Monthly Archives: January 2014

Cisco Introduces Cybersecurity Specialist Certification

cisco cybersecurity specialist, it certifications, new examLast week, Cisco announced the launch of the new Cybersecurity Specialist Certification. It fits in with the latest trend of stepping up the security in the constantly changing and developing cyberspace.

This is a Specialist-level certification that recognizes security professionals who have achieved in-depth expertise and proven knowledge in the essential areas of proactive cyber-threat detection and mitigation.

Cisco Cybersecurity Specialist Certification targets security analysts and focuses on the topics of event monitoring, security events, alarm and traffic analysis, as well as incident response.

To be eligible for this certification, candidates need to hold valid Cisco CCNA Security or any Cisco CCIE certification. They need to be comfortable using basic Cisco IOS® Software switch and have solid router configuration skills

Besides meeting the prerequisites, candidates need to pass the 600-199 (SCYBER) exam – Securing Cisco Networks with Threat Detection and Analysis.

This is a 1.5-hour exam with 50−60 queries. It tests candidates’ knowledge and skills required to proactively detect and mitigate network security threats by leveraging features that exist in Cisco and other industry network security products today. The exam covers essential areas of competency including event monitoring, security event/alarm/traffic analysis, and incident response.

According to Cisco, 600-199 exam topics include (Detailed list is available here):

  • Information Gathering and Security Foundations
  • Event Monitoring
  • Security Events and Alarms
  • Traffic Analysis, Collection, and Correlation
  • Incident Response
  • Operational Communications


The exam is closed book and no outside reference materials are allowed, yet we expect some useful information from our online community pretty soon.

The Redesigned CCNP Security, Retiring Exams, & More News From Cisco

ccnp, security, ccnp security, retiring exams, news, cisco, changes, it certification exams, senss, sitcs, sisas, simosA few days ago, Cisco became the first of the biggest certification vendors to announce the changes and updates to their IT certifications map – including CCNP Security certification changes and Cisco Cybersecurity Specialist certification launch. All in all, the changes support the latest trend of stepping up security certifications to respond to the fast-changing network security trends.

In 2014, Cisco strives to address the skill deficit in network security given the challenges of cloud and mobility, by providing network security engineers, analysts, and product specialists with development opportunities. The announced changes include:

  • Launch of the redesigned CCNP Security certification program
  • Launch of the new Cisco Cybersecurity Specialist certification
  • Announcement of the retirement of the existing Cisco Security Specialist certifications
  • New and updated product training courses

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the redesign of CCNP Security certification program, which also includes the retirement of a number of exams.

CCNP Security Certification Program Redesign

The redesign of the CCNP Security certification reflects the skills and responsibilities required of today’s network security engineers, who increasingly require a holistic end-to-end understanding of a complete security posture.

The new training courses and labs that are being provided as part of the redesigned certification will utilize a common topology and have been created to complement one another, allowing engineers to grow their skills in harmony with their careers as they progress through the certification.

The following exams and corresponding training courses are available for registration worldwide:

300-206 Implementing Cisco Edge Network Security Solutions (SENSS)     

The 300-206 (SENSS)exam tests the knowledge of configuring and implementing security on Cisco network perimeter edge devices such as a Cisco Switch, Cisco Router, and Cisco ASA Firewall. This exam focuses on the technologies used to secure the perimeter of a network such as Network Address Translation (NAT), ASA policy and application inspect, and Zone-Based Firewall on Cisco routers. Exam topics are available here.

300-207 Implementing Cisco Threat Control Solutions (SITCS)       

The 300-207 (SITCS) exam tests a network security engineer on advanced firewall architecture and configuration with Cisco’s Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) utilizing access and identity polices. This exam covers integration of Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and context-aware firewall components, as well as Web (Cloud) and Email Security solutions. Take a look at the topics here.

300-208 Implementing Cisco Secure Access Solutions (SISAS)        

The 300-208 (SISAS) exam tests whether a network security engineer knows the components and architecture of secure access by utilizing 802.1X and TrustSec. This exam covers Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) architecture, solution and components as an overall network threat mitigation and endpoint control solutions. It also includes the fundamental concepts of BYOD using posture and profiling services of ISE. Exam topics available here.

300-209 Implementing Cisco Secure Mobility Solutions (SIMOS)    

The 300-209 (SIMOS) exam tests a network security engineer on the variety of Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions that Cisco has available on the Cisco ASA firewall and Cisco IOS software platforms. The exam assesses the knowledge necessary to properly implement secure remote communications through VPN technology such as remote access SSL VPN and Site-to-Site VPN (DMVPN, FlexVPN). You can check the topics for this exam here.

Those who are already in the process of attaining their CCNP Security certification have the option of completing their remaining exams before the last date to test of April 21, 2014 or of migrating to the new exams, with credit applied for existing exams passed. More information about the migration path is available here.

