Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP)

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As Cisco’s newest professional level certification, the CCSP has attracted a great deal of interest and attention in the marketplace. In a nutshell, this credential fits candidates seeking a Cisco-focused, but broad and comprehensive information security certification that involves significant knowledge and skills related to Cisco routers, firewalls, VPNs, and security methodologies. It also requires an extensive general information security background as well. Given the large numbers of companies, telecommunications operators, and Internet service provides who incorporate Cisco technologies in their networking infrastructures—and for all of these outfits, information security is both a real and pressing concern—there’s considerable demand for CCSPs even in today’s somewhat depressed IT employment marketplace.

 

Requirements for the CCSP include the following:

 

 

  • Candidates must hold a current CCNA or CCIP certification to qualify for the CCSP.

  • Candidates must take and pass 5 Cisco exams:

 

·        Securing Cisco IOS Networks (SECUR; Exam ID 642-501). Until September 30, 2003, exam 640-100 Managing Cisco Network Security is an acceptable alternative.

 

·        Cisco Secure PIX Firewall Advanced (CSPFA; Exam ID: 642-521). Until September 30, 2003, exam 9E0-111 with the same title is an acceptable alternative.

 

·        Cisco Secure Intrusion Detection System (CSIDS; Exam ID: 9E0-100). Because this exam retires on November 1, 2003, check the Cisco site for a replacement exam in coming months.

 

·        Cisco Secure VPN (CSVPN; Exam ID: 642-511). Until September 30, 2003, exam 9E0-121 with the same title is an acceptable alternative.

 

·        Cisco SAFE Implementation (CSI; Exam ID: 642-541). Until September 30, 2003, exam 9E0-131 with the same title is an acceptable alternative.

 

 

  • CCSP certifications remain valid for 3 years; recertification requires retaking current versions of required security exams. Because this credential arrived in November, 2002, more specific recertification guidelines have yet to be established.

 

The ultimate source of information on this certification is on the Cisco Web site (http://www.cisco.com/go/ccsp). Cisco’s training partners offer numerous instructor-led and Web based training options for the material. Likewise, lots of third-party support for this credential is also available, including self-study materials such as study guides and Exam Crams, as well as simulations and virtual labs, and practice tests. For the Cisco minded who also focus on security, this is an excellent credential to consider—and pursue!

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