Cybersecurity remains a growing concern for businesses as they move online and increasingly rely on cloud-based services. The COVID-19 pandemic, in fact, highlighted the importance of an online presence and expedited the shift online for enterprises. Unfortunately, threat actors have also been evolving alarmingly, making it a priority for enterprises to ensure they and their assets are secure.
Is a Cybersecurity Certification Worth It?
The rise in the sophistication of cyber crime and data breaches has raised the stakes for organizations, as it is apparent that it is expensive to not only recover from but also react to cyberattacks. As organizations seek to stay a step ahead of threat actors and prevent cyberattacks, the value of cybersecurity professionals has been on the rise.
As a result, there is surging demand for cybersecurity talent today as enterprises prioritize cybersecurity. This skill gap makes cybersecurity a profitable career field and makes cybersecurity certification worth it.
To kickstart your cybersecurity journey, as well as re-skill or upskill, here are the top cybersecurity certifications to consider in 2022.
Top Cybersecurity Certifications
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
As one of the most in-demand credentials in the industry, the CISSP certification is proof that you can successfully design, implement, and manage top-quality cybersecurity programs.
The domains covered by the CISSP exam include security and risk management, software development security, asset security, security operations, security architecture and engineering, security assessment and testing, communication and network security, and identity and access management.
The CISSP certification is provided by (ISC)2, which is an international non-profit cybersecurity organization that validates your expertise and provides (ISC)2 membership, which comes with exclusive resources, tools, and networking opportunities.
Cost: The exam registration fee is $749 USD. Additionally, certified members pay an annual maintenance fee of $125 USD during the anniversary of their certification date.
Duration: The exam requires at least five years of amassed work experience in at least two of the domains mentioned earlier. However, the training time required to pass the examination depends on the method chosen.
The classroom-based training lasts five days, while self-paced learning can take up to two to three months with four to five hours of study a day. The training duration of self-paced learning is influenced by the candidate’s experience, learning ability, and schedule.
To prepare for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam, check out these courses!
Such an advanced certification can help you qualify for roles such as:
- Chief information security officer
- Chief information officer
- Director of security
- Security architect
- Senior security consultant
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The Certified Ethical Hacking certification, provided by the EC-Council, shows that professionals are equipped with skills to legally and safely bypass an organization’s security systems to expose vulnerabilities before threat actors do. It teaches up-to-date commercial-grade hacking techniques, tools, and methodologies used by hackers and security professionals.
Cost: There is a non-refundable $100 USD application fee along with a fee of either $950 USD if taking the exam remotely or $1,199 USD for an exam through a Pearson VUE testing center.
Duration: The standard training course should be at least a 40-hour program over five days, and the exam is four hours with 125 questions.
The certification can launch you into jobs like:
- Penetration testing
- Cybersecurity engineering
- Threat intelligence analysis
- Cybersecurity architect
To prepare for the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) exam, check out these courses!
Also read: Top 10 Cybersecurity Jobs for 2022
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
CISA is a foundational certification for entry-level and mid-career professionals seeking to have a successful IT career. The certification validates your expertise and ability to implement risk-based approaches to planning, executing, and reporting on audit duties. It also backs up your competency in implementing privacy by design into technology, processes, and products to cost-effectively align with organizational goals and needs.
The certification is provided by ISACA, a global IT association, which requires five or more years in IS/IT assurance, audit, security, or control.
Cost: The exam costs $760 USD for non-members and $575 USD for members.
Duration: Since an exam’s eligibility period is up to 12 months after scheduling, the duration of training is flexible enough to be based on your goals and schedule. Although, the training program can take only eight days to complete the course.
To prepare for the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) exam, check out these courses!
The CISA certification can help you in careers such as:
- Information security analyst
- IT security engineer
- IT audit manager
- Risk-based audit planning
- Cybersecurity auditor
GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
The GSEC credential, provided by Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), goes beyond validating a practitioner’s competency of information security through a grasp of concepts and standard terminology. The certification endorses the competency of a practitioner with regards to hands-on roles in IT systems, with a specific focus on security tasks.
It covers areas such as penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, cryptography, Linux and Windows security, web communication, virtualization, cloud, and endpoint security among others.
Cost: A fee of $2,499 USD covers the exam as well as a pair of practice tests.
Duration: The exam has between 106 to 180 questions and has a time limit between four to five hours. It is web-based and administered either on-site or remotely through a proctored environment. In-person, training can take as little as six days.
To prepare for the GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) exam, check out these courses!
The GSEC certification is useful for positions like:
- Security administrator
- Penetration tester
- Forensic analyst
- Security manager
- Software development engineer
Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
SSCP, offered by (ISC)2, is a globally-recognized certification in advanced security and operations that proves practitioners’ knowledge and skills in the monitoring, implementation, and administration of IT infrastructure through policies, procedures, and best practices. It is perfect for managers, directors, IT admins, and professionals with hands-on operational security roles such as network security professionals.
As an advanced certification, the course requires at least a year of paid work experience in at least one of the SSCP domains.
Cost: The cost of the exam is $249 USD.
Duration: Classroom-based training takes five days, and the exam has 125 multiple choice questions with a three-hour time limit.
To prepare for the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) exam, check out these courses!
The SSCP certification is great for candidates seeking careers in:
- Threat intelligence analyst
- Security engineer
- DevOps engineer
- Network analyst
- Systems administrator
The CompTIA Security+ certification, provided by CompTIA, is globally recognized for verifying that a practitioner has the baseline skills required to carry out core security functions and add value in an IT security environment.
Security+ is a popular certification that places emphasis on hands-on practical skills to make sure the security professional is equipped to solve numerous security problems. It also keeps up with the latest trends and techniques to ensure professionals are supplemented with up-to-date skills.
Cost: The CompTIA Security+ exam voucher costs $381 USD.
Duration: The exam has a maximum of 90 questions, which are either multiple-choice or performance-based. Online learning for this course exceeds 40 hours’ worth of content.
To prepare for the CompTIA Security+ certification, check out these courses!
The Security+ certification is great for positions such as:
- Security administrator
- Systems administrator
- Network engineer
- Cloud engineer
- IT project manager
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
CASP+, provided by CompTIA, targets senior security engineers and security architects responsible for spearheading and improving the preparedness of their enterprises’ cybersecurity.
It is an advanced-level certification that encompasses both security engineering and architecture. And it equips professionals with the ability to determine how to implement solutions within agreed-upon cybersecurity policies and frameworks.
Cost: The exam voucher costs $480 USD.
Duration: The self-paced online learning module has 20 lessons with performance-based questions, and the exam has a 165-minute time limit with 90 questions.
To prepare for the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) certification, check out these courses!
Those with a CASP+ certificate can excel in careers like:
- Senior security engineer
- Security architect
- Security analyst
- Vulnerability analyst
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The CISM credential, offered by ISACA, is ideal for those who want certified expertise in program development and management, incident and risk management, and information security governance.
It is a certification targeting professionals with competence and a minimum of five years of experience in information systems/information technology security and control who seek to transition to managerial roles.
Cost: The exam costs $575 USD for ISACA members and $760 USD for non-members.
Duration: The time commitment involved is dependent on the applicant’s training method and their level of experience. The examination is four hours long with 150 multiple-choice questions.
To prepare for the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification, check out these courses!
The CISM certification is ideal for those seeking work as a:
- Director of information security
- Information risk consultant
- IT manager
- Data governance manager