CISM Certification Exam

CISM is one of the most prestigious certifications for cybersecurity executives and practitioners. According to research and technology consulting firm Gartner Inc, the unemployment rate for cybersecurity professionals is near zero. In fact, there are more vacancies than qualified candidates whose vacancies remain open for an extended period of time. A recent study by Certification Magazine places CISM above almost all security certifications in regards to median salary of its holder. Cybersecurity professionals with this credential can work anywhere in the professional world because this certificate is recognized by everywhere and by every organization.

CISM focuses on management. In other words, CISM is aimed at those who “manage” analysts. If you want to be a CISO or Executive, consider CISO training and be serious about the CISM certification course. However, if you are aiming for a career as a safety engineer, CISSP can be your certificate. In this article, you will learn how to approach the CISM certification.

CISM is one of the three best certifications that pays higher for CS professionals. Information security is very important for any type of business today as we live in a digital-driven era. Companies are very focused on protecting their own data from cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and others. The CISM certification makes sure that you Create the ability to create a comprehensive and competitive security program that is suitable for your organization’s business goals. Of course, the company wants to take advantage of this ingenuity.

CISM is becoming increasingly relevant for existing and aspiring IT managers as there is a demand for professionals with certification and various other technical certifications. The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certificate is indeed a good choice for cyber security professionals looking to make progress from team players to managers. This is an advanced certification designed to demonstrate the knowledge and experience necessary to develop and manage an organization’s program related to information security. In this way, CISM critically plays a crucial role in validating the integrity of your team and your skills, and in turn increasing customer loyalty.

Let’s see how the industry is reaching risk management today:

Most companies do not practice formal cybersecurity risk management. The decision is based on what competitors are currently doing. Skills like these, which are highly emphasized in the CISM certification, are crucial. If you are a professional from cybersecurity, you may find yourself in casual conversation with management about their tools. A common answer to the question “why to have DLP” is because many organizations use DLP. This is where this certificate comes into the scenario to make decisions that are backed by the attributes of good risk management.

Why are employers looking for CISM?

Employers and governments value CISM-certified employees because they believe they have the ability to:

  • Identify critical issues and adapt company-specific practices
  • Brings confidence to employee interactions inside and outside the organization’s information security boundaries
  • Demonstrate company loyalty to security and integrity to your customers
  • Improve your organization’s security program and overall business goals
  • Increase customer loyalty

CISM certified employees consistently demonstrate their ability to contribute to team effectiveness. Your experience is appreciated by both managers and employers. Of course, most companies offer them great salary packages.

Who has the eligibility to take the CISM Exam?

The CISM certification is only awarded to candidates who have five years of hands-on work experience, provided they have cleared on paper examination. You do not have to meet the experience needed before the examination, but you must meet the requirements within five years of passing the exam. In other words, experience must be received within 10 years before the date of registration or within five years from passing the exam date.

In summary, the mandatory conditions for this certification include:

  • At least five years of experience.
  • An Exam
  • A Fee

How do you sign-up for the CISM exam?

You can register for the CISM exam online throughout the year, from the comfort of your own home or at a PSI exam center. After registering online via ISACA, you will be emailed instructions on how to plan the exam. All you have to do is to attempt the exam and keep your CISM certificate.

How much does the CISM exam cost?

The exam fees are $760, each while ISACA members receive a $575 discount. If this tempts you to join ISACA, be aware that it costs $130 per year plus a one-time upfront fee until you become a member.

What to expect from the exam?

The CISM exam contains 150 questions with a choice of questions to be completed within 240 minutes and is scored on a 200-800 point scale with a passing number out of 450. According to the most recent updated exam description, effective June 1, 2022, the exam covers 4 work-related CISM domains:

  • 17% Information Security Governance
  • 33% Information Security Program development and management
  • 30% Information Security Incident Management
  • 20% Information Risk Management

If you fail the exam, you can repeat it a maximum of three times within twelve months. This means you have 4 attempts to pass the exam in a continuous 12 month period.

What happens after the exam is over?

CISM is not a one-time type of certification. The certification expires three years after the date of issue, after which you have to renew your credential. To maintain your certification, you must complete a minimum of 120 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) for a three-year reporting cycle with at least of 20 hours every year. You can meet these criteria in a number of ways: by attending university courses, on-the-job training, or by attending professional training activities and meetings. So to manage the CISM certificate, in addition to collecting and reporting your annual CPE hours, you must pay an annual maintenance fee which is of $85, to ensure you receive the appropriate certificate. Knowledge and competence in various areas of information systems security management and compliance with the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics.

You will have to put in a lot of effort to pass this exam, so the obvious question is: is it worth trying? Well, this is a great way to signify your experience in leadership in your field, as well as your cautiousness about your career and professional aspirations. What career opportunities are there after this exam?

There are four crucial job designation that you can understand after and these positions usually come with high salaries:

  • Chief Information Officer
  • Information Security Manager
  • information security consultant
  • Information Technology Consultant

Plan your exams ahead of time as you can only take the CISM exam twice a year in June or December. You should start with the free ISACA practice test with questions, answers and explanations. It can be accessed through a free ISACA account. The CISM Review QAE database does not contain any of the actual questions you will encounter but gives you a clear idea of ​​what to expect on Day D. Also, you can learn a lot just by reading the answer descriptions.

It’s time to enter the preparatory phase – preparing for CISM

Now that there are many ways to approach this mission preparation stage, here are the best for your reference:

Once you receive the desired exam date, create a training plan. You can prepare by covering all the above key knowledge areas according to the weights last given. ISACA has also published official assessment guides available on Amazon, in addition to informal training guides which are much cheaper.

If you want to go beyond the training guide and study in a more structured way, you can try taking one of the CISM training courses or joining the CISM ISACA exam community in person.

Look at your previous study experiences and consider choosing the method that best suits your study habits.

You will need the right resources for preparation to pass the CISM Certification exam, at least four to six weeks before attempting the actual exam.

Then try to break down the material by domain. Ideally, you should allocate 1-2 hours per day to each of the domains, depending on the weights in the exam.

You can commit to learning the method that works best for you. This can be done through reading, listening, or a combination of the two. You can add podcasts and notes to your curriculum to review and take notes on important subject matter.

Keep summarizing the material as this helps to integrate knowledge better and makes the review in the last week before the exam more effective as it will ask you to remind you of the more detailed content.

What matters is where and how you set your setup mode. Ask yourself, do you need to be in a quiet office or can you study successfully with your family? Find out what time works best for you and create a regular exercise schedule with reliable exercise sources.

The level of difficulty of the CISM certification can be felt differently by individuals. However, as a management level certification, it is one of the most gruelling certification exams with a first pass rate of only 50-60%. Unlike most multiple-choice exams, most CISM questions have at least two to three good answers out of four choices. You’ll find questions asking, “What’s the most important thing in this situation?” Or “Which step should you take FIRST?” Guessing it requires a thorough understanding of CISM material.

Lastly, during the exam, you will think like a manager because CISM focuses on management. Your technical experience with manager thinking will come into play here.

Summing up:

The CISM certification exam requires an investment of time, work, and money. It is not a simple test, but a valuable testimony to hard work and determination. A consistent curriculum and regular practice will prepare you well for formal exams.

At Vinsys we cover all the areas we are about to ask in the official exam. Our participants take our courses online from anywhere with an active Internet connection, and we ensure providing our participants with the training they need to ensure they clear the CISM Certification Exam with confidence.

Enroll in our CISM training course to start your preparation and you’ll be on your way to professional growth.