in mobile systems, and applying cryptography.
  4. Communication and Network Security: This covers network architecture, transmission methods, transport protocols, confidentiality, and public and private communication networks. In a world where many organizations are leveraging cloud storage to make documents and data available from anywhere, secure transmission has never been more important.
  5. Identity and Access Management (IAM): This domain focuses on access to data. Exam takers have to demonstrate expertise in managing the identities of those accessing (or attempting to access) information systems.

    Topics include controlling physical and logical access to assets, integrating identity as a third-party service, and implementing and managing authorization mechanisms.
  6. Security Assessment and Testing: This domain is focused on demonstrating the ability to evaluate information assets and associated infrastructure using appropriate tools and techniques in order to find and mitigate risks.

    Topics include designing and testing strategies, collecting security process data, and conducting or facilitating security audits.
  7. Security Operations: This section of the exam focuses on the application of information security concepts, techniques, and best practices. Topics include understanding and supporting investigations, conducting logging and monitoring activities, securely provisioning resources, testing disaster recovery plans, and addressing personnel safety and security concerns.
  8. Software Development Security: Exam takers need to show that they possess expertise in the application of security concepts and best practices in the areas of producing and developing software.

    Topics include assessing the effectiveness of software security, assessing the security impact of acquired software, and defining and applying secure coding guidelines and standards.

The certification process and exam is designed to help businesses identify IT professionals that can help their organizations stay ahead of attacks by using the latest tools and technology. Because it covers so many critical functions, it is widely regarded as the gold standard of all cybersecurity certifications.

Why Invest in CISSP Certification

When your employees achieve CISSP status, they join an elite group of cybersecurity leaders who include network architects, security analysts, IT directors, chief information officers, and chief information security officers.

They have proven that they possess the skills and knowledge to build, implement, and manage exceptional cybersecurity programs--which should provide you and your customers with an added sense of security.

In addition, they become (ISC)2 members, which gives them access to other members in more than 150 countries, opportunities to earn CPEs, and the chance to attend exclusive conferences with industry leaders.

A Worthwhile Investment

Cybercriminals are relentless. To defend against their nefarious attacks, you need the best of the best IT professionals. To learn more about how you can prepare your employees to achieve CISSP certification, connect with Infotec today.

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About the Author

Infotec is a nationally recognized leader empowering customers with world-class information technology training and certification. Infotec not only provides training classes, but creates solutions for clients, helping them instill efficiency while meeting certification requirements.