Become a Certified Information Security Manager

By : techNoEdge January 28, 2020


Time does not stand still and neither does the workplace environment. Over time there has been a shift from what used to be considered the typical work environment to the custom job designed to give consideration to work-life balance. Most of the norms from 20 years ago are unfamiliar to those living in the 21st century. Think for a moment how much the world has changed.

Remember when everyone worried about life ceasing to exist after Y2K? Millennium parties were held with breathless moments at the stroke of midnight. Many anticipated a colossal power grid meltdown on 1/1/2000. Fortunately, because of code writers and computer technology experts of that era, planes did not crash, data protection was not compromised and a complete global meltdown was averted.

While the millennium catastrophe never happened – radical change did occur with multitudes of shifts in the workplace. There are still traditional workplaces with 9-5 jobs but the norm has shifted creating opportunities for learning paths, flexible scheduling and mobility.

Loosely defined, because there are no set criteria for what constitutes a job or career change, you will find the average person today has 12 jobs in their lifetime.

What is your next job?

There are many reasons employment opportunities shine bright for information security and technology folks. Hacking is just one of them. Envision – no pun intended – this for a moment. The average person blinks their eyes 15-20 times per minute. It is a bit disconcerting to think that every 39 seconds – almost as often as you blink your eyes – a hacker is up to no good. This is why ethical hackers will continue to be employed and will require close supervision to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Through a natural progression of working in information technology fields, you have attained certain skill sets that have built a strong foundation for propelling your work discipline forward. That you are reading this indicates your willingness to transition and further suggests you are part of the changing work culture.

Much like the seasons of the year, moving forward allows you to shift your mindset and advance yourself to learning new skills. Though possibly conceived as a self-serving endeavour by some, exploring and altering your own path in a creative way ultimately helped to renew and refresh others.

Guts and Glory

Having the deep-seated emotion to continue either carrying more responsibility doing the same type of work or a contrasting work experience managing different security disciplines (e.g. ethical hacking v. data protection) means you have separated yourself into a unique class of workers who share a common goal to advance.

You recognize that becoming a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) is more than just putting in time at work, paying for, taking and passing an exam. The steps leading up to your decision to take the exam say much about your knowledge, expertise, passion, freedom to choose and about your abilities to lead and manage others. Someone may have suggested you take the next step or you may have decided to take the plunge on your own. No matter how you arrived at this point it is clear you have the sturdy constitution required to transfer yourself into the next best information security manager.

Consider for a moment what altering your career path as a CISM means. It means that you have the opportunity to connect, collaborate and develop others while influencing outcomes in an empathetic manner. You will be afforded the chance to, alongside your co-workers, impact the bottom line of your employer. It goes without saying that you will also be positioning yourself to bump up your own income. Increased pay is good.

Before you start spending those extra dollars commensurate with a management position – on average C$104K – take a moment to think about what is required to achieve and maintain your CISM.

Getting Started

The steps you have taken so far – earning a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science (at a minimum) and gaining work experience has brought you to this exciting place and time. The CISM recognizes you as a standout in the information security world. So let’s talk about the next step – test prepping.

The beauty of the CISM exam is that there are no surprises. Available to you, through ISACA (which goes by its acronym – formerly known as Information Systems Audit and Control Association) is a Candidate Information Guide that will provide you with the guidelines for the next steps. Acknowledging that everyone has their own study habits, if this is your first time taking the CISM exam, you should allow yourself at least ten hours to review and practice the critical information in each of the four CISM domains. Simple math suggests you should allocate between 40-50 hours with tunnel vision studying for exam prep.

Practice makes perfect. Give yourself adequate time to prepare for this 200 question – 4-hour exam.

Upon successful completion of the exam – passing grade is a scaled score of 450 or higher (refer to – candidates will receive their official scores within 10 working days via email. Exam locations can be found on ISACA’s website.

Cost for the exam:
ISACA Members: $575 USD
Non-members: $760 USD

Once you have passed the CISM you must adhere to the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics, participate in the Continued Professional Education (CPE) Program and meet the minimum work-experience requirement. It is then your application for certification will be accepted.

Heading Home

The preparation for ultimate success in attaining this unique CISM certification has brought you to a new juncture. Whether you manage cybersecurity or information security you can stand tall with your head up, shoulders back and know that you have stepped up and into your rightful place amongst CISMs leaders worldwide.

You won’t regret advancing your career as one of the highest-paid information security experts and will enjoy working with enterprises that promote safe practices in international security. Share your oneness with the world as you continue to promote the same for others.

Read our other blog: The Difference between Certified Information Systems Auditor and Certified Information Security Manager

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