There is no denying the explosive growth of the cyber security industry. If you imagined that the number of empty posts globally would add up to a quadruple of this number, you would also be correct.
Even if there is a large demand for qualified candidates in the expanding field of cyber security, you still need to differentiate yourself from the competition in order to have any impact.
For this reason, you should read this post to learn about the best cyber security certifications that employers currently require.
You will have an easier time finding work and will be able to avoid competition if you have these certificates.
An Overview of the Field of Cybersecurity
The field of information security is expanding. Indeed, career possibilities for information security analysts are expected to expand by 35 percent between 2021 and 2031, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections—a substantially greater rate than normal. There will be at least 56,500 jobs available over this period.
Cyber security certifications can be helpful if you want to be sure that your career is on track and that your abilities are current enough to compete for these opportunities in the near future.
Which one, though? To assist you in navigating the complex world of certification, we have put together a list of the top qualifications currently offered.
How to Get Started in Cyber Security
There are lots of online courses available for people who want to learn independently and have some extra money. After completing the required coursework, many courses also grant certifications.
However, returning to school is probably your best option if you’re searching for something more organized with a framework that is supported by an organization.
Numerous academic institutions provide undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity degrees; some even conduct their full curriculum online.
Additionally, a lot of universities offer degrees or certificates that concentrate only on cyber security as opposed to more general IT disciplines like networking or programming. These can be useful if you already know the area you want to work in but are unsure of how long it will take to get started.
The Advantages of Earning a Cyber Security Professional Certification
A cyber security professional’s certification has the following advantages:
- Cyber security certifications are a good way to show off your knowledge and proficiency in the subject. Some of these tests are intended for seasoned experts with years of experience in the industry.
- Beneficial for job searchers. An industry-recognized certification shows that you have the abilities and knowledge needed to succeed in that role when you’re searching for your next career opportunity. Employers are more likely to hire you because they know they can trust your abilities and won’t have to train you anything once you’re hired!
- Good for employers who want to make sure staff members are knowledgeable about the most recent information and technology available within their company’s IT infrastructure. Requiring certifications guarantees that staff members are aware of best practices and emerging trends in cybersecurity, including cloud computing, which is essential for any business to succeed in the competitive global market.
15 Best Cyber Security Certifications
The following list of 15 best cyber security certifications can greatly assist you in reaching your objectives:
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- CompTIA Security+
- EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
- CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+
- GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate (ISACA)
- CCNA Security
- Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT)
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC).
1. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
For security professionals, there is just one worldwide recognized standard: the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). The vendor-neutral accreditation attests to your experience overseeing business information security initiatives.
Three exams are required of you: one on architecture and design, one on risk management, and one on implementation and supervision. Data security, cryptography, network security, software development security, organization security, and telecommunications security are all covered in the courses.
- Exam Cost: $749
- Time: Six hours
Who Needs to Be Certified as a CISSP?
- Managers, executives, and security professionals with experience.
2. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Information systems auditors can obtain a professional certification by becoming Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). One of the oldest security certificates in existence, it is an international certification that has been in use since 2002.
In addition to being well-established, vendor-neutral, and worldwide recognized, the CISA is a wise option for anyone wishing to progress in their career as an IT auditor or break into the cyber security industry.
If you’ve worked as an IT auditor in the past but aren’t sure if you’re ready for certification just yet, read over the prerequisites for the CISA exam and get ready before applying.
- Cost of Exam: $465 to $595
- Duration: 240 minutes
Who Needs to Be Certified as a CISA?
- Security professionals
- Audit managers
- IT auditors.
3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
A globally recognized certificate that demonstrates your ability to apply information security management principles to actual organizational scenarios is the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification.
You have to pass a single exam that measures your proficiency in risk assessment, governance, compliance, and management in an enterprise setting.
At least five years of experience managing information security are required; this experience can be professional or educational as long as it entails putting security rules into action. This certification increases your earning potential by approximately 17 percent and makes you stand out on job applications.
- Exam Cost: $760
- Time: Four hours
Who Needs to Be Certified as a CISM?
- Managers of information security
- Future IT consultants and managers who assist with infosec program management.
4. CompTIA Security+
The worldwide, vendor-neutral CompTIA Security+ certification validates expertise in risk management and network security.
The most important facets of network security, the fundamentals of information security, and secure network architecture are all covered in the Security+ test.
