EC-Council’s Associate C|CISO Grandfathering Program Helps Professionals Grow into a CISO’s Role

EC-Council, the inventor of the Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) and a global leader in cybersecurity training and certification, has launched the Associate C|CISO grandfathering program initiative to empower security professionals with an industry-recognized credential to validate their competencies and readiness to assume a CISO’s role.

To further this objective, the EC-Council encourages subject matter experts with the required experience in the security domain to continue contributing to the industry and honing core executive skills that help build strong cyber leadership in organizations.

The application process incorporates evaluating subject matter experts and will be an effort to recognize their knowledge, skills, and abilities in cybersecurity leadership. We believe that the Associate C|CISO grandfathering process will provide recognition and credibility to our applicants in their quest to take on influential positions within the cybersecurity leadership.

Grandfathering Application Process

* 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.”

* Candidates shall be able to apply the Associate C|CISO grandfathering fee as a credit towards their future C|CISO exam voucher fee, provided the candidates attempt the C|CISO examination within 9 months of attaining the Associate C|CISO grandfathering status.

Qualified individuals can acquire the Associate C|CISO title without taking the exam because of their proven experience and knowledge.

By acquiring the Associate C|CISO Certification, applicants gain an incredible opportunity to enhance their profiles for leadership roles and are eligible to earn EC-Council’s most coveted CISO certification, the Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO), to advance their careers in executive leadership. Associate C|CISO-certified candidates can aid CISOs in strategy planning and build a pathway to joining the elite Associate C|CISO community at EC-Council.

Why is EC-Council Announcing a Grandfathering Program for the Associate C|CISO?

In the face of a changing threat landscape, the role of a CISO has evolved to be diverse and demanding. A modern CISO is expected to demonstrate skills beyond technical cybersecurity and build cohesive risk management strategies aligning with an organization’s business goals.

Grandfathering as an Associate C|CISO provides a valuable opportunity for qualified candidates. After all, a CISO’s office carries the weight of various responsibilities, including developing and implementing security strategies, managing risk, ensuring compliance, and safeguarding sensitive information. To be effective in such a position, professionals associated with a CISO’s office must comprehensively understand the skills and knowledge required for success. The Associate C|CISO program not only validates a candidate’s skills but also supports their growth in these vital areas.

Through this initiative, we aim to enlist experienced cybersecurity professionals with requisite experience in the office of a CISO to elevate cybersecurity leadership within organizations. The evaluation of subject matter expertise in our application process acknowledges proficiency and an effort to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities in cybersecurity leadership. The Associate C|CISO process, through grandfathering, offers recognition and credibility, supporting candidates on their journey to take influential cybersecurity leadership roles.

Prerequisites for Associate C|CISO Grandfathering

  • Cybersecurity professionals who demonstrate a minimum of 5 years of cumulative experience in the below Associate C|CISO domains.
  • With the nomination of individuals to verify your work experience in these domains:

This domain expertise means you can ensure strategic alignment, regulatory compliance, and effective threat mitigation, safeguarding digital assets and organizational resilience.

This domain expertise conveys that you can establish effective security measures, ensure compliance, and proactively manage risks, enhancing protection for critical assets and data.

This domain expertise conveys that you can ensure cohesive initiatives, optimal resource utilization, and agile threat responses, enhancing overall security effectiveness.

This domain expertise conveys your capabilities to holistically safeguard the organization, mitigate risks, and adeptly respond to evolving cyber challenges. This expertise ensures a well-rounded defense against multifaceted cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

Expertise in this domain shows that you can align security initiatives with business goals, optimize resource allocation, ensure cost-effective solutions, and manage vendor relationships effectively, fostering a resilient and well-integrated security framework. Planning, finance, procurement, and vendor management skills contribute to strategic decision-making, risk mitigation, and sustainable security operations.


Applicants who already hold the CISSP, CISM, or CISA certification
should submit their valid certification as evidence to verify their domain experience.

The Grandfathering Application for the Associate C|CISO

Start the following application process to become an Associate C|CISO:

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Experience Verification Form: 1st Verifier Details

Experience Verification Form: 2nd Verifier Details

Experience Verification Form: 3rd Verifier Details

Experience Verification Form: 4th Verifier Details

Experience Verification Form: 5th Verifier Details


Associate C|CISO Grandfathering is a unique program designed to offer experienced cybersecurity professionals an opportunity to transition into Associate C|CISO status, recognizing their expertise and opening a pathway to joining the office of a CISO.

Cybersecurity professionals with at least 5 years of cumulative experience in any one or all of the 5 Associate C|CISO domains.

Candidates with valid CISSP, CISM, or CISA certifications can use these credentials as evidence to showcase their domain experience. Otherwise, they can nominate up to 5 individuals to verify their work experience in the chosen domains.

Cumulative experience in the five domains is required for the Associate C|CISO Grandfathering program to validate that candidates have comprehensive expertise across the domains essential for effective leadership within a CISO’s office. This ensures that candidates possess a well-rounded skillset and knowledge base to excel in senior cybersecurity roles and contribute meaningfully to organizational security strategies.

Eligible candidates can apply for Associate C|CISO Grandfathering. Upon successful verification and payment of a nominal fee, the candidate can download their certificate and badge that recognizes them as an Associate C|CISO.

  • Enhance your credibility as an asset to join the office of a CISO.
  • Get recognized by CISOs immediately.
  • Expand your network by joining the elite leadership community of EC-Council.
  • Unlock new opportunities by showcasing your readiness and commitment to continuous learning as an information security leader.
  • Make use of the Associate C|CISO certification as a stepping stone to acquiring the EC-Council's Certified CISO (C|CISO) certification. This program has empowered information security professionals across the globe to assume leadership roles.

The Associate C|CISO certification is valid for 3 years from the certification date, and members must comply with ECE policy.

Yes, Associate C|CISO holders who meet the experience criteria can transition to the full C|CISO. Upon meeting the requirements, they can take the Certified CISO exam and apply the fee paid during the Associate C|CISO grandfathering process to the exam voucher cost within 9 months of receiving of the Associate C|CISO.

There’s no time limit for transitioning into a Certified CISO; however, candidates must hold an active Associate C|CISO certificate when applying for the Certified CISO as per policy guidelines or they must apply for the Certified CISO program and follow the standard Certified CISO application process from the beginning

If the candidate’s Associate C|CISO certification has lapsed, they must apply for the C|CISO program and follow the standard C|CISO application process from the beginning.

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