Certified Information Security Manager

CISM means higher earning potential and career advancement. Recent independent studies consistently rank CISM as one of the highest paying and sought after IT certifications.

Why is CISM Certification important for you?

The demand for skilled information security management professionals is on the rise, and the CISM certification is the globally accepted standard of achievement in this area.

CISMs understand the business. They know how to manage and adapt technology to their enterprise and industry.

CISM Certification:

  • Demonstrates your understanding of the relationship between an information security program and broader business goals and objectives
  • Distinguishes you as having not only information security expertise, but also knowledge and experience in the development and management of an information security program
  • Puts you in an elite peer network
  • Is considered essential to ongoing education, career progression and value delivery to enterprises.

Benefits of CISM

Enterprises and government agencies increasingly recognize, require and expect their IS and IT professionals to hold CISM certification..

CISM employees:

  • Identify critical issues and customize company-specific practices to support the governance of information and related technologies
  • Bring credibility to the enterprise for which they are employed
  • Take a comprehensive view of information systems security management and their relationship to organizational success
  • Demonstrate to enterprise customers their commitment to compliance, security and integrity; ultimately contributing to the attraction and retention of customers
  • Ensure that there is improved alignment between the organization’s information security program and its broader goals and objectives

Provide the enterprise with a certification for Information security management that is recognized by multinational clients and enterprises, lending credibility to the enterprisesustainable development initiatives. The standard assists organizations and/or professionals to plan processes, interactions and have a risk-based thinking.

Examination

The current CISM exam covers 4 information security management areas, each of which is further defined and detailed through Task & Knowledge statements. The four new domain headings of the 2017 Job Practice are relatively the same; however, the exam specifications (weighting) have shifted slightly.

Following is a brief description of these areas, their definitions and approximate percentage of test questions allocated to each area. These areas and statements were approved by the CISM Certification Working Group and represent a job practice analysis of the work performed by information security managers as validated by prominent industry leaders, subject matter experts and industry practitioners

The job practice domains and task and knowledge statements are as follows:

Domain 1—Information Security Governance (24%)
Domain 2—Information Risk Management (30%)
Domain 3—Information Security Program Development and Management (27%)
Domain 4—Information Security Incident Management (19%)

Domain 1—Information Security Governance

Establish and/or maintain an information security governance framework and supporting processes to ensure that the information security strategy is aligned with organizational goals and objectives. (24%)

Task Statements

1.1 Establish and/or maintain an information security strategy in alignment with organizational goals and objectives to guide the establishment and/or ongoing management of the information security program.
1.2 Establish and/or maintain an information security governance framework to guide activities that support the information security strategy.
1.3 Integrate information security governance into corporate governance to ensure that organizational goals and objectives are supported by the information security program.
1.4 Establish and maintain information security policies to guide the development of standards, procedures and guidelines in alignment with enterprise goals and objectives.
1.5 Develop business cases to support investments in information security.
1.6 Identify internal and external influences to the organization (e.g., emerging technologies, social media, business environment, risk tolerance, regulatory requirements, third-party considerations, threat landscape) to ensure that these factors are continually addressed by the information security strategy.
1.7 Gain ongoing commitment from senior leadership and other stakeholders to support the successful implementation of the information security strategy.
1.8 Define, communicate, and monitor information security responsibilities throughout the organization (e.g., data owners, data custodians, end users, privileged or high-risk users) and lines of authority.
1.9 Establish, monitor, evaluate and report key information security metrics to provide management with accurate and meaningful information regarding the effectiveness of the information security strategy.

