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About ISC CAP Exam

The Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) certificate issued by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)2, measures the expertise of the candidates in various risk management frameworks. It evaluates their skills and knowledge required for understanding Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) as well as authorizing and maintaining information systems with the use of various risk management frameworks, policies best practices, and procedures.

To qualify for the (ISC)2 CAP certification, the applicants are required to pass the exam and possess at least 2 years of overall paid working experience in 1 or more of 7 domains of the (ISC)2 CAP Common Body of Knowledge. The valid working experience includes information systems security-related work performed in accordance with information system authorization, or work that requires the knowledge of security risk management and involves direct application of that knowledge. If a candidate doesn’t have the required experience to become a Certified Authorization Professional, he or she can become an Associate of (ISC)2 by completing the CAP test. The Associate of (ISC)2 will then possess a total of 3 years to satisfy the 2-year experience requirement.

Exam Details

The qualifying test for the (ISC)2 CAP certification has the duration of 3 hours and contains 125 multiple-choice questions. The exam is delivered in the English language. To complete it successfully, the individuals need to score a minimum of 700 points out of possible 1000. The candidates can register for and schedule the test with the Pearson VUE platform. Note that the exam pricing varies depending on the region where it is taken. The students sitting for the test in the United States will be required to pay $599.

The candidates can find a variety of useful resources on the official platform, including instructor-led courses as well as self-study tools. The instructor-led training course is offered to the learners both online and in the classroom. It provides them with a comprehensive review of information systems security concepts as well as industry best practices with coverage of the CAP CBK domains. The self-study materials that the applicants for (ISC)2 CAP can explore include textbooks, study guides, and flashcards. In addition, you can take advantage of the third-party resources available on numerous online sites. It is recommended that the potential examinees take ample time to train with practice tests before sitting for the actual one. These will allow them to evaluate their preparedness for the exam and identify the weak areas that require more attention during the studying process.

Exam Topics

The candidates for the (ISC)2 CAP certification exam must develop competency in seven domains that constitute its structure. The highlights of these topics are outlined below:

  • Cybersecurity Risk Management Program – 15%

    This subject area measures the candidates’ comprehension of an organization-wide information security risk management program foundation as well as their knowledge of the risk management program procedures. Besides that, the applicants should demonstrate their awareness of the Regulatory & Legal Requirements.

  • Categorization of Information Systems (IS) – 13%

    To tackle the questions related to this topic, the examinees must be able to determine Information System (IS), including its boundary, architecture, and functionality. They should also have the capacity to identify the Categorization of the Information System (IS).

  • Choice of Security Controls – 13%

    Here the test takers must prove that they are capable of determining and documenting Baseline & Inherited Controls. They should also have the relevant skills in choosing and tailoring Security Controls, including the applicability of recommended baseline, overlays, and security controls. In addition, the individuals are required to show their proficiency in developing Security Control Monitoring Strategy Review as well as validate Security Plan (SP).

  • Security Control Implementation – 15%

    The abilities measured within this domain include implementing the selected Security Controls as well as documenting the implementation of Security Controls.

  • Evaluation of Security Controls – 14%

    The aim of this section is to validate that the students have the ability to perform preparation for Security Control Assessment (SCA), execute Security Control Assessment (SCA), perform preparation for Initial Security Assessment Report (SAR), study interim Security Assessment Report (SAR) and execute primary remediation actions, as well as draft Final Security Assessment Report (SAR) & Optional Addendum.

  • Authorization of Information Systems (IS) – 14%

    The applicants require the competency in developing Plan of Action and Milestones (POAM), assembling Security Authorization Package, defining Information System (IS) Risk, as well as making security authorization decisions to answer the questions covered by this area.

  • Continual Monitoring – 16%

    The last part of the (ISC)2 CAP certification exam covers a wide range of knowledge and skills that the learners must develop competence in. These include the identification of security influence of changes on IS & Environment; executing current Security Control Assessments (SCA); executing the current remediation actions (for instance, vulnerability scans, resulting from incidents, vendor updates, audits); updating documentation. Moreover, they need to have the capacity to execute periodic security status reporting, execute current IS Risk Acceptance, as well as decommission IS.

Career Opportunities

Earning the (ISC)2 Certified Authorization Professional certification is a proven way to demonstrate your advanced technical skills and knowledge associated with security risk management to the potential employers and establish a career in the cybersecurity domain. The achievement of this certificate opens doors to a variety of job roles. Some of the titles that the certified individuals can pursue include the following:

  • Security Operations Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Cybersecurity A&A Analyst
  • Security Assessment Lead
  • IT Operations Manager
  • Information Security Manager
  • Information Systems (IS) Analyst
  • Security Architect

The average salary that the holders of the (ISC)2 CAP certification can count on amounts to $100,297 per annum. However, depending on the specific roles and other factors, such as location, level of experience, and extra certificates, the certified professionals can earn much more than this figure.

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