CISM Vs CISSP- Which One is Better For You


According to Statistics, the Information Technology (IT) Industry is expected to grow by 104 percent between 2018 and 2023. It means that this is the right time to earn a cybersecurity certification. Candidates with certification earn more salary and are preferred by companies. In addition, getting certified is proof of professional commitment and level of knowledge. But, the question that arises is: Which Certification should I choose- CISM certification  or CISSP certification?

Here’s an article highlighting all the major differences between the two certifications. Continue reading to choose the right course.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

CISM Certification is designed for experienced candidates who wish to prove their expertise in Information Security. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offers it. It is a globally recognized certification that leads to a handsome salary. In addition, CISM Certification focuses on fostering managerial skills. 

The CISM exam is 4 hours long and consists of 150 questions. Individuals can choose either online or offline mode of examination. For offline mode, there are around 1300 PSI centers. Candidates must score a minimum of 450 out of 800. The exam fees and maintenance fees differ for ISACA and Non-ISACA members. The examinations cover 4 domains which are as follows:

  • Information security program development and management
  • Information security management
  • Information security incident management
  • Information risk management and compliance

The basic eligibility criterion is that the Individual must have worked in Information Security in the past 5 years. Apart from this, candidates need 120 credits over 3 years to maintain their CISM Certification.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

CISSP Certification enables candidates to prove their expertise in designing, launching, and maintaining the cybersecurity program. The examination certificate is granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2. CISSP certification is more famous worldwide as compared to CISM Certification. This certification not only focuses on fostering managerial skills but technical skills too.

The examination is 3 hours long, and there are a total of 100 to 150 questions. The mode of examination is online, and candidates need to score a minimum of 700 out of 1000. The exam fees vary worldwide. The exams cover 8 domains which are as follows:

  • Identity and access management
  • Security assessment and testing
  • Security operations
  • Software development security
  • Security engineering
  • Communication and network security
  • Security and risk management
  • Asset security

The basic certification eligibility is 2 years of prior work experience. If a candidate does not meet the requirement, they could choose a shorter examination that will qualify them as a trainee. To maintain the CISSP certification, a minimum of 120 credits are required over 3 years. Individuals also need to pay an annual maintenance charge of $85.

Difference Between CISSP and CISM Certification

The CISSP certification is management-focused, but the CISM test focuses not only on the management but also on the technical aspect. The examination pattern varies significantly, as CISSP covers 8 domains, whereas the CISM exam covers only 4 domains. Both the courses require 120 credits over 3 years or the maintenance of certification. Also, candidates need to pay an annual maintenance fee of $85 during this period.

ParticularsCISSP CertificationCISM Certification
Focused AspectManagement-OrientedTechnical and Managerial Oriented
PopularityMore popular  Less Popular
Number of domains coveredCovers 8 domainsCovers only 4 domains
Total Number of Questions100 to 150 questions150 questions
Exam Duration3 hours4 hours
Passing Score700 or above450 or above
Exam FeesUSD 749GBP 585EUR 665ISACA Members: $575Non-ISACA Members: $760
CPEs (Continuing Professional Education)120 credits in 3 years120 hours in 3 years
Annual Maintenance Fees$85 for 3 consecutive yearsISACA Members: $45Non-Members: $85


An Individual should choose their certification based on their long-term goals. For example, if one is looking to get into managerial roles, such as an executive, it would be better to choose CISM Certification. On the other hand, if an individual is planning to secure a job with both managerial and technical roles, CISSP Certification would be a better choice. 

Sometimes, people also choose to earn both certifications. Regardless, both certifications increase your worth from a professional angle. CISM and CISSP open the doorways to more salaries, increased knowledge levels, and new challenges.

Additional Read: What is Data Storage?


Olivia is a seasoned blogger with a flair for lifestyle and fashion. With over 6 years of experience, she shares her passion for the latest trends and styles, offering inspiration and guidance to her audience on all things lifestyle-related.

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