Knowledge Statements

k1.1 Knowledge of techniques used to develop an information security strategy (e.g., SWOT [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats] analysis, gap analysis, threat research)
k1.2 Knowledge of the relationship of information security to business goals, objectives, functions, processes and practices
k1.3 Knowledge of available information security governance frameworks
k1.4 Knowledge of globally recognized standards, frameworks and industry best practices related to information security governance and strategy development
k1.5 Knowledge of the fundamental concepts of governance and how they relate to information security
k1.6 Knowledge of methods to assess, plan, design and implement an information security governance framework
k1.7 Knowledge of methods to integrate information security governance into corporate governance
k1.8 Knowledge of contributing factors and parameters (e.g., organizational structure and culture, tone at the top, regulations) for information security policy development
k1.9 Knowledge of content in, and techniques to develop, business cases
k1.10 Knowledge of strategic budgetary planning and reporting methods
k1.11 Knowledge of the internal and external influences to the organization (e.g., emerging technologies, social media, business environment, risk tolerance, regulatory requirements, third-party considerations, threat landscape) and how they impact the information security strategy
k1.12 Knowledge of key information needed to obtain commitment from senior leadership and support from other stakeholders (e.g., how information security supports organizational goals and objectives, criteria for determining successful implementation, business impact)
k1.13 Knowledge of methods and considerations for communicating with senior leadership and other stakeholders (e.g., organizational culture, channels of communication, highlighting essential aspects of information security)
k1.14 Knowledge of roles and responsibilities of the information security manager
k1.15 Knowledge of organizational structures, lines of authority and escalation points
k1.16 Knowledge of information security responsibilities of staff across the organization (e.g., data owners, end users, privileged or high-risk users)
k1.17 Knowledge of processes to monitor performance of information security responsibilities
k1.18 Knowledge of methods to establish new, or utilize existing, reporting and communication channels throughout an organization
k1.19 Knowledge of methods to select, implement and interpret key information security metrics (e.g., key goal indicators [KGIs], key performance indicators [KPIs], key risk indicators [KRIs])

Domain 2—Information Risk Management

Manage information risk to an acceptable level based on risk appetite in order to meet organizational goals and objectives. (30%)

Task Statements

2.1 Establish and/or maintain a process for information asset classification to ensure that measures taken to protect assets are proportional to their business value.
2.2 Identify legal, regulatory, organizational and other applicable requirements to manage the risk of noncompliance to acceptable levels.
2.3 Ensure that risk assessments, vulnerability assessments and threat analyses are conducted consistently, at appropriate times, and to identify and assess risk to the organization’s information.
2.4 Identify, recommend or implement appropriate risk treatment/response options to manage risk to acceptable levels based on organizational risk appetite.
2.5 Determine whether information security controls are appropriate and effectively manage risk to an acceptable level.
2.6 Facilitate the integration of information risk management into business and IT processes (e.g., systems development, procurement, project management) to enable a consistent and comprehensive information risk management program across the organization.
2.7 Monitor for internal and external factors (e.g., key risk indicators [KRIs], threat landscape, geopolitical, regulatory change) that may require reassessment of risk to ensure that changes to existing, or new, risk scenarios are identified and managed appropriately.
2.8 Report noncompliance and other changes in information risk to facilitate the risk management decision-making process.
2.9 Ensure that information security risk is reported to senior management to support an understanding of potential impact on the organizational goals and objectives.

Knowledge Statements

k2.1 Knowledge of methods to establish an information asset classification model consistent with business objectives
k2.2 Knowledge of considerations for assigning ownership of information assets and risk
k2.3 Knowledge of methods to identify and evaluate the impact of internal or external events on information assets and the business
k2.4 Knowledge of methods used to monitor internal or external risk factors
k2.5 Knowledge of information asset valuation methodologies
k2.6 Knowledge of legal, regulatory, organizational and other requirements related to information security
k2.7 Knowledge of reputable, reliable and timely sources of information regarding emerging information security threats and vulnerabilities
k2.8 Knowledge of events that may require risk reassessments and changes to information security program elements
k2.9 Knowledge of information threats, vulnerabilities and exposures and their evolving nature
k2.10 Knowledge of risk assessment and analysis methodologies
k2.11 Knowledge of methods used to prioritize risk scenarios and risk treatment/response options
k2.12 Knowledge of risk reporting requirements (e.g., frequency, audience, content)
k2.13 Knowledge of risk treatment/response options (avoid, mitigate, accept or transfer) and methods to apply them
k2.14 Knowledge of control baselines and standards and their relationships to risk assessments
k2.15 Knowledge of information security controls and the methods to analyze their effectiveness
k2.16 Knowledge of gap analysis techniques as related to information security
k2.17 Knowledge of techniques for integrating information security risk management into business and IT processes
k2.18 Knowledge of compliance reporting requirements and processes
k2.19 Knowledge of cost/benefit analysis to assess risk treatment options

