Cybersecurity certification is the first step to becoming a cybersecurity specialist. There is an unprecedented amount of data stored and processed by many scientific, corporate, government, military, finance, and medical organizations. Most of this data is very sensitive and requires continuous protection.
Cybersecurity concerns the technologies and practices that are implemented to protect this virtual world. Cybersecurity is used by security systems, networks, and programs to protect themselves from digital threats, damage, and unauthorized access to sensitive data. It is also the process of protecting information technology. For the protection of such sensitive data against cyberattacks, every company needs to have the following:
- Application security
- Business continuity
- Cloud security
- Database and infrastructure security
- Data security
- Disaster recovery
- Endpoint security
- End-user education
- Identity management
- Network security
- Mobile security
Cyber Security Job Profiles
The main job of a cybersecurity professional is to protect the data. The main job responsibilities of a cybersecurity professional are very complicated and different across all organizations. Before we get into the important cybersecurity certifications, there are many career options available for all the aspirants. Here are some of the cybersecurity job profiles that companies are hiring for:
- Security Specialist
- Security Administrator
- Security Architect
- Security Analyst
- Security Auditor
- Security Director
- Security Consultant
- Security Engineer
- Chief Information security officer
- Vulnerability Assessor
- Incident responder
- Forensic expert
- Penetration tester
- Source code auditor
- Security manager
Many cybersecurity jobs need a four-year Bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology. The course you choose should cover the basics of programming, database, and statistics with artificial intelligence, cryptography, and ethical hacking.
Difference between Cybersecurity Certification Programs
The cybersecurity certification programs are divided into two main categories: Professional cybersecurity certification programs and Academic cybersecurity certification programs.
Professional Cybersecurity Certification is for people who are already working in the cybersecurity field and want to get trained and updated on the latest tools and technologies to detect and prevent cybersecurity issues. In addition, these certifications are used to show some proficiency with specific cybersecurity technologies. CompTIA Security Plus is one best example of a professional certificate that is a common entry-level professional cybersecurity certificate.
Academic cybersecurity certifications are for students with a deep background in the current issues of cybersecurity. Some examples of academic certification programs include Harvard’s online cybersecurity certification or the University of Maryland’s online undergraduate certification. Generally, these courses pair with the required skills and experience to get you started working in the cybersecurity industry.
Best Cybersecurity Certification in 2022
1. CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH trains you on how to think and act like a hacker. This certification course covers hacking technologies, the latest vulnerabilities, internet security laws, and standards. Students taking up this course are exposed to real-time scenarios, hacking techniques and taught how to scan hacks and protect their system from these hacks.
This certification course is designed for security professionals, site administrators, and anyone working in the network security domain. In addition, it is recommended for those who are interested in penetration testing jobs.
To pursue this course, you need two years of work experience in the stream of internet security or you must have completed EC-Council training.
2. CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
CISM is a top-level certification for IT professionals specializing in enterprise security applications. The certification is valid for three years, and the certificate holder must pay an annual maintenance fee.
At the end of the certification course, the certificate holder will have skills like security risk management, program development and management, governance, and incident management and response.
The main requirement for pursuing CISM is that you need at least five years of experience in the cybersecurity industry.
3. CompTIA Security+
CompTIA Security+ is a basic certification and is recommended for those who are new to cyber technology. The course duration for this certification course is 2 years.
CompTIA Security+ covers concepts like network threats and defense techniques, effective security policies, network, and host-based security practices, disaster recovery, and encryption standards and products.
It is recommended for those who want to gain basic IT security knowledge. It helps to build a strong base which will help you enhance your knowledge with other courses.
Since this is basic-level cybersecurity certification and applies to all levels and job roles, this course will benefit application developers, PC support analysts, and senior managers in accounting, sales, and marketing.
4. CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
Another popular general and basic cybersecurity knowledge is the Certified Information System Security Professional course (CISSP). For many IT companies, CISSP is a major requirement for hiring employees for network security.
This course mainly focuses on access control, cryptography, telecommunications, and networking.
Did you know that CISSP is considered the “crown jewel” of all the cybersecurity certifications, and clearing this exam can lead to some highly-paid jobs?
This certificate is a must-have for people looking for a job as a chief information security officer (CISO). Additionally, having this certification can also boost salary for analysts, system engineers, consultants, and IT security managers.
To take up the CISSP exam, you need to have at least 3-5 years of experience in the cybersecurity field.
5. GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials
GSEC is an entry-level certification designed for professionals who want to get hands-on security roles. GSEC equips you with the skills to identify and prevent wireless attacks, access controls, authentication, password management, DNS, cryptography basics, ICMP, IPv6, Linux Network Mapping, and Network protocols.
This certification course covers the following domains- Information security program development and management, Information security management, Information security incident management, and information risk management and compliance.
You need five years of relevant work experience to enrol for this course. You need to renew this certification once in four years with certification maintenance fees.
