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       Navigating Security Certifications

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CISSP versus Security+ Certification

Comparing the CISSP and Security+ certifications is like comparing a Mercedes and a Yugo. They are both cars but the similarity ends shortly thereafter.

CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) is hands down better known, more highly regarded, and far more valuable than the Security+ certification.

CISSP is Advanced, Security+ is Entry Level

The CISSP is an advanced certification which requires five years of experience in security as compared to Security+ which is an entry level certification which doesn't require any experience.

Maintaining your CISSP requires earning the requisite number and types of continuing professional education (CPE) credits every three years, as well as payment of an annual fee.

Maintaining the Security+ certification traditionally required nothing, except perhaps breathing. If you received your Security+ certification in 2011 or later it is good for 3 years and can be renewed by retaking the exam or earning 50 CEUs. Various activates count, similar to the CISSP program, such as presenting, teaching, taking a class, listening to security podcasts, etc.

The CISSP covers far more ground and includes managerial topics, whereas Security+ covers purely entry level technical information.

There is nothing wrong with the Security+ certification; I don't mean to denigrate it. But despite being often asked how the CISSP and Security+ certs compare, it's like comparing the Space Shuttle Endeavour and a de Havilland Beaver floatplane. They are remotely similar and both have their uses!

Ted Demopoulos at Caesars Palace
Ted Demopoulos,  Caesars Palace


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