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Experience qualifications for CISSP

With experience requirements for certs like CISSP, is there a general rule-of-thumb of what constitutes acceptable experience?

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Actually, ISC-squared is pretty specific on this subject. Your three years of relevant on-the-job experience must pertain directly to one or more of the 10 domains in the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK):

  • Access Control Systems & Methodology
  • Applications & Systems Development
  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Cryptography
  • Law, Investigation & Ethics
  • Operations Security
  • Physical Security
  • Security Architecture & Models
  • Security Management Practices
  • Telecommunications, Network & Internet Security

Here's what it says on the site about those requirements:

"Have a minimum three years of direct full-time security professional work experience in one or more of the ten test domains of the information systems security Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). Valid experience includes information systems security-related work performed as a practitioner, auditor, consultant, vendor, investigator or instructor, or that which requires IS security knowledge and involves direct application of that knowledge."

Also, on Jan. 1, 2003 these requirements change; see https://www.isc2.org/cgi-bin/content.cgi?page=157 for more info.


For more information on this topic, visit these other SearchSecurity.com resources:
Ask the Expert: Qualification assessment for the CISSP
Ask the Expert: How to obtain hands-on experience in security
Ask the Expert: The advantages of work-related security experience


This was first published in September 2002

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