Transcender (Powered by Kaplan IT Training) Has 8570 Covered

Female soldier uses computers

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I got my start in working on certification stuff back when I was a Novell employee from 1988 through 1994. When I jumped into Microsoft certification stuff in the mid-1990s, to tackle the MCSE for Windows NT 3.51 and then 4.0, I already knew that Transcender was THE place to turn for high-quality, useful practice tests.


I would often turn to them for help getting ready for a trip to what was then either the Sylvan or Prometric testing center. Though a lot has changed across the IT certification landscape since Transcender launched in 1992, that company remains an outstanding source for well-researched and even better executed practice tests to this very day.


I had the good fortune to appear as an invited speaker at the Logical Operations LOCON17 conference in Baltimore in mid-October, which brought cybersecurity-minded professionals and organizations together from many walks of the training and certification industry.


While there, I also had a chance to meet up with Joshua Hester and Delvin Benjamin, both appearing on behalf of Kaplan IT, which is now the parent company for Transcender and something of a training powerhouse in its own right. For the record, Mr. Hester oversees product development, while Mr. Benjamin is a regional sales director.


Both men shared Kaplan IT/Transcender's current vision for practice testing and self-assessment tools for cybersecurity exams, with a special emphasis on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) list of Approved 8570 Baseline Certifications.



By no coincidence whatsoever, I was all ears for that conversation. Not only do I have fond memories of buying and using the heck out of Transcender practice tests in compiling my Exam Cram books in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but I had the 8570 certs as the focus for my invited presentation at that conference: Serving Certifications to Federal & Government Markets.


For those not already in the know, anybody who works in any kind of cybersecurity-related position for the Department of Defense or its contractors is required to earn one or more of the certifications on the Baseline Certifications list. My analysis in that presentation told me the following:


? There are approximately 95,000 such jobs in the DoD itself right now.
? There is an equal number of such jobs in the DoD contractor workforce as well.
? Other jobs that adhere to the Baseline Certification requirements — mostly at other U.S. Government agencies, or in state, county, and municipal governments and law enforcement positions — represent another 100,000-plus jobs around the country as well.


Add it all up, and around 300,000 jobs must meet those requirements right now, with the cybersecurity skills gap portending a jump in all those numbers for next year and beyond. In short, it's a great opportunity for people smart enough to jump on the 8570 bandwagon.


Given that the guys at Transcender and Kaplan IT Training are pretty smart, they'd already figured this out before the conference. Their lineup of security exams, which are divided into Penetration Testing, System Auditing, Security Practitioner, and Security Management, show this clearly.


Dude studies for exam

Here's the slate of covered exams, in which an asterisk at the end means a practice test is available for that starred item.


Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH; Pen Testing)*

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA; SysAudit)*

CompTIA Security+ (SecPrac)*

SANS GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC; SecPrac)*

CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+, SecPrac)*

(ISC)2 Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP; SecPrac)

(ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP; SecPrac)*

Logical Operations Cybersecurity First Responder (CFR; SecPrac)*

Cisco Implementing Cisco Network Security (IINS; SecPrac; part of CCNA Security)*

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP; SecMgmt)*

ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM; SegMgmt)

(ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP; SecMgmt)*

(ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP; SecMgmt)


This raises an interesting question. Namely, "For which of the 8579 Baseline Certifications, does Kaplan NOT offer a practice exam?" The answer is a bit convoluted. First, among the 8 SANS exams on that list, Kaplan only covers the entry-level fundamentals GSEC exam.


It covers all of the CompTIA items (A+, Security+, Network+, CSA+ and CASP). It covers the (ISC)2 SSCP and CISSP. It covers the Cisco IINS exam for the CCNA Security, but not the Cisco SCYBER exam (which qualifies holders for the Cisco Cybersecurity Specialist cert).


Kaplan does not yet cover the CSSLP or the CISM, though they already have other products for those exams (and presumably might have practice tests in the near future). They do not cover the CISSP "merit badge" certs on the list either — namely the (ISC)2 CISSP-ISSAP or CISSP-ISSEP.


Mr. Hester informs me that they've got practice tests in the works for 2018 for the items lacking asterisks above, plus the CCSP, the EC-Council's CHFI, the missing Cisco item, and updates planned for the 2018 versions of the CISSP and CASP.


Thus, of all the major practice test vendors out there (in which category I also include Boson, SelfTest Software, and MeasureUp) Kaplan IT Training offers the most comprehensive collection of 8570-listed practice tests available today (and in 2018). Good stuff!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.