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Information security is an integral part of every organization’s infrastructure. Businesses, organizations and agencies everywhere are wanting to keep their records, data and infrastructure safe—and, with more and more people becoming skilled at “hacking” into supposedly secure computer systems, most businesses are looking towards hiring information security specialists or even requiring their IT support staff to be very well versed in IT security.
Many laypeople know basic techniques for information security. Anti-virus programs, spyware blockers, and firewalls are common methods used for home computers and small home businesses. But these systems are not as secure as they seem. They are routinely “hacked” and only offer the very basic and most simple levels of protection. Almost anyone who wants to put the time in, can easily get by an at-home security program.
Since hackers are one of the biggest threats to information security, one of the best certifications a person can earn in order to learn the most about this field is the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. Just as the name suggests, the program through which this certification is earned teaches a person how to hack into a computer system in order to run a penetration testing analysis and create an intrusion prevention plan.
The benefit of these skills is clear—information security specialists can try to hack into their own company’s computers and find any potential problems…before a real hacker does. Then they can fix those problems, eliminating the possibility of the real hacker getting into the company system and doing any damage.
There are other certifications that people interested in information security careers can earn as well. Security+ is one in which students learn about industry wide IT security topics, including those for Windows, Linux, and Unix. There is also the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. This is an ongoing certification that must be renewed every three years, and it covers a wide variety of information security topics and in general is non-technical in practice.
Two sophisticated certifications for Information Security are the ECSA (EC-Council Certified Security Analyst) and LPT (Licensed Penetration Tester). ECSA Certification takes CEH certification to more involved levels, looking at more advanced hacking techniques and procedures to improve security. LPT Certification is awarded to highly skilled penetrators who are able to actively attack a network, diagnose security flaws and recommend ways to improve overall security gaps.
CISM Certification is another Information Security course. It allows for individuals to accurately assess security vulnerabilities in a network. EnCase is a class that looks at computer forensics techniques needed for examining computers.
Security+ > CEH > CHFI > LPT/ECSA > CISSP
Information Security is a popular track for computer certification. Security provides individuals with numerous job opportunities. The beginning of security training is a course called Security+, CompTIA’s basic security class that covers the essentials. Security+ 2008 is a very popular class for government and government contractor jobs, especially with the Department of Defense. The Security+ course is not as technical as some of the other courses in Information Security, and it focuses more on the vocabulary and procedures of security.
The next step in security training is gaining technical experience. This is available as the Certified Ethical Hacker course. CEH is EC-Council’s pride of the market – providing the most popular hacking course available to the public. CEH certification permits individuals to further their education into security by giving them a strong background in the technical practices of testing a network for security weaknesses.
Although not generally taken by people on the information security track, the Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator course is an important one to forensics investigators. CHFI certification is for individuals looking to take a more criminalistic stance against hacking. In this course, you will learn techniques to trace and form a legal case against hackers. CHFI certification is popular in law enforcement.
Some of the most technical and advanced certifications are the Licensed Penetration Tester and EC-Council Certified Security Analyst courses. They are two certifications that give individuals great opportunity with security jobs. Licensed Penetrators are coveted by businesses for their ethics as well as their skilled technical practices. Security Analysts are qualified to face an abundance of security issues with networks.
Finally, we reach the plateau of Information Security. These are the guys and gals that tell the big boss everything from how to lock the door to what level of security is needed for their server. Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification is considered the highest level of security certification. However, CISSP is not a technical course like the LPT/ECSA certifications. CISSP certification can lead to jobs such as Information Assurance Manager, which is someone who talks about security issues and procedures in less technical terms to upper management.
WARNING: Many training companies claim good instructors. However, a few recurring themes appear all too often in our competition. We have identified this as a weakness and this the reason we have become the go-to company for information security training in the industry. Our competitor’s instructors will often:
Be Certified but Inexperienced
Teach with Death by PowerPoint
Not Communicate Clearly Enough
This is not the case with Advanced Security instructors. Our instructors are experienced in penetration testing, forensics and IA management. Our instructors are respected in their fields by their peers and maintain popular reputations in the industry. Our instructors maintain online presences that are actually followed by industry peers. Our instructors speak, present and teach at events like Blackhat, DefCon and ShmooCon. Our instructors write courseware used in hacker classrooms throughout the planet and by every competitor across the world. Our instructors each have logged over 150 pen tests / assessments and can teach how to hack into the most secured environments with teams of security personnel and the most expensive security hardware and software because they have done it before.