Popular Computer Security Certifications


computer security certificate

While most cybersecurity professionals have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, many companies prefer candidates who also have a certification to validate knowledge of best practices. There are literally hundreds of certifications available, from general to vendor-specific, entry-level to advanced. Before you spend your money and time on a certification, It’s important to find one that will give you a competitive advantage in your career.

1. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

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The CISSP certification from the cybersecurity professional organization (ISC)² ranks among the most sought-after credentials in the industry. Earning your CISSP demonstrates that you’re experienced in IT security and capable of designing, implementing, and monitoring a cybersecurity program.

Requirements: To qualify to take the CISSP exam, you’ll need five or more years of cumulative work experience in at least two of eight cybersecurity domains. These include Security and Risk Management, Asset Security, Security Architecture and Engineering, Communication and Network Security, Identity and Access Management, Security Assessment and Testing, Security Operations, and Software Development Security.

A four-year degree in computer science satisfies one year of the work requirement. Part-time work and paid internships also count.

2. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

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This credential from IT professional association ISACA helps demonstrate your expertise in assessing security vulnerabilities, designing and implementing controls, and reporting on compliance. It’s among the most recognized certifications for careers in cybersecurity auditing.

Requirements: You need at least five years of experience in IT or IS audit, control, security, or assurance. A two or four-year degree can be substituted for one or two years of experience, respectively.

3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

With the CISM certification, also from ISACA, you can validate your expertise in the management side of information security, including topics like governance, program development, and program, incident, and risk management.

Requirements: To take the CISM exam, you need at least five years of experience in information security management. Satisfy up to two years of this requirement with general information security experience. You can also waive one or two years with another certification in good standing or a graduate degree in an information security-related field.

4. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Ethical hacking, also known as white hat hacking or penetration testing, involves lawfully hacking organizations to try and uncover vulnerabilities before malicious players do. The EC-Council offers the CEH Certified Ethical Hacker certification. Earn it to demonstrate your skills in penetration testing, attack detection, vectors, and prevention.

Requirements: You can take the CEH exam if you have two years of work experience in information security or if you complete an official EC-Council training.

6. GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

This certification from the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) is an entry-level security credential for those with some background in information systems and networking. Earning this credential validates your skills in security tasks like active defense, network security, cryptography, incident response, and cloud security.

Requirements: There are no specific requirements to take the GSEC exam. Set yourself up for success by gaining some information systems or computer networking experience first.

These are the most popular computer security certificate courses.

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