CPE Credits — The Easy Way

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For Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP), there are some easy (and often inexpensive) ways to earn continuing professional education (CPE) credits.




    1. Webcasts. Organizations such as SearchSecurity.com and the series of “Security School” webcasts offer several ways to obtain CPE credits. But what about the various information security organizations that have webcasts listed on their site? Be sure to check into Information Security Systems Association (ISSA), the SANS Institute, etc. for their listing of current and archived webcasts.


    1. Offer to be an exam proctor in your area. Depending on where you live and the frequency of International Information Systems Security Certifications Consortium [(ISC)2] examinations in that area, you might get the opportunity to be an exam proctor on more than one occasion.


    1. Network. Join the local chapter of ISSA or other information security organizations in your area. Not only will you gain important CPEs for each meeting you attend, you get to interact with other highly skilled (and sought-after) information security professionals.


    1. Take advantage of the free magazine subscriptions. You can’t beat the cost. Plus, its five CPE credits — and you might be able to pick up additional CPEs based on what you see and read.


    1. Write an original article or book review. Have you found an interesting information security book and want to spread the word about it to others? Write a book review and tell us about how great that book is. Did you take issue with an article you read in the latest version of a security magazine? Feel free to write an article taking another point of view. Not only will you get CPE credits, you also might show others there’s more than one right way to do things.


    1. Volunteer. Teach computer security basics at the local library or senior center or for a nonprofit. Spread the word of computer security and serve your community at the same time.


    1. Pay attention to the business side of your company. Is your company going to be pursuing “Lean Six Sigma” next year? What is being forecast for your company’s industry? By listening in to where the market is going, you can prepare both yourself and your company for what’s coming.


    1. Develop international tastes. Look for organizations overseas that are chartered around information security. Organizations in the United Kingdom, Canada and elsewhere might have different ideas than you (and your company) when it comes to implementing best practices. Spend a little bit of time researching these organizations and the webcasts they offer.


    1. Spend some time on vendor webcasts. You should avoid the ones that are strictly sales and marketing related, though. Look for the ones geared toward one of the 10 CBK domains — even though the vendors will be doing a sales pitch for their product or services. The information in the webcast can act as sort of a guide as to what the focus is for a particular market segment. For example, in network security centers, are vendors pitching centralized or decentralized logging systems? Or are they promoting capturing new kinds of information that can be quickly and easily analyzed to capture an attack before it happens? This information might be counter to what you have implemented, so it pays to spend some time listening to the latest marketing and sales rhetoric.


  1. Don’t forget about your own continuing education. Pursuing your MBA? MIS? Going to training offered through your company? Pass the class or complete the training, and the hours you spent in class might count toward your CISSP CPE totals.


If you spend a little bit of time now researching the areas that interest you, where your company is going or where your industry is headed, you will have outlined enough learning opportunities to qualify for recertification.




Scott A. Smith is a senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. He can be reached at editor@CertMag.com.

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