How to get CISM certification- Five Key Steps

There is a very limited number of IT professionals who will receive the CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) certification during the course of their careers. The number of CISM professionals worldwide is estimated to be approximately 23,000, which is a very small percentage compared to the overall population of the planet. 

It would seem to me that those who obtain this certification are in high demand, and it might be almost impossible for them not to find a dream job within organizations dedicated to managing the cybersecurity of information systems.

A CISM is one of the most sought-after certifications today, and it is also one of the more difficult credentials to obtain for candidates. 

If you are interested in becoming CISM certified, there are a number of steps that need to be followed, and we will discuss all of them here so that if you are interested in becoming certified, then you will have a better understanding of how to go about achieving it. 

The purpose of this post is to teach you the five steps that you have to complete before you can complete your CISM training and certification, as well as what you have to do to proceed with your certification.  

Five Steps You Need to Take to Become a Certified CISM

Take the exam and pass it

Passing the test is unlikely to be the most difficult thing you have to worry about when you decide to try and obtain your CISM certification, and the test in and of itself is no easy doddle. Candidates must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a variety of different domains of competency. The domains have been categorized as follows:

  • Governmental responsibility for information security (24%)

Candidates are required in this section to be knowledgeable about information security governance frameworks as well as how to set up, maintain and manage them. Additionally, IT departments should not only understand their supporting processes, but they should also be capable of identifying and implementing all the security controls that are necessary to support not only the organization’s own policies but also its long-term objectives.

  • Management of information risk (30%)

Furthermore, candidates are expected to understand how to manage information risks in accordance with the objectives and goals of their organizations. Understanding the CISM exam’s different objectives is important to pass it since this portion of the exam is significant.

  • Developing and managing information security programs (27%)

During the training, candidates will have the opportunity to learn how to design, implement, and maintain an information security program that helps identify, manage, and protect the organization’s information technology assets while staying in line with the organization’s business goals and information security strategy that supports the security requirements of the organization.

  • Incident management in information security (19%)

An effective CISM professional has the ability to plan, set up, and consistently manage the capabilities of the department to detect, investigate, and respond to security threats. It is essential for candidates to prove that they are capable of responding to and recovering from incidents relating to information security in order to minimize the impact on the business.

Adhere to the Code of Ethical Conduct

ISACA members, as well as holders of the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation, must agree to the CISM Code of Professional Ethics, a document that will serve as a guideline for candidates in conducting themselves professionally and personally. A lot of cyber security certifications include ethics in information technology as a key subject. 

Here is a summary and simplified explanation of the Code of Professional Ethics, which is made up of seven main points.

  • This candidate will be responsible for ensuring that auditing, controlling, security, and risk management procedures are supported and implemented by the organization. 
  • A candidate must adhere to all of the professional standards espoused by the CISM, including the conduct of their duties consistent with those standards.
  • In addition to ensuring that you operate within the law, you will also want to ensure you do not bring yourself or the organization into disrepute.
  • The confidentiality of the information collected must be respected at all times unless a law enforcement agency deems it necessary to make the information public. 
  • It is imperative that a candidate’s knowledge and skills must be maintained and kept up to date in their respective fields of expertise. 
  • CISM pros must make sure that they convey the results they achieve after their work is completed, making sure there is no information held back that would adversely affect the outcome of their reporting.
  • To ensure that your users have an optimal experience with the enterprise’s information systems and technologies, you should ensure they are fully educated and trained on how the systems and technologies are managed and managed.

Experience in the Workplace

Candidates must submit paperwork verifying that they have a minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience in the area of information security, including at least three years of relevant experience in computer information systems management in 3 different job practice analysis areas.

If the employee wishes to obtain certification, they must have gained work experience within the last ten years before applying for certification or within the next five years after passing the certification exam. Certain qualifications can act as a substitute for at least five years of work experience.

In the following sections, you can see two separate scenarios where less experience and qualifications may lessen the requirements of the candidate.

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) in good standing
  • A post-graduate degree in information security or a related field (e.g., information systems, business administration, quality assurance) is required.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) in good standing

One Year:

  • One full year of information systems management experience
  • Skill-based security certifications (e.g., CompTIA Security, SANS Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), Disaster Recovery Institute, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), ESL IT Security Manager)
  • One full year of general security management experience

Study of the Model Curriculum at a School Offering Information Security Management Programs

If a candidate wishes to substitute his or her three years’ work experience in information security management for the three years of experience required, that substitution will not be accepted as a replacement for the entire three-year requirement.

There is only one exception to this, teaching full-time at the university level as an information security management instructor for two years, which may substitute for one year for every two years of the above-mentioned role.

Apply to ISACA for CISM certification

A candidate must submit a certification application through the CISM for the final stage of the certification process.

A candidate can only qualify for this after passing the CISM examination and acquiring the appropriate amount of work experience. The CISM application can be obtained in three ways:

  • Online applications must be completed and printed;
  • A PDF version of the application (150K) may be downloaded; or
  • A postal application may be requested.


Much effort must go into obtaining certification as a CISM candidate, but the effort is rewarding in the end. CISM training and certification are quite rare in the first place, and they are in high demand now. This certification is intended for professionals in high-level management roles that require both a high degree of technical and managerial skills as well as experience.

It can be seen as a fusion of different organizational roles, such as an information security auditor combined with an IT auditing function, resulting in a unified function within the organization. In the field of IT security, auditing, and systems control, the CISM is seen as the international standard for the industry in the field of security and auditing.

Professionals in CISM are almost certain to land a dream job in IT management in the future because they possess a wide range of skills associated with the management of IT systems that corporations highly value.

As a result of finding and gaining this certification within your organization, you will likely become a more sought-after employee. You will gain new opportunities to earn higher salaries, receive higher incentives, and enjoy more desirable benefits. You will also deeply understand what security systems management is within an organization.


What do you understand by light board technology?

Light board technology allows the instructor to illustrate ideas while also being face-to-face with the pupils by using an illuminated glass panel. CISM educators make use of a light board so that you may follow along in real-time as your instructor goes through crucial cybersecurity concepts.

What is the Readiness Guarantee?

If life intervenes, the Readiness Guarantee offers a free course retake. You may retake the course if you don’t feel prepared for the exam or if you don’t pass it the first time.

Does a CISA holder pre-qualify for the CISM exam?

A two-year general information security waiver is granted to CISAs. Nevertheless, CISAs won’t be qualified to get a CISM unless they have the necessary expertise and can prove that they are competent and knowledgeable in the position of an information security manager.