Top cyber security certifications: what are they & why should you have them?

Posted by Rudy Mitra on Aug 24, 2020 6:17:37 PM
Rudy Mitra
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Top cyber security certifications: what are they & why should you have them?

Certifications are a great way of showing off your capabilities in a tangible way.

With so many cyber security certifications out there (and a lot of work required to attain them), it can be hard to know which ones are right for you, so we’ve put together a list of the five certifications we think have the most value in the ever-changing world of cyber security.


CompTIA Security +

One of the first entry-level certifications many people who are new to cyber security roles obtain, the Security+ certificate is still a comprehensive one. Globally recognised, it states that an individual has the strong baseline skills needed to work in a cyber security role.

Testing for this certification covers network security, cryptography, identity management, compliance, operation security, threats, host security, and more.

Why do I need this certification?

To put it simply, it gets you started. If you’re new to the industry, this certification is the one you want to show you’ve got what it takes to work in the world of cyber security and it also sets a foundation on which you can grow your skills and complete additional certifications.


CREST Practitioner Security Analyst (CPSA)

The CPSA is an entry-level exam that tests your knowledge in assessing operating systems and common network services at a basic level. An intermediate level of web application security testing and methods to identify common web application security vulnerabilities is also included. Upon successful completion, this certification is valid for three years.

Why do I need this certification?

This is another important early stage certification for people just starting out in cyber security. If you want to work in pen testing or are a system admin who needs to respond to attacks, this is a certification you should pursue.


Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

This is the big one. The most highly regarded certification in the industry, the CISSP recognises that you are capable of designing, implementing and managing a best-in-class cyber security program.

Testing and certification for the CISSP is run by (ISP)2 and is internationally recognised. If you have five or more years’ work experience in two or more of the following domains, you may be eligible to sit the exam:

  • Security and Risk Management
  • Asset Security
  • Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Security Operations
  • Software Development Security

Don’t have the full time accumulated? There are ways to knock time of the experience needed if you have studied or hold other certifications.

Why do I need this certification?

If you’re only going to undertake one certification this year, make it this one. If you have your CISSP, you’re showing potential employers and clients your value in the world of cyber security. And, as a bonus, ongoing education requirements will keep you up to date with changes and will increase your expertise.


EC Council's Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

This credential certifies you in the network security discipline of ethical hacking from a vendor-neutral perspective. You’ll need at least two years’ experience to sit for the CEH exam, but this notoriously tough to achieve certification will cement your skills in assessing and attacking security postures.

Why do I need this certification?

If you have a knack for hacking and want to use it for good, rather than evil, this is the certification for you. Becoming a professional penetration tester will open up a world of career opportunities and will enable you to provide valuable work to clients that will be incredibly rewarding.


Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

The OSCP is notorious for being one of the hardest pen testing certifications to gain. You’ll learn about the skills and mindset needed to be a successful penetration tester.

If you choose to undertake the exam, you’ll be expected to compromise a number of operating systems and devices within a 24-hour timeframe in an isolated VPN network. Oh, and you’ll need to comprehensively document how you managed to do so.

Why do I need this certification?

If you like proving how skilled you are, especially when it comes to hacking, the OSCP is for you. Not only is this certification very well respected, but it’s also a requirement for some senior cyber security roles.

Here at The Missing Link, we have some of the most highly certified staff in the industry. If you hold any of these certifications or want to work with people who do, reach out – we’d love to chat about it.

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Rudy Mitra

Digital Marketing Coordinator


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