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CISM vs CRISC - Which Cyber Security Certification is Right for You?

18th Jan, 2024
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    CISM vs CRISC - Which Cyber Security Certification is Right for You?

    Most people interested in cybersecurity, new or experienced professionals, wish to get certificates like the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) or the Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). Many professionals simultaneously try to get both credentials to speed up their cybersecurity careers. However, there is confusion among newbies and professionals about which certification is valued more. So, let us discuss the major distinction between CISM and CRISC and explore it in-depth in this article.

    What Is CISM?

    The CISM is a professional accreditation, which means that the certificate holder possesses the knowledge and abilities required to establish, implement, and manage a company information security management system. This accreditation is provided by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

    The CISM accreditation from ISACA is created specifically for data security administration and management. It guarantees that global cybersecurity and information security administrators are qualified to deliver security and assurance to their organizations. The CISM is an ANSI certification about information assurance administration with international recognition. ISACA limits the CISM certification to specified dates and locations each year on purpose, and the certification's exclusivity derives from this restriction.

    A CISM certification validates that the trainee has mastered all technical capabilities and has a thorough understanding of data security strategic goals. This certification indicates that the certification holder understands the fundamental concepts of security management. This credential has no requirements, although the test requires five years of experience in the field of cybersecurity.

    What Is CRISC?

    CRISC is perhaps the most widely used and reliable certification for evaluating the risk management skills of IT professionals in a given sector. It is an ANSI-approved accreditation and a worldwide recognized performance indicator.  

    This certification guarantees that the certificate holder is equipped with the knowledge to assist their company with the following tasks:

    • Understand the impact of IT and organizational risk management and how risk affects their company.  
    • Effectively create and implement critical and targeted initiatives and risk monitoring to mitigate risk.  
    • Make sensible risk-based decisions.  
    • Set uniform vocabulary, standards, and viewpoint hazards that will become the industry standard for risk management.

    CRISC vs CISM: Key Difference


    The CRISC certification is mostly useful for corporate-level IT risk assessment practitioners. Risk assessment, management and support companies, and compliance are segments that CRISC trainees are specialized in. One of the main differences also lies in the CISM vs CRISC difficulty level.  

    The CRISC domains are:

    • Domain 1: Identifying IT risks.
    • Domain 2: IT risk evaluation.
    • Domain 3: Mitigation and risk response.  
    • Domain 4: Monitoring and reporting on risk and control.

    CRISC holders develop a more thorough understanding of information technology threats and how these affect the company. They also plan regulations and strategies for reducing such risks. CRISC professionals established a common paradigm to facilitate communication and interaction amongst IT departments and stakeholders.

    Understanding the CRISC test's format is the most effective way to clear it. In the test, four domains are addressed. They are:

    Domain 1: IT Risk Identification (27%)  

    This topic focuses on the methods and components needed to handle a company's data while evaluating potential risks, cyber threats, and security flaws. Planning layouts to uncover the potential impact of risks on a firm, stakeholders, and business risk susceptibility are also covered under this domain.

    Domain 2: IT Risk Assessment (28 %)  

    This area entails developing a precise security evaluation strategy that allows for the detection of any issues that might constitute a threat to the firm. For establishing equitable and effective safeguards, inquiries assess comprehension of the present and anticipated situations of a specific IT risk state. This domain also evaluates current security procedures and delivers the findings to management.

    Domain 3: Risk Response and Mitigation (23%)  

    This area focuses on developing and executing effective risk mitigation and installing appropriate controls to reduce susceptibility. It also entails evaluating the effectiveness of threat response, restoring the company's procedures to compliance, and determining who is accountable for certain vital functions. This domain is responsible for documenting controls and processes, updating safety records, and following all risk control procedures.

    Domain 4: Risk and Control Monitoring and Reporting (22 %)  

    This domain contains the fundamentals for monitoring and managing IT threats and the tools configured, the risk control policy's continued efficacy, and how it advances corporate objectives. This area also involves how these results are communicated to the administration. The challenges revolve around measurements, such as noticing and interpreting important danger signs.  

    In IT cybersecurity, the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) accreditation is crucially important. It focuses on educating trainees with the knowledge and skills needed to control and manage any corporation's IT and conduct sufficient security inspections. Learners also gain information standards acquisition, development, evaluation, and execution skills.


    Comparing CISM with the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) is an excellent way to understand it. CISSP focuses on the functional aspect of cybersecurity and its technological aspects, while both contain cybersecurity and management principles. The strategic view of information security and its ties to corporate objectives emphasizes CISM.

