The importance of being certified

New GIAC Security Professional and revamped GIAC Security Expert qualifications offer increased choice and flexibility for cybersecurity pros

Sponsored Post The importance of certifications such as the GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) has never been greater for infosec professionals. Because adding them to the CV will not only improve individual skill levels, but also differentiate candidates in an increasingly competitive cyber security industry.

New research shows that credentialed employees are more empowered and contribute greater value to their organisations. It concludes that 92 percent of certified candidates say they are more confident in their abilities, while 81 percent of certified candidates have more confidence to explore growth opportunities. The poll also found that 82 percent of organisations prefer hiring candidates with certifications.

Additionally, certifications have been demonstrated to form a useful part of cybersecurity training, with research showing the action of testing and taking an exam can increase learning and retention levels. Studies of testing effects suggest that candidates recall 50 percent more of learned information by testing rather than studying.

It's natural that certification programmes have to evolve to keep pace with the dynamic global infosecurity sector and continue meeting the needs of cyber security professionals. GIAC now offers candidates an unprecedented level of certification flexibility for example. With GIAC Certification Categories and GIAC Certification Portfolios, they now have multiple ways in which to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise and earn industry-recognised certifications.

GIAC now offers two Categories of stackable certifications to suit cyber security pros at different stages of their career: Practitioner Certifications and Applied Knowledge Certifications. GIAC Practitioner exams are designed to validate a practitioner's abilities and likelihood of success in a real-world work environment. The new GIAC Applied Knowledge Certifications are designed to provide a more comprehensive and rigorous assessment of knowledge and skills.

These certifications cover a range of topics to provide a more thorough understanding of the subject matter and have been developed for candidates who wish to challenge themselves and demonstrate their "mastery" of a subject. The Applied Knowledge Certifications are currently on offer: GIAC Experienced Cybersecurity Specialist Certification (GX-CS), GIAC Experienced Intrusion Analyst Certification (GX-IA) and GIAC Experienced Incident Handler Certification (GX-IH).

In addition, the latest GIAC Security Professionals (GSP) certification has been designed to allow candidates to prove their depth and breadth of knowledge. The GSP is described as "a new milestone" and a midpoint for those on their journey to becoming a GIAC Security Expert (GSE). To become a GIAC Security Professional candidates must accumulate a Portfolio of three GIAC Practitioner Certifications and two GIAC Applied Knowledge Certifications. Those who make it will be presented with a GIAC Security Professional Coin.

The newly updated GIAC Security Expert (GSE) certification represents one of the most prestigious credentials in the IT security industry. People achieving it will have proven themselves to be amongst the elite of information security and top practitioners in the field, and get a GICA Security Expert Coin. To become a GIAC Security Expert candidates must accumulate a portfolio of six GIAC Practioner Certifications and four GIAC Applied Knowledge Certifications, with multiple combinations available.

In an uncertain world and a fast moving industry, cyber security professionals at least have the option of embarking on a structured and strategic journey from the start of their infosec career to its maturation as a cyber security expert.

Sponsored by SANS.

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