Having the right cybersecurity skills enhances your ability to use specific tools and technologies to identify, assess, and defend an organization against cyber threats. Gaining these credentials can also help increase your employability in the cyber security field.
Cyber security certification programs come in different shapes and subjects and can be used across jobs and organizations. From CompTIA Security+ to CEH to CISA, here are the best cyber security certifications that could help you achieve more success in security-related job roles.
Cost: $370 to $949
CompTIA Security+ is one of the best base-level certifications for anyone looking to get into the security field. Recipients of this certificate can work as security administrators, IT auditors, security analysts, and more.
Students will need to undertake a CompTIA Security+ certification exam that consists of up to 90 questions to be completed in 90 minutes. The exam covers general topics, including network attack strategies and defenses, encryption standards and products, network-and host-based security best practices, and more.
To pass the exam, you’ll need to score at least 750 (on a grade of 100- 900). You can prepare for this exam by taking advantage of the CompTIA Security+ Complete Course & Exam offered by Udemy.
While there are no prerequisites for taking the exam, you’re encouraged to have CompTIA Network+ certification and two years of experience in IT admin with a focus on security.
Upon completing Security+, you’ll have the knowledge and skills needed to install and configure systems used to secure networks, apps, and mobile devices. You’ll also be able to work with applicable laws.
Cost: $950 to $1,199
Timeline: Self-train or instructor-led for five days
The CEH certification teaches candidates how to think and act like hackers. You’ll learn how to hack into networks and systems to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities and fix them.
This accreditation can benefit anyone tasked with network security, including site administrators and security professionals. Earning it demonstrates your knowledge and skills in attack detection, penetration testing, vectors, and prevention.
The course teaches five phases of white hat hacking: enumeration, reconnaissance, gaining access, maintaining access, and hiding tracks. Plus, you’ll cover several topics like the latest vulnerabilities, hacking technologies, and information security laws.
To obtain a CEH certification, you must pass one exam. The exam tests your knowledge in areas like hacking tactics for networks, web apps and mobile platforms, reconnaissance and attack techniques, IT security controls and laws, cryptography, and cloud computing.
The comprehensive course lasts five days, followed by a four-hour, 125-question exam. While no prerequisites are required to pursue the CEH certification, self-trainers will need two years of provable work experience in the InfoSec field.
If you’re looking for self-study materials, Udemy’s The Complete Ethical Hacker Certification Exam Prep Course is a great starting point.
Consider this certification for jobs such as penetration tester, cyber security engineer, cyber incident analyst, and cloud security architect. If you’re on a budget and would rather enjoy a free course at home, check out some of the best sites for free college courses online.
Timeline: Self-paced or five consecutive days or twice a week for eight weeks
The SSCP certification demonstrates your ability to design, implement, and inspect a secure IT infrastructure. This course targets network security engineers, security analysts, system administrators, security consultants, system engineers, and database administrators.
Candidates will need to take a three-hour SSCP exam consisting of 125 questions. You can prepare to sit this exam with Coursera’s (ISC)² Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP).
To be certified, you must pass the exam and have at least a year of experience in at least one of the testing areas. The good thing is that internships and part-time work count towards the experience.
The exam tests your expertise in applications and system security; access controls; security administration and operations; network and communications security; incident response and recovery; risk identification, analysis, and monitoring; and cryptography.
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Timeline: Five consecutive days or twice a week for eight weeks
CISSP is one of the most in-demand certifications that focus on security policy and management. Earning the certification proves that you have advanced knowledge in IT security and can design, implement, and manage a cybersecurity program.
CISSP is aimed at seasoned security professionals looking to advance into jobs like senior security consultant, chief information security officer, information assurance analyst, IT security engineer, and security administrator.
As a prerequisite for CISSP certification, you must have at least five years of cumulative work experience in two or more of the eight examinable security domains.
The eight domains include: asset security, communication and network security; security and risk management; security assessment and testing; identity and access management; software development security, security architecture engineering, and security operations. A one-year pathway is granted to degree holders in cyber security programs.
One of the best resources to prepare for the CISSP exam is Udemy’s CISSP practice questions #2. The course covers two full 125-question tests and a 10-question bonus test.
Cost: $575 to $760, depending on membership
Level: Entry to Intermediate
CISA is a widely recognized certification for careers in systems auditing and controls. Holding this certification proves your ability to assess security flaws, design and implement controls, and report on compliance.
The certification is designed for security professionals looking to advance their careers in roles like IT security engineer, cyber security auditor, IT audit manager, information security analyst, compliance program manager, and IT project manager.
For CISA certification, you’ll need to take a four-hour exam that consists of 150 questions. But there’s a prerequisite: you must have at least five years of work experience in IS audit, IT, assurance, security, or control.
If you’re looking for test prep solutions, then Information Systems Auditing, Controls and Assurance offered through Coursera could be a great place to start.
In a World Full of Cyber Security Professionals, Be Certified
Cyber security certifications are valuable for anyone in the security field. With the right training and education in cyber security, you can mitigate and protect potential risks to your company.
Certifications also act as a guide for employers. To make the right hires, employers often look to certification as an important gauge of cyber security knowledge and skills. So investigate the certifications above to determine which one you should have on your resume.
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