Associate CCISO Grandfathering Program

Associate C|CISO Grandfathering: A Strategic Move to Transition to the Office of a CISO

May 8, 2024
| Executive Management

In an era marked by escalating cyber threats, the demand for skilled cybersecurity leaders who can seamlessly navigate the intricacies of information security has gotten more prominent. The evolution of cyber leaders, even pinpointed in the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role, has highlighted a dire need for qualified professionals who are not only capable of understanding but also incorporating the strategic mindset inherent to a CISO’s office.

The Splunk CISO Report revealed that around 86% of the respondents agree that the responsibilities of the CISO have evolved, shifting from primarily executing technical duties to becoming a strategic business leader (Splunk, 2023). This transition emphasizes the growing demand for leaders with both technical and business acumen. Understanding the evolving nature of cybersecurity leadership and the need to empower competent leaders, EC-Council launched the Associate C|CISO Grandfathering program. A strategic move for cybersecurity professionals aiming to assume higher leadership roles, this Associate C|CISO grandfathering initiative offers recognition and credibility, supporting applicants in their journey to taking on more responsibilities in the office of a CISO

Importance of Leadership Skills and Strategic Thinking in Navigating Complex Threats for Business Continuity

In today’s dynamic era, where businesses face multifaceted challenges ranging from cybersecurity threats to global disruptions, leaders must possess the ability to anticipate, adapt, and respond efficiently. Effective leadership skills and strategic thinking play a transforming role in ensuring business continuity!

Leadership skills such as effective communication, strong decision-making, and team empowerment are crucial for addressing emerging threats. Additionally, strategic thinking enables leaders to assess risks comprehensively, identify opportunities during situations of uncertainty, and formulate strategies that safeguard business operations and continuity.

A Comprehensive Overview of the Associate C|CISO Grandfathering Program

EC-Council’s Associate C|CISO Grandfathering Program is a pioneering initiative that aims to empower competent cybersecurity leaders by validating their competencies and preparedness to seamlessly transition into the role of a CISO. Qualified professionals are recognized for their expertise and capabilities via this initiative, which enables them to demonstrate their aptitude for leadership positions and empowers them to pursue career advancements and opportunities in cybersecurity leadership. This recognition highlights their adeptness in a range of critical cybersecurity domains that are prerequisites for attaining the rank of CISO. These include strategic planning, finance, procurement, vendor management, information security management, security program management, and risk management and compliance.

By offering a streamlined pathway, EC-Council endeavors to promote skilled leaders, thereby addressing the growing demand for qualified personnel ready to assume the roles and responsibilities of a CISO. Overall, the associate C|CISO grandfathering process aims to recognize the expertise and commitment to excellence in cybersecurity management, motivating professionals to excel in pivotal roles within organizations worldwide

What Makes It One-Of-A-Kind?

As the threat landscape undergoes continuous transformation, the responsibilities entrusted to a CISO have escalated into a multifaceted and super-demanding domain. With changing times, modern CISOs are tasked with not only understanding the complex technical environments but also translating these insights into actionable risk mitigation strategies that resonate with broader business objectives.

What sets Associate C|CISO Grandfathering apart in this realm is that it offers a natural extension of a candidate’s skills and caliber to lead top-level roles and responsibilities. Moreover, the program holistically promotes taking up dynamic leadership roles that encompass strategic thinking, risk assessment, compliance management, and much more.

Eligibility Criteria

An applicant must meet one of the prerequisites that follow in order to be eligible for the Associate C|CISO Grandfathering Program:

  1. Cybersecurity professionals must have a minimum of 5 years of cumulative experience in the below Associate C|CISO domains
    • Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance
    • Information Security Controls and Audit Management
    • Security Program Management and Operations
    • Information Security Core Competencies
    • Strategic Planning, Finance, Procurement, and Vendor Management
  2. Applicants who already possess the CISSP, CISM, or CISA certification

* Disclaimer: CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) is a trademark owned by ISC2, while CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) and CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) are trademarks owned by ISACA. EC-Council does not claim any ownership over these trademarks or assert any claims of endorsement, affiliation, connection, or sponsorship with ISC2 and ISACA.

Major Advantages for Cybersecurity Professionals

The program offers a plethora of benefits for qualified professionals seeking to excel in high-stakes leadership positions. A few of them include:

  • An opportunity for competent leaders to solidify their standing in the cybersecurity landscape through a recognized credential and community support
  • Acquire the Associate C|CISO credential without taking the exam because of proven experience and knowledge
  • Certified Associate C|CISO professionals actively engage in strategic planning alongside CISOs
  • Pave the way for inclusion in EC-Council’s respected Associate C|CISO community
  • Gain eligibility to earn EC-Council’s most coveted Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO) certification

Application Procedure

The application process begins with the evaluation of subject matter experts for their knowledge, skills, and competencies in cybersecurity leadership. This evaluation is based on the candidate’s cumulative 5-year experience in the five major Associate C|CISO domains. The subsequent step involves submitting verifier details or proof of CISSP, CISM, or CISA certification. If the applicant does not possess the required certifications, they may nominate up to five individuals to verify their work experience in these domains. Following successful verification, the applicant will be required to pay the grandfathering fee and gradually attain the Associate C|CISO credential.

The Role of Associate C|CISO Program in Paving the Way to Becoming a Certified CISO

The Associate C|CISO certification serves as a crucial stepping stone for individuals aspiring to become C-Suite leaders with the expertise needed to meet the experience requirements and successfully navigate the certification process, ultimately paving the way toward attaining the prestigious C|CISO certification. The C|CISO certification, designed by sitting CISOs, provides a solid framework and the technical and business acumen required to stand out at the highest levels of information security leadership. Individuals who achieve the Associate C|CISO credential gain eligibility to apply for the prestigious Certified CISO exam, thereby strengthening their qualifications for executive information security leadership positions.

How Does the Associate C|CISO Grandfathering Contribute to the Development of Strong Cyber Leadership?

The Associate C|CISO Grandfathering Program significantly contributes to the development of strong cyber leadership by recognizing the expertise and experience of competent subject matter experts in the domain. Through the program, individuals not only receive acknowledgement of their knowledge base but also encouragement for their continued commitment and efforts to further excel in the field. The credential thus plays a pivotal role in developing strong and adept cyber leaders in the office of a CISO who can address the intricate challenges and lead the information security domain.

The Associate C|CISO Grandfathering Program stands as a forward-thinking initiative for cybersecurity professionals aspiring to attain the coveted role of CISO. The program navigates the journey of professionals towards formal certification, nurturing a dynamic group of cyber leaders who can strengthen the cybersecurity landscape and effectively tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. Overall, the initiative bridges the gap between technology and business priorities and highlights the pivotal role of CISOs in safeguarding organizational assets while driving sustainable growth and innovation.


Splunk. (2023). The CISO Report.

Share this Article
You may also like
Recent Articles
Become a
Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO)

"*" indicates required fields