CEH vs CISSP: Here’s Everything You Need To Know

CEH vs CISSP: Here’s Everything You Need To Know

In today’s world, so far you have a business running on the internet, you need to understand that it’s vulnerable to any potential threats. For this reason, many corporations across the globe are willing to pay more to employ cybersecurity experts. But what exactly makes someone an expert in the information security industry?

To start with, your number of years working as a security expert is one of the factors that makes you a professional in the cybersecurity field. That’s not all; the number of certifications earned during your career in the industry also has a lot to do with how durable you’ll end up becoming. Today, two of the most advanced-level certifications recognized across the globe in the cybersecurity space are CISSP and CEH.

CISSP means Certified Information Systems Security Professional, while CEH is an abbreviation for Certified Ethical Hacker. Although both certifications are worthwhile, they differ depending on a couple of factors, including their requirements, average salary scale, and career opportunities.

In case you don’t know, both CISSP and CEH don’t only verify the number of years you’ve spent in the information security industry. They also certify that you have the much-needed skills to secure security programs from threats.

In the rest of this post, I’ll be performing a faceoff between the EC-Council’s CEH and (ISC)²’s CISSP to show you how the two certifications differ. So, without further ado, let’s get straight down to business.

CEH: Here’s What You Need to Know About It!

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), designed by the EC-Council, is no doubt one of the most excellent credentials that you need to consider earning as a cybersecurity expert. The CEH is an entry-level certification test that includes about 125 questions. Interestingly, all the questions are multi-choice unlike the likes of CASP which includes performance-based questions.

Furthermore, the CEH exam only costs $100 and lasts for about a 4-hour exam. The assessment is knowledge-based, meaning that it’ll only test your knowledge and skills in 19 different domains, including the Information Security Threats.

The CEH exam is divided into several different sections; they include the following:

  • Background – 5 questions 
  • Analysis/Assessment – this section carries 16 questions
  • Security – 31 questions
  • Tools, Systems, and Programs – 40 questions
  • Procedures and Methodology – 25 questions
  • Regulation and Policy – 5 questions
  • Ethics – this section carries only 3 questions

CISSP: Here’s What You Need to Know About It!

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional is one of the most recognized credentials in the information security industry. The certification, designed by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)², is specifically for professionals in the cybersecurity space. These include security consultants, security systems engineers, security analysts, chief information security officers, security managers, IT directors & managers, security & network architects, and security auditors.

In case you don’t know, getting the CISSP certification isn’t for the faint-hearted. I’m saying this because the exam requires that you invest a lot of time and effort, studying and getting familiar with all the 8 domains that it covers.

Furthermore, CISSP is an advanced-level exam that includes a mix of advanced innovative and multiple-choice questions. The exam lasts for about six hours.

Here are the eight domains that the CISSP exam covers and their respective grades:

  • Security and Risk Management – 15% of the entire exam score
  • Asset Security – 10% of the exam
  • Security Architecture and Engineering – 13% of the exam
  • Communications and Network Security – 14% of the exam
  • Identity and Access Management – 13% of the entire exam
  • Security Assessment and Testing – 12% of the CISSP exam
  • Security Operations – 13% of the exam
  • Software Development Security – 10% of the entire CISSP exam.

CEH vs CISSP Faceoff

  1. Requirements

As earlier mentioned, both CEH and CISSP certifications differ based on a couple of factors. One of them is the requirements for earning the credentials.

For instance, for you to earn the EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker certification, you need to have at least two or more years of documented cybersecurity experience. However, you need to understand that this requirement is only important if you’re considering taking the exam without necessarily having to attend any official training.

On the other hand, for you to be eligible to earn a CISSP certification, you need to have at least five years of cumulative paid work experience in two or more of the eight CISSP CBK domains. However, you can reduce the years of experience by 1 – this requires that you opt for a CISSP Experience Waiver.

If you’re just settling down in the information security space, opting for the CEH certification will be a better move for you. Of course, you can also enroll for the CISSP exam. However, after passing the exam, you’ll be given a certain number of years to meet up the (ISC)² requirements.

  1. Average salary

There’s no way I’ll talk about the face-off between CEH and CISSP without talking about the potential salaries you’ll get having any of the two certifications. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of people that have the CEH certification in the United States is $104,813 annually. By rough estimation, the hourly rate of a CEH-certified professional is $50.39.

Furthermore, the average annual salary of a CISSP-certified expert, as estimated by the (ISC)², is $138,647.

The bottom line is, both the CEH and CISSP certifications will provide you with a better-paying job. However, CISSP will offer you more money when you compare it to CEH.

  1. Cost of certification

Another factor that we’ll be looking at in the face-off between CEH and CISSP is the cost of the exam. If you only have a small budget for certification, enrolling for the CEH exam will be a better move for you. That’s so because earning the credential only requires you to pay an exam fee of $100.

On the other hand, the CISSP exam is way more expensive than its counterpart. The exam, which goes for $699, is about $600 more than the cost of enrolling for EC-Council’s CEH.

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