The subjects included in the Security+ exam are:
- Risk management practices in IT environments
- Technologies used in cryptography such as hashing algorithms (SHA-1) and symmetric key encryption with both block ciphers (AES) and stream ciphers (RC4).
- An overview of information security
- Threats and vulnerabilities to computer systems
In addition, digital signatures, certificates, and public key infrastructure (PKI) will be covered, as well as access control techniques for remote access authentication.
- Exam Cost: $370
- Time: Ninety minutes
Who Has to Become Certified with CompTIA Security+?
IT workers seeking to launch or grow their security careers who have two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus, or who have received comparable training.
5. EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential assesses a candidate’s proficiency in conducting ethical hacking with the newest instruments, methods, and approaches.
Through practical activities, the exam’s goal is to verify that you possess the knowledge and abilities needed to find security flaws in networks, web applications, and computer systems.
- Exam Cost: $1,199
- Time: Four hours
Who Needs to Be Certified as a CEH?
People in the vendor-neutral specialty of Ethical Hacking, a particular branch of network security.
6. GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
The vendor-neutral GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) is intended to assist IT professionals in proving their familiarity with security principles. The GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) certification acknowledges the following abilities:
- Recognizing the significance of security
- Recognizing the principles of risk management and information assurance
- Recognizing typical exploits and providing mitigation or prevention measures
- Exam cost: $1,699; retakes are $849; certificate renewals are $469.
- Duration: Three hundred minutes.
Who Needs to Be Certified by GSEC?
- Penetration Testers
- Operations personnel
- IT Engineers and supervisors
- Security professionals
- Security managers
- Security administrators
- Forensic analysts
- Someone who has some experience in networking and information systems but is new to information security.
7. Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
Information security fundamentals are the emphasis of the vendor-neutral Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) certification. For professionals with little to no expertise in information security, it’s a terrific place to start.
The Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SY0-401) exam is the only exam required to obtain the SSCP (SSCP). Ninety multiple-choice questions make up the exam, which takes roughly two hours to finish. There are 125 questions total, and 700 out of 1,000 points is the passing mark.
- Exam Cost: $249.
- It lasts for 180 minutes.
Who Needs to Be Certified by SSCP?
Professionals in operational security jobs, such as the following, should consider obtaining the SSCP certification:
- Systems engineers
- DevOps engineers
- Security engineers
- Network analysts
- Systems administrators
- Security analysts
- Threat Intelligence analysts
8. CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
The vendor-neutral CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) certification verifies the expertise required to defend network infrastructure against both internal and external threats.
It is intended for information security specialists, security engineers, and analysts of security operations centers with advanced risk management knowledge. Your capacity to organize, implement, oversee, and troubleshoot intricate enterprise-level networks is tested in the exam.
- Exam Cost: $466
- Time: 165 minutes.
Who Needs to Become Certified in CASP+?
Professionals in IT cyber security with a minimum of ten years’ experience in IT administration, at least five of which are spent in practical technical security roles.
9. CompTIA Cyber Security Analyst+ (CySA+)
IT workers who want to improve their comprehension of technical and analytical cybersecurity expertise can pursue the Cyber Security Analyst+ certification. Additionally, it’s a fantastic way for people who are already employed in this industry to advance their knowledge.
Two years of professional experience are necessary for this qualification, with a focus on risk management and information security analysis. The test covers topics such as attack methodologies, incident response, cryptography fundamentals, information security policy development, ethical hacking techniques, penetration testing methods and tools, secure development lifecycles (SDLCs), vulnerability assessments of operating systems, networks, servers, and applications, and social engineering attacks/scams prevention strategies like phishing awareness training programs.
- Exam Cost: $370
- It lasts for 165 minutes.
Who Needs to Become Certified as a Cybersecurity Analyst+?
- Incident handlers
- Threat hunters
- Application security analysts
- Compliance analysts
- Security analysts
- Threat intelligence analysts
- Security engineers
10. GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
Those who are in charge of handling security issues and conducting root cause analysis should have GCIH certification. Due to the vendor-neutral nature of the GCIH certification, candidates are not required to select a preferred product brand or solution throughout the exam.
- Exam Cost: $1,999
- Time: 4 hours
11. Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
The popular OSCP certification has a follow-up course called Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), which focuses on penetration testing and red teaming. The OSCP is a rigorous training program designed to learn offensive and defensive security abilities.
