Cisco Updates Security Certification

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Cisco is in the process of updating its Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP) certification. New courseware was made available for Cisco learning partners last week.


The updated Securing Networks with Cisco Routers and Switches (SNRS) exam is already available, with the previous version retiring June 20.


The updated Securing Networks with PIX and ASA (SNPA) exam will be available June 1, with the previous version retiring Oct. 13. The updated Implementing Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) exam will be available Sept. 4, with the previous version retiring Jan. 16, 2008.


Additionally, Cisco is adding two electives to CCSP: Implementing Cisco NAC Appliance (CANAC) will be available May 14, and Implementing Cisco Security Monitoring, Analysis and Response System (MARS) will be available July 19.


Christine Yoshida, Cisco senior manager of portfolio management, said these two new electives make CCSP more adaptable from person to person.


“Someone going after CCSP may already know they’re going to be using MARS in their job, so they really need to know that, versus someone else who might decide they’d rather take the exam and the course on the NAC Appliance,” Yoshida said. “It’s providing more options for people that they didn’t have in the past, so it’s more flexible. We’re trying to meet employer and employee needs for relevant skills, and this helps people decide for themselves what’s relevant to their particular situation or hiring needs.”


The other updates to CCSP are intended to ensure the certification is completely up to date. Cisco still targets the cert to IT professionals with an already-established skill level.


“It’s not an entry-level endeavor,” Yoshida said. “This is for people who are in a role where they need to implement a secure network, understand the different technologies to be able to implement them on different devices and understand how they all fit together to provide a secure network.”


For Cisco, security remains an arena in which industry has articulated a demand for expertise and talent.


“Security seems to be the thing that employers are most concerned about when they’re looking at which roles to hire for, and it’s one of the top areas where employers are looking to ensure that people they’re hiring have the right skill set,” Yoshida said.

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