    CISM is designed specifically for cybersecurity administrators who analyze, plan, implement, and manage information security policies on a corporate level. To enhance your foundation in cybersecurity, you can enroll in the top cybersecurity certifications for an in-depth understanding. The CISM certification verifies that the credential owner has expertise in the following four domains:

    Domain 1: Information Security Governance  

    This domain states the ability to administer an information security management framework to ensure that the company's information security program aligns with its objectives.

    Domain 2: Information Risk Management  

    The capacity to achieve a suitable degree of information vulnerability displays exceptional understanding in this critical sector.  

    Domain 3: Information Security Program Development and Management  

    This domain provides expertise in enhancing and administering an information security framework that recognizes, preserves, and safeguards a company's assets while keeping business objectives in mind.

    Domain 4: Information Security Incident Management  

    This domain verifies the ability to develop, implement, and sustain detection, investigation, reaction, and restoration from network security breaches to minimize the impact on the enterprise. Many firms and enterprises now demand CISM qualifications for their information security professionals. A CISM holder is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the corporation's information security policies align with its business objectives.

    An enthusiastic professional must go or the best CISM online training to gain credentials and learn about these essential domains.  

    Earning the Credential

    All applicants must  

    • Meet the criteria for experience (minimum of five years of experience in information security for CISM and a minimum of 3 years for CISSP.) This experience must have been earned during the previous ten years or within five years of passing the examination.  
    • Pass the related test ($575 for ISACA members; $760 for non-members). Examinations are only conducted three times a year, so applicants should enroll beforehand.  
    • Accept the Continuing Professional Education Program and the Code of Professional Ethics.

    Maintaining the Credential

    • The ISACA certification is valid for three years. There is also a yearly maintenance cost ($45 for ISACA members, $85 for non-members).
    • Certification holders must complete 120 CPE credits to retain their credentials, with at least 20 CPEs gained each year.

    The Benefits: CISM vs. CRISC

    Individuals with the CISM credential maintained an average yearly salary of $120,000 in the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study.  

    As per ZipRecruiter, the median CRISC pay in the U. S. is $ 132,266 per year.  

    According to PayScale, the average annual CRISC income is $2,000,000.  

    Some of the CRISC's highest-paid job titles are security analysts, information security consultants, IT audit risk managers, and technology risk consultants.


    IT professionals and amateurs alike have benefited from security certification. KnowledgeHut’s best CISM online training and CRISC qualifications provides in-depth knowledge and expertise on all vital security topic. They are important security qualifications that are widely recognized and provide a solid foundation for understanding cybersecurity. We hope this comparison helps our readers a distinctinction between the best cyber security certificates.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is the difference between CISM and CRISC?

    An essential distinction between CRISC and CISM is that CRISC is specialized and focused solely on corporate IT risk management. While CISM is a certificate that a CISO or anyone aspiring to be a CISO may obtain and it covers a far broader variety of content, spanning the conception and administration of enterprise-level information security programs.

    2Which is better, CRISC or CISM?

    While the CISSP emphasizes the operational aspects of security, the CISM focuses on the strategic aspects of security and how they relate to business objectives. Regarding reported earnings, the CRISC qualification is second only to the CISSP, and it certifies your ability to deal with corporate IT risk assessment.

    3Is CISM harder than CISSP?

    Exam difficulty varies depending on a person's background and thinking. The CISSP is an advanced test, whereas the CISM is an intermediate certification. Some individuals claim that the complexity of the CISM and CISSP exams is determined by the question paper issued by ISACA and (ISC)2.

    4What is the easiest ISACA certification?

    Several ISACA credentials are available, but the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is the easiest and most beneficial. It is also the most widely held ISACA credential. The CISA is ideal for those whose jobs require auditing, monitoring, managing, and evaluating IT and commercial infrastructure.


    Vitesh Sharma

    Blog Author

    Vitesh Sharma, a distinguished Cyber Security expert with a wealth of experience exceeding 6 years in the Telecom & Networking Industry. Armed with a CCIE and CISA certification, Vitesh possesses expertise in MPLS, Wi-Fi Planning & Designing, High Availability, QoS, IPv6, and IP KPIs. With a robust background in evaluating and optimizing MPLS security for telecom giants, Vitesh has been instrumental in driving large service provider engagements, emphasizing planning, designing, assessment, and optimization. His experience spans prestigious organizations like Barclays, Protiviti, EY, PwC India, Tata Consultancy Services, and more. With a unique blend of technical prowess and management acumen, Vitesh remains at the forefront of ensuring secure and efficient networking solutions, solidifying his position as a notable figure in the cybersecurity landscape.

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