In today’s rapidly digitizing landscape, ensuring the security of our digital assets has become paramount. Cybersecurity is also in a constant state of evolution, driven by the ever-increasing complexity of cyber threats. Cybersecurity certifications offer a structured path to acquiring in-demand skills and demonstrate your commitment to cyber defense. These credentials validate expertise in safeguarding sensitive information from various cyber threats.
As we find ourselves in 2024, with sights set on 2025, specific certifications have garnered exceptional attention. These prestigious certifications enhance professional knowledge and open doors to lucrative cybersecurity opportunities. They cover various cybersecurity domains, from strengthening digital infrastructures to managing cyber incidents. Staying relevant and competitive in this domain requires continuous learning and validation of expertise. Our focus here is to spotlight these preeminent certifications that warrant consideration. They serve as conduits for expanding knowledge horizons, propelling career advancement, and contributing substantively to the overarching mission of enhancing digital security. Now let us list the best certifications for cyber security:
Cyber Security Certifications You Can Get To Boost Your Career
Here are the top cybersecurity certifications to consider in 2024 and beyond as they align with emerging trends and industry demands. You can also download this this here.
The CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification program is an independent credential offered by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, ISC2. It covers various domains in Information Security and is based on the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) defined by ISC2. This CBK serves as a global framework for information security professionals, enabling them to communicate and collaborate effectively. To attain this cybersecurity certification, candidates must pass the CISSP exam and possess at least five years of professional experience in two or more of the eight CBK domains recognized by ISC2.
The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification, offered by the EC-Council, validates expertise in assessing computer system security by identifying vulnerabilities and utilizing the same techniques and tools as malicious hackers but within the boundaries of legality and ethics. Candidates demonstrate this knowledge through multiple-choice questions on ethical hacking techniques and tools, with the CEH exam code being 312-50. In addition, the certification has evolved to include the CEH (Practical), introduced in March 2018, which assesses penetration testing skills in a lab environment, simulating system compromises using various tools.
Ethical hackers are hired by organizations to uncover and rectify security weaknesses in networks and computer systems. EC-Council also provides the Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA) certification, primarily for U.S. Government agencies and defense contractors, and in compliance with DOD Directive 8570.01-M. You can earn CEH certification through an Accredited Training Center (ATC) or EC-Council’s iClass portal. Self-study candidates must show two years of relevant infosec work experience or educational background as an alternative.
The current version of CEH is V12, launched in September 2022, with 125 multiple-choice questions and a 4-hour time limit. EC-Council and various ATCs conduct CEH exams.
Holders of CEH/CNDA certifications must recertify every three years with a minimum of 120 credits. Those with CEH certifications from versions 1 to 7 can pursue the Certified Ethical Hacker ANSI certification by waiving the application fee. Alternatively, individuals with at least two years of InfoSec work experience or those who have completed official EC-Council training can apply for the certification, covering a $100 application fee.
The CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) certification, awarded by ISACA, is tailored for IT security management experts. It focuses on administrative aspects of information security, making it suitable for those overseeing an organization’s security strategies. CISM certifies proficiency in critical domains like information security management, risk management, and more, aligning them with corporate goals. To earn CISM certification, you must fulfill five requirements, including passing the CISM exam, covering four domains. The exam features 150 multiple-choice questions and requires meeting specific criteria for a valid score within five years of passing. Candidates need five years of relevant experience, but having a CISA certification or skill-based security certifications like CBCP or GIAC can reduce this requirement.
The CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certification program, administered by ISACA, is globally recognized for assessing IT auditors’ skills in evaluating vulnerabilities and implementing IT controls within organizations. Ideal for IT auditors, consultants, and security professionals, CISA certification signifies excellence in information system auditing. To obtain CISA certification, candidates must pass the CISA exam with a minimum score of 450 out of 800.
The exam is available globally and online, offered in multiple languages. Adequate preparation involves using ISACA’s materials, taking practice tests, and adopting an accountant’s mindset, as many examiners come from financial backgrounds. After passing, applicants can apply for the CISA certificate, provided they meet work experience requirements. Maintenance involves adhering to ISACA’s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) program, ensuring professionals stay current in their field. CISA certification provides a competitive edge, salary boosts, and recognition for expertise, making it a valuable asset for career advancement in information system auditing and security.
CompTIA Security+ certification is your entry into the world of IT security. This foundational credential from CompTIA validates essential skills, making you a competitive candidate in cybersecurity. The exam covers six key domains: threats and vulnerabilities, architecture, implementation, operations, governance, risk, and compliance. While no formal prerequisites exist, having two years of IT administration experience, especially with a security focus and a current CompTIA Network+ certification, can benefit exam success and career advancement. Start your journey to a rewarding cybersecurity career with Security+.
The Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification is for IT and security professionals seeking to excel in cloud-based cybersecurity. It demonstrates your ability to secure valuable assets in the cloud, making you an appealing candidate to employers.
As organizations increasingly move to the cloud, experts with specialized cloud security skills are in high demand, as a 2021 report from Burning Glass Technologies indicates.
To qualify for the CCSP exam, you need five years of cumulative IT experience, with at least three years in information security. One of those years should have been within any of the six CCSP domains.
The CCSP exam covers multiple-choice questions across the six domains, with varying weightings. Adequate preparation is essential, with options including exam prep courses, practice tests, and study groups. Obtaining CCSP certification can significantly boost your career in cloud security.
The GSEC certification, or GIAC Security Essentials certification, verifies an individual’s deep understanding of information security beyond basic terminology and concepts. GSEC-certified professionals are equipped for hands-on roles in IT systems, particularly in security-related tasks. This certification covers many areas, including defense strategies, cryptography, cloud computing, network architecture, incident handling, etc. GSEC suits various roles, including new InfoSec professionals, security experts, managers, operations personnel, IT engineers, security administrators, forensic analysts, penetration testers, and auditors.
The SSCP certification, a globally recognized credential in IT security administration and operations, is a significant step towards advancing your career and enhancing your organization’s security posture.
With SSCP certification, you showcase your advanced technical expertise and proficiency in implementing, monitoring, and administering IT infrastructure using cybersecurity best practices, policies, and procedures endorsed by ISC2 cybersecurity experts.
Demonstrate your competencies, propel your career forward, and join a supportive community of cybersecurity leaders who assist you throughout your professional journey. SSCP is particularly suitable for IT administrators, managers, directors, and network security professionals responsible for hands-on operational security of critical organizational assets.
CompTIA’s CASP+ certification is for experienced cybersecurity professionals, like security architects and senior engineers. It’s a hands-on, advanced-level certification focusing on technical expertise, covering security architecture, engineering, and cyber readiness assessment. CASP+ is designed for those who implement cybersecurity solutions rather than manage them. It’s the most up-to-date certification in the field, spanning various environments and governance skills.
The GCIH certification, or GIAC Certified Incident Handler certification, confirms a professional’s capacity to identify, respond to, and resolve computer security incidents through diverse critical security skills. Holders of the GCIH certification possess the expertise required to manage security incidents effectively. They are well-versed in recognizing standard attack methods, vectors, and tools and are skilled in defending against and responding to these attacks when they occur.
The OSCP certification, or Offensive Security Certified Professional certification, is obtained through the industry-leading Penetration Testing with Kali Linux (PWK/PEN-200) course. This course immerses learners in hands-on, self-paced training on penetration testing methodologies, tools, and techniques.
Upon completing the course and passing the exam, individuals earn the OSCP certification, which distinguishes itself by requiring candidates to successfully attack and penetrate live machines within a secure lab environment. The OSCP is known for its technical rigor, setting it apart from other ethical hacking certifications, and is notable for demanding practical evidence of penetration testing skills.
The IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional certification signifies readiness for a cybersecurity career, showcasing the ability to tackle real-world challenges. This certification encompasses knowledge of essential cybersecurity analyst tools, covering areas such as data protection, endpoint security, SIEM, fundamental systems, network concepts, and critical compliance and threat intelligence topics crucial in today’s cybersecurity landscape. Additionally, earners of this badge are equipped with incident response and forensics skills.
To earn this certification, one must complete all courses within the IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate program on Coursera. This includes multiple assessments throughout the courses, a real-world breach case study, and hands-on virtual labs. Achieving a passing score on the final assessment course, the IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Assessment, which encompasses content from the preceding seven periods, is also a requirement.
The Cybersecurity Fundamentals certification provides a comprehensive introduction to computer security. It offers an extensive overview of various aspects of computing security, covering essential concepts, challenges, and tools crucial for addressing cybersecurity issues.
Throughout the certification program, participants will acquire valuable skills in safeguarding systems and network infrastructures and analyzing, monitoring, and mitigating potential threats and attacks. These skills enable individuals to develop and implement effective security solutions for various organizations.
This certification is an integral component of the RITx Cybersecurity MicroMasters Program, designed to equip students with the knowledge and expertise needed to enter and progress in the dynamic field of computing security.
