The growing number of security breaches has continued to lead to a high demand for the cybersecurity specialists in the IT field. For instance, in 2019, it was reported that in the first half of the year more than 4.1 billion records were tracked by more than 3,800 cases of security breaches. It was a higher percentage compared to the incidents reported in 2018. The implication of this is that there is an ever-increasing demand for cybersecurity training and, especially, the highly-skilled professionals who can mitigate these threats.
Interestingly, the IT certificates are considered a strong yardstick for measuring one’s competence, commitment to high quality, and excellence of the experts when it comes to cybersecurity skills. This means that if you really want to grow your career in 2020, you should consider earning one of the top cybersecurity credentials. That is why, in this article, we will cover the best certifications that you can explore to enhance your marketability in the field of cybersecurity.
1. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
EC-Council CEH is a mid-level certificate that is aimed at the professionals who want to take up their job roles in the area of ethical hacking. It validates their competence in five stages. These include reconnaissance, gaining access, enumeration, covering tracks, and maintaining access. An individual with the CEH credential has the knowledge and skills relate to hacking practices, including footprinting & reconnaissance, system hacking, denial of service attacks, social engineering, Trojans, enumeration, web applications, and wireless networks. They also include knowledge of cryptography, session hijacking, sniffers, SQL injection, evading IDS, penetration testing, honeypots, hacking web servers, and firewalls.
To obtain this certification, a candidate is required to pass one exam. It is also recommended that he/she goes through a 5-day training course before taking the test. The students with a minimum of two years of experience in information security may not take this official course but they must present documentation with their employer’s verification. The prerequisite exam is made up of 125 multiple-choice questions and the time limit for its completion is 4 hours. You must pay the fee of $1,199 and register for your test via Pearson VUE.
2. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
ISACA CISM is a top-level certification that is designed for those specialists who develop, oversee, and manage information security systems in different enterprise-level applications. It is also intended for those individuals who develop the best security practices in their organization. By getting the CISM credential, you will have the proven and advanced knowledge and skills in governance, program development & management, incident management & response, and security risk management.
To earn this certificate, you have to agree to the code of ethics of ISACA and also pass an extensive exam. It is also required to have a minimum of 5 years of experience in information security. And you must be ready to comply with the continuing education policy of the vendor. The test takers also need to submit their written application for consideration. It costs $50, and the exam fee is $575 for the members and $760 for the non-members. The certification test contains 150 questions and lasts four hours.
3. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
ISACA CISA is the gold standard when it comes to one’s knowledge and skills in audit control, assurance, and information security. The applicants for this certification should have the ability to recognize and evaluate organizational vulnerabilities and threats. They should also have the competence to offer the organizational guidance and security control. The individuals need to be able to display their skills across various job practice areas for CISA, including auditing, acquisition, governance & management, asset protection, maintenance & service management, and development & implementation.
The candidates are required to accept the code of professional ethics, submit an application, pass one exam, and agree to the requirements for the continuing professional education. To take the certification test, the students have to pay the fee of $575, or $760, depending on their membership. Just like the CISM exam, this one comprises of 150 questions.
4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
(ISC)² CISSP is one of the sought-after cybersecurity certifications. It is of the Advanced level and intended for the IT professionals with a strong passion for information security. The individuals with this credential are the decision makers with technical knowledge and expert skills in developing, managing, and guiding security standards, procedures, and policies in their organizations.
To obtain this certificate, the applicants are required to have at least five years of work experience in a minimum of two out of the eight domains of the (ISC)2 CBK, which include the following:
- Security & risk management;
- Communications & network security;
- Asset security;
- Identity & access management;
- Security architecture & engineering;
- Security operations;
- Software development security;
- Security assessment & testing.
There are three different CISSP concentrations for IT security as offered by (ISC)2. These include CISSP-ISSAP: Architecture, CISSP-ISSEP: Engineering, and CISSP-ISSMP: Management. Each concentration exam costs $599, and there is an annual fee of $85 for maintaining this credential. The test consists of about 150 questions with up to 3 hours for the completion. The certificate is valid for a period of three years after which you will need to recertify.
CompTIA Security+ is one of the top 5 popular cybersecurity certifications in 2020. It is an entry-level vendor-neutral credential that validates the students’ technical skills, broad knowledge, and expertise in different disciplines of security. Eventually, you will have the relevant skill set in various areas, including cryptography, threat management, security risk identification & mitigation, security infrastructure, and network access control.
If you plan to obtain this certificate, CompTIA recommends that you first earn Network+. You should also have a minimum of two years of work experience in network security. There is one prerequisite exam required to be passed in order to get this certification. The test covers 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions and the time allotted for the completion is 90 minutes. The passing score is 750 out of a maximum of 900 points.
If you asked what the most wanted cybersecurity certifications in 2020 are, now you know the answer. The ones we mentioned above are among the sought-after certificates in the cybersecurity sphere, so don’t miss them. Choose a credential to pursue and you definitely want more.