Certified Authorization Professional

Definition of Certified Authorization Professional

The Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) is a professional certification offered by (ISC)², an international non-profit organization specializing in IT security. The CAP certification focuses on authorizing and maintaining information systems by using established risk management and security best practices. Professionals with this certification possess the skills to evaluate, manage, and safeguard an organization’s information systems by applying appropriate security policies and procedures.


The phonetics of the keyword “Certified Authorization Professional” would be:ˈsər-tə-ˌfīd ˌȯ-thə-rə-ˈzā-shən prə-ˈfe-shə-nəl

Key Takeaways

  1. Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) is a certification offered by (ISC)², focused primarily on the Risk Management Framework (RMF) and its application to information systems and security authorization.
  2. As a specialized credential, CAP demonstrates an individual’s expertise in understanding, applying, and maintaining security and risk management processes, which ensures that they play a critical role in the decision-making process for approving and maintaining IT systems.
  3. Obtaining the CAP certification involves meeting the necessary experience requirements, passing a rigorous examination, and adhering to a code of ethics, thereby enhancing an individual’s professional credibility and career growth within the information security field.

Importance of Certified Authorization Professional

The Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) designation is vital in the technology industry because it signifies that an individual has demonstrated a high level of understanding and proficiency in the field of risk management and information security.

This certification, offered by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)², highlights an individual’s skillset in implementing, assessing, and maintaining authorization and security processes for various system platforms and IT infrastructures.

By earning a CAP certification, professionals can showcase their expertise in ensuring that organizations meet stringent regulatory and compliance requirements, which ultimately enables them to protect valuable data and systems from cyber threats and maintain their organization’s reputation.


The Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) serves a crucial purpose in today’s growing and evolving technological landscape, focusing primarily on effectively assessing and managing risks related to information systems. As organizations strive to protect their critical data and infrastructure from a diverse range of threats, the CAP certification provides professionals with the necessary skill set and competency to ensure that the organization’s information systems are in compliance with relevant regulations, policies, and security requirements.

By understanding and applying appropriate frameworks, methodologies, and processes, CAP certified professionals play a vital role in enhancing an organization’s overall security posture and minimizing the potential for data breaches and other security incidents. Additionally, Certified Authorization Professionals are essential for fostering collaboration between various roles within an organization, such as IT, management, and end-users, to facilitate the development, implementation, and maintenance of robust security controls.

Through their knowledge of risk management and the authorization process, these professionals can effectively balance the need for data accessibility and functionality with the necessity of safeguarding sensitive information. Ultimately, CAP certified professionals are invaluable assets in managing the security of a diverse range of information systems, enabling organizations to stay resilient and secure in the face of continually evolving cyber threats.

Examples of Certified Authorization Professional

The Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) is an information security certification provided by (ISC)², which focuses on understanding and implementing the Risk Management Framework (RMF) in real-world scenarios. Here are three real-world examples related to the CAP certification and the implementation of risk management in technology:

Healthcare Industry: A hospital’s Information Security team is responsible for maintaining and securing patient data, as well as the hospital’s information systems. The team may have a Certified Authorization Professional on board to ensure that the hospital adheres to legal and regulatory requirements such as HIPAA and HITECH. With the help of CAP knowledge, the team can assess and monitor the risk posture of the hospital and implement a comprehensive security framework.

Financial Services Industry: Banks and financial institutions handle a significant amount of confidential data, from customer information to transaction records. Adherence to regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) is important to maintain security. Certified Authorization Professionals play a key role in assessing the risks associated with information systems within these institutions. These professionals help the organization’s security team with the implementation of better risk management strategies, security controls, and continuous monitoring processes to protect sensitive data.

Government: In an effort to standardize cybersecurity and risk management practices across federal agencies, the U.S. government has adopted the Risk Management Framework (RMF) outlined in the NIST documents. Certified Authorization Professionals working in government agencies can provide guidance and assistance in implementing RMF requirements to ensure the protection of classified information. They help in assessing and mitigating the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and system intrusions by identifying vulnerabilities and recommending appropriate security controls.

Frequently Asked Questions about Certified Authorization Professional

What is the Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) certification?

The Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) certification is a prestigious credential provided by (ISC)² that validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in risk management, information security, and the authorization of information systems. This certification is designed for those who are responsible for coordinating and maintaining the security posture of an organization.

Who should obtain the CAP certification?

Individuals who work in roles related to risk management, system authorization, or information security should consider obtaining the CAP certification. Some examples of these roles include: IT Security Analysts, Security Control Assessors, Information Assurance (IA) Managers, and System Owners.

What are the prerequisites for CAP certification?

To qualify for the CAP certification, candidates must have a minimum of two years of cumulative, paid, full-time work experience in one or more of the seven domains of the CAP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). A candidate who does not have the required experience may become an Associate of (ISC)² by passing the CAP examination and gaining the required experience within three years.

How do I prepare for the CAP exam?

Candidates should review the CAP exam outline to understand the content areas included in the examination. They can also take advantage of various (ISC)² resources, such as training courses, study materials, and practice exams to ensure they are fully prepared for the CAP examination.

How long is the CAP certification valid for?

The CAP certification is valid for three years. To maintain the certification, certified professionals must earn and submit a minimum of 20 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits each year (totaling 60 CPEs in a three-year cycle) and pay an annual maintenance fee.

Related Technology Terms

  • Risk Management Framework (RMF)
  • Information Assurance (IA)
  • Security Controls Assessment (SCA)
  • System Authorization (SA)
  • Continuous Monitoring (CM)

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