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Six Hot Cybersecurity Certifications for 2018

Skilled cybersecurity professionals will continue to be in high demand in 2018. Certification can give you an edge. These six credentials will help you sharpen your skills and be ready to compete for top jobs.

Skilled cybersecurity professionals will continue to be in high demand in 2018.As the number of security breaches increases, protecting systems and data has become priority number one for organizations worldwide, and the demand for skilled security professionals continues to climb.  While experience is the most important qualification for potential hires, certification is another excellent way of demonstrating expertise. Earning a certification also indicates commitment to quality and currency.


Of the variety of security certifications available, the six listed below address key information security areas and are currently popular among IT professionals serious about cybersecurity careers.


CompTIA Security+


CompTIA Security+ is a vendor-neutral, entry-level security credential, which demonstrates knowledge and skills in threat management, network security, identity management, access control, cryptography, compliance, and operational, data and systems security. This certification also has coveted U.S. Department of Defense approval for meeting Directive 8570.01-M requirements.


Though there are no specific prerequisites, CompTIA recommends a minimum of two years of work experience in IT administration, with an emphasis on security, and their Network+ certification. Candidates need to pass a 90-minute exam comprising 90 questions with a passing score of 750.


Certifications earned after 2010 need to be renewed every three years by passing the latest Security+ exam, a more advanced CompTIA exam or earn 50 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Self-study options include a comprehensive study guide, computer-based training, and the CertMaster online training tool.


GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)


The GSEC credential is another entry-level certification, this one from the SANS Institute. It demonstrates knowledge of cybersecurity terminology and concepts as well as applied skills to perform functions in IT security roles, including access control, password management, incident identification and prevention, cryptography, authentication, network mapping and protocols, DNS, Linux, viruses, and incident response.


To earn this certification, you need to pass one proctored five-hour exam comprising 180 questions. Although no specific prerequisites are laid down, training is recommended. Exam preparation options include SANS as well as third-party training and exam guides. The SANS course includes the cost of the exam.


The GSEC credential is valid for four years. Renewal requires earning 36 Continuing Professional Experience (CPEs) credits and payment of a certification maintenance fee.


Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)


The CEH, an intermediate-level certification from the EC-Council, is currently quite popular among IT professionals looking to specialize in ethical hacking. One way of protecting information systems is to know how hackers think and work and aim to stop them in their tracks. Ethical hackers, or White Hats, need to be in on hackers’ latest techniques and continuously hone their skills to be able to pre-empt their moves.


The CEH validates knowledge and expertise in a wide array of areas including hacking laws, system hacking, footprinting, network scanning, Trojans, viruses, honeypots, google hacking, social engineering, phishing, email hacking, sniffers, DoS attacks, session hijacking, penetration testing, hacking web servers and applications, vulnerabilities in wireless networks, cryptography, password cracking, firewalls, and SQL injection.


Candidates need to pass a four-hour exam comprising 125 multiple-choice questions. Prerequisites for the exam include formal training recommended by CEH or at least two years of work experience and education in information security, a $100 non-refundable fee and eligibility form requirements for the exam.The eligibility form and the $100 fee can be bypassed if you participate in official training with an authorized EC-Council training partner.


Self-study materials and a skills assessment tool are available at