In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of critical systems and data is paramount for organizations across industries. System and Security Audit certifications have emerged as a vital means to empower professionals with the knowledge and skills to safeguard against cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and compliance risks. These certifications serve as a testament to an individual’s expertise in assessing, evaluating, and enhancing the security posture of information systems.
System and Security Audit certifications equip professionals with a comprehensive understanding of auditing practices, risk management, and security controls. By achieving these certifications, individuals can proactively identify weaknesses, mitigate vulnerabilities, and implement robust security measures to protect sensitive information. Whether you are an aspiring security auditor, an IT professional looking to expand your skill set, or a seasoned cybersecurity expert aiming to validate your expertise, these certifications offer a clear path toward excellence in the dynamic field of information security.
In this guide, we will explore the world of System and Security Audit certifications, exploring the essential certifications, their significance, and the valuable knowledge and opportunities they unlock. Whether you are looking to embark on a new career path or advance in your current role, this guide will provide insights into the certifications that can shape your future in Cybersecurity and audit. Join us as we explore the world of System and Security Audit certifications and the exciting possibilities they offer.
Table of Contents
- Best Baseline System and Security Auditing Certifications
- Best Specialization System, Cloud, and Security Auditing Certifications
- QSA or Qualified Security Assessor
- CCSK or Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge
- OWSA or Offensive Security Web Assessor
- Best Advanced Security Auditing Certifications
- CISM or Certified Information Security Manager
- CISSP or Certified Information System Security Professionals
- CCSP or Certified Cloud Security Professionals
- Benefits/Advantages of Having System and Security Audit Certification
Best Baseline System and Security Auditing Certifications
There is no entry-level or associate level. Auditing certification is recommended for you to have a solid foundation in technology before pursuing an auditing career. So, the first certification is ISACA- CISA or Certified Information System and Security Audit. This is considered the best baseline of auditing certification as it focuses on IT governance risk management and Cybersecurity. CISA is a globally recognized certification for professionals who audit, control, monitor, and assess the organizations’ information technology and Business Systems.
CISA consists of five domains:
- The Information System Auditing Process
- Governance and Management.
- Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Implementation
- Information Systems Operations and Business Resiliency
- Protection of Information Assets
- At least five years of professional work experience in Information System and Security Audit, Controls, or Security.
- Must need to agree to or abide by the ISACA of Professional Ethics.
- Also, need to meet the CPE requirements to maintain the certification.
- Need to pass or successfully pass the CISA exam.
- 150 multiple-choice questions
- The cost is 575 US dollars for ISACA members and 760 US dollars for numbers.
Best Specialization System, Cloud, and Security Auditing Certifications
Rather than calling it a professional level, we can call it specialization certification. We have below specialization certifications on today’s discussion:
- Qualified Security Assessor or QSA
- Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge or CCSK
- The Offensive Security Web Assessor or OSWA
ISO 27001 is an international standard for information security management systems (ISMS), and accredited certification bodies typically offer certification exams. Here are some general details you should be aware of:
The ISO 27001 exam is typically a certification exam. To achieve ISO 27001 certification, you need to pass an exam conducted by an accredited certification body. These exams are often based on ISO 27001’s requirements and principles.
Accredited Certification Body:
To take the ISO 27001 exam, you should contact an accredited certification body. These organizations are authorized to provide ISO 27001 certification and exams. Accredited certification bodies vary by region, so you’ll need to find one that operates in your area.
There are usually no specific prerequisites for taking the ISO 27001 exam. However, it’s essential to understand the ISO 27001 standard and its requirements before attempting the exam. Many people take formal training courses or workshops to prepare for the exam.
- The format of the ISO 27001 exam can vary depending on the certification body. It may be a written exam, an online exam, or even an interview where you discuss your understanding of ISO 27001 and its implementation in your organization. The exam may consist of multiple-choice, essay, or a combination.
- The passing score for the ISO 27001 exam is determined by the certification body conducting the exam. Checking with the specific certification body for their passing score requirements is essential.
- The cost of the ISO 27001 exam can vary widely depending on the certification body, the certification level you seek (e.g., Lead Auditor, Lead Implementer), and the location where you take the exam.
ISO 27001 certifications are typically valid for a specified period, often three years. After that period, you’ll need to undergo a recertification process, which may involve passing another exam or demonstrating ongoing compliance with the standard’s requirements.
QSA or Qualified Security Assessor
A QSA (Qualified Security Assessor) is an individual who has been certified by the Payment Card Industry System and Security Audit Standards Council (PCI SSC) to assess and validate an organization’s compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The PCI DSS is a set of security standards designed to ensure that companies that process, store, or transmit credit card data do so securely. QSA certification is crucial for individuals and organizations involved in the payment card industry.
Here are some details about the QSA exam:
The QSA certification and exam are administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), the governing body responsible for PCI DSS standards and compliance.
