Understanding Cyber Security Certification: Keys to Expertise

The modern world that we are living in is highly interconnected, thanks to the internet revolution and digitalization. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created daily and an immeasurable amount in circulation, data breaches and cyber-attacks are also increasing at an alarming rate. As a result, securing cyberspace from such malicious attacks and protecting our valuable data has become the need of the hour. Whether we like to admit it or not, everyone can contribute to cybersecurity. 

According to CyberSeek, a cybersecurity analytics portal developed in collaboration between Lightcast, National Institute of Standards and Technology’s NICE, and CompTIA , the United States requires 530,000 more cybersecurity specialists to close existing supply gaps and employers are struggling to find workers who possess them. For people wishing to advance their cybersecurity careers or enter into the sector,  earning a Cyber Security Certification is an excellent approach to creating a practical understanding of how to guard against security threats while also helping you accelerate your career graph in a positive direction by building credibility.  

What is a cyber security certification, and Why should you pursue one?

Due to the fact that they are offered by accredited organizations that follow and uphold a set of industry-accepted standards, cybersecurity certifications are widely recognized credentials that serve as an industry-accepted benchmark for your in-depth knowledge of addressing problems like hacking and cyberattacks. Your ability to execute security procedures and measures to protect corporate privacy is also confirmed by certification. By confirming your knowledge and competence and proving to recruiters that you are in line with industry norms, obtaining internationally recognized certifications will help you stand out from the crowd of other experts in your sector.

IT professionals can also benefit by gaining access to extensive training modules and exam study materials by gaining certifications. Cybersecurity certificates of various types, ranging from the most basic to highly advanced, are widely available and can improve your knowledge and abilities. However, regardless of your educational or professional experience, the first step to take before achieving the right certification is to determine your goals and create a checklist of things you must do to advance your cybersecurity knowledge and expertise. Entry-level certificates are an excellent place to start if you are just getting started and unclear on how to enter cybersecurity. Similarly, certifications can assist you in achieving that aim by bolstering your cybersecurity CV if you are looking for a more advanced position with a better cybersecurity wage.

The top cybersecurity certifications

The field of cyber security is developing at an unheard-of rate, with a steady influx of new tools and techniques to counter cyber-attacks. As a result, to stay up to date and defend against new threats, cybersecurity experts must keep studying. The easiest method to do this is with cyber security certifications. Although the majority of cybersecurity professionals hold at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, many employers prefer candidates who also possess a certification to show that they are knowledgeable about industry best practices. There are many certifications available, ranging from beginner to expert and vendor-specific. Vendors like Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, CompTIA, and others offer certifications to advance the skills and understanding of persons working in information security, in addition to private institutions. For instance, the MIT SCC at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides a top-notch postgraduate degree in cyber security that will help you stay up to date on all the most recent developments in the field and give you the skills you need. The best cyber security bootcamp, from entry-level to advanced/specialist levels, are listed here.

1. CompTIA Security+ certification

This well-known foundational certification validates your aptitude for entry-level cybersecurity jobs, making it the first credential that any aspiring or new cybersecurity practitioner should obtain. It provides a review of the fundamentals and aids in determining a candidate’s understanding of key information security topics. Among the security and information assurance topics covered are network security, threats and vulnerabilities, security architecture and design, access controls, cryptography, governance, risk, and compliance, and the principles of risk management.

2. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

 For those interested in a career as a penetration tester or ethical hacker, the Certified Ethical Hacker certification is the one you should get. It is the world’s top ethical hacking certification, provided by the EC-Council, and is considered the gold standard in the business. A four-hour knowledge exam with 125 multiple-choice questions and a six-hour practical exam with 20 scenario-based questions make up the exam’s two portions. It focuses on preparing IT professionals for enterprise-level security responsibilities, such as testing and identifying vulnerabilities in a company’s systems and networks, through a 20-module course. The modules include:

  • Introduction to ethical hacking
  • Footprinting and reconnaissance
  • Scanning networks
  • Enumeration
  • Vulnerability analysis
  • System hacking
  • Malware threats
  • Social engineering
  • Session hijacking
  • Hacking web servers
  • SQL injection
  • Hacking wireless networks and many more.

3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) by ISACA

The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) designation from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) was created especially for IT professionals looking to advance to management positions. It is a high-level certification that demonstrates the holder has the skills and knowledge required to oversee security agents and enterprise-level software applications and to contribute to the development of a company’s overall security strategy.

The exam covers the following topics:

  • Information security governance
  • Information security risk management
  • Incident management

4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) by (ISC)²

Anyone wishing to grow in their profession and improve their cybersecurity abilities may consider earning the CISSP, an advanced certification offered by The International Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2). For seasoned security practitioners, managers, and executives interested in software development security, this top-tier certification is known as the world’s leading cybersecurity credential. Your ability to design, carry out, and oversee a top-notch cyber security program is acknowledged by the CISSP.

It is intended for Chief Information Security Officers, Directors of Security, Executives, Managers of Information Technology, and Cybersecurity Professionals with at least Five Years of Professional Experience. Following are the eight domains covered in the exam:

  • Security and Risk Management
  • Asset Security
  • Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Security Operations
  • Software Development Security

5. CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)

The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) certification is a high-level cybersecurity credential for advanced practitioners who are not yet managers, like security architects and senior security engineers, who are in charge of assessing an enterprise’s cyber readiness as well as creating and implementing the right solutions that can guarantee the company’s security. It confirms your advanced skills, which are necessary to direct the implementation of frameworks and rules that managers routinely enforce.

Skills acquired include:

  • Security architecture
  • Security operations
  • Governance, risk, and compliance
  • Security engineering and cryptography 

6. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) by ISACA

The gold standard for professionals interested in auditing, managing, and monitoring an organization’s IT and business systems is the Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA) certification, which is offered by ISACA.

The training and exam cover areas such as Information systems and auditing process; Governance and management of IT; Information systems operations and business resilience; Protection of information assets; Information systems acquisition, development, and implementation.

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