Top Certifications for Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking Enthusiasts
Many organizations are facing security threats than ever before. Data Breaches are growing in number, and sizes and systematic hacks of company resources are taking place more frequently. These signs indicate that the cybersecurity skills are highly great demand and a good field to launch your IT career path. As the market for information security talents hits up and the skills shortage continues. This is the reason that companies are going to pay a high salary for certified IT Security Professionals.
Here is look at some of the top certification for Security experts today:
A Certified Ethical Hacker credential is offered by EC-Council and it is the good starting point before moving into the EC?Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) exam. It is a skilled professional who understands the vulnerabilities in target systems and uses the knowledge and tools as a hacker to assess the security posture of the target system. This accredited course will engross into the hacker mindset so that you will be able to defend against threats. With hacking and data breaches a major problem, the CEH certification is becoming more popular and more attractive to employers. The certification is fairly expensive but it is a way to make your ambitions of being a white hat hacker clear in a way that other certifications don’t offer. According to Payscale the average salary for a CEH certified individual is $79,260K in theory.
The CompTIA Security+ certification is a popular, vendor-neutral qualification that is a good starting point for information security professionals. The Security+ certification is aimed at entry-level security professionals and offers generalized information to help candidates build a foundational understanding of information security. The Security+ exam features six domains valuable for aspiring information security professionals.
Candidates that achieve the Security+ certification are bound to see a return on their initial investment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states security specialists, administrators and managers with the Security+ certification can earn as much as $86,000 USD per year. The Security+ is also globally recognized and approved by the U.S. Department of Defense. The CompTIA Security+ meets ISO 17024 standards, as well as the Department of Defense’s Directive 8570.01-M requirements, which could see candidates landing a job within government. This is an excellent entry-level course excellent for those new to the world of information security.
The CISSP is an elite qualification that shows your employer and colleagues you have a solid foundation in digital security. The skills learned in this course are critical for anyone who needs to design, engineer and implement information security systems in the work place. The CISSP objectively measures the abilities of candidates. This is the reason the certification holds such high value among IT security professionals. The CISSP is globally recognized. No matter where your career takes you, it will place you above other candidates with similar levels of experience who don’t hold the CISSP certification. The CISSP is a universally recognized certification that can boost your career and increase your earnings. It is one of the most sought-after certifications in information security — anyone that is looking to advance their career would do well to complete this certification. The CISSP is an elite qualification that shows your employer and colleagues you have a solid foundation in digital security. The skills learned in this course are critical for anyone who needs to design, engineer and implement information security systems in the work place. The CISSP objectively measures the abilities of candidates. This is the reason the certification holds such high value among IT security professionals. The CISSP is globally recognized. No matter where your career takes you, it will place you above other candidates with similar levels of experience who don’t hold the CISSP certification.
Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
This is another certification that makes your career ambitions clear as well as demostrating your technical skills. This certification is for techies who want to work in computer forensics for cybercrime investigations, and it doesn’t hurt that it sounds cool too. According to Payscale the average salary for a CHFI certified individual is $88K in theory.
Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) is the leading provider and developer of cyber security certifications and is globally recognized by government, military and industry leaders. GIAC tests and validates the ability of practitioners in areas such as security administration, forensics, management, audits, software security and legal best practices. GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) is designed for candidates who want to demonstrate skills in IT systems roles and information security tasks. The GSEC is seen as a highly desirable certification; it teaches general security best practices and methods for real-world applications. The GSEC certification will increase your confidence and proficiency in system security and protection. Some great reasons to acquire this certification can be found here.
The Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) program is run by the SANS Institute, one of the oldest organizations that provides cybersecurity education. GIAC offers dozens of vendor-neutral certifications with courses that require hands-on learning. GIAC courses are held online. The company also sponsors research white papers that are provided to the cybersecurity industry without charge.
There are a variety of options to earn the GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN) certification, but it is highly recommended that learners take the SEC560 course on Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking from the SANS Institute; it is one of the most comprehensive courses on the topic and demonstrates that the certificate holder has received a good balance of theory and hands-on training.
The Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) is the least known but most technical of the certification options. Offered by the for-profit Offensive Security, it is advertised as the only completely hands-on certification program. Offensive Security designed the program for technical professionals “to prove they have a clear, practical understanding of the penetration testing process and lifecycle.”
Before considering the OCSP certification, understand that the coursework requires a solid technical understanding of networking protocols, software development, and systems internals, specifically Kali Linux, an open-source project maintained by Offensive Security. Most students enrolled in this training program will take the course online; classroom training is only offered in Las Vegas.
The OCSP exam is conducted on a virtual network with varying configurations. The test-taker is tasked with researching the network, identifying vulnerabilities, and hacking into the system to gain administrative access within 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hours, the Offensive Security certification committee must receive a comprehensive penetration test report for review. They will review the findings in the report and determine whether to grant the certification.
The CCNA certification is the second out of five levels of Cisco’s certifications, but probably the most widely known among employers. CCNA Security is particularly useful for the following careers: Network Engineer, Sr Network Engineer, and Network Administrator. However, the CCNA also shows an employer that you have a good understanding of network security which could be very useful in other cybersecurity roles. According to Payscale the average salary for a CCNA certified individual is $78K.
The CCNP Security certification is a Cisco level 3 certification (Professional) and is highly recognized. The CCNP is a good way to elevate your networking skills and boost your salary. According to Payscale the average salary for a CCNP certified individual is $92K in theoy.
One of the main reasons for security professionals to take the CCSP is to prove they are knowledgeable about cloud security and all security-related cloud considerations — an environment at the forefront of business innovation in IT. Cloud environments are filled with security challenges that change daily, so gaining the CCSP is vital for showing employers you are well versed in the required security considerations that are part and parcel of cloud computing.
This certification helps candidates demonstrate proficiency in cloud data security, cloud architecture and design, as well as day-to-day operations, application security considerations and much more. Anyone who is looking to take a role in a cloud-based environment will be well served with a CCSP certification.
The CISA is seen as a world-renowned standard of achievement for any security professional who has to audit, control and monitor information technology and business systems. This qualification has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), making it a great option for any security professional who is looking to earn a certification that is an internationally recognized standard.
A certified CISA candidate will find many great benefits to winning this designation, including improved employment prospects and greater influence in the work place. This certification is highly beneficial to anyone who works in IT and is responsible for auditing, controlling, monitoring and assessing IT systems.
The CISM is geared towards people looking for a more senior, managerial position where information security, assurance and risk management are part of their job responsibilities. It covers security management principles that are both practical and vital to the candidate’s ability to carry out their duties in the role of an information system security manager.
As the demand for information security management professionals continues to rise, so does demand for CISM holders. Managerial roles in information security are also more widely advertised by corporate companies seeking to retain skilled information security managers. Information security professionals looking to move into managerial positions will find this certification especially useful.
According to IDC, cybersecurity will be among the 20 most in-demand IT roles for the next decade.
Today’s organizations are challenged with rapidly detecting cybersecurity breaches and effectively responding to security incidents. Teams of people in Security Operations Centers (SOC’s) keep a vigilant eye on security systems, protecting their organizations by detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats.
The CCNA Cyber Ops certification prepares candidates to begin a career working with associate-level cybersecurity analysts within security operations centers.
As of July 2018, The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has approved the Cisco CCNA Cyber Ops Certification for the DoD 8570.01-M for the CSSP Analyst and CCSP Incident Responder categories.