To become a QSA, you must meet specific eligibility criteria set by the PCI SSC. These criteria typically include relevant industry experience and knowledge of PCI DSS requirements. Eligibility requirements can change over time, so checking the latest conditions on the PCI SSC website is essential.
- The QSA exam is a written exam. The format may include multiple-choice questions, case studies, and scenario-based questions. The exam tests your knowledge of the PCI DSS and ability to apply its requirements to real-world situations.
- Preparing for the QSA exam typically involves a combination of self-study, training courses, and practical experience. Many individuals take official PCI SSC training courses, such as the PCI SSC QSA Training, to prepare for the exam. These courses cover the PCI DSS in-depth and provide valuable insights into the assessment process.
- The cost of the QSA exam varies, and you’ll need to check with the PCI SSC or their authorized training partners for the most up-to-date pricing information.
The exam covers various aspects of the PCI DSS standard, including:
- PCI DSS requirements and sub-requirements.
- Security controls and best practices for protecting cardholder data.
- Vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.
- Reporting and documentation requirements.
- Risk assessment and mitigation strategies.
QSA certification is typically valid for one year. To maintain your certification, you must undergo annual recertification, which may involve passing an updated exam and demonstrating ongoing knowledge and expertise in PCI DSS compliance.
CCSK or Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge
The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) is a globally recognized certification for individuals who want to demonstrate their expertise in cloud System and Security Audit. The CCSK certification is offered by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and is designed to validate an individual’s knowledge of cloud security best practices, principles, and guidelines.
Here are some details about the CCSK exam:
The CCSK certification is administered by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), a leading organization in cloud security research, education, and best practices.
There are no specific prerequisites for taking the CCSK exam. However, candidates should have a basic understanding of cloud computing and information security concepts. The CCSK is considered an entry-level certification in cloud security.
- The CCSK exam is a web-based, multiple-choice exam. It consists of 60 questions that you must answer within 90 minutes. The questions are based on the CSA’s “Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing” and other relevant resources.
- You can register for the CCSK exam through the CSA’s official website or authorized training partners. The exam fee varies depending on your membership status with the CSA and whether you choose self-study or instructor-led training.
- The CCSK exam is scored on a scale of 300 to 900, with a passing score of 750 or higher. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you can retake it after a waiting period.
- The CCSK certification is valid for three years. To maintain your certification, you must earn continuing professional education (CPE) credits by participating in relevant training and activities.
The CCSK exam covers a wide range of topics related to cloud System and Security Audit including:
- Cloud computing architecture and deployment models.
- Cloud governance and risk management.
- Cloud compliance and legal issues.
- Cloud security controls and best practices.
- Cloud incident response and management.
- Cloud encryption and key management.
- Cloud identity and access management.
- Virtualization and container security in the cloud.
The CCSK exam is typically delivered through Pearson VUE, a global testing and assessment service provider. You can schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE test center or take it remotely from your location, depending on the options available during your exam.
OWSA or Offensive Security Web Assessor
The Offensive Security Web Assessor (OWSA) exam, or the Offensive Security Web Expert (OSWE) certification, is a rigorous certification offered by Offensive Security. It focuses on web application security and advanced web exploitation techniques. Here are some key details:
To attempt the OSWE exam, candidates must have completed the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification or demonstrate equivalent knowledge and experience.
- The OSWE exam is a 48-hour practical exam. During this time, candidates must identify and exploit security vulnerabilities in a web application to gain access to sensitive data or perform other specified tasks.
- The exam assesses your skills in identifying and exploiting web application vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), and more. You must demonstrate your ability to find and exploit these vulnerabilities effectively.
- After successfully exploiting the web application, candidates must submit a detailed report that includes their findings, techniques used, and the steps taken to compromise the application.
- To pass the OSWE exam, candidates must successfully compromise the web application and submit a comprehensive report that meets Offensive Security’s standards.
- Upon passing the OSWE exam, candidates receive the Offensive System and Security Audit Web Expert (OSWE) certification.
Best Advanced Security Auditing Certifications
We have below certifications on advanced System and Security Audit certification:
- Certified Information Security Manager or CISM from ISACA
- Certified Information System Security Professionals or CISSP from ISC2.
- Certified Cloud Security Professionals or CCSP from ISC2.
CISM or Certified Information Security Manager
CISM is a globally recognized certification for Information System and Security Audit management. The exam format, Domain, and requirements are given below.
- The CISM exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.
- The questions are divided into four domains, representing different areas of information security management.
- The exam is typically administered over four hours.
- To pass the CISM exam, you generally need to achieve a scaled score of 450 or higher (on a scale of 200 to 800).
- The CISM exam is available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), French, and more.
The CISM exam covers the following four parts:
- Domain 1: Information Security Governance (24%)
- Domain 2: Information Risk Management (30%)
- Domain 3: Information Security Program Development and Management (27%)
- Domain 4: Information Security Incident Management (19%)
To be eligible for the CISM certification, you need at least five years of work experience in information security management, with at least three years of experience in at least three of the four domains mentioned above. There is an option to substitute a maximum of one year of work experience with specific other qualifications, such as other certifications or education.
