Top CISM Interview Questions in 2022–23

Top CISM Interview Questions in 2022–23

Are you browsing for the top CISM Interview Questions to clear your upcoming CISM job interview and land your dream job? If yes, then you’re at the right place. Preparing for the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) interview is essential for every CISM-certified professional who wants to land a higher position in IT Management and Security. To help you with the same, we have discussed the common interview questions you can expect from the interviewers in this blog. These questions address essential subjects and skills businesses seek in CISM specialists.

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you demonstrate your knowledge and move confidently through the interview process. Further, if you’re looking for jobs as a CISM professional, read this blog to learn the top CISM Interview Questions that will help you smoothly sail through your next interview.   

Table of Contents

1) CISM Interview Questions - Beginner Level 

2) CISM Interview Questions - Intermediate Level 

3) CISM Interview Questions - Advanced Level 

4) Conclusion 

CISM Interview Questions - Beginner level 

The section below discusses the basic CISM Interview Questions: 

Q1) What stages comprise an ISRM strategy? 

The five phases of an ISRM strategy include: 

a) Business awareness 

b) Strategy definition 

c) Strategy development 

d) Metrics and benchmarking 

e) Implementation and operation 

Q2) Describe the needs for the various data classification levels. 

Data classification is essential for organisations to categorise information based on its sensitivity and relevance. This classification ensures appropriate access control, protects sensitive data, and enables efficient sharing and utilisation of data within the organisation. 

Q3) What do you understand by Risk Management in CISM? 

Risk Management in CISM involves systematically identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential risks to an organisation's information assets. It includes activities such as risk assessment, risk analysis, risk treatment planning, and monitoring. It helps to identify and address vulnerabilities, threats, and potential impacts to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.

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Q4) Explain Risk Audit. 

Risk Audit in CISM involves assessing an organisation's Risk Management practices to identify weaknesses, gaps, and areas of non-compliance. It aims to ensure that the organisation's Risk Management processes align with standards and best practices, providing recommendations for improvement.  

Q5) Name the types of audits? 

The three types of audits include: 

a) External Audit 

b) Internal Audit 

c) Internal Revenue Service Audits 

Q6) Explain Consequence Management. 

Consequence Management in CISM refers to addressing and mitigating the impact of security incidents. It includes incident response, containment, recovery, and preparing preventive measures to minimise harm to an organisation's operations, reputation, and security infrastructure. 

Q7) What are the parameters of Project Risk Management? 

a) Risk avoidance 

b) Sharing risk 

c) Risk education 

d) Transfer of risk 

Q8) What are the types of organisational structures? 

a) Functional 

b) Matrix 

c) Projectised 

d) Multi-divisional 

e) Virtual 

Q9) How do you assess risk profile? 

You can assess the risk profile by: 

a) Learning about the risk levels associated with different types of investments 

b) Aligning our investments with our specific time frame for investment 

c) Diversifying our portfolio to reduce risk by investing in various assets 

Learn how to deal with Information Security governance. Sign up for our CISM Certified Information Security Manager Training today! 

Q10) Explain SABSA

SABSA is a framework for designing and implementing security solutions that align with business objectives, considering both technical and non-technical aspects. It helps organisations develop a comprehensive and tailored security strategy that supports their unique needs and goals. 

CISM Interview Questions - Intermediate level 

Here we have covered intermediate-level CISM Interview Questions: 

Q1) Which relevant certifications do you possess? 

To answer this question, you must mention all the relevant certifications you have acquired apart from the CISM certification. This would showcase your exceptional skills in effectively managing and leading Information Security. Ensure you have complete knowledge about the certifications and discuss the skills and abilities you learnt while pursuing those certifications.   

Q2) Describe data leakage and how to prevent it? 

Data leakage can happen through various methods, including printing, emailing and sending data to unauthorised sites. This also refers to the unauthorised outsourcing of important corporate data. Data leakage can be detected and controlled by taking steps such as internal encryption, limiting access to external emails, blocking web uploads, and restricting the printing of sensitive information.    

Q3) What do you mean by security misconfiguration? 

A system or application becomes vulnerable when adequate security settings and configurations are not implemented. This is known as security misconfiguration. It can happen when unnecessary features are enabled, security patches are not installed, or default configurations are not updated, making it simpler for attackers to exploit the system. 

Q4) Explain cryptography

Cryptography is a method used to protect information from third parties called adversaries.    

Q5) What rules apply to different security goals? 

Different security goals are essential in CISM to guarantee the efficient protection of information within an organisation. The three main categories of these security objectives are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. These categories involve: 


a) Limiting access to only authorised individuals 

b) Using encryption to protect sensitive data 

c) Implementing access controls and strong passwords 

d) Classifying information based on the sensitivity 

e) Enforcing non-disclosure agreements 


a) Validating data for accuracy and completeness 

b) Managing changes through authorised processes 

c) Maintaining version control and backups 

d) Implementing audit trails for tracking changes 

e) Monitoring and detecting unauthorised alterations 


a) Implementing redundancy for continuous availability 

b) Developing and testing disaster recovery plans 

c) Establishing incident response processes 

d) Monitoring systems and networks for performance and threats 

e) Defining and maintaining Service Level agreements (SLAs) 

The above-mentioned points are essential to describe the rules applied to different security goals, thus ensuring information security. 

