Gaining CISSP status

As part of the perpetual challenge to keep knowledge up to date and to expand skills many of us look to accreditation and recognised qualifications to ensure we test ourselves. Last year I decided that it was time to refresh and consolidate  the security experience I had developed over the years working as a consultant. I chose the CISSP exam as representing the body of knowledge I currently use the most rather that alternatives such as CEF. What I hadn’t fully appreciated was the amount of time I would be dedicating to reviewing what I knew , learning what I didn’t and preparing for the exam.

This is part of the reason why blog articles have been so sparce recently – once started I realised that the preparation and continuous revision would be absorbing all the time I would have previously dedicated to activities like blogging and other side projects. Conscious of this I decided to let those rest until I had achieved the CISSP and stabilised the ongoing CPE (Continuous Professional Education) required of 40 hours per annum. I completed the CISSP last September after an extended wait to be able to attend the actual exam and it wasn’t possible in my locale.

In retrospect I was say I did enjoy the process of preparing for the exam – and that the materials and support I chose through Destination CISSP  were a key factor in keeping me on track through the process. Would I recommend it to others ? Yes I would – for me the combination of web site – mobile apps and book – combined with other written resources allowed me to get a clear understanding of the topics and some specific areas.

The advice I would offer though is to make sure you have the bandwidth to complete the training and exam as it is as demanding as it is rewarding. You may have to let some other “more enjoyable” tasks and projects wait for you to have the time to attend to them.

I hope to return to this topic and especially the CPE component as I continue the CISSP journey and putting the theory into practice for the benefit of clients.