How to Pass ISACA CISM Exam and Why It Matters?

Are you an IT geek? Information security is an exciting domain in the IT industry that creates multiple avenues for career growth. However, you will always need a way to prove your competency in the IT industry regardless of the career path you choose to tread. The good news is, various organizations and IT vendors exist to help you in that regard and ensure optimum career growth. One of such is ISACA - an independent organization that offers uniquely focused security certifications to help you build your credibility in the IT industry and stand out from the crowd.

How to Pass ISACA CISM Exam and Why It Matters?

Unfortunately, this is not a comprehensive guide for choosing the best ISACA certifications. Instead, it is focused on the CISM exam and the related certification. Going through it should enable you to make an informed decision regarding your certification needs and help you cement your name in the highly competitive IT job market. So, let’s get started.

A preview of the ISACA Certifications

Earning a certification from ISACA puts you ahead of the pack by equipping you with vital IT skills that are necessary for thriving in the modern IT world. ISACA provides tons of options to help you get certified as an expert in your area of specialty.

The most notable options include Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified in Governance of Enterprise IT(CGEIT), and the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certifications. This article is dedicated to the said CISM credential.

One of the most common questions in recent years has always been, is attaining an ISACA certification worth it? While every individual may have different reasons for pursuing an IT certification, we firmly believe that attaining any ISACA certification in today’s competitive job market gives you a cutting edge over the rest. That said, here are a few reasons why you should pursue an ISACA certification in 2019.

Why Certify?

To begin with, attaining an ISACA certification gives you recognition as an expert in your field. ISACA credentials are widely accepted as the benchmark for security certifications. It’s not for nothing that many agencies and organizations are always looking for certified individuals who can propel their projects to the horizons of success.

Earning a CISM credential, for instance, translates to higher earning potential and a probable roadmap for career advancement. In summary, a relevant ISACA certification adds value to your CV list which may go a long way towards helping you secure your dream job in the IT industry.

On to the details of the CISM certification and the required exam.

The Details of the CISM Certification

The CISM certification is a result of meeting stringent work experience and educational requirements in addition to passing one required exam. This certification is meant to validate your information security knowledge and skills.

Unlike other credentials, the CISM certification is a uniquely management-focused credential that recognizes IT professionals who are tasked with managing, designing and assessing the information security of the organizations they work for.

Read on to find more details about the CISM certification pathway.

How to Become CISM Certified

The path to becoming a CISM starts with developing real interest in security management. Besides, you need to meet the following requirements.

1. Pass the Required Exam

To become a CISM, you need to pass one exam, known as the CISM test. Its details will be covered shortly. It’s worth reminding that passing this exam alone (without meeting the work experience requirements) gives your certification a lifeline of only five years which brings us to the next qualification; work experience.

2. Meet the Relevant Work Experience Requirements

ISACA expects all candidates to have verifiable evidence of at least 5 years of work experience in the information security sphere with at least 3 years of work experience in information security management.

3. Comply to ISACA’s Code of Conduct

ISACA’s code of professional conduct is meant to guide certification holders during their practice. Accordingly, all exam candidates must agree to it before earning the CISM certification.

4. Complete your CISM Application

The final step in your certification journey is to complete the application for the CISM exam. Feel free to visit to complete your application when you meet the other requirements.

The next section covers key details about the CISM exam and a few study options worth adopting for exam success.

Now, let’s find more about the CISM exam.

CISM Exam Details

The CISM exam tests 150 items related to the information security management domain. The total time allotted for completing the test is 240 minutes with the passing score set at 450 out of 800.

The exam registration fee is dependent on your membership status. The current rates are set at $575 for members and $760 for non-members. It’s important to mention that the exam fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable and you will have a 12-month exam eligibility period upon completing your registration.

Skills Measured

The CISM exam tests your knowledge of 4 major domains related to the information security management. These include Information Security Governance (24%), Information Risk Management (30%), Information Security Development and Management (27%) and Information Security Incident Management (19%).

Exam Training Options

Get Certified ISACA provides plenty of training options for a better chance of exam success. The CISM exam guide, for instance, has useful information to help learners pass their exam easily. This is an invaluable tool that aims to equip learners with vital information about the exam in readiness for the actual test.

Another valuable tool for your CISM exam training is the online review course that is designed to prepare candidates for exam success. The prep course provides a variety of interactive activities and other study options which could be key to your success in the test.

Other options worth keeping an eye on include the virtual instructor-led courses, the exam prep community, and the terminology lists among others.

Other Study Options-PrepAwayWebsite!

When it comes to certification exam success, nothing beats effective preparation. While the study materials featured on the vendor website are good for your exam preparation, they might not be enough for exam success at your first attempt.

This is where the role of reliable IT training websites such as PrepAwaycomes in handy. This popular website provides invaluable learning materials that are always up to date to ensure you pass your exam easily.

All candidates preparing for the CISM exam should consider purchasing the CISM Bundle to improve their chances of success in the test. This is an effective study material that combines CISM questions and answers and the CISM study guide for guarantee exam success. The good news is, it only goes for $164.65 and PrepAway also allows for individual purchases to save some cash in the process.

The Bottom Line

This guide has answered all your questions related to the CISM certification. Earning an information security certification from a reliable IT vendor in today’s fast-paced world puts you at par with the top dogs in the industry. Always remember to combine multiple study aids during your certification exam preparation to improve your chances of success in the test. Good luck in your exams!

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

How to Pass ISACA CISM Exam and Why It Matters?