by Naveen Kohli, CISSP, CSSLP, CC

A few months ago, I took the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) exam. While checking out from the exam center, the person who was helping me looked at the signing sheet and said “Wow, you are a cybersecurity professional?” After a brief conversation with him, I found out that he was a young IT professional who was aspiring to get into cybersecurity. I got the impression that he wanted to get a cybersecurity certification but was unsure about himself.

Later, I wrote about my experiences with ISC2’s exams and a lot of IT community members sent me messages wanting to know more about my experience. Many messages had an undertone that people were unsure and had questions about the following:

  • Is it hard to pass these exams?
  • Is it hard to prepare for these exams?
  • How much do I need to prepare for these exams?

From all these conversations I concluded that the only question people have in their minds is “Will I pass the exam?” Certifications can be big undertakings; I can understand why people could doubt themselves.

Small steps and success always help in building a person’s confidence. I asked my coworker Vishnu to take Certified for Cybersecurity (CC) practice quiz offered by ISC2 . It is a 10-question exam. After taking the exam, Vishnu told me “I think I am ready, and I can do it.” There are two things that the quiz did. One, it gave Vishnu a basic understanding of what cybersecurity is all about. Second, it provided him with a quick overview of what type of questions he will potentially come across during the exam.

The CC initiative by ISC2 is a great step. It provides a great foundation for fundamental skills in cybersecurity. It covers a lot of essential topics without overwhelming a person and without the overload of advanced concepts. In my opinion, this provides that sense of small victories before conquering the final mission. It helps in building a lot of confidence for a person to move on to taking certification exams like CISSP, CCSLP and CCSP.

The topics that you learn for CC certification exam also carry over to other certification exams like CISSP. The following infographic provides a tentative comparison of how CC topics can map to the topics covered in CISSP.

One great thing about CC exam is that the complimentary examination voucher covers the cost of self-paced training as well. A question that I have received many times is about the training and practice exam resources for CISSP, CCSP and CSSLP. For these exams, one must purchase preparation resources in addition to the purchase of an examination voucher. I am glad that CC took this into consideration and did a great job of providing all the tools for a person to prepare and pass the exam.

In my opinion, every IT and Software professional should consider taking Certified in Cybersecurity certification exam. It helps in attaining fundamental cybersecurity knowledge and removes the barriers in one’s mind about achieving the higher goals in cybersecurity profession.