The world of cyber security is an ever-evolving landscape. Attacks are becoming more common and difficult to control; a recent survey found that 97% of respondents said their business had experienced one or more data breaches over the last 12 months. The cyber attacks themselves are increasing in complexity and sophistication, too, and the result is breaches that go undetected for an average of 206 days leading to an average cost of $3.92 million per infiltration. With all of this in mind, companies are desperate for cybersecurity professionals who know how to protect and prevent hacks in 2020 and beyond.
That’s why companies rely less on formal education, and more on applicants’ cyber security certifications. Certifications are attained by passing difficult and unique tests, each one proving an understanding of key cybersecurity topics. Let’s take a look at what these certifications are, why they matter, and how you can get them.
Do You Need Cyber Security Certifications?
According to the ISACA State of Cybersecurity 2020 report, 62% of employers believe their cybersecurity team is understaffed. Perhaps that’s due to the fact that 70% say less than half of the folks applying are even qualified for a position. Simply put, employers want to be sure they’re hiring security experts with the right background and knowledge. Because cybersecurity is such a detailed and specific field, certifications are a way of vouching for your expertise. It shows, too, as 95% of companies say certifications are the most important factor in determining qualification. If you’re wondering “How do I start learning cybersecurity?” this is the place to start.
What Do Cybersecurity Certifications Cover?
Certifications can cover a wide range of areas, from basic core elements of security systems and attack prevention, to cutting-edge techniques and advanced network concepts. Some of the most common areas of cybersecurity topics are:
- Application Security
- Infrastructure Security
- Network Security
- Cloud Security
- Internet of Things Security
- Ethical Hacking
What Are Cybersecurity Certification Tests Like?
Cybersecurity certification tests are administered and scored by the security organization offering them. These are accredited and well-respected security organizations, not only for their level of knowledge, but of the most up-to-date best practices for cybersecurity. Tests are generally multiple choice, ranging from 50 to 200 questions. Sometimes there may be a performance-based element to the test, asking takers to solve security problems in a simulated environment.
These tests are also updated generally every few years depending on the material or subject area. This is important to ensure that security practices aren’t falling behind the times. Environmental issues like the new need to work from home, increased reliance on cloud storage, and easy-to-use hacking tools on the Dark Web all create a need for updates in test content.
Which Cybersecurity Certification Should I Get First?
The Eleven Fifty Cyber Security curriculum was designed to include globally recognized, industry-standard certifications that can be obtained WHILE you study. The course is also designed to accommodate all skills and experience levels, allowing anyone to get started in the field.
Cybersecurity students work toward two of the most common and popular certifications from COMPTIA, Security+ and Network+. Though a cybersecurity career and certification path can lead in dozens of directions, these are the general starting-point IT and security certifications for entry-level professionals. But it’s more than a COMPTIA security+ study guide. The process to prepare for your certifications starts day one of bootcamp.
The first phase of the course is focused on introducing you to the basics of computer networking and the basics of securing data through a mix of classroom and lab work. This lays the foundation for your certification journey.
Once the foundation is in place, you dive into preparing for your first of two certifications, Network+. We’ll cover everything you need to know to get started with networks, from understanding the way the internet works to the hardware that powers it. You’ll also get your first taste of security concepts and how to lock down and protect these devices.
After you have a firm understanding of the Internet and networks you’ll work toward your Security+ certification. You’ll learn key security concepts, including the different types of security threats, how to identify cyber attacks, the tools you can use to prevent them, and how to get systems back up and running. You’ll also learn how the cloud is changing the security game. Once completed, you’ll have a firm grasp of the processes many companies use to protect themselves from cyber threats, giving you a strong employable skill set.
Hands-On Cyber Range Experience
While certifications show that you understand the concepts needed to do the job, your experience on the “Range” will truly set you apart. The Range is a state-of-the-art virtual network created to give students realistic training and exposure to monitoring large networks and how to mitigate the most common cyber threats. The 14 different scenarios in the Range require you to put your new knowledge in practice, and the strong hands-on application of concepts prepares you for real-world scenarios.
Getting the Job
Once you have your certifications in hand and are ready to take the plunge into your job search, we have you covered with a dedicated Career Services team. Our Career Services coaches are available to help you polish your resume, prepare for your interviews, and provide feedback to help you be in the best possible position to land an entry-level job in the field of cyber security.
At the end of the day, it’s about getting your foot in the door, and your security certifications and new skill sets will be your ticket to jumpstart your new career.
Get a taste of cyber security with our FREE Intro to Cyber Security course, now online and taught live by our experienced instructors.