Exam Retake Policy:
If you do not pass the CISM exam on your first attempt, you can retake the exam during subsequent testing windows. ISACA has specific policies and fees for retakes.
CISSP or Certified Information System Security Professionals
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is widely recognized and prestigious in information security. Here are some details of the CISSP exam.
- The CISSP exam is a computer-based test (CBT) comprising 100 to 150 multiple-choice and advanced innovative questions.
- The questions are designed to assess your knowledge and skills in various domains of Information System and Security Audit.
- You have up to 3 hours to complete the CISSP exam.
- The passing scaled score for the CISSP exam may vary depending on the difficulty of the questions. Candidates must score 700 out of 1000 points or higher to pass.
- The CISSP exam is available in multiple languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and more.
The CISSP exam covers eight standard body of knowledge (CBK) domains:
- Security and Risk Management
- Asset Security
- Security Architecture and Engineering
- Communication and Network Security
- Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Security Assessment and Testing
- Security Operations
- Software Development Security
To be eligible for the CISSP certification, you generally need at least five years of cumulative, paid, full-time work experience in two or more of the CISSP domains. If you don’t have the required knowledge, you may still be able to obtain an Associate of (ISC)² designation while working to meet the experience requirement.
Exam Retake Policy:
If you do not pass the CISSP exam on your first attempt, you can retake the exam after a waiting period. (ISC)² has specific policies and fees for retakes.
CCSP or Certified Cloud Security Professionals
The Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) is a globally recognized certification for cloud security professionals.
Here are some critical details about the CCSP certification exam:
- The CCSP exam consists of multiple-choice questions and advanced innovative questions.
- The questions are designed to assess your knowledge and skills in various domains related to cloud Systems and Security Audits.
- You have up to 4 hours to complete the CCSP exam.
- The passing scaled score for the CCSP exam may vary depending on the difficulty of the questions. Candidates must score 700 out of 1000 points or higher to pass.
- The CCSP exam is available in multiple languages, including English, Japanese, Portuguese, French, and more.
The CCSP exam covers six Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) domains:
- Cloud Concepts, Architecture, and Design
- Cloud Governance and Compliance
- Risk Management
- Legal, Risk, and Compliance
- Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Security Operations
To be eligible for the CCSP certification, you generally need at least five years of cumulative, paid, full-time work experience in information technology, with at least three years of experience in information security and one year in one or more of the six CCSP domains.
Exam Retake Policy:
If you do not pass the CCSP exam on your first attempt, you can retake the exam after a waiting period. (ISC)² has specific policies and fees for retakes.
Benefits/Advantages of Having System and Security Audit Certification
Obtaining System and Security Audit certifications offers numerous advantages for individuals and organizations. Here are some key benefits:
- Certification programs provide comprehensive training and knowledge in system and security auditing. They ensure you have a deep understanding of security concepts, best practices, and the latest technologies, making you an expert in the field.
- Certifications validate your expertise to employers, clients, and peers. They serve as tangible proof of your skills and commitment to maintaining high standards in security auditing.
- Holding relevant certifications can open doors to new job opportunities and career advancement. Many organizations require certified professionals for security and auditing roles.
- In a competitive job market, certifications differentiate you from other candidates. They can give you the edge when applying for positions or promotions.
- Certified professionals often command higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts. Employers recognize the value of accredited experts in ensuring the security of their systems and data.
- Many certifications are globally recognized, allowing you to work internationally and expand your career horizons.
- The field of security and auditing is constantly evolving. Certification programs require ongoing education and recertification, ensuring you stay up-to-date with the latest threats and technologies.
- Certification programs often provide opportunities to connect with a community of professionals who share your interests and challenges. This network can be valuable for knowledge sharing and career support.
- Clients and stakeholders have greater trust in organizations that employ certified professionals to conduct audits. This trust is crucial for businesses, especially those handling sensitive data.
In summary, System and Security Audit certifications offer a range of advantages, including career advancement, increased earning potential, and the ability to positively impact organizations’ security. They are a valuable investment in your professional development and can lead to a rewarding and impactful career in Cybersecurity and auditing.
In conclusion, obtaining a System and Security Audit certification is a significant milestone in your professional journey. These certifications validate your expertise and commitment to safeguarding digital assets and open up a world of opportunities in the ever-evolving field of Cybersecurity. As you embark on this exciting path, remember that the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired are for personal growth and the greater good of organizations and individuals who rely on secure systems. Your dedication to maintaining critical data integrity, confidentiality, and availability will positively impact the digital landscape. With your certifications, you join a community of professionals dedicated to fortifying our digital world against threats and vulnerabilities. Embrace the ongoing learning and adaptability this field demands, and continue sharpening your expertise. You can visit our YouTube channel and learn more about certification. Here is the link: 591cert YouTube.