Domain 3—Information Security Program Development and Management

Develop and maintain an information security program that identifies, manages and protects the organization’s assets while aligning to information security strategy and business goals, thereby supporting an effective security posture. (27%)

Task Statements

3.1 Establish and/or maintain the information security program in alignment with the information security strategy.
3.2 Align the information security program with the operational objectives of other business functions (e.g., human resources [HR], accounting, procurement and IT) to ensure that the information security program adds value to and protects the business.
3.3 Identify, acquire and manage requirements for internal and external resources to execute the information security program.
3.4 Establish and maintain information security processes and resources (including people and technologies) to execute the information security program in alignment with the organization’s business goals.
3.5 Establish, communicate and maintain organizational information security standards, guidelines, procedures and other documentation to guide and enforce compliance with information security policies.
3.6 Establish, promote and maintain a program for information security awareness and training to foster an effective security culture.
3.7 Integrate information security requirements into organizational processes (e.g., change control, mergers and acquisitions, system development, business continuity, disaster recovery) to maintain the organization’s security strategy.
3.8 Integrate information security requirements into contracts and activities of third parties (e.g., joint ventures, outsourced providers, business partners, customers) and monitor adherence to established requirements in order to maintain the organization’s security strategy.
3.9 Establish, monitor and analyze program management and operational metrics to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the information security program.
3.10 Compile and present reports to key stakeholders on the activities, trends and overall effectiveness of the IS program and the underlying business processes in order to communicate security performance.

Knowledge Statements

k3.1 Knowledge of methods to align information security program requirements with those of other business functions
k3.2 Knowledge of methods to identify, acquire, manage and define requirements for internal and external resources
k3.3 Knowledge of current and emerging information security technologies and underlying concepts
k3.4 Knowledge of methods to design and implement information security controls
k3.5 Knowledge of information security processes and resources (including people and technologies) in alignment with the organization’s business goals and methods to apply them
k3.6 Knowledge of methods to develop information security standards, procedures and guidelines
k3.7 Knowledge of internationally recognized regulations, standards, frameworks and best practices related to information security program development and management
k3.8 Knowledge of methods to implement and communicate information security policies, standards, procedures and guidelines
k3.9 Knowledge of training, certifications and skill set development for information security personnel
k3.10 Knowledge of methods to establish and maintain effective information security awareness and training programs
k3.11 Knowledge of methods to integrate information security requirements into organizational processes (e.g., access management, change management, audit processes)
k3.12 Knowledge of methods to incorporate information security requirements into contracts, agreements and third-party management processes
k3.13 Knowledge of methods to monitor and review contracts and agreements with third parties and associated change processes as required
k3.14 Knowledge of methods to design, implement and report operational information security metrics
k3.15 Knowledge of methods for testing the effectiveness and efficiency of information security controls
k3.16 Knowledge of techniques to communicate information security program status to key stakeholders

Domain 4—Information Security Incident Management

Plan, establish and manage the capability to detect, investigate, respond to and recover from information security incidents to minimize business impact. (19%)

