CISM Job Practice Areas 

 

A job practice serves as the basis for the exam and the experience requirements to earn the CISM. This job practice consists of task and knowledge statements, organized by domains.

CISM Certification Job Practice


The current CISM exam covers 4 information security management areas, each of which is further defined and detailed through Tasks & Knowledge statements. These areas and statements were approved by the CISM Certification Committee and represent a job practice analysis of the work performed by information security managers as validated by prominent industry leaders, subject matter experts and industry practitioners.

Following is a brief description of these areas, their definitions and approximate percentage of test questions allocated to each area.

This information provides the basis for the CISM exam and the qualifying experience for certification.

 

CISM Job Practice Areas by Domain

 

Domain 1—Information Security Governance (24%)
Domain 2—Information Risk Management and Compliance (33%)
Domain 3—Information Security Program Development and Management (25%)
Domain 4—Information Security Incident Management (18%)

 

Domain 1—Information Security Governance (24%)

Establish and maintain an information security governance framework and supporting processes to ensure that the information security strategy is aligned with organizational goals and objectives, information risk is managed appropriately and program resources are managed responsibly.

Task Statements

1.1  Establish and maintain an information security strategy in alignment with organizational goals and objectives to guide the establishment and ongoing management of the information security program.
1.2 Establish and maintain an information security governance framework to guide activities that support the information security strategy.
1.3 Integrate information security governance into corporate governance to ensure that organizational goals and objectives are supported by the information security program.
1.4 Establish and maintain information security policies to communicate management’s directives and guide the development of standards, procedures and guidelines.
1.5 Develop business cases to support investments in information security.
1.6 Identify internal and external influences to the organization (for example, technology, business environment, risk tolerance, geographic location, legal and regulatory requirements) to ensure that these factors are addressed by the information security strategy.
1.7 Obtain commitment from senior management and support from other stakeholders to maximize the probability of successful implementation of the information security strategy.
1.8 Define and communicate the roles and responsibilities of information security throughout the organization to establish clear accountabilities and lines of authority.
1.9 Establish, monitor, evaluate and report metrics (for example, key goal indicators [KGIs], key performance indicators [KPIs], key risk indicators [KRIs]) to provide management with accurate information regarding the effectiveness of the information security strategy.

Knowledge Statements

1.1  Knowledge of methods to develop an information security strategy
1.2 Knowledge of the relationship among information security and business goals, objectives, functions, processes and practices
1.3 Knowledge of methods to implement an information security governance framework
1.4 Knowledge of the fundamental concepts of governance and how they relate to information security
1.5 Knowledge of methods to integrate information security governance into corporate governance
1.6 Knowledge of internationally recognized standards, frameworks and best practices related to information security governance and strategy development
1.7 Knowledge of methods to develop information security policies
1.8 Knowledge of methods to develop business cases
1.9 Knowledge of strategic budgetary planning and reporting methods
1.10 Knowledge of the internal and external influences to the organization (for example, technology, business environment, risk tolerance, geographic location, legal and regulatory requirements) and how they impact the information security strategy
1.11 Knowledge of methods to obtain commitment from senior management and support from other stakeholders for information security
1.12 Knowledge of information security management roles and responsibilities
1.13 Knowledge of organizational structures and lines of authority
1.14 Knowledge of methods to establish new, or utilize existing, reporting and communication channels throughout an organization
1.15 Knowledge of methods to select, implement and interpret metrics (for example, key goal indicators [KGIs], key performance indicators [KPIs], key risk indicators [KRIs])

Domain 2—Information Risk Management and Compliance (33%)

Manage information risk to an acceptable level to meet the business and compliance requirements of the organization.

Task Statements

2.1  Establish and maintain a process for information asset classification to ensure that measures taken to protect assets are proportional to their business value.
2.2 Identify legal, regulatory, organizational and other applicable requirements to manage the risk of noncompliance to acceptable levels.
2.3 Ensure that risk assessments, vulnerability assessments and threat analyses are conducted periodically and consistently to identify risk to the organization’s information.
2.4 Determine appropriate risk treatment options to manage risk to acceptable levels.
2.5 Evaluate information security controls to determine whether they are appropriate and effectively mitigate risk to an acceptable level.
2.6 Identify the gap between current and desired risk levels to manage risk to an acceptable level.
2.7 Integrate information risk management into business and IT processes (for example, development, procurement, project management, mergers and acquisitions) to promote a consistent and comprehensive information risk management process across the organization.
2.8 Monitor existing risk to ensure that changes are identified and managed appropriately.
2.9 Report noncompliance and other changes in information risk to appropriate management to assist in the risk management decision-making process.

