ISC2: Confirmation of Termination of Membership

Recently, I have received another “(ISC)2 Annual Maintenance Fee Invoice” e-mail from “International Information System Security Certification Consortium” which subsequently led me to reconsider my membership…


There have been written and spoken tons of materials regarding successfully passing the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

The computer-based exam comprises of 250 vendor-neutral multiple-choice questions dealing with 8 domains of Common Body of Knowledge. The exam is a comprehensive, exhaustive and six hours long marathon where at the end, you hardly remember your own name. The (ISC)2 does not openly discuss pass/fail percentages nor results to the applicants. I heard through the grapevine that there is a 30% failure rate for the first time candidates.

The Real Experience

Having the CISSP “title” in a presentation has been taken with respect and it provided a certain authority level. It may be not anymore, I don’t know. Anyway, I was lucky enough to pass the exam on the first attempt two years ago.

During the time, a lot changed. Today, the exam is considered as a manager’s certification (similar to those PMP’s etc.) and recognised mainly in the USA, partially in the mainland EU. The UK has their own, and the same counts for APAC. It is natural, that if something works and creates profits, it will be sooner or later copied. As a result, we have EC-Council, GIAC, ISACA, etc. And more hands-on, practically-oriented exams, such as Offensive Security, GIAC, CompTIA etc. And of course those vendor-related such as Cisco, Juniper, Checkpoint, etc.

International Recognition

I met many people, young people, paying a lot of their time and money to get theoretical knowledge, hands-on experience and get ultimately certified in order to become internationally recognised. Yeah, I was one of them. So, once the possibility occurred; I decided to move to a different country, to a different part of the world (from EU to APAC), to get more experience and I literally hit the buffers.

Prior to the arrival, I was instructed that my university degree (PhD) my not be accepted as a sufficient proof of my education. Nevertheless, I believed that at least the certifications, as supposedly an internationally recognised proof of skill and experience, would work. I can confirm the first instruction was fulfilled 100%, but unfortunately; my belief failed as well…

Obviously, once the aforementioned e-mail arrived in my mailbox, I started to contemplate the membership. I mean, what’s the point of paying (yeah, my employer has not been paying it for me), when the membership is not recognised anyway.

Confirmation of Termination of Membership ISC2

Well, nobody can deny that I successfully passed the exam. I worked and studied a lot for that, but I do not think that US$85 a year (2017) and several visited presentations (to claim the CPE credits) will change anything about that (the CPE credits are another story, but that’s for a completely different article). Additionally, I can confirm that the recognition claims do not apply globally. And therefore, I decided to wave them goodbye.

As a result of your email indicating that you do not wish to continue, your CISSP record has now been marked inactive and you should no longer receive correspondence from (ISC)2. Therefore, please be aware that your CISSP credential expired effective today: 27 March 2017.

Because the CISSP is a federally-registered certification mark, it is (ISC)2’s policy to let members know that you may no longer use the CISSP designation in any form after decertification. For example, you may not use CISSP after your name, on printed materials and you may not display the certificate itself, wear the CISSP lapel pin or imply in any way that you are presently certified. Please be aware that continued use is unauthorized and an infringement of the CISSP mark and will result in further action being taken by (ISC)2.

If you decide that you would like to reinstate your CISSP, you will need to sit and pass a CISSP examination. Before you can retest, you will need to contact Member Services directly to pay outstanding AMF. You will not have to resubmit an endorsement application.

You have been a valued (ISC)2 member and I wish you success in all your future career endeavors.

Well, I don’t think so…

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