SmartCertify Offers Cisco Security Cert Training

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Certification training provider SmartCertify Direct, a subsidiary of enterprise education firm SkillSoft, has released new online training offerings for three Cisco security credentials: Cisco VPN Specialist, Cisco Firewall Specialist and Cisco IDS Specialist. Free demos of the programs are currently available online, and users of SmartCertify’s content have a money-back certification guarantee.


Like all of SmartCertify’s offerings, the primary means of course delivery is online, said Lewis Withrow, product manager, SmartCertify. The company’s Web site content includes interactive exercises and simulations, all of which can be burned onto a CD. As long as a PC has accessed the site once, users can access the downloaded programs on that CD as often as they like. In addition, SmartCertify offers students around-the-clock online chat access to a mentor to prepare for “Cisco SECUR1: Securing Cisco IOS Networks,” an exam required for all three certifications. “We try to give our customers as much flexibility as possible,” he said. “They pay us well, and we treat them well.”


Part of the reason these new courses are so effective is that SkillSoft, SmartCertify’s parent company, works so closely with Cisco, Withrow said. “SkillSoft is an authorized Cisco learning solutions partner, so SkillSoft works very closely with Cisco. They really open the kimono and really give us the straight, distilled information, from which our developers develop our courseware. SkillSoft sells primarily in the corporate environment, but our goal is to sell this corporate-level training to individuals.


“You can’t really say it too much: In these times, security has become increasingly important,” Withrow said. “The vulnerability of the Internet has never been greater, nor has its robustness ever been stronger. These are countervailing influences. The sophistication of the attacks against the Internet infrastructure continues to grow, and it requires highly skilled technical individuals to combat that. It’s done, of course, with hardware and software configurations. It’s a sword-and-shield type of evolution.”


“The three certifications that we’ve recently announced address three specific needs within the threat envelop, so to speak,” he added. “Security, to be effective, has to encompass a layered approach. These are three different layers of a secure environment. The ‘plumbing’ of the infrastructure takes place to a large extent on routers and switches. Something like 90 percent of the installed hardware base is running a Cisco operating system or a Cisco-compliant operating system.”


“The skills that Cisco validates are in extremely high demand,” Withrow said. “Connecting to the Internet exposes businesses, and the high level of expertise and training that these courses impart to individuals allow corporations to do business and minimize their threat vulnerability.”


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