CISSP Exam: What You Should Know & Prep in 2023

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The CISSP certification is in high demand in the IT industry. It is usually intended for IT professionals interested in learning more about information security. Here’s all you should know to prepare for a CISSP exam, including the cost and requirements, with practice questions.

CISSP Exam Requirements

Candidates must have at least five years of direct full-time security professional job experience in two or more of the (ISC)2 CISSP CBK domains, OR

Four years of direct full-time security professional work experience in two or more of the CISSP CBK’s 10 domains, plus a four-year college degree or a certification from the (ISC)2-approved list, OR

If you lack experience, you can still become an Associate of (ISC)2 by passing the CISSP exam. You will have six years to gain the necessary experience to become a CISSP.

It should be noted that only a one-year experience exemption is available for education. In addition, possessing an extra certificate on the (ISC)2 authorized list entitles you to a one-year remission of the professional experience requirement. Valid experience comprises information systems security-related work conducted as a practitioner, auditor, consultant, investigator, or educator that requires and involves the direct application of Information Security expertise. The five years of experience must be the equivalent of actual full-time Information Security work (not merely Information Security duties over a five-year period); however, this criterion is cumulative and can be accumulated over a considerably longer period of time.

Eight CISSP CBK domains

The CISSP is organized into eight topics or domains, which are referred to as the ‘Common Body of Knowledge CBK’. These are the domains:

  • Risk and Security Management
  • Asset Protection
  • Architecture and Engineering for Security
  • Network and communication security
  • Management of Identity and Access
  • Security Evaluation and Testing
  • Operations of Security
  • Security in Software Development

Professional experience for CISSPs includes, but is not limited to:

  • Work that requires particular education or intellectual attainment, typically incorporating a liberal education or college degree.
  • Work requiring habitual recall of a corpus of knowledge shared with others doing comparable jobs.
  • Project management and/or supervision of other staff.
  • Supervision of the work of others while working with a minimum of supervision of one’s self.
  • Employment that necessitates the use of judgment, management decision-making, and discretion.
  • Employment that necessitates the use of ethical judgment (as opposed to ethical behavior).
  • Oral communication and creative writing.
  • Mentoring, teaching, instructing and training others.
  • Development and research.
  • Control and mechanism specification and selection (i.e. identification and authentication technology) (does not include the mere operation of these controls).

Examples of appropriate job titles include CISO, Director, Manager, Supervisor, Analyst, Cryptographer, Cyber Architect, Information Assurance Engineer, Instructor, Professor, Lecturer, Investigator, Computer Scientist, Program Manager, Lead, and so on.

After passing the CISSP exam, the candidate’s credentials must be endorsed by another CISSP in good standing. The endorser confirms the candidate’s claims about professional experience. If you are unable to locate a credentialed individual to act as an endorser, (ISC)2 will do so on your behalf.

Why Should You Take the CISSP Exam?

After you’ve decided to embark on your CISSP certification journey, make sure you succeed. Doing the CISSP practice test several times is one of the proven 7 steps in the CISSP Study Guide to completely prepare for the CISSP certification exam. Taking the CISSP practice exam allows you to identify your flaws and strengths. You will be able to determine which domain of the CISSP subject you need to focus on more with the help of the CISSP practice exam. If you do not score more than 70% on your CISSP practice exams, we strongly advise you to enroll in and complete a comprehensive CISSP certification training program.

CISSP Practice Exam Questions

The CISSP practice exam questions in this section covers the major concepts in each of the eight domains included in the CISSP certification exam. The CISSP practice exam questions include answers as well as rationales to help you better comprehend the subject. These sample CISSP questions will help you become acquainted with the CISSP exam questions. They will also enable you to reinforce your learning and prepare for the real CISSP exam, which is coming up soon.

Question #1

“The State Machine Model” security model mandates that a system must be protected in all of its states (Startup, Function, and Shutdown), or else the system is not secure. This requirement necessitates responding to security events so that no further compromises can be successful. This method of response is an example of what security concept?

a. Open Design

b. Closed Design

c. Trusted Recovery

d. Least Privilege

Answer: C

Trusted Recovery is necessary for high-security systems and allows a system to terminate its processes in a secure manner. If a system crashes, it must restart in a secure mode in which no further compromise of system policy can occur. The principle of open design states that the security of a mechanism should not depend on the secrecy of its design or implementation. In object-oriented programming, the open-closed principle states that “software entities (classes, modules, functions, etc.) should be open for extension, but closed for modification”; that is, such an entity can allow its behavior to be extended without modifying its source code. The least privilege is the concept and practice of restricting access rights for users, accounts, and computing processes to only those resources absolutely required to perform routine, legitimate activities.