Retired Exams

With the redesign of CCNP Security program and the launch of the new Cybersecurity Specialist certification, Cisco retires sits current CCNP Security exams. The following exams and certifications will be retired affective April 22, 2014. Therefore, the last day for taking these exams is April 21.

Security Certification

Retiring Exam

Cisco ASA Specialist 642-618 FIREWALL
642-648 VPN
Cisco Firewall Security Specialist 642-618 FIREWALL
642-637 SECURE
Cisco IOS Security Specialist 642-637 SECURE
Cisco IPS Security Specialist 642-627 IPS
Cisco VPN Security Specialist 642-637 SECURE
642-648 VPN


So, if you were planning to become a CCNP Security this year, you have every chance to get a newly updated certification which supposedly reflects the most current industry trends. Stay tunes as well explore the brand new Cisco Cybersecurity Specialist certification in our next post.

I Type Fast and Can Create A Fancy PowerPoint Presentation. Should I get a Microsoft Office Specialist Certification?

microsoft office, it certification exams, expert specialist designation, vce files, examcollection‘I can type so well and so fast, and have done a dozen of cool PowerPoint presentations for my office meetings that I should get an official certification for that’. Do you remember thinking this way after a long day at work? And the next query is – can you/should you really go for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification? Let’s take a closer look, since, as you probably know, this certification requires knowledge somewhat deeper than typing in Microsoft Word.

Let’s look at the basics first. The Microsoft Office Specialist certification is fundamentally different from other IT certification. While candidates and holders of other IT certifications work in the IT industry, MS Office certification holders often work outside the computer field, and ‘being a Microsoft expert’ in not a key point in their job description. They may be performing a wide variety of jobs, working as administrative assistants, as office managers, and in many other positions that require day-to-day Microsoft Office problem-solving skills. Taking their knowledge and skills to a more professional level with the official Microsoft certifications helps employees and their teams meet deadlines, impress managers and boost their performance with projects of various scale. Office Specialists are interested in improving their skills and increasing their opportunities, knowing that this certification by itself isn’t likely to land them a new job. Yet, it’s just another tool to stand out from the crowd.

So where do I start?

After you’ve decided to pursue certification, you have to determine whether you want to take all of the exams or pick and choose among them.

Currently users can receive designation as Microsoft Office Specialists in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, and Project. For those who really want to demonstrate their skills, exams are available at expert levels for Word and Excel.

Unless you plan to train other users or you have a job in technical support, you probably don’t need to take all of the available exams. On the other hand, if you want to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge, you can become a Master Specialist by taking four of the five exams (three are required, and one is elective). Once again, think back to your long-term career goals to settle on what’s right for you.

What is the Expert Specialist Designation?

It’s possible to receive designation as a Specialist in each of the six programs mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Because Word and Excel are the most popular of the six and have the most widespread application, you can also take separate exams to receive an Expert certification in either of the two programs.

Microsoft expects that an Office Specialist is able to complete the everyday Microsoft Office tasks that arise in a typical office setting. For example, a Word Specialist should be able to format text and paragraphs, create tables and columns, manage files, and work with pictures and charts. An Excel Specialist should be able to format cells and worksheets, enter formulas and basic functions, work with multiple worksheets, create charts, and insert objects.

In order to become an Expert Specialist, you are expected to be able to create more complex documents. A Word Expert should be able to conduct mail merges to create personalized form letters with envelopes and mailing labels, work with master and subdocuments, add references, and use collaboration features. An Excel Expert should be able to use templates, work with multiple workbooks, create macros, use analysis tools, and use collaboration features.

Taking your exams

Exams are 100% hands-on. You will be expected to apply your knowledge of a Microsoft Office program to real-world tasks. You will complete specific tasks during the exam, such as formatting a document in a specific way, creating a formula, or sorting a list. The exams must be completed within the designated time frame; time frames differ by exam, but all are under an hour.

This is not a paper-and-pencil test. You will be working with a live or simulated version of the Office program you are testing for. You can use all of the usual menu and toolbar commands; however, shortcut keys, such as CTRL+X, and the Help feature, are not available.

To prepare for your exams, start with evaluating exam goals and topics on the Microsoft website, and take a look at the VCE files your peers have shared at Examcollection!

Microsoft Gives 20% Off Some Exams!

microsoft, exams, discountIf you plan to take a Microsoft exam this spring, you may be eligible for 20% off. Microsoft offers vouchers for a 20% discount off the following exams, the first try. We sure hope you pass, but if you don’t then Microsoft has an ongoing Free Second Shot offer. So, the 20% voucher is valid on any one of the following exams:

  • Windows Server 2012 exams: 410, 411,412
  • SQL Server 2012 exams: 461, 462,463
  • Windows 8 exams: 687, 688

With Second Shot, if you fail your exam the first time you take it, you can use the same voucher for your second try.

Both offers are on until May 31, 2014 – until this date both initial and free retake exams must be scheduled and completed. You can claim your voucher here.

