Security certification choices

Numerous studies point to security as being a hot technology.

If you're interested in honing or validating your security skills, there are several different certifications to take advantage of.

To help you zero in on a program, here's a quick overview of some of the options to consider. Check out the various links to find a certification that best meets your needs.

* Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Security and Cisco Security Specialist 1 Cisco added a security component to its highest certification, the CCIE, which covers IP, IP routing, and specific security components. Meanwhile, the Cisco Security Specialist 1 requires a Cisco Certified Network Associate designation and proficiency with Cisco's firewalls, intrusion detection systems and VPNs. For more information on CCIE Security, go to http://nww1.com/go/0624CAR2A.html For the specialist designation, check out http://nww1.com/go/0624CAR2B.html.

* (ICS)2 Certified Information Security Specialist (CISSP) and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) (ICS)2's rigorous vendor-neutral program is known as a mark of excellence in the industry. The CISSP is targeted at executives, while the SSCP is appropriate for security specialists in the field. Check out the complete details at http://www.isc2.org/.

* Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISAC) Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) This certification is designed for IS audit, control and security professionals. It generally requires a minimum of five years of professional experience. Go to http://www.isaca.org/cert1.htm for the scoop.

* ProSoft Training's Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) Security Analyst This program recognizes those who can implement security policy, identify security threats, and develop countermeasures using firewalls and attack-recognition technologies. In order to qualify, you must hold one of several certifications from Cisco, Microsoft or Novell and pass the CIW Security Professional exam. For more details, go to http://www.ciwcertified.com/.

* SANS Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) program Widely respected in the field, GIAC offers nine security certifications that range from entry-level skills to advanced technical specialties such as intrusion detection and forensics. For more information, go to http://www.giac.org/program.php * The Security Certified Program (SCP) This includes two levels of certifications, the Security Certified Network Professional (SCNP) and Security Certified Network Architect (SCNA). The focus of SCNP is on defense, using technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection and VPNs. SCNA looks at trusted communication and emerging security technologies like public-key infrastructure, biometrics, and smart cards. For more information, go to http://www.securitycertified.net/

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