Cybersecurity Certification

CISSP vs. CISA: Which Cybersecurity Certification Should You Get?

CISSP vs. CISA: Which Cybersecurity Certification Should You Get?

The CISSP and CISA certifications are very different, although both are based on information systems. A CISA’s job mostly involves auditing, while a CISSP focuses on security issues. Let’s first look at the few similarities between CISA and CISSP.

Both certifications both need at least 5 years of work experience. This means that neither certification is easy to obtain, nor should they be taken lightly.

Both could, however, result in a high paying job, which should make the effort required to get them worthwhile. People with either the CISA or CISSP certification normally get multiple job offers due to the high demand for those qualifications.

The Differences

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a certification offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2. It is applicable for ICT workers in the information security sector.

As the name implies, the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is an auditing certification. Although both CISSP and CISA contain the words “information” and “systems,” CISSP is used directly for security, while CISA is used for auditing. If you’re inclined toward auditing work, you should go with CISA, but if you’re looking for a career in securing information, CISSP is the way to go.

CISA Certification is seen as the less technical of the two certifications, while CISSP Certification is viewed as a very tough challenge, even for the most experienced IT pros.


Despite what you may have read or heard, CISA and CISM certifications are aimed toward different types of professionals. CISA is meant for IT auditors, while CISM is aimed at information risk managers and IT security managers.

The CISA is regarded as a standard certification for IT systems auditors, while CISM is an intermediate-level, or even higher, qualification for individuals who want to become experts in managing information security.

The CISA is for practicing auditors, while the CISM is for individuals who have moved from technical or specialist skills to managing an enterprise’s information security program.

A CISM job description could include information assurance or program management, while a CISA job description might involve accounting or finance.

Despite their differences, both CISA and CISM certifications require candidates to have accumulated 5 years of relevant experience in their field.

If you have any other questions about cybersecurity certification options, give us a call at (800) 460-2575.

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About Chris Boggiano

Chris is one of Everblue’s founders and has served in the Army for 20+ years. He loves solving problems, helping others, and learning new things.