Certifiably Secure: SAINT Certification

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I just recently completed a comprehensive survey of all the IT certs I could find, with an eye toward assessing recertification requirements in effect nowadays. Along the way, I came across a new infosec certification from SAINT Corporation (or at least, one that was new to me anyway—according to Billy Austin, the program’s custodian, it’s been available since mid-2000, and they’ve already certified over 100 professionals so far).




SAINT is the successor to a somewhat infamous suite of security scanning tools known in the 1990s as SATAN. Although SATAN was publicly available and somewhat popular with black hat hackers, it had always found positive uses in the hands of reputable infosec professionals. SAINT 5 is the current version of a commercialized version of these tools, and retails for $448 up for a 10-host license (you’ll pay extra for more hosts and for annual maintenance; see http://www.saintcorporation.com/order.html for details).




The SAINT certification is tied to an exam administered on the afternoon of the second day of a two-day product training course offered at Saint Corp’s Bethesda, MD, training facility. The course costs $1,500, including the cost of the exam. The exam and the course cover the same ground—namely:



  • Introduction to SAINT and SAINTwriter (a follow-up tool that permits SAINT operators to design and generate vulnerability scanning reports)
  • Overview of TCP/IP
  • Fundamental security concepts
  • Installing & configuring SAINT
  • What SAINT tests for (including coverage of SAINTexpress, an automatic update engine for the product’s set of defined scans and checks)
  • Configuring the scan range


As a powerful, mature, and effective vulnerability scanning toolset, SAINT is worth getting to know. I’m not sure that this certification is well enough recognized to open many doors for employment or job changes in and of itself. But those who complete the course and pass the cert exam should be able to talk compellingly about what they know and how they can use this product to assess and heighten system and network security–which ultimately will help job-seekers or –changers.




For more information, please visit SAINT’s certification page (http://www.saintcorporation.com/certification/certification.html).

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