A Beginners Guide to CPEs (the easy way)

Many security professionals attain certifications because it proves their capabilities and the letters look nice – especially to prospective employers.

As the holder of a CISSP certification, I’ve been achieving my CPE (Continuing Professional Education) goals – with some ease after initially being worried about it.

One key element from the (ISC)2 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Handbook states the following is acceptable:

Online webinars, podcasts and other online and other online offerings

When I got my CISSP many years ago, this was not the case and the category was not available when submitting CPEs but, in recent years, they have seen the consumption of relevant podcasts and webinars to be valid and actually useful.

I was actually audited on one of my podcast submissions in 2012 and passed – so they do and have always understood….

In fact, my favourite podcast is listed in the 2021 release of the CISSP Official Study Guide, 9th edition:

Security Now

Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte have been running this podcast since 2005. You can pick up all episodes with notes and transcripts from Steve’s grc.com pages or at Leo’s TWiT site. I have the episodes being downloaded to my phone using Pocket Casts – simply get a podcast player, search and subscribe (audio and video are available).

Alternately, you can consume it on YouTube:

Smashing Security

Featuring Graham Cluley and Carole Theriault, Smashing Security is another excellent resource produced in audio-only format on a weekly basis. It’s completely worth subscribing to and I quote my own review of their efforts:

What a pair of idiots 🤣🤣

Start how you mean to go on…. 🙂

I like Smashing Security. It’s like listening to a well-informed, funny, married couple bickering about something that interests you.

It goes on….

I have to say I like Carole more. Or Graham. F-it, you can both stew over whom I like more – but carry on with the great work.

You can listen to the tail end of episode 233 where Carole debates this feedback…!

Other Resources for CPEs

  • Look on www.brighttalk.com for information sessions that you can consume either live or recorded
  • If your firm is a member of the ISF, they have an online attendance for ISF Congress that just took place in Manchester (on-demand content is available)
  • Look for opportunities on the (ISC)2, ISACA and other certification sites