The 8 CISSP Domains Explained

CISSP exam

The dominance of the Certified Information Systems Security Certification is everlasting in the world of Information Security. There is no other certification that can encompass the CISSP certification. This is why the CISSP certification is known as the epitome of excellence in the systems security branch across the globe.

The CISSP certification has gained an ample amount of reputation globally. This is the reason why most of globally leading companies are hunting for CISSP certified professionals.

However, the (ISC)² has designed the rules and regulations for the candidates to apply for the CISSP certification according to global standards. The most important prerequisite required to apply for the CISSP certification is to gain 5 years of work experience in any 2 or more domains out of 8 domains of CISSP.

Today we will discuss in detail each and every domain of CISSP.

Explaining the eight domains of CISSP 

  1. Security and Risk Management

This domain of Security and Risk Management dominates 15% of the CISSP exam course. This is the largest and, most importantly, the foundational portion of the CISSP exam course. By going through this domain, you will learn about the management of Information Systems in-detail.

In this domain, you will learn about the Confidentiality, Integrity, and availability of Information. You will learn about the principles of security governance. You will also learn comprehensively about legal and regulatory issues related to information security, requirements of compliance, policies, and procedures of IT, and ultimately you will learn about management of risks.

  1. Security Engineering and Architecture

The Security Engineering and Architecture domain covers 13% of the CISSP course. In this domain, you will be learning about the Engineering and Architecture of security.

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This domain most covers some important topics of engineering processes using secure designs, plans, and principles. You will learn about cryptography, designing, and implementation of physical security, concepts of security models. You will comprehensively learn about the security capabilities of information systems, assessment, and mitigation of vulnerabilities in systems.

  1. Asset Security

This domain covers about 10% of the CISSP course. And it covers most of the topics related to the physical requirements of information security. In this domain, you will learn in detail about the classification of ownership, a period of retention, handling of requests and requirements, management of privacy related to system security, and controls regarding data security.

  1. Communications and Network Security

This is one of the most crucial parts of the CISSP exam. It comprises 14% of the CISSP course. This domain covers topics about securing components of the network, protection of communication channels, and security of design principles for network architecture.

  1. Security Assessment and Testing

This domain captures about 12% of the whole CISSP course. Well, in this domain, most of the topics revolve around assessment and testing of security and management of the same. The prominent topics that fall under this domain are:

  • Collection of security process data;
  • Testing of security control;
  • Outputs of tests;
  • Auditing third party and internal data;
  • Designing, planning, assessment, and testing strategies.
  1. Identity and Access Management

Now this domain covers 13% of the CISSP exam. This domain comprises the most important topics. By going through this domain, you will learn about physical access and logical access to assets, mechanisms of authorization, the lifecycle of identity and access provisioning; authentication of assets; identification of assets, and Integration of identity and third-party identity.

  1. Software Development Security

This domain covers 10% of the CISSP exam course. This domain promotes and encourages the candidates to learn about applying and enforcing security. The topics that are covered in this domain are; efficacy of software security, standards related to source coding; guidelines related to source coding; the management of security in the development lifecycle of software, and controls of security in the development environment.

  1. Security Operations

This domain profoundly covers a 13% CISSP exam course. In this domain, you will learn about the implementation of plans and strategies to manage Information Systems Security.

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The topics that are covered in this domain are:

  • Understanding investigations related to security;
  • Supporting investigations related to security;
  • Physical Security Management;
  • Continuity of Business;
  • Application of techniques for protection of resources;
  • Requirements for different types of investigations;
  • Recovery of disaster;
  • Management of incidents;
  • Monitoring activities;
  • Logging activities;
  • Concepts of foundational security operations.


So, these are the domains of the CISSP exam. In order to pass the exam, you’ll have to learn each and every domain of the CISSP exam.

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