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Why Information and Network Security are important

by Mic Johnson

Cybercrime is a huge industry, and we can expect hackers to step up their game. With all the data that modern companies and organizations keep, it’s safe to say that they’re targets for cybercriminals.

If, despite this, a company still is complacent with information and network security, regulations and policies will ensure user data is secure. 

A lot is at stake here. Banks, for instance, cannot be relaxed concerning their customers’ account details. We have heard of high profile cyber thefts such as the infamous Bangladesh Central Bank heist. On a much smaller scale, we’ve heard of instances where hundreds of dollars siphoned from a person’s savings account or an unidentified purchase happened in one’s credit card.

Security isn’t just a concern for nerds. It has significant implications for companies, organizations, governments, and individuals.

The Role of an IT Manager

In this regard, the IT Manager’s job is even more critical. To be more specific, the job title should be Information and Network Security Manager because they are in charge of keeping the company’s or organization’s information related assets secure from cyber threats.

This person is mainly responsible for ensuring that the company’s computer networks and information system are free from threats. This responsibility includes being on top of system upgrades and evaluating new security-related programs that can help the organization.

Like a general strengthening the defenses of a kingdom, the IT Manager also simulates possible attacks and sets up countermeasures against such. Moreover, he makes sure the company is compliant with all relevant policies.

Being in this role is exciting as it is unenviable. It is, therefore, important that the person in the job is well equipped, and his skills are updated.

Listed below are some of the most highly recommended Information and Network Security certifications for IT Managers.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

What it is

To beat hackers, you have to think like a hacker. This is what CEH allows you to do. As a “white hacker,” you will have the expertise to search for your system’s security vulnerabilities and attempt to exploit them. The intention of which is to figure out the best way to plug those security holes or, better yet, eliminate them.

The CEH is offered by the EC-Council (International Council of E-Commerce Consultants). 

Requirements

The candidate should go through a 5-day training and pass the certification exam. This is for intermediate-level IT managers.

Price

Exam cost is at about $1,200, and each retake is priced at $450.

SASE Expert Level 1 by Cato Networks

As a relatively new technology, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is becoming widely popular. This network architecture integrates Wide Area Network (WAN) with cloud-native security protocols. One of the organizations providing SASE certification is Cato Networks

Requirements

The SASE certification candidate needs to take Cato’s Expert Level 1 Free Course and then pass the exam. The syllabus covers basic knowledge of the cloud, networking, and security. To pass, the candidate must score at least 85% to pass.

Certified Information Security Manager

If you want to develop and manage an enterprise-level information security system, you need to have a CISN certification.

This certification is provided by ISACA (or Information Systems Audit and Control Association). It’s an organization dedicated to the improvement of IT governance.

Requirements

The candidate needs to take an exam that consists of 200 questions (multiple choice). The passing score is 450.

Price

Examination cost is $525 for ISACA members and $710 for non-members. After successfully passing the examination, the fee for applying to get the certificate is $50.

CompTIA+ Security+

This certification is offered by CompTIA, an internationally-renowned information technology organization. The certificate is a must for any IT professional who wishes to level up his career. It’s, in fact, the first certification one should aspire to have.

Requirements

The candidate is required to take a 90 question exam and should have a score of at least 750. 

Price

The exam is $370.

Cisco Certified Network Associate Security (CCNA)

The CCNA certification is probably the most comprehensive on this list. Being a CCNA certified, an IT manager is attested to have a full range of network, internet configuration and connectivity, security, and automation.

It is offered by Cisco, a world-renowned company in the information technology space.

Requirements

The candidate must pass the CCNA 200-301 exams, which are composed of 120 questions. The minimum score to pass is 800 (out of a possible 1,000).

Price

The exam is at $300

Cisco Certified Network Professional Security

Once a candidate has achieved a CCNA certification, the next will naturally be CCNP. Offered also by Cisco, CCNP covers a range of individual certifications for mastery on topics such as automation and network design.

Requirements

This certification is best for IT Managers with at least three years of experience. Any of the CCNP certifications will require the candidate to pass two exams – a core one that covers the fundamentals and a discipline-specific exam.

Price

Each exam is $900.

Certified Information Systems Auditor

A Certified Information Systems Auditor is undoubtedly very important in an organization. This person checks every possible aspect of an organization’s computer and network security, including the organizational protocols and management of such security systems.

Like the CISM, the CISA certification is offered by ITACA.

Requirements

The candidate must take and pass the CISA exam (get a score of at least 450 out of 800).

Price

The cost for non-members is $760 and $575 for ISACA members.

Which one is for you?

As the list shows, each certification costs a significant amount in terms of money and time. Choosing which certificate is for you depends on your topic and area of interest. The more generalized ones (CompTIA+ Security+ or CCNA) are usually taken first and more specialized ones.

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