CISSP: How to earn CPEs?

Certification: ISC CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional

The international Information Systems Security Certification Consortium governs CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) which is an independent certification for information security. The certification is valid worldwide according to the reports of (ISC)2. The CISSP obtained the ANSI ISO/IEC Standard 17024:2003 accreditation in June 2004. Te certification is also approved by Department of Defense of US, for both of Information Assurance Technical (IAT) and Information Technical Managerial (IAM) categories. It is the baseline certification for the US National Security Agency’s ISSEP program.

An organization cannot be protected by technological solutions only; it has to have security professionals. These professionals will provide the organization a high standard of security to their customers, stake holders, employers and protect the organizational information. The Human Resource department in USA says that the security certification by CISSP is the biggest certification which one has, shows that he/she is qualified and can provide security to the the organization competently than other certifications. The US department stating that is correct in its own terms. The certified professionals who have the CISSP certification need to have five year of experience in the IT industry to secure their certification.

What is CPE?

CPE (Continuing Professional Education) are the credits that are required for the CISSP certificate holders to maintain their certificates current. The CPEs credits are required for the holders to remain in good position in your company. Earning credits is not an easy task for some while it is easy for some, as if cutting a cake. CPEs can be earned by various ways, like attending meetings and conferences of chapter organizations, though you might have to pay for some to attend. The reason behind the requirement of CPEs is that it helps one to remain updated about the developments in the IT sector. There are a lot of differences between the different certifying institutions in relation to CPEs. (ISC)2 have classified CPE credits into two categories: Type A and Type B. The CPE credit related to core disciplines i.e. the ten domains of the CISSP are submitted in Type A credit, while the credits earned in other fields are submitted in Type B. The type B credits could be from any field other than the domains of CISSP. There are a lot of ways through which you can earn your CPEs.

How to earn CPEs

There are two ways by which one can earn CPEs, you can go for ways which will cost you money, but in case you don’t want to spend you can go with the free ways to earn CPEs. There are a lot of ways to earn the CPEs, few are listed below:

1)  Read Professional Security Magazine: By reading the ISC magazine you can earn few CPE points for free. The magazine is published quarterly, so the magazine will fetch around 24 CPE in three years i.e. 2 CPEs for every magazine you read. After every magazine you read you will be provided with some multiple choice questions, once you pass that you will be provided with a URL, where you can download the certificate.

2)  Subscribe InfoMagazine: this subscription fetch you 5 CPE points every year. It’s a free subscription which you can have in your mail id or in the paper form which will be delivered at your address. But at the subscription time you have to enter your ISC number so that you can have 15 CPE points in 3 years.

3)  Watching Webcasts: There are a number of websites that (ISC)2 accepts as your CPE points. You have to watch the webcasts, under the computer based training, Podcasts, Webcasts section. You can watch the webcasts and submit your CPE from following sites: 

  • SecurityTalk
  • E-Symposium Seminar Series
  • ThinkTank Security Leadership Roundtable Webinars.

With every clip you see; you will be awarded 1 CPE points for every hour. It is recommended that you should keep notes of which webinar you watched and from which site. This will help you incase you get audited.

4)  Reading White Papers: You can earn 1CPE point from Group A, if you read a white paper from site that is credited and is a authentic website. After reading the paper you should login to the (ISC)2 website and write the review on the white paper. You can download the paper and keep for yourself in case you get audited.

5)  Listening to podcasts: Listen to the podcasts that are available to you, make notes and submit it for CPEs. The persons, who travel more and have long distance travel, have this as a good option.

6)  Online training: There are several online portals that can be used to earn CPEs. You should have a screenshot or a copy of the certificate that you may receive on completion. This will be needed in case your CPEs are audited.

7)  Live and Virtual Events: The members of (ISC)2 can attend a live seminar earning 1 CPE points for each hour of instructions from experts. All the members will be made aware of the seminars through emails. The same conditions apply to the virtual events and seminars.

These are the ways by which the CISSPs holders can continue to maintain there certifications. The members should be alert and aware in gaining there CPEs every year so that they don’t have a burden at the last moment. You have to be constantly working to gain your CPEs, to avoid the rejection of your CISSP certification. If you get terminated you will have to study again and clear the paper again which is a rigorous affair. So earn the CPEs on time, submit it to the (ISC)2 website along with the Annual Maintenance Fee (AMF).

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