Knowledge Statements

2.1  Knowledge of methods to establish an information asset classification model consistent with business objectives
2.2 Knowledge of methods used to assign the responsibilities for and ownership of information assets and risk
2.3 Knowledge of methods to evaluate the impact of adverse events on the business
2.4 Knowledge of information asset valuation methodologies
2.5 Knowledge of legal, regulatory, organizational and other requirements related to information security
2.6 Knowledge of reputable, reliable and timely sources of information regarding emerging information security threats and vulnerabilities
2.7 Knowledge of events that may require risk reassessments and changes to information security program elements
2.8 Knowledge of information threats, vulnerabilities and exposures and their evolving nature
2.9 Knowledge of risk assessment and analysis methodologies
2.10 Knowledge of methods used to prioritize risk
2.11 Knowledge of risk reporting requirements (for example, frequency, audience, components)
2.12 Knowledge of methods used to monitor risk
2.13 Knowledge of risk treatment strategies and methods to apply them
2.14 Knowledge of control baseline modeling and its relationship to risk-based assessments
2.15 Knowledge of information security controls and countermeasures and the methods to analyze their effectiveness and efficiency
2.16 Knowledge of gap analysis techniques as related to information security
2.17 Knowledge of techniques for integrating risk management into business and IT processes
2.18 Knowledge of compliance reporting processes and requirements
2.19 Knowledge of cost/benefit analysis to assess risk treatment options

Domain 3—Information Security Program Development and Management (25%)

Establish and manage the information security program in alignment with the information security strategy.

Task Statements

3.1  Establish and maintain the information security program in alignment with the information security strategy.
3.2 Ensure alignment between the information security program and other business functions (for example, human resources [HR], accounting, procurement and IT) to support integration with business processes.
3.3 Identify, acquire, manage and define requirements for internal and external resources to execute the information security program.
3.4 Establish and maintain information security architectures (people, process, technology) to execute the information security program.
3.5 Establish, communicate and maintain organizational information security standards, procedures, guidelines and other documentation to support and guide compliance with information security policies.
3.6 Establish and maintain a program for information security awareness and training to promote a secure environment and an effective security culture.
3.7 Integrate information security requirements into organizational processes (for example, change control, mergers and acquisitions, development, business continuity, disaster recovery) to maintain the organization’s security baseline.
3.8 Integrate information security requirements into contracts and activities of third parties (for example, joint ventures, outsourced providers, business partners, customers) to maintain the organization’s security baseline.
3.9 Establish, monitor and periodically report program management and operational metrics to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the information security program.

Knowledge Statements

3.1  Knowledge of methods to align information security program requirements with those of other business functions
3.2 Knowledge of methods to identify, acquire, manage and define requirements for internal and external resources
3.3 Knowledge of information security technologies, emerging trends, (for example, cloud computing, mobile computing) and underlying concepts
3.4 Knowledge of methods to design information security controls
3.5 Knowledge of information security architectures (for example, people, process, technology) and methods to apply them
3.6 Knowledge of methods to develop information security standards, procedures and guidelines
3.7 Knowledge of methods to implement and communicate information security policies, standards, procedures and guidelines
3.8 Knowledge of methods to establish and maintain effective information security awareness and training programs
3.9 Knowledge of methods to integrate information security requirements into organizational processes
3.10 Knowledge of methods to incorporate information security requirements into contracts and third-party management processes
3.11 Knowledge of methods to design, implement and report operational information security metrics
3.12 Knowledge of methods for testing the effectiveness and applicability of information security controls

Domain 4—Information Security Incident Management (18%)

Plan, establish and manage the capability to detect, investigate, respond to and recover from information security incidents to minimize business impact.

Task Statements

4.1  Establish and maintain an organizational definition of, and severity hierarchy for, information security incidents to allow accurate identification of and response to incidents.
4.2 Establish and maintain an incident response plan to ensure an effective and timely response to information security incidents.
4.3 Develop and implement processes to ensure the timely identification of information security incidents.
4.4 Establish and maintain processes to investigate and document information security incidents to be able to respond appropriately and determine their causes while adhering to legal, regulatory and organizational requirements.
4.5 Establish and maintain incident escalation and notification processes to ensure that the appropriate stakeholders are involved in incident response management.
4.6 Organize, train and equip teams to effectively respond to information security incidents in a timely manner.
4.7 Test and review the incident response plan periodically to ensure an effective response to information security incidents and to improve response capabilities.
4.8 Establish and maintain communication plans and processes to manage communication with internal and external entities.
4.9 Conduct post-incident reviews to determine the root cause of information security incidents, develop corrective actions, reassess risk, evaluate response effectiveness and take appropriate remedial actions.
4.10 Establish and maintain integration among the incident response plan, disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan.

Knowledge Statements

4.1  Knowledge of the components of an incident response plan
4.2 Knowledge of incident management concepts and practices
4.3 Knowledge of business continuity planning (BCP) and disaster recovery planning (DRP) and their relationship to the incident response plan
4.4 Knowledge of incident classification methods
4.5 Knowledge of damage containment methods
4.6 Knowledge of notification and escalation processes
4.7 Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities in identifying and managing information security incidents
4.8 Knowledge of the types and sources of tools and equipment required to adequately equip incident response teams
4.9 Knowledge of forensic requirements and capabilities for collecting, preserving and presenting evidence (for example, admissibility, quality and completeness of evidence, chain of custody)
4.10 Knowledge of internal and external incident reporting requirements and procedures
4.11 Knowledge of post-incident review practices and investigative methods to identify root causes and determine corrective actions
4.12 Knowledge of techniques to quantify damages, costs and other business impacts arising from information security incidents
4.13 Knowledge of technologies and processes that detect, log and analyze information security events
4.14 Knowledge of internal and external resources available to investigate information security incidents