What is CISM?

Date: 02/04/2024| Category: IT Governance & Service Management| Tags:

The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification is a professional accreditation in the field of information security offered by ISACA, the leading organisation in IT Governance, Security, Control and Assurance. This certification is aimed at professionals who aspire to be managers in information security. Unlike other certifications that focus on technical aspects, CISM focuses on the management and governance of information security.

In an era of increasingly pervasive digitalisation and an exponential increase in cyber threats, the role of the information security manager assumes crucial importance. The CISM certification was created to meet this need, by providing training focused on the strategic management of information security, which is fundamental for the protection of sensitive and confidential data in all types of organisations.

Why is Information Security relevant today?

IT security has become an absolute priority. With the increase in online transactions, the rapid growth of connected devices and the growing dependence on IT systems, organisations of all sizes and industries are increasingly exposed to security risks. Data breaches can have severe consequences, from loss of sensitive information to reputational damage and even serious financial repercussions.

In this context, information security is not just a technological issue, but a key element of corporate strategy. IT Security requires a thorough understanding of emerging threats, risk mitigation techniques and best practices for data protection. IT security is also critical for compliance with current regulations, which require organisations to protect the data of customers and other stakeholders.

CISM: Role and Importance

With cyber threats on the rise, the demand for qualified information security professionals is steadily increasing. The CISM certification meets this need, preparing professionals for key roles in protecting corporate IT infrastructures. These professionals must not only understand the technology, but also be able to manage and govern information security strategies, aligning them with corporate objectives. Possessing the CISM certification can significantly enhance a professional’s career prospects. CISM holders are often considered for senior roles such as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), information security managers and information security consultants. This is because CISM certifies not only technical knowledge but also managerial and decision-making skills.

Structure and Exam Content

The CISM certification offered by ISACA is structured in order to provide a wide range of competences in the field of information security, and it is divided into four main areas. Each area focuses on a critical aspect of information security management:

  • Information Security Governance: Focuses on the creation and maintenance of a governance framework to align information security initiatives with business objectives. It includes an understanding of policies, standards, procedures, organisational structures, roles, responsibilities, and the promotion of legally compliant security practices.
  • Risk Management: Requires the ability to identify, assess and manage cyber risks, balancing information protection with business objectives. Includes assessing vulnerabilities, threats, likelihood of damaging events and implementing mitigation strategies.
  • Information Security Programme Development: Deals with the development of security programmes that protect corporate assets and that are aligned with the organisation’s objectives. It includes the design, implementation and management of security controls and their integration into day-to-day operations.
  • Incident Management: Assesses competence in planning and managing information security incident response, including identification, classification, incident response, evidence collection and analysis, and legal and regulatory compliance.

The CISM examination consists of 150 multiple-choice questions to be completed in a maximum time of four hours. The questions are designed to test not only the candidates’ technical knowledge, but also their ability to apply this knowledge in practical and decision-making scenarios.

Benefits of the CISM Certification

  • Global Recognition: The CISM certification is internationally recognised in the IT security industry.
  • Depth of Knowledge: Provides a solid understanding of information security management best practices.
  • Career Advancement: Opens up to more professional opportunities, promotions and salary increases.

CISM, CISA or CRISC Certification?

When you choose between the CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) Certification and the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) Certification, you define the focus and direction of your career in information systems security and auditing. While CISM is ideal for strategic information security management, CISA focuses on information systems auditing.

Another relevant certification in this field is the CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control) Certification, offered by ISACA. It focuses on IT risk management and information systems control, and it is suitable for professionals who aim to specialise in risk assessment and incident response.


The CISM Certification by ISACA represents an important milestone for information security professionals. With its focus on management and strategy rather than pure technique, CISM is a distinctive qualification that emphasises the importance of information security in the business environment. By preparing professionals to effectively meet the challenges in this rapidly evolving field, CISM is confirmed as one of the most important and respected certifications in the information security industry.

If you are interested to learn more about the CISM Certification you can contact us!

If you are interested in Risk Mitigation Practices also read: What is a contingency plan and how to write it? on our blog.

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