Professional Certifications in Information Security

We live in a world of digital transformation that includes the internet of things (IoT), big data,and cloud computing. Businesses collect, store, and share massive amounts of data daily.Since there is no shortage of hackers constantly trying to steal precious information, itcreates a significant challenge to safeguard personally identifiable information(PII),intellectual property, and other sensitive data.

This is where information security professionals come in. This is one of the fields where the demand keeps on increasing. In fact, according to CyberSeek, it was estimated that the supply-to-demand ratio for cybersecurity workers remains at 2.5 compared to 6.5 for other jobs. With the increasing trend of cloud, IoT, and big data, hackers will always try to find new ways to take advantage. This means the demand for information or cyber security professionals will keep increasing.

What is a Professional Certification in Information Security?

A cybersecurity certification or certification in information security ensures that you have the knowledge and skills to deal with hacking and cyber-attacks. The proper accreditation is proof that you understand the best practices and strategies to maintain the security and privacy of an organization.

Certifications can help you as an IT professional by providing certified training modules and exam preparation materials. Besides learning expertise in the field, it adds to your credibility and makes you a valuable candidate for a cybersecurity job.

If you are starting in the field of cybersecurity, you may begin with entry-level certifications.Meanwhile, you have years of experience in the cybersecurity field and want to take on a more advanced role. Advanced information security certification programs could also help you land a high-paying job.

Multiple certification programs are available for you; some are great for beginning your career, while others are more relevant when you achieve a specific position in the future.Sometimes more than one certification can help you get more knowledge and credibility.

Categories of Information Security Certifications

Cybersecurity certifications can be classified into three categories: Professional (technical), professional (industry-specific), and academic.

Professional (technology field)

These certifications are ideal for professionals working directly in a specific technology. It could be either in the field of IT or networking or anything else. These certificates help provide knowledge and expertise in new technology and methods of the industry and help develop expertise in a new domain.

Professional (Industry-specific)

Many industries offer information security programs targeted to the challenges and problems faced in the specific industry. These certifications help you stand out in a particular sector.


Academic certifications boost your chances to land a job as they are a testament to your employer that you have practical knowledge about cyber security challenges.

Top 5 Professional Certifications in Information Security

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ is a leading certification in Information Security, providing necessary credentials to cybersecurity professionals and validating their core skills. As a compliance to DoD 8570, this certification is a stepping stone for beginners to reach mid-level roles.

Candidates learn through real-world examples and gain professional expertise in architecture, design, governance, compliance, implementation, operations, and more.

Prerequisite Skills − Basic knowledge of architecture and design, incident response, attacks, threats, vulnerabilities, governance, and compliance.

Duration − It is a 90 minutes exam available in-person and online. Candidates taking CompTIA’s CertMaster course have to complete 40-50 hours of materials.

Ideal Candidates − IT project managers, Network and cloud engineers, security administrators, Security Engineers, IT auditors, and Analysts.

Exam Fee − Around $390

Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals

It is for candidates looking to learn about Microsoft’s Security Compliance and Identity (SCI)solutions.

Prerequisite Skills − Not required

Duration − The exam is for 45 min, but preparation may differ. You can opt for a free practice involving a four-part learning series or a fee-based six-hour virtual session.

Ideal Candidates − IT professionals, cybersecurity students, and anyone interested in MS SCI solutions.

Exam Fee − Around $99

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Offered by (ISC) 2, the CISSP is an intermediate-level certification, one of the most demanded certifications in cybersecurity. It is ideal for students seeking knowledge in security design, management, and implementation.

Prerequisite Skills − Must have five years of experience in the respective field to qualify for the exam.

Duration − It is a four-hour exam containing 125-175 questions. (ISC) 2 provides several ways to prepare for the exam, including classroom training, online training from instructors, online private training, and online self-paced training.

Ideal Candidates − C-level executives and directors of Information Security, security managers, architects, auditors, consultants, and security system engineers.

Exam Fee − Around $750

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)®

This is a perfect certification course for security professionals to advance their careers into managerial positional. The certification offers tactical knowledge about information security governance, program development, and risk & incident management.

Prerequisite Skills − Candidates must complete five years full-time in a job related to security management.

Duration − The exam is four hours, but the preparation time may vary.

Ideal Candidates − Mid-level information security professionals seeking managerial positions.

Exam Fee − Around $575 for ISACA members and $760 for non-members

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)®

This certification covers five domains that include −

  • Information systems auditing process

  • Information systems acquisitions

  • Information systems operations and business reliance

  • Governance and management of IT

  • Development and implementation

The process is the same as getting the CISM certification. The candidates must pass the exam and apply for the certifications by showing their industry credentials.

Prerequisite Skills − Candidates must have five years of a full-time job in Information systems, auditing, security, and control.

Duration − It is a four-hour exam comprising 150 multiple-choice questions.

Ideal Candidates − IT and Information security professionals with experience in auditing, control, and assurance.

Exam Fee − Around $575 for ISACA members and $760 for non-members


Numerous certifications are available in the Information Security field, which only states how critical and competitive the cybersecurity space has become. Candidates with the correct designation and credentials will stand out from the crowd and pursue their dream job with better skills and confidence.