Cyber Security is a popular IT domain that has become an essential part of organizations, both big and small. Professionals in this field are in high demand as more and more companies are looking to secure their data and network from attackers using the best possible facilities and only Cyber Security experts are capable of helping them do it. In this blog, we will read in detail about the top 5 certifications in Cyber Security that companies generally look for in the resume of candidates applying for jobs. To become a professional in this field, you must enroll in one of the best courses in Cyber Security.
As per LinkedIn, there are over 71,000 vacancies for Cyber Security professionals alone in the United States!
If you wish to advance your career in Cyber Security, you must take up one of the certifications that we will list further in this blog.
- CompTIA Security+
CompTIA Security+ is a vendor-neutral Cyber Security certification and professionals possessing this certification and credential are considered to have advanced technical knowledge and skills in various security disciplines.
Although Security+ certification is an entry-level one, you should have over 2 years of professional experience in It administration and network security along with a Network+ certification to have the required knowledge, skills, and experience to clear this certification.
The Security+ certification ensures that you are an expert in areas like cryptography, security systems, threat management, network access control, security infrastructure, security risk identification, and more.
To acquire the Security+ certification, you need to clear the SY0-501 certification exam that comprises 90 questions. The maximum score for this examination is 900 and you need to score at least 750 to pass the same. The cost of the CompTIA Security+ certification exam is US$339.
This certification has a 3-year validity and you can renew it by either completing 50 continuing education units (CEUs) or the online CertMaster CE course after the certification expires.
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
Cyber attackers and hackers keep finding new ways to access the network and information systems of organizations by misusing their vulnerabilities. In order to protect this data and set of network and information systems, companies hire IT experts with hacking skills to give the illegal hackers a taste of their own medicine. These IT professionals are often called Ethical Hackers or White Hats.
Ethical Hackers use various tools and techniques to identify the vulnerabilities of the company’s systems and find areas that can be exploited, in order to fix them and prevent any sort of unwanted access.
CEH is an intermediate-level Cyber Security credential offered by the EC-Council that you need to acquire if you wish to become an Ethical Hacker. This certification validates your knowledge with respect to enumeration, reconnaissance, gaining and maintaining access, etc. To gain the credential of CEH, you must be acquainted with several hacking techniques and practices like system hacking, worms and viruses, scanning networks, Trojans, denial-of-service attacks, session hijacking, wireless applications, SQL injection, penetration testing, honeypots, cryptography, social engineering, firewalls, etc.
The CEH V10 is mainly focused on topics involving IoT hacking, emerging attack vectors, vulnerability analysis, etc. To gain the CEH (ANSI) certification, you need to pass the respective examination. Although it is not mandatory, it is suggested that you enroll for training before appearing for the CEH certification exam. Moreover, you should have over 3 years of experience in information security or any similar area, along with an educational background in the field.
The application fee for the exam is US$100 and it is non-refundable and you need to submit it along with the eligibility form before purchasing the exam voucher. You need to clear the 312-50 (ECC) or the 312-50 (VUE) certification exam that consists of 125 MCQs and you will have four hours to complete it.
The cost of the ECC exam voucher is US$950 and you can appear for it from anywhere through your computer. On the other hand, the Pearson Vue certification exam voucher will cost you US$1,199 and you can appear for it at a Pearson Vue facility. After acquiring the CEH (ANSI) credential, you can move onto the CEH (Practical) credential by applying all the required techniques and strategies in real-world applications. You need to clear a rigorous practical exam of 6 hours to obtain this credential.
- CISA: Certified Information Security Auditor
Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA) is a globally recognized certification by ISACA for professionals who aim to pursue a career in IT security areas like audit control and assurance. To acquire this credential, you must be able to identify and gauge potential threats to the organization and its vulnerabilities, assess compliance, and more. You should also be able to offer guidance and work on the security controls of the organization.
As a CISA certified professional, you should be capable of showcasing your skills in areas like development and implementation, auditing, acquisition, asset protection, service management and maintenance, governance, etc.
To gain this credential, you must clear the Certified Information Systems Auditor exam. The perquisites to take this certification exam include at least one year of experience in information systems or in auditing company systems. There are 150 questions available in the exam. The cost of the exam varies depending on your membership, as a member you need to pay US$575 for the exam, and as a non-member, you are required to pay US$760.
- CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
CISM is among the highest credentials for IT security professionals. To earn this certification, you must have the required knowledge and skillset to manage, develop, and monitor the information security systems of the organization. Like the CISA credential, CISM was also introduced by ISACA for IT professionals who aim to reach the best quality standards in terms of auditing, controlling, and securing the systems of the company.
This certification assesses your skills to manage the responsibilities of enterprise-level security. You need to have advanced skills in governance, security risk management, incident management, and program development and management to become capable of acquiring the CISM credential.
To take up this certification, you need to have more than 5 years of working experience in information security out of which 3 or more years should be in three or more areas of information security. The CISM certification has a validity of 3 years.
The CISM exam has 150 questions and you will be given 4 hours to complete them. The exam fees for members id US$575 while for non-member, it costs US$760. You need to pay a maintenance fee every year for holding the CISM credential amounting to US$45 if you are a member and US$85 if you are not. You need to attain at least 120 continuing professional education (CPE) credits in the course of the three years to maintain the CISM credential and every year, you must earn 20 CPEs.
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
CISSP is a vendor-neutral certification for advanced-level professionals in the information security domain. This certification is offered by International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)². To gain the CISSP credential, you must have the skills and expertise required to create and manage the security policies, standards, and procedures of the company.
CISSP is one of the most sought-after and recognized certifications by IT professionals and companies. You are required to have a college degree and at least 5 years of professional experience in 2 or more of the eight domains of the CBK (common body of knowledge) of (ISC)².
(ISC)² provides three distinct concentrations of CISSP that target specific sectors including:
- Management (CISSP-ISSMP)
- Engineering (CISSP-ISSEP)
- Architecture (CISSP-ISSAP)
You can apply for certification in these contraction areas only once you have earned a valid CISSP certification.
The CISSP English CAT exam consists of 100–150 questions and you can complete it within 3 hours. On the other hand, the non-English certification exam has 250 questions and you will get 6 hours to complete it. Apart from this, you need to take a certification exam for each of the CISSP concentration areas you wish to apply for.
The CISSP certification exam will cost you US$699 while each CISSP concentration will cost you US$599.
You need to pay an annual maintenance fee of US$85 to maintain the CISSP credential. This certification has a 3-year validity and you can renew it by gaining 40 CPE credits every year, making it a total of 120 CPEs in the period of 3 years.
You have become familiar with the most popular certifications in Cyber Security that organizations are looking for in aspiring candidates while hiring. There are various other certifications available as well that you can take up depending on the career you wish to build. The best way to clear any of these certifications is by enrolling in the respective course and gaining all the necessary knowledge and skills. So take the first step and move ahead in your career in Cyber Security.