The GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF) certification is a practitioner-level certification that assesses knowledge of fundamental security concepts, computer networks, introductory cryptography, and cybersecurity technologies. GISF-certified professionals can demonstrate an understanding of information security concepts, threat identification, and best practices for protection.

Key Information:

  • Intended Audience: GISF is suitable for individuals new to cybersecurity, non-IT security managers, professionals with basic technical knowledge, career changers entering the field, managers, information security officers, system administrators, and those involved in enterprise security policy.

Exam Format:

  • GISF consists of one proctored exam.
  • The exam comprises 75 questions.
  • Test takers have 2 hours to complete the exam.
  • A minimum passing score of 71% is required.


  • All GIAC certification exams are web-based and proctored.
  • Two proctoring options are available: remote proctoring through ProctorU and onsite proctoring through PearsonVUE.
  • GIAC certification attempts are activated in your GIAC account upon approval, with a 120-day window for completion.

Certification Objectives:

  • Access controls and authentication
  • Application security
  • Foundational numbering systems
  • Cryptographic algorithms and attacks
  • Fundamentals of cryptography
  • History of cryptography
  • Network addressing and protocols
  • Network attacks
  • Network communication fundamentals
  • Network security technology
  • Risk management principles and security policy
  • Systems security
  • Wireless security technology

Resources for Exam Preparation:

  • Training is available through various modalities, including live training and OnDemand.
  • Practical work experience is valuable for mastering the necessary skills.
  • College-level courses or self-paced study may also be suitable.
  • Practice tests can help you become familiar with the exam format and question style.

Affiliate Training:

  • Affiliate training options are available to help candidates prepare for the GISF certification exam.

In summary, the GISF certification is designed for those new to cybersecurity or professionals seeking to expand their knowledge of fundamental security concepts, making it suitable for a diverse audience. The exam format involves a proctored test with specific passing criteria. Various resources and affiliate training are available to aid in exam preparation.

Reviews by
Average rating:  
 2 reviews
 by 0xn0
GFACT > GISF (2022)

Difficulty: 0 out of 5.

GFACT > GISF, 'nuff said unless you like to listen to videos of people telling their Cyber-war stories.

Very basic information, steer clear unless you're forced into it during a SANS' .edu program

 by WhiteRqbbit

Difficulty: 1 out of 5.

After completing GFACT, I found the GISF to be somewhat redundant and not reflective of its higher cost. It's staggering to think that GFACT was priced at $1500 while the GISF demanded a hefty $4500. The preparation for GISF took me a mere two weeks, and the exam was straightforward — I managed to secure a 96% after just an hour of examination.
While the instructor had numerous anecdotes, they didn't add significant value, particularly in an online format. The course's delivery was lackluster and heavily reliant on plain PowerPoint slides. SANS would benefit from a visual revamp to make the courses more engaging and memorable.

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