GIAC GSEC: Another Great Security Certification
This week, we continue looking into notable security certifications, especially those that are sometimes overlooked and do not get the attention they deserve. As we explored the ISACA CISM credential last week, there is another certification, the GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC).
The GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) is an entry-level credential which has been specially designed for professionals seeking to demonstrate that they not only understand information security terminology and concepts, but also possess the skills and technical expertise necessary for “hands-on” security roles.
Holders of the GSEC demonstrate knowledge and technical skills in areas such as Wi-Fi protocols, identifying and preventing common and wireless attacks, network mapping, public switched telephony networks, access controls, authentication, password management, DNS, cryptography fundamentals, ICMP, IPv6, public key infrastructure, Linux, network mapping, network protocols and much more.
To achieve the GSEC credential, candidates need to pass the GIAC Security Essentials exam. The most notable thing about this exam is its price: $1,099. It is significantly pricier than Security+ or other exams of this level. Plus, you would need to invest time and money into your exam preparation. But is the GSEC certification really worth it?
First of all, this is a solid exam – please click here to access GSEC blueprint and objectives. It helps you stand out from the crowd as you apply for security positions, as opposed to the most candidates who only hold the Security+ credential. So, after all, the decision is yours, but as more and more candidates choose GIAC CSEC as their go-to entry level security certification, there’s a lot to think about.
What is GIAC?
Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) is an information security certification entity that specializes in technical and practical certification as well as new research in the form of its GIAC Gold program. SANS Institute founded the certification entity in 1999 and the term GIAC is trademarked by The Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies.
GIAC provides a set of vendor-neutral computer security certifications linked to the training courses provided by the SANS. GIAC is specific to the leading edge technological advancement of IT security in order to keep ahead of “black hat” techniques. Papers written by individuals pursuing GIAC certifications are presented at the SANS Reading Room on GIAC’s website.
Initially all SANS GIAC certifications required a written paper or “practical” on a specific area of the certification in order to achieve the certification. In April 2005, the SANS organization changed the format of the certification by breaking it into two separate levels. The “silver” level certification is achieved upon completion of a multiple choice exam. The “gold” level certification can be obtained by completing research paper and has the silver level as a prerequisite.
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