CISM and CISSP certification for the channel

Learn what certifications channel partners value with this expert advice from Don Donzal, and make sure you gain recognition and meet with success.

Do channel partners value the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) training, or would another type of certification meet with more recognition and success?

Yes and yes.

Channel partners have trust in the organization that maintains CISM, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). ISACA has been around since 1967 and is most known and recognized for their other certification, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), which has been earned by more than 50,000 professionals since inception. CISM, since it is relatively new, does not have that kind of track record in the industry. But since ISACA is very well respected, the CISM credential gets the advantage of grandfathered respect.

On the other hand, ISACA is using that respect to challenge what many call the Cadillac of Security Certifications, (ISC)2's CISSP. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential is highly respected and also well known by those outside of IT. This means that if you walk into a job interview with an HR Director, chances are good that they know what the CISSP is. In addition, prospects looking to hire channel partners often require someone on staff to hold the CISSP. If the perspective employer has no staff members with the CISSP, then a candidate that has it can open up new markets. That's powerful. So, although I have nothing against CISM, for my money and time, I would choose CISSP hands down.

Need guidance in preparing for CISSP certification? Check out our CISSP Exam Preparation Guide.

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