The Certificate IV in Cyber Security is a specialized program that can set you apart in the IT industry. It equips you with the technical expertise necessary to safeguard organizations from cyber threats, preparing you for a cybersecurity practitioner career.
As per the Australian Government’s Job Outlook service, the demand for ICT security specialists has experienced significant growth over the past five years, with further expansion expected. Employers seek candidates with robust computer skills, apparent communication abilities, and strong teamwork.
Throughout this course, you will acquire technical competencies such as implementing network security infrastructure and identifying security breaches, alongside valuable soft skills like stakeholder management. You’ll possess foundational knowledge and skills in website security, IT network testing, and ICT security upon successful completion. This certification qualifies you to pursue entry-level roles, including that of a junior cyber security analyst.
This certification, known as Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals, is designed for students, business users, and IT professionals. It equips you with a strong foundation in various aspects of cybersecurity within the rapidly evolving field. It is a stepping stone for advancing to role-based certifications in security operations, identity and access management, and information protection.
The CyberSec First Responder® (CFR) cybersecurity certification emphasizes the development of a deep understanding of cyberattack strategies. It validates that individuals possess the crucial skills to protect their organizations effectively before, during, and after a cyber breach.
A certified CyberSec First Responder® is the frontline defense against cyber threats that can inflict significant financial and operational damage on an organization. This training and certification program equips security professionals with the expertise to analyze threats, design secure computing and network setups, proactively safeguard networks, and effectively respond to and investigate cybersecurity incidents.
The CHFI certification is a highly coveted credential in the cybersecurity field, tailored for IT professionals in diverse sectors, including government agencies, law enforcement, defense, and corporate enterprises. This training offers comprehensive insights into digital forensics, emphasizing a systematic approach encompassing Dark Web, IoT, and Cloud Forensics. Participants gain essential skills to proactively investigate intricate security threats and effectively document and report cybercrimes, contributing to the prevention of future attacks.
In the realm of cybersecurity certifications, the third notable position is held by CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+), a credential backed by CompTIA’s renowned reputation as a leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications worldwide. With over two million CompTIA certifications granted to tech professionals globally, CySA+ is a valuable certification.
CySA+ focuses on vital foundational principles tailored for cybersecurity analysts and professionals transitioning into hands-on roles in the field. This updated certification exam validates candidates’ capabilities in configuring and utilizing threat detection tools, conducting data analysis, and pinpointing vulnerabilities to safeguard organizations’ systems, applications, data, and networks from potential threats. It equips professionals with behavioral analytics skills to detect and combat malware and advanced persistent threats (APTs), enhancing threat visibility based on network behavior.
A Cloud Digital Leader is proficient in explaining the capabilities of Google Cloud’s core products and services and their advantages for organizations. They are also skilled at illustrating common business scenarios and how cloud solutions align with enterprise objectives. This certification suits individuals looking to showcase their grasp of fundamental cloud computing concepts and the application of Google Cloud products and services to achieve organizational objectives.
The Azure Solutions Architect Expert exam certifies professionals experienced in designing cloud and hybrid solutions on Microsoft Azure. It covers DevOps, governance, networking, security, and virtualization. A prerequisite certification, like Microsoft Azure Administrator or Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, is required. To earn the certificate, you must pass the Microsoft Azure Architect Design and Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies exams, making it a comprehensive journey to reach the Solutions Architect Expert level.
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification highlights expertise in a broad spectrum of AWS services, emphasizing the design of cost-effective, high-performance solutions aligned with the AWS Well-Architected Framework. This certification can boost your career prospects, income potential, and confidence when engaging with stakeholders and customers.
The Nutanix Certified Professional – Multicloud Infrastructure (NCP-MCI) certification confirms your proficiency in essential tasks like deploying and overseeing virtual infrastructure elements and VMs, conducting operational maintenance, and triggering disaster recovery processes. It also assesses your competence in configuring user roles and addressing infrastructure alerts and events.
As we enter 2024 and set our sights on 2025, specific certifications have emerged as industry leaders, offering a wealth of knowledge and access to lucrative cybersecurity opportunities. Covering a broad spectrum of cybersecurity domains, from bolstering digital infrastructures to orchestrating incident responses, these certifications serve as pathways to broaden our horizons, propel our careers, and contribute significantly to the mission of enhancing digital security.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve spotlighted the top certifications that warrant your consideration. Whether you’re aspiring to be a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), or a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), or starting your journey with CompTIA Security+ or the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), these certifications are your keys to staying ahead in the dynamic world of cybersecurity. Secure your future, protect digital assets, and advance your career with these prestigious certifications in 2024 and beyond.