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Like this article? We recommend Complementary Vendor-Neutral Certs for CCNA Security

Complementary Vendor-Neutral Certs for CCNA Security

While many entry-level vendor-neutral certifications are available, the following are our top three picks that we think match particularly well to CCNA Security:

  • Global Information Assurance Certification Program (GIAC)—Security Essentials Certification (GSEC): Security professionals seeking this certification must understand security terminology and possess hard security skills. The cost of GSEC certification is about $900. Renewal is required every four years by passing one exam, attending or teaching an ISO 17024 course, and publishing a technical research paper. For more information, visit the GSEC website.
  • CompTIA’s Security+: Focusing on fundamentals (theory and operational practices), Security+ is one of the best-known entry-level security certifications available. Over 45,000 people have earned this credential; IBM, the Security Certified Program (CSP), EC-Council, Security University (SU), and mile2 use Security+ in their programs. The Security+ exam costs $258. The certification must be renewed every three years, unless you earned the credential before January 1, 2011. For more information, visit the CompTIA certification page.
  • (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP): This entry-level certification recognizes well-rounded knowledge of security issues across the enterprise, from access controls to network monitoring to risk analysis and recovery. It’s also great preparation for the more advanced Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. The cost of the SSCP certification exam is $250 (early registration, otherwise it’s $300). An annual fee ($65) is required to maintain this certification, and candidates must recertify every three years. For more information, visit the (ISC)2 website.

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Security

The CCNP Security is the next iteration of the Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP). After October 2011, Cisco will no longer offer CCSP certification. The CCNP Security is suited to network security engineers who support, deploy, and maintain the security of Cisco routers, switches, firewalls, and other internetworking devices. Four exams are required for a total cost of about $600. Recertification is required every three years. For more information, see the CCNP Security certification page.

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