Question #2

The Heartbleed virus recently compromised OpenSSL because versions of OpenSSL were vulnerable to memory content read attempts, which ultimately led to the exposure of protected information including services provider private keys. Many practitioners believe that open design is better than closed design. What one consideration is usually necessary to allow an open design to provide greater security?

a. Peer Review

b. Security through obscurity

c. The complexity of design

d. Trusted hierarchy

Answer: A

Open design is often thought to be better than closed design, as openness allows for review from others in the community. The idea is that if others have access to the code, they will help examine and review the code, and ultimately improve it. That was not the case unfortunately with OpenSSL. If the code is not reviewed, it might as well be a closed source. Also, ultimately the quality of the code dictates the security, much more so than whether it is open or closed. Security through obscurity is the opposite of peer review and open design and could also be referred to as the complexity of the design. The hierarchical trust model is like an upside-down tree structure, the root is the starting point of trust. All nodes of the model have to trust the root CA and keep a root CA’s public-key certificate.

Question #3

When using private keys a security concern is that a user’s private key may become lost. In order to mitigate this risk, a practitioner may select a key recovery agent that is able to back up and recover his keys. Granting a single individual the ability to recover users’ private keys increases nonrepudiation risk because another party has key access. Which principle choice could be implemented to mitigate this risk?

a. Segregation of duties

b. Principle of least privilege

c. Dual control

d. Need to know

Answer: C

Dual Control is a security principle that requires multiple parties to be present for a task that might have severe security implications. In this instance, it is likely best to have at least two network administrators present before a private key can be recovered. A subset of dual control is called M of N control. M and N are variables, but this control requires M out of a total of N administrators to be present to recover a key. Segregation of Duties is the concept of having more than one person required to complete a sensitive task. The principle of least privilege (PoLP) refers to an information security concept in which a user is given the minimum levels of access or permissions needed to perform his job functions. The need-to-know principle is that access to secured data must be necessary for the conduct of the users’ job functions

Question #4

At what BCP development phase must Senior Management provide its commitment to support, fund, and assist the BCP’s creation?

a. Project Initiation

b. Planning

c. Implementation

d. Development

Answer: A

Project Initiation is traditionally the phase in which senior management pledges its support for the project. Often in this phase, management provides a project charter, which is a formal written document in which the project is officially authorized, a project manager is selected and named, and management makes a commitment to support. Management’s BCP support must continue through the whole development process and include review and feedback as well as resources for the BCP to be successful.

Question #5

What is the most proactive (and minimum effort) way to mitigate the risk of an attacker gaining network access and using a protocol analyzer to capture and view (sniff) unencrypted traffic?

a. Implement a policy that forbids the use of packet analyzers/sniffers. Monitor the network frequently.

b. Scan the network periodically to determine if unauthorized devices are connected. If those devices aredetected, disconnect them immediately, and provide management with a report on the violation

c. Provide security such as disabling ports and mac filtering on the enterprise switches to prevent an unauthorized device from connecting to the network. Implement software restriction policies to prevent unauthorized software from being installed on systems.

d. Install anti-spyware software on all systems on the network.

Answer: C

To significantly mitigate risks on the network, we have to implement security that limits connectivity to our network from external devices. Additionally, we are concerned with monitoring software being installed on our hosts, so we want to limit the ability of such software to be installed. Further, we want to ensure that other basic security requirements are satisfied, such as using strong passwords, lockout policies on systems, physical security, etc.

Remember: Proactive devices PREVENT an attack, as opposed to responding to it. Network scans often detect these devices, but they rarely prevent them. Policies describe high-level enterprise intentions which can then be implemented. Installing antispyware is a detective/corrective control, not a proactive/preventative one.

What is the Cost of the CISSP Exam?

The CISSP certification fee is divided into three parts, as follows:

Course fees range from $300 to $3200 USD.

The exam costs $699 USD.

Time required for preparation (hidden cost): 50 to 70 hours

The CISSP certification is more technical and in-depth than some of the other information security certifications available today. To mention a few, it addresses risk management, asset security management, access management, security engineering, security testing, and network security.

As a result, you can expect to be hired as a security consultant, security auditor, security consultant, or security system engineer after achieving your CISSP. As a CISSP, you will create policies and processes for securing information security networks at work. You’ll be integrating the processes required to secure assets from external threats into IT networks.

In reality, the CISSP is a valuable and exciting certification for IT professionals. Once you have it, you will be confident that you have earned the credibility and approval required for successful information security management. As a result, you will be able to develop in your job and earn more money.

But, the certification is not free. The word “work expense” might not be the most appropriate. You’ll be investing in something that will provide you with new and improved work prospects.

A Comprehensive Overview of the CISSP Exam Cost

CISSP Certification Cost: Course Fee

Let’s start with the course fee, which is included in the CISSP price.

The first step in pursuing your CISSP certification is to enroll in a CISSP certification course. Self-study is neither advised nor efficient for passing the CISSP exam, thus you must complete the course.