6. ECSA: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst
The ECSA certification is similar to the CEH certification. This course covers the fundamentals of hacking tools and the latest technologies used in cybersecurity. This certification is for those who are into Network Server Administrator, Information Security Tester, Firewall Administrator, System Administrator, Risk Assessment Professional, and more.
7. GPEN: GIAC Penetration Tester
GPEN or GIAC Penetration Tester is for personnel whose primary job duty is to assess target networks and find security vulnerabilities. This certification helps to improve the candidate’s ability to conduct penetration tests using different techniques and methodologies.
The students who complete this certification are equipped with the knowledge and skills to conduct exploits, engage in detailed surveys, and use a process-oriented approach to penetration testing projects.
The GPEN certification course is for security personnel responsible for assessing networks and systems to find and remediate vulnerabilities, penetration testers, ethical hackers, red team members, blue team members, defenders, auditors, and forensic specialists.
8. SSCP: Systems Security Certified Practitioner
Systems Security Certified Practitioner or SSCP certification is an advanced security certification that offers the skills to design, implement, and monitor a secured IT framework. The candidate has expertise in access controls, risk identification, analysis, security administration, incident response, cryptography, network communications, systems, and application security.
The appropriate job positions for candidates with the SSCP certificate include network security engineer, system administrator, systems engineer, security analyst, database administrator, and security consultant.
Candidates preparing for the SSCP certification need at least one year of paid work experience in one or more cyber testing areas. You can also meet this requirement by completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in cybersecurity-related programs.
9. CRISC: Certified in Risk and Information System Control
CRISC is an enterprise-level risk management certification designed for professionals who want to enhance their knowledge and experience of IT, business risk, identification, and implementation of business systems control.
Did you know that CRISC is one of the first certifications that help IT professionals prepare for real-world threats?
It is valuable for employers and clients looking for risk assessment and management services, fostering continuous knowledge and up-to-date information.
CRISC certification targets professionals who are looking for jobs in roles like IT professionals, risk professionals, control professionals, business analysts, project managers, and compliance professionals.
10. CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification is from IT professionals association ISACA that helps to demonstrate your expertise in analyzing security vulnerabilities, designing and implementing controls, and reporting on compliance. It is one of the most recognized certifications for candidates who want a career in cybersecurity auditing.
Take up the CISA exam if you are looking for a job in the domains like IT auditing, , cybersecurity auditing, information security, IT security engineering, IT project management, and compliance program manager.
For the CISA certification course, you need at least five years of experience in IT or IS audit, control, security, and assurance. However, it will also do if you have two or four years of degree instead of one or two years of work experience.
Things To Consider While Choosing A Cybersecurity Certification
Getting a certification in cybersecurity is a validation for your hard-earned skills and will help you grow in the future and build your career. Here are a few factors you need to consider while choosing the right certification for you.
- Your experience level: Start with a certification that interests you and matches your current skills. Then, invest in the certification you know will help you grow, and use the same to go ahead and achieve more challenging certifications later in the future.
- Cost: Getting a cybersecurity certificate can cost you a few hundred dollars and additional fees to maintain it every year. The right certification can open up better job opportunities with higher pay only if you invest wisely.
- Area of focus: If you are getting started with cybersecurity or want to switch to a managerial role, a general certification is recommended. If you are looking for a more advanced career, you need to decide which domain you want to specialize in. A certification in your field will validate your skills to the employer.
- Potential employers: Check for some job listings of employers you want to work with or the job titles you want to apply for and see what certifications are required.
You need to know the importance of cybersecurity before venturing into this field. What you have to protect, and what the consequences are if you don’t. There is no specific entry point for a career in cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity professionals can get into different job domains like software developers, data analysts, database administrators, network administrators, IT customer service, and more.
However, understanding the technical process is a must-have in a cybersecurity career. Additionally, if you want to start as a fresher in this industry, you need to start up as a regular IT professional and grow as a cybersecurity expert.
1. How long does it take to get certified in cybersecurity?
The time you need to prepare for the certification exam depends on the concepts you already know and what you want to learn. Preparing for the course can take anywhere from one week to several months.
2. Which is the first cybersecurity certification that I need to focus on?
If you are just now getting started with cybersecurity, consider the IBM cybersecurity analyst professional certificate to build the basic skills and get hands-on experience on the cybersecurity analyst tools. Once you have the basic knowledge about cybersecurity technology and best practices, the CompTIA Security+ is the best for basic level certification.
3. Do I need to learn to code for getting cybersecurity?
4. Is cybersecurity a good career option?
If computers, networks, and how they work interest you, a career in cybersecurity is the best one for you. Jobs in the field tend to be in-demand and high-paying.
5. What skills do I need for cybersecurity?
The skill, practices, and technologies you will use as a professional will evolve with evolving computer and network technology. You need to have the desire to learn, solve problems, and attention to detail will help you in the field. Other technologies you might need to learn include:
- SIEM tools
- Firewalls, Intrusion Detections Systems, and Intrusion Prevention Systems.
- Digital Forensics
- Data Management
- Audit and compliance knowledge
- Application security development, and more.
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