Through the completion of practical activities in a virtual environment, the course gives students hands-on experience using real-world tools and procedures.
Students will demonstrate their ability to use both manual and automated techniques to analyze the vulnerabilities in their own systems, and then they will use a variety of techniques to exploit those vulnerabilities. These techniques include common physical attacks like dumpster diving or shoulder surfing, network scanning and enumeration, and social engineering attacks like phishing emails or phone calls.
- Exam Cost: $1,499
- Duration: 23 hours and 45 minutes.
Who Needs to Become Certified as an OSCP?
Professionals with an interest in information security who wish to work in penetration testing.
Also Read: 30 Easiest Online Masters Degree Programs
12. Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate (ISACA)
You can launch a cybersecurity career with the vendor-neutral, entry-level certification provided by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISACA). The Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate offers a foundation in subjects like risk management and business continuity while concentrating on the essential skills of the cybersecurity field.
Professionals in IT administration, security, or consulting who want to learn more about fundamental cybersecurity ideas and gain practical skills they can use right away at work should take this certificate.
- Exam Cost: $149 to $175
- It lasts for 120 minutes.
Who Needs to be Certified in This Field?
- Aspiring IT specialists.
13. CCNA Security
For network security specialists looking to certify their expertise in enterprise networks and security, the CCNA Security certification is a useful qualification. The CCNA Security certifies that you possess the expertise needed to safeguard Cisco networks.
One test covering network security technologies, including how to defend against threats and react to an attack, is required for this credential.
Additionally, you must have two years of professional experience in networking or IT administration, or you must have earned multiple Cisco certifications, including at least one associate-level test.
- Exam Cost: $300
- It lasts for 120 minutes.
Who Needs to Be Certified as a CCNA Security Professional?
- Professionals in cybersecurity, computer networking, and IT at entry level.
14. Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT)
The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) and the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) introduced the Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT) certification.
Penetration testing, the process of taking advantage of software flaws in order to find security flaws, is one of the tests that CEPT requires you to pass. The intention is to assist firms in comprehending how potential hackers could obtain their data and resolving any issues before they arise.
Information security experts have started to choose CEPT since it is simple to earn and takes less than two years to complete. Since 2011, more than 15,000 persons worldwide have obtained this certification, according to EC-Council.
- Exam Cost: $499
- It lasts for 120 minutes.
15. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
The Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification is a good place to start if you want to learn more about the security of the networks and information systems within your company. As the industry standard designation for IT auditors and control specialists, the CISA certificate is widely accepted worldwide. Additionally, it’s one of the most sought-after credentials in the information security industry since it provides you with:
- Knowing how to evaluate risk management procedures within a company
- Competence in assessing the efficacy and efficiency of information system operations
- An extensive understanding of the best practices for conducting audits
- Cost of Exam: Four hours
- Time: Not specified
Who Needs to Be Certified in CRISC?
- intermediate information security and IT auditors.
- experts in risk and security.
Employments in Cybersecurity
Each the public and private sectors offer employment in cybersecurity, and each demand different skill sets.
Security analysts work for a variety of companies, such as:
- Federal entities such as the NSA and DHS
- Multinational companies such as Microsoft and IBM
- Small companies such as legal offices or shops that build software
Cybersecurity experts can be employed in a variety of roles, including:
- Computer Forensics Analysts
- Chief Information Security Officer
- Penetration Testers
- Security Systems Consultants
- IT Security Consultants
- Security Software Developer
- Security Architect
- Security Consultant
- Information Security Analysts
- Ethical Hackers
Frequently Asked Questions
What distinguishes a degree from a cyber security certificate?
Online degrees take longer to complete than certificates, which can be finished in as short as six months. A certificate can help you improve your resume and offers a more focused learning experience.
How can I study for a professional examination in cyber security the most effectively?
Congratulations if you are reading this and you have already scheduled a test date! As we all know, studying for formal tests like these may be really frightening. Here are some more pointers, nevertheless, to help you overcome this fear and prepare for your try. To start, make an effort to obtain past exam questions and review them. Pay attention to the format, intricacy, and technical aspects of the questions. Second, sign up for classes that will assist in getting you ready. Lastly, seek guidance from more senior colleagues who have gone through this process.
Is a profession in cyber security worthwhile?
It is, depending on your will to pursue it. The field of cyber security is continually expanding and offers prospective advantages like higher income. Even so, it's already a highly compensated position with excellent job satisfaction.