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IT professionals looking to work in online security need to know the current best cybersecurity certifications. Unfortunately, there is a wide gap between the demand and the supply of IT professionals who hold both advanced and entry-level cybersecurity certifications. According to Cyberseek, there were 162,700 openings for Information Security Analysts from October 2020 to September 2021, yet only 138,000 positions were fulfilled. On average, cybersecurity job roles take 21% longer to fill than other IT roles.
Furthermore, the increase in online cyberattacks has jumped after slowing in recent years. According to a State of Cybersecurity 2021, Part 2: Threat Landscape, Security Operations and Cybersecurity Maturity Survey, conducted by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), enterprises experienced a 3% increase in cyberattacks in 2021 compared to the previous year.
Companies Require Training and Certification
The increase in cybercrimes has created a high demand for certified cybersecurity experts. The (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 2021, found that 72% of cybersecurity workers are required by their organization to earn cybersecurity certifications. The study also found that cybersecurity professionals who have earned at least one cybersecurity certification made $33,000 more in annual salary than those that hold none.
We have compiled a list of the top 8 cybersecurity certifications for 2022 based on requests and the popularity of courses. The first two courses are entry-level cyber security certifications. The following six certificates are for those who want to move up to the management level by demonstrating the ability to run an organization's security program.
The Best Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certifications
Below are the top 2 cybersecurity certifications for beginners. The threat environment and the skills needed to block them are constantly changing and cybersecurity professionals, even at the entry level, are always in demand.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 issues the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, the most recognized professional requirement in the IT security domain. The certification provides a comprehensive knowledge of information security concepts and industry best practices, focusing on eight domains of CISSP - CBK (Common Body of knowledge). When you complete the course, you’ll have the skills to define your organization’s security architecture, and design, build and maintain a secure business environment using globally approved information security standards. You’ll also have experience in cryptography, often considered to be the most difficult domain within the CBK but one of the most critical when it comes to real-world application. The CISSP training course will teach you about the fundamental elements of the entire cybersecurity field, including security and risk management, communication and network security, and security testing and operations. Certification demonstrates your knowledge of effective cyber security and your ability to spearhead a strong strategy and oversee its implementation as it’s delegated across a team or department. According to ZipRecrutiter, the average annual salary of a CISSP is $125,000.
The most common job positions for CISSP holders, according to Infosec, are listed below:
- Chief information security officer
- Information assurance analyst
- Security systems administrator
- IT security engineer
- Senior information security assurance consultant
- Senior IT security consultant
- Information security assurance analyst
- Principal cybersecurity manager
- Chief information security consultant
- Senior IT security operations specialist
- Principal cybersecurity manager
- Senior information security risk officer
CompTIA A+ Certification
CompTIA A+ certification is the industry standard cyber security certification for beginners to build a career in IT support. Employers around the world look for candidates for end point management and technical support roles to hold this certification. Being CompTIA A+ certified means that you understand the cutting-edge fundamentals of computer hardware and software, and can perform critical IT support tasks. The certification demonstrates your knowledge and skills in hardware, networking, mobile devices, operating systems, troubleshooting devices and network issues, virtualization and cloud computing, software issues on PCs and mobile devices, security, and operational procedures.
Candidates will need to pass two exams: Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102), which emphasizes the technologies and skills IT pros need to support a hybrid workforce.
Job Roles that you may be eligible after completing this certification:
- Service Desk Analyst
- Help Desk Tech
- Technical Support Specialist
- Field Service Technician
- Associate Network Engineer
- Data Support Technician
- Desktop Support Administrator
- End-User Computing Technician
- Help Desk Technician
- System Support Specialist
The Top Cybersecurity Certifications
Cybersecurity certifications are always in demand as threats only continue to grow. Between 2020 and 2021, there was a 10% increase in the average total cost of a breach, according to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021. Below are the top 6 advanced level cyber security certifications for 2022.
Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
The Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification, issued by International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2), is considered to be the industry’s premier cloud security certification. It demonstrates your operational knowledge beyond vendor-specific platforms, differentiating you as a leader in cloud security architecture, data security and infrastructure. The certification positions you as an authority figure on cloud security who has the expertise to keep up with new technologies, security developments and threats. It also demonstrates your advanced technical skills and ability to design, manage and secure data, applications and infrastructure in the cloud using best practices, policies and procedures. Certification Magazine calls the CCSP one of the fastest growing certifications and the area where cybersecurity professionals are in greatest demand.
