Cisco Certs Meets NSA Mandate

Cisco Systems’ certification exams were among those approved by a recent mandate issued by the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA standards, which relate to information security and systems administration, extend across the federal government.

“NSA is responsible for all federal communications security,” said Rick Stiffler, Cisco’s director of partner and customer learning services. “Whether it’s military or government, they are the organization responsible for making sure all communications are secure. That’s part of what’s driving the standard here: They’re trying to get all the federal agencies to come up to common sets of standards in their proficiency of the people running the federal networks, whether they’re employees, contractors or military, for that matter.”

The Cisco credentials were formally approved in Washington, D.C. recently, when company officials accepted an award from the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS), which sets policy and operational procedures for federal information systems. “They awarded us a certificate that recognizes that our curriculum has been reviewed by them and that it does meet their national training standards for two different levels,” said Christine Yoshida, manager of learning and development at Cisco. “One of them is 4011, which is the information systems security professional, and the other one, which is a new one for us, is the 4013a. That’s called system administrators. The ‘a’ at the end of the 4013 means it’s an advanced level. There are three different levels: entry, intermediate and advanced.”

Specific courses within Cisco’s certification map directly to the…



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