There are many IT certifications that can be applied in a direct or general way towards positions in cybersecurity. General certifications like Project Management Professional certification can qualify candidates for a wide variety of positions and specific cybersecurity positions. Other certifications like the CEH certifications are designed specifically for cybersecurity. This section explores some of these certifications and their applications.
IT certifications are quickly becoming a key component of cybersecurity careers. Many cybersecurity positions and security clearances require the candidate to have studied and taken certification exams. Much like any other trade certification, the process involves learning the core material, practicing work in hands-on situations, testing your knowledge, and taking a paid certification exam. Once certified, jobs can be found in that field or directly related to the certification.Project Management Professional (PMP)
This is likely the most generalized certification that can be applied towards cybersecurity. Project management professionals are responsible for organizing and leading professional projects in virtually any type of industry. In the context of cybersecurity, PMP certification
qualifies candidates for team lead positions within internal cybersecurity teams and private firms that are hired out to implement network security solutions. This certification can be difficult and costly, but it is highly sought after by organizations looking for qualified workers.Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)
This certification is geared specifically towards networks that operate on Cisco technology. The exam prepares candidates for the task of designing and implementing network systems across any type of organization. This could mean managing wireless networks for a large organization, data center, security team, or commercial network. This certification is not specific towards cybersecurity, but it can be easily applied towards cybersecurity positions that require network administration knowledge.Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
This certification is likely the most applicable towards cybersecurity positions. Certified Ethical Hacker
, or CEH, is a qualification provided and administered by EC-Council, that prepares users to research and exploit vulnerabilities within a targeted organization; this includes carrying out reconnaissance, penetration testing, entrenchment, and exfiltration. Much like other certification exams, the CEH exam is paid and is made up of multiple choice questions. Once certified, candidates can apply their CEH qualifications to a wide variety of cybersecurity positions. Inputting the certification name into a job-searching website is a good way to see what kind of positions are available for each certification. >> Take the free Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking course << Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
Similar to the Cisco Certified Design Associate
certification, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
is a certification geared specifically towards proprietary network software for Windows. For instance, the use of Microsoft Dynamics and software based on Microsoft network architecture. Having this certification qualifies candidates to run advanced networking systems such as data centers, complex user networks, and secure storage of organizational data. Programs including Windows Server are explored and explained in depth, and resources are provided for exam preparation.Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
A CRISC certification is similar to a CEH certification in that it qualifies the candidate to make a risk assessment of an organization’s network. Risks within an organization’s network security can be captured entirely within the context of network security. Candidates in this position manage the risks within an organization’s network from data breaches, unauthorized user access, infiltration, and other malicious network activity. Professionals must be able to design and monitor network systems that detect and prevent security incidents. The main qualifications of this certification is the ability to assess the risk an organization’s network faces from a cybersecurity attack.