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Earning your CISM certification encompasses a lot of different disciplines within the realm of information security, and achieving this certification will open up new avenues for career-minded security professionals that need to showcase their skills as an information security specialist. There are 4 Domains that need to be understood by potential candidates:

  • Information Security Governance (24%)

  • Information Risk Management and Compliance (30%)

  • Information Security Program Development and Management (27%)

  • Information Security Incident Management (19%)

The duration of the exam is around 4 hours and consists of 150 questions. If a candidate feels that they have completed all of the tasks that are required of them earlier, then they are able to complete the exam before the allotted time elapses.

It is important for candidates to understand the question methodology of the CISM, as it is not simply a multiple-choice exam with one correct answer per question. Instead, the exam has been constructed with some questions requiring a most likely or best answer.

The CISM is a vital certification for anyone that is looking to prove that they have what it takes to get into the managerial end of information security and that they are able to take all of their employer’s security concerns into consideration and build policies and protocols around them. Technical knowledge in this field is therefore essential, and the examination does a great job of separating the good from the great.


CISM Certification requirements include a minimum of five years of experience in information security, a minimum of two years of experience as an information security manager, and, of course passing the CISM examination.

With only a 50-60% first-time pass rate, it is important to study and learn the questions for the CISM before you take the exam. The organized study is important for passing the exam, but depending on your learning skill and current familiarity with the test questions, which you can assess by taking the ISACA assessment test.

CISM Exam Eligibility Criteria
Candidates for the CISM certification must adhere to ISACA’s Code of Professional Ethics, and submit evidence of five years’ work experience in the field of information security. Work experience must be gained within the 10-year period preceding the application date for certification or within five years from the date of initially passing the exam. Three of the five years of work experience must be gained performing the role of an information security manager.

Benefits of CISM Certification

  • Recognition of attainment of advanced job skills as required for an information security professional

  • Worldwide recognition as an information security manager

  • Confirms commitment to the profession

  • Provides access to valuable resources, such as peer networking and idea exchange

Expected Outcomes

  1. Students will feel confident and better prepared for the actual exam
  2. Students will gain additional clarity from the detailed explanations