Top 5 Jobs IT Certifications Can Help You Get – And Where You Should Start

exams, it certifications, certification, jobsWhen it comes to mapping out your IT career, choosing a certification usually goes hand in hand to evaluating what your next career move would be. So, if you are both IT certification hunting and job hunting, take a look at the 5 jobs IT certifications are sure to help you get (and  yes, we tell you WHICH certifications!)

5. Desktop Support
These entry-level positions usually require the CompTIA A+ Certification, which validates your knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of computer systems repair and maintenance. And, of all the big certification names out there, the A+ is the simplest to get, as you can be ready for the exam in a matter of few months.

4. Network Administrators
The next step up from desktop support is network administration, which requires one or more networking certifications. Network administrators maintain and troubleshoot computer networks and must hold the CompTIA Network+™ certification. As networking is a big employment area these days, it is definitely worth taking a closer look.
Another certification option would be Cisco’s CCNA Routing and Switching (R&S) certification. However, don’t be fooled by the word ‘associate’ in the title – this Cisco certification is considered to be the most challenging one at this level. You may also want to read our comparison of CompTIA Network+ and CCNA R&S here.

3.Network Engineer
The rise of cloud computing networks — which allow storage, management and processing of  data over the Internet rather than via local servers housed and maintained on-site — has led creation of a number of cloud computing certifications. CompTIA’s latest Cloud+ certification is a great place to start!
Later, you can move on to new senior-level networking certifications like the  Microsoft® Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) Private Cloud. This certification requires passing multiple exams after months of intense study — either independently or through classes.
If you choose the career in the cloud computing, the MCSE Private Cloud should definitely be something to strive for.

2.Software Developer – Desktop or Mobile
If you want to get into programming, you’ll need the Microsoft Certified  Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification to develop apps for the Windows operating
system, the web and mobile technologies. Like other Microsoft certifications, this one requires coursework and an exam.

Also, with Microsoft’s last year’s venture in the mobile computing and mobile app development (purchasing Nokia and stepping up Windows Phone), looking into becoming certified Microsoft Windows Phone developer looks like a very sensible option. Also, do take a look at CompTIA’s new Mobility+ certification.

1.Cybersecurity Specialist
With the rise of hacking, identity theft and even cyberespionage, cybersecurity positions are emerging in criminal justice, at major corporations and in the federal government. CompTIA offers a good start with its Security+ certification. As you progress to higher level jobs, many of them will  require the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, which involves five years of information security experience and passing a challenging exam.

Still undecided? Take a look at what our IT certification community is up to these days (and yes, looking at FREE IT certification exam dumps never hurts).

Top 5 Certifications To Grab in 2014

it certification exams, 2014, pmi, issep, cissp, mcpd, windows phone, management, security, red hat certified architectWhat’s on your 2014 certifications list? If you are still undecided as to where to take your career, here are top 5 certifications we project to be booming this year. They have been chosen based on the employer demand, salary and career growth potential and projections for 2014. While the list is definitely not exhaustive and it’s worth remembering that the potential depends on your job role, potential employers, your area etc, keeping these 5 certifications in mind may be useful in 2014:

1.      PMI Risk Management Professional

Project management has grown into an independent industry, with its own professional standards. For risk management professionals, the PMI Risk Management Professional certification is one of the most recognized. It “fills the need for a specialist role in project risk management,” according to the Project Management Institute.

2.      Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP/CISSP)

With ISSEP-CISSP being on the list of top paid IT certifications, this one shouldn’t be ignored. According to the (ISC)2 organization, the ISSEP-CISSP concentration was developed with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The Information Systems Security Engineering Professional concentration “is the guide for incorporating security into projects, applications, business processes, and all information systems.” To earn the ISSEP, you must successfully pass one exam while holding a CISSP credential in good standing.

3.   MCPD: Windows Phone Developer

No IT Certification list can be complete without Microsoft, right? With the Windows Phone share in mobile market projected to grow tremendously in 2014, this is the place to grow for those interested in Mobile Development for a platform with the highest growth potential in 2014.

4. Program Management Professional (PgMP)

This is another certification from PMI with a great earnings and career development potential. Experienced project managers often pursue the Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification. “Credential holders,” says the Project Management Institute, “oversee the success of a program, grouping related projects together to realize organizational benefits not available if they were managed separately. It’s the perfect fit if you define projects, assign project managers and oversee programs.” The requirements for application include four years of project management experience and four years of program management experience.

5. Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)

A Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) has attained the highest level in Red Hat’s certification program. In order to earn the cert, applicants must successfully complete a number of other Red Hat certifications.

Now, what are you certification plans for 2014?

Welcome To The New Year

happy new year, it certificationHappy 2014! As New Year is an ultimate time for new beginnings and improvements, we are introducing a new channel. Yes, we are (finally) on Twitter. Keep up with IT Certification Blog updates, certification tips, and more on Twitter. Follow us at @examcollection and spread the word!

And yes, ultimately, stay tuned for the news and updates from IT Certification world. It’s going to be an exciting year!