Task Statements

4.1 Establish and maintain an organizational definition of, and severity hierarchy for, information security incidents to allow accurate classification and categorization of and response to incidents.
4.2 Establish and maintain an incident response plan to ensure an effective and timely response to information security incidents.
4.3 Develop and implement processes to ensure the timely identification of information security incidents that could impact the business.
4.4 Establish and maintain processes to investigate and document information security incidents in order to determine the appropriate response and cause while adhering to legal, regulatory and organizational requirements.
4.5 Establish and maintain incident notification and escalation processes to ensure that the appropriate stakeholders are involved in incident response management.
4.6 Organize, train and equip incident response teams to respond to information security incidents in an effective and timely manner.
4.7 Test, review and revise (as applicable) the incident response plan periodically to ensure an effective response to information security incidents and to improve response capabilities.
4.8 Establish and maintain communication plans and processes to manage communication with internal and external entities.
4.9 Conduct postincident reviews to determine the root cause of information security incidents, develop corrective actions, reassess risk, evaluate response effectiveness and take appropriate remedial actions.
4.10 Establish and maintain integration among the incident response plan, business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan.

Knowledge Statements

k4.1 Knowledge of incident management concepts and practices
k4.2 Knowledge of the components of an incident response plan
k4.3 Knowledge of business continuity planning (BCP) and disaster recovery planning (DRP) and their relationship to the incident response plan
k4.4 Knowledge of incident classification/categorization methods
k4.5 Knowledge of incident containment methods to minimize adverse operational impact
k4.6 Knowledge of notification and escalation processes
k4.7 Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities in identifying and managing information security incidents
k4.8 Knowledge of the types and sources of training, tools and equipment required to adequately equip incident response teams
k4.9 Knowledge of forensic requirements and capabilities for collecting, preserving and presenting evidence (e.g., admissibility, quality and completeness of evidence, chain of custody)
k4.10 Knowledge of internal and external incident reporting requirements and procedures
k4.11 Knowledge of postincident review practices and investigative methods to identify root causes and determine corrective actions
k4.12 Knowledge of techniques to quantify damages, costs and other business impacts arising from information security incidents
k4.13 Knowledge of technologies and processes to detect, log, analyze and document information security events
k4.14 Knowledge of internal and external resources available to investigate information security incidents
k4.15 Knowledge of methods to identify and quantify the potential impact of changes made to the operating environment during the incident response process
k4.16 Knowledge of techniques to test the incident response plan
k4.17 Knowledge of applicable regulatory, legal and organization requirements
k4.18 Knowledge of key indicators/metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the incident response plan

Successfully Pass the CISM Exam

Score a passing grade on the CISM exam. A passing score on the CISM examination, without completing the required work experience as outlined below, will only be valid for 5 years. If the applicant does not meet the CISM certification requirements within the five year period, the passing score will be voided.

Work Experience

Submit verified evidence of a minimum of five years of information security work experience, with a minimum of three years of information security management work experience in three or more of the job practice analysis areas. The work experience must be gained within the 10-year period preceding the application date for certification or within 5 years from the date of originally passing the exam.

Experience Substitutions

The following security-related certifications and information systems management experience can be used to satisfy the indicated amount of information security work experience.

Two Years:

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) in good standing
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) in good standing
  • Post-graduate degree in information security or a related field (e.g., business administration, information systems, information assurance)

One Year:

  • One full year of information systems management experience
  • One full year of general security management experience
  • Skill-based security certifications (e.g., SANS Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), CompTIA Security +, Disaster Recovery Institute Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), ESL IT Security Manager)
  • Completion of an information security management program at an institution aligned with the Model Curriculum

The experience substitutions will not satisfy any portion of the 3-year information security management work experience requirement.

Exception: Two years as a full-time university instructor teaching the management of information security can be substituted for every 1 year of information security experience.

How do I get started with CISM Training?

If you are willing to take the challenge and obtain a CISM certification, our experts will ensure a valuable experience, whereby your needs will be met and you will become part of our global network.

Contact us to begin with the first step.