Q6) Describe the level of output you anticipated for the first 90 days of your employment. 

You must explain how you became familiar with the organisation’s security measures throughout your first 90 days of employment. You will have to look for weaknesses and communicate with the team. Additionally, communicate your goals for creating a strong foundation for future development and workflow progress leading to increased information security.    

Q7) What do you understand by traceroute? 

Traceroute is a useful tool for tracking the path of packets and identifying points of failure or interruptions when they don't reach their destination.  

Q8) Share with us your learning points from your past failures.  

The possibility of failure is expected in any defensive Information Security role. The capacity to learn from these mistakes through careful reflection and self-analysis is a vital quality. Demonstrating your capacity for critical thought, how you respond to challenges, and your ability to bounce back is crucial. 

Q9) Explain a server protection technique. 

Using strict access controls is one method for securing a server. This includes asking users to use strong passwords, establishing two-factor authentication, upgrading and patching server software regularly and limiting access to only authorised users. 

Q10) Describe the clean desk policy

In the context of CISM, the term "clean desk policy" refers to a practice where employees are expected to keep their workspaces tidy and clutter-free by locking away sensitive papers and information while they are not in use. This policy encourages an organisational culture of securing information while preventing unauthorised access and lowering the risk of data breaches. 

CISM Interview Questions - Advanced level 

Lastly, let’s take a look at the advanced-level CISM Interview Questions: 

Q1) Define the objective of a disaster recovery plan

A disaster recovery plan is necessary because it helps organisations respond and recover from unanticipated disasters or accidents efficiently. It describes steps to take after disruptive events like natural disasters, cyberattacks, or equipment failures to restore crucial systems and operations quickly. Businesses may reduce downtime, mitigate data loss, protect their reputation, and maintain uninterrupted operations by having a well-defined disaster recovery plan in place.   

Q2) What is the difference between vulnerability assessment and penetration testing? 

a) Vulnerability assessment identifies weaknesses, while penetration testing exploits those weaknesses to test security measures. 

b) Vulnerability assessment systematically evaluates an organisation's systems, networks, and applications to identify potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities. On the other hand, penetration testing actively replicates actual attacks on the systems and networks of the organisation.    

Q3) How can organisations prevent social engineering attacks? 

To prevent social engineering attacks, organisations should train employees, use strong authentication, enforce clear security policies, and run regular phishing models. Additionally, they should create an incident response plan, maintain security software updates, enforce access controls, perform routine risk assessments, use physical security measures, and continuously test and monitor security measures.   

Q4) Give the best practices for Incident Management.  

The best practices for incident management are as follows: 

a) Formation of an incident response team 

b) Creating an incident response strategy 

c) Refining and testing the incident response strategy frequently 

d) Identifying and ranking key resources 

e) Putting event detection and response measures in place 

f) Effective communication 

Q5) Mention the essential elements of security awareness and training programs. 

The security awareness program refers to a combination of activities and resources that intend to make employees aware of the security risks and best practices along with their respective roles in safeguarding the organisation’s assets. The key elements include: 

a) Educating employees 

b) Policy awareness 

c) Secure password practices 

d) Data handling and protection 

e) Mobile and remote Security 

f) Incident reporting 

g) Physical security awareness  

h) Ongoing training 

Q6) Highlight the primary elements of an incident response plan. 

The key elements of the incident response plan include: 

a) Incident Identification and reporting 

b) Response team activation 

c) Containment and mitigation 

d) Evidence gathering and preservation 

e) Investigation and root cause analysis 

f) Communication and notification 

g) Recovery and restoration 

h) Post-incident review and documenting lessons learned 

i) Continuous improvement and plan updates 

Q7) Why do we need Business Impact Analysis (BIA)? 

The Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is a tool used to assess the potential effects of disruptions on crucial business operations. It assists businesses in setting resource priorities, creating business continuity and recovery plans, and reducing disruptions' effects on daily operations. The BIA offers important data for resource allocation and informed decision-making, ensuring prompt recovery and minimising any negative impacts on business operations. 

Q8) Describe the four steps of the Risk Management process.  

The four steps include: 

a) Risk Identification: Identifying potential risks 

b) Risk Assessment: Evaluating and analysing risks 

c) Risk Mitigation: Implementing strategies to minimise or eliminate risks 

d) Risk Monitoring and Review: Continuously monitoring and reassessing risks 

Q9) What is the use of Risk Management? 

By identifying, evaluating, and mitigating potential risks, Risk Management enables organisations to take well-informed decisions, safeguard their assets, and maintain business continuity. It supports proactive vulnerability management, strengthens resilience, and defends the organisation's worth and reputation.  

Q10) Describe the differences between threat, vulnerability and risk. 

a) Threat: An external or internal event or circumstance that has the potential to cause harm or damage to an organisation's assets or objectives. 

b) Vulnerability: Weaknesses or gaps in systems, processes, or controls that malicious agents could exploit to cause harm or damage. 

c) Risk: The loss, harm, or negative impact of the interaction between threats and vulnerabilities. 


CISM Interview Questions will help you enhance your interview preparation, enabling you to effectively showcase your knowledge, skills, and qualifications to potential employers. We hope this blog gives you enough insights to prepare for your next CISM interview. 

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