In response to what it views as an increasing demand for security in the market, Check Point has introduced its newest top-level certification program for network architects.
The new Check Point Master Architect (CCMA) has been designed to build on the material encompassed by Check Point's three lower-level certifications: Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA); Check Point Certified Security Expert (CCSE); and Check Point Certified Security Expert Plus (CCSE Plus).
Scott McKinnel, Check Point's Australia and New Zealand Country Manager, attributed the introduction of CCMA to a rising awareness of security in the market. Besides providing employers with a higher benchmark for the assessment of new hires, McKinnel expects the certification to offer career benefits to IT professionals.
"We were looking to add a an additional certification which allows IT professionals to validate their real-world security expertise and advance their careers, to ensure they keep up with a market which has a growing demand for skill specialisation along with breadth and currency of knowledge," he said.
"Customers will continue to demand higher levels of expertise from their technology partners," he said. "Although it is difficult to pinpoint an exact financial return that certified experts can expect, as this is really driven through market-forces, this certification will provide individuals with a highly desired skill set and could add a premium to their remuneration."
Although the CCMA program is vendor-specific, McKinnel said it also takes into context the industry demands, and hence requires broad security knowledge.
Besides having already obtained Check Point's lower-level certifications, candidates are required also to have five to eight years experience working within complex infrastructure and security environments, and at least five years of experience with Check Point products.
The certification consists of a two-hour, computer-based qualification examination, as well as a corresponding hands-on laboratory exercise. The qualification examination is currently offered through Pearson VUE testing centres in English, with extra time given to foreign language speakers. The laboratory examination is not yet available in Australia; however, Check Point is currently in dialogue with training partners to provide this service by the end of the year.