The CCSP is ideal for IT professionals looking to work in the following positions:
- Cloud Architect
- Cloud Engineer
- Cloud Consultant
- Cloud Administrator
- Cloud Security Analyst
- Cloud Specialist
- Auditor of Cloud Computing Services
- Professional Cloud Developer
- Penetration Tester
- Software Procurement Analyst
- Project Manager
- Security Manager
- IT Director/Manager
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Security (CCIE Security)
The CCIE Security certification positions you as a Cisco field expert and empowers you to design and deploy complex security solutions. The CCIE Security certification validates your abilities to implement and maintain extensive Network Security Solutions using industry best practices. CCIE certification is a series of technical certifications for senior networking professionals who design, build, implement, maintain and troubleshoot complex enterprise networking infrastructures for Cisco technologies. The certification validates the expertise of network security engineers in implementing core security technologies and core processes such as planning, operating and optimizing complex security systems. The certification recognizes you as a security expert with the knowledge and skills to architect, engineer, implement, troubleshoot, and support the full suite of Cisco security technologies. You’ll be positioned to secure systems and environments against modern security risks, threats, vulnerabilities, and requirements. According to PayScale.com, the average annual base salary for a CCIE is $128,000.
Fewer than 3% of Cisco engineers achieve CCIE certification, accounting for fewer than 1% of all networking professionals worldwide, according to TechTarget. While it’s not an easy certification to obtain, it is held in high regard by companies using Cisco. The CCIE certification program is divided into six separate series, or tracks: collaboration, data center, routing and switching, security, service provider, and wireless.
Amazon Web Services Certified Security - Specialty (AWS CSS)
The AWS Certified Security Specialty certification validates your expertise in securing data and workloads in the AWS Cloud. You’ll have the knowledge to leverage AWS services and tools for automation and to continuously monitor, log and respond to security incidents. The certificate validates your technical skills and experience in securing and hardening workloads and architectures on the AWS platform. You’ll have the knowledge to use encryption techniques to protect data and ensure that the AWS platform is secure.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification is a next step for an IT professional with technical experience in IT security and control and wants to make the move from team player to manager. A minimum of 5 years of professional information security management work experience is required for certification, with a minimum of three years of infosec management experience in three or more of the CISM content areas listed below:
- Information Security Governance
- Information Risk Management
- Information Security Program Development and Management
- Information Security Incident Management
The certification indicates that an individual possesses the knowledge and experience required to develop and manage an enterprise information security program.
The CompTIA PenTest+ is an intermediate-skills level cybersecurity certification that focuses on offensive skills through pen testing and vulnerability assessment. Cybersecurity professionals with CompTIA PenTest+ know how to plan, scope, manage and exploit weaknesses. Certification verifies that you have the ability to carry out a complete PenTest by conducting the tasks listed below:
- Plan and scope a penetration testing engagement
- Understand legal and compliance requirements
- Perform vulnerability scanning and penetration testing using appropriate tools and techniques, and then analyze the results
- Produce a written report containing proposed remediation techniques, effectively communicate results to the management team, and provide practical recommendations
CompTIA PenTest+ is for IT cybersecurity professionals with three to four years of hands-on information security or related experience, or equivalent training, looking to start or advance a career in pen testing.
CompTIA PenTest+ prepares candidates for the following job roles:
- Penetration tester
- Vulnerability tester
- Security analyst (II)
- Vulnerability assessment analyst
- Network security operations
- Application security vulnerability
Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate
The Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate certification demonstrates your ability to provide security for Azure-based digital platforms and play an integral role in protecting an organization's data. The certificate validates your ability to implement enterprise governance strategies, identity protection and Privileged Identity Management, security strategies for dozens of processes like Azure Firewall, endpoint protection, remote management and dozens more.
Before applying for this certification, you should already have a good understanding of defense indepth, least privileged access, role-based access control, multi-factor authentication, shared responsibility, and zero trust model. You should also be familiar with security protocols such as Virtual Private Networks (VPN), InternetSecurity Protocol (IPSec), Secure Socket Layer (SSL), disk and data encryption methods.
Security is the biggest concern for most organizations making a move to the cloud. If you’re looking to prepare for the CISP, CCSP, CompTIA, or any cloud vendor certifications, visit Cloud Security Training.
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