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CISSP or SSCP – Which One Is Right For Me?

When evaluating certification courses to advance their careers, cyber security professionals (or aspiring cybersecurity professionals) frequently consider both the SSCP and the CISSP. Both are a means to develop skills and expand knowledge. On first look, these two certifications seem to be similar. We are often asked to clarify what the differences are between the two, to assist candidates with selecting the one that is best placed to suit their goals. Read on to find the answer to the question – CISSP or SSCP – Which One Is Right For Me?


Although both certifications address information security, they approach it from very different places. When deciding between the two, it is important to consider how the knowledge is to be applied by the candidate. SSCP focuses on the technical application of the concepts, while  the CISSP on  aligning the business to cybersecurity best practices. 

(ISC)² Official Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

The (ISC)² Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) is a more introductory and more technical IT security certification. It is oriented towards technical practitioners and shows they have the skills to design, build, monitor,administer and apply security to IT infrastructure using information security policies and procedures. 

  • For certification purposes, candidates must have a minimum of 1-year cumulative work experience in 1 or more of the 7 domains of the SSCP.

Visit our SSCP page for additional information on this certification


(ISC)2 Official Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is the most globally recognized certification in the information security market. It is more oriented towards those in or aiming for  a leadership role. The CISSP covers a broad spectrum of topics to ensure its relevance across all disciplines in the field of cyberecurity. It develops the skills needed to design, build, and maintain a secure business environment. 

  • To certify as CISSP, candidates must have a minimum of 5 years cumulative paid full-time work experience in 2 or more of the 8 domains of the CISSP. If the candidate doesn’t have sufficient experience, but still aims for a CISSP they can go for Associate status first by successfully passing the CISSP examination. The Associate of (ISC)² will then have 6 years to earn the 5 years required experience.

Visit our CISSP page for additional information on this certification  


SSCP Domains    CISSP Domains
Access Controls         Security and Risk Management
Security Operations and Administration Asset Security
Risk Identification, Monitoring and Analysis Security Architecture and Engineering
Incident Response and Recovery Communication and Network Security
Cryptography Identity and Access Management
Network and Communications Security Security Assessment and Testing
Systems and Application Security Security Operations
Software Development Security


Exam Comparison

Certification   SSCP CISSP
Number of Items 125 100-150
Maximum Time Allowed 3 hours 3 hours
Passing Score (out of 1000) 700 700
Available Formats English, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese English, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Korean*