The CISSP course content is unique in comparison to many other IT certifications. It covers subjects that are rarely discussed or handled in day-to-day IT operations.

As a result, you must enroll in a CISSP certification course that is thorough. That is, the course should comprehensively cover all of the topics specified. You should also have access to practice materials, such as CISSP practice tests and other useful information, to help you prepare for the exam.

The CISSP certification course costs vary by country and, in certain situations, by city. Even if you search for CISSP course prices in your area, you will discover that there are numerous training providers with varying pricing ranges.

We investigated the cost of the CISSP certification course in a number of countries, and the findings are shown below. The table below compares low and high CISSP course fees in various nations.

Classroom CISSP Courses

  • The United States and Canada: US$ 2000 – US$ 2800
  • Pakistan / India: US$ 300 – US$ 600
  • EU: US$ 2600 – US$ 3200
  • Saudi Arabia / United Arab Emirates: US$ 800 – US$ 1300
  • Australia and New Zealand: US$ 2000 – US$ 2600

If you want to learn in a classroom setting, there are several CISSP training providers in your area. They may regularly deliver CISSP training, and some may also provide specialized one-on-one education.

You can talk to them about your alternatives and choose the best one for you. Unfortunately, classroom-based CISSP training is prohibitively expensive. This form of training is far more expensive than live online and self-paced online learning options. As a result, this type of training may raise your total CISSP exam fees.

Online Self-Paced Learning

In addition to classroom training, CISSP classes are available online for self-paced learning. This is a great choice for people who have limited daytime availability and a hectic work schedule. With self-paced online learning, you can watch video courses whenever you want. You are not also required to attend the training facility. We offer CISSP Certification Training.

The cost of self-paced online CISSP training varies substantially. A CISSP course costs $300, although it is sometimes offered for $900.

Did you notice the pricing change? Because online self-paced courses are less expensive than classroom and even live online training, choosing this option will result in a cheaper overall CISSP certification exam cost. Hence, if you believe this learning method is perfect for you, it’s also worth the money.

Online Live Training

Numerous educational institutions also provide CISSP courses. In a live course, you may be the only one in the room, or you may have other students online with you. It will be an interactive session where you will be able to ask questions and receive prompt responses.

The cost of live online classes also varies substantially. An online CISSP training course may cost between US$ 600 and US$ 1500.

CISSP Certification Exam Fee

The exam fee is the second component of the CISSP certification fee. The CISSP exam is currently priced at $699. This price will change on May 1, 2022. The new CISSP exam fee will increase from US$ 699 to US$ 749 after this date.

Regardless of where you apply for the exam, the fee will be the same. PearsonVue, an authorized ISC2 testing center, provides all ISC2 exams. To register for your exam, you can pay PearsonVUE either online or in one of their franchise stores in your area.

CISSP Certification Exam Cost: Time for preparation

The amount of time spent studying for the CISSP exam is not included in the CISSP certification fee. The time you spend studying for the exam, on the other hand, will cost you money.

Time is money, and you could need up to 70 hours to fully study for the CISSP exam. An IT professional may need 50 to 60 hours to prepare for the exam, but someone without extensive IT experience may need 60 to 70 hours.

How long will it take to complete the planning? It is a risk! Everything is dependent on how much time you have available each day or week to study for the CISSP exam. Individuals have finished their preparation in as little as one month and as long as six months.

Additional criteria, such as previous work experience, skill level, and the desire to become certified as quickly as feasible, determine how much time it takes to complete your courses.

As a result, you will commit a large amount of time to CISSP exam preparation. Consider that time to be part of the CISSP certification cost.

Is CISSP A Hard Exam?

It’s a challenging exam. Although the CISSP pass rates are not made public, it is widely believed that they are significantly below 50%.

Can I Pass The CISSP In 3 Months?

If you wish to pass your CISSP exam in 3 months, you might go for the Extended Way (3 months or more, 2 hours per day, with a focus on weekends). Don’t miss any material when you’re studying because you might be omitting something you’ll need to know later.

Is CISSP For Beginners?

CISSP isn’t for beginners. The CISSP is created for security experts who have worked in the field for a while, are currently employed in a role involving information security, and want to learn about cybersecurity leadership and operations.

How Many Years Is CISSP Valid?

The CISSP certification is valid for three years.

In Conclusion,

The CISSP is a worldwide recognized certification in information security. In today’s modern world, professionals with a thorough and in-depth understanding of how to safeguard IT assets, applications, and information against attacks are in great demand. CISSPs are the most qualified professionals to deal with information security concerns.

In this post, the three components of the CISSP certification fee were discussed: the CISSP course fee, the CISSP exam cost, and preparation time.

You will have a clear financial plan and study timetable for your future profession if you have an anticipated cost for earning your certification. Best wishes!

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