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CCNA valuable for IT Securty industry?

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p0et

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Post Thu May 10, 2007 1:05 pm

CCNA valuable for IT Securty industry?

I'm writing my Network+ exam this weekend, then I'll have: A+, Security+, Network+, and GCIH. I don't know what to do next. I was leaning towards the CCNA but not sure if there's a more valuable one I should be doing next to get into the IT Security industry?  I'm not in a security job now, just tech support trying to get into the industry.

What are your suggestions? CCNA, CEH, GSEC (even though I already have GCIH?) or a vendor cert such as Checkpoint?  I have no checkpoint firewalls or any other hardware that I can get hands-on experience with though.

Thanks!  ;)
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don

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Post Thu May 10, 2007 2:13 pm

Re: CCNA valuable for IT Securty industry?

As always, this depends on your choice of career paths. Are you more inclined to go the infrastructure route? Then CCNA may be your choice, since Cisco dominates this market. If auditing and pen testing is your goal, then CEH may be a better choice. Personally I would not go for GSEC, since it is more of an entry level security cert, and I think you're past this point.

The other thing to keep in mind is your choice of study methods. CEH can be done with the self study route, although playing in a lab with other students teaches you a lot. CCNA on the other hand is better done with hands on instruction. For this reason, boot camps are probably better. So then it's up to your (or your company's) budget.

As for ROI, I'd go Cisco.

Hope this helps,
Don
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p0et

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Post Fri May 11, 2007 10:23 am

Re: CCNA valuable for IT Securty industry?

Thanks Don, for the reply.  My path is definitely auditing & pen-testing. Unfortunately, I can't afford (and my company unwilling) to pay for a bootcamp. They were willing to pay for my SANS GCIH conference but that's because I volunteered and the total was only $500. So it looks to be more self-study for me. 

I guess it also depends on the expiry date of each of these certs. CCNA seems to be valid for 3 yrs whereas the CEH is only valid for 2. I'm not sure if I'll have an IT Sec job within 2 yrs from now or not.

I see many IT Security jobs have been looking for Sec+, SANS, CCNA, CEH and Checkpoint. But they seem to be worthless to getting the job if I don't have experience. Man, I hate that word.  ???
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oleDB

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Post Fri May 11, 2007 2:04 pm

Re: CCNA valuable for IT Securty industry?

I agree with Don, a CCNA is a something you can't go wrong with. And you can renew by simply taking another Cisco test in any track. It will help somewhat with auditing & pentesting. The best way IMO for you to break into the security industry from tech support is networking. Try to join some area clubs like ISSA, Infragard, or various user groups. Those contacts are more valuable then any cert you can get. Use these contacts to get your foot in the door. If you find that there is a certain company you want to work for try to study that technology, whether its Cisco, Checkpoint, or whatever. Go in and do well on the interview and thats the best you can hope for. Contacts are like gold and never burn any bridges. Thats the best advice I can give you, cause I've learned the hard way.
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p0et

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Post Fri May 11, 2007 2:33 pm

Re: CCNA valuable for IT Securty industry?

Wow!  That's also great advice, oleDB!  Thanks 

I was just checking out some other threads on here and noticed that the CEH requires 2 years of direct security experience unless you want to spend $1500 on QuickCert, which I certainly do not have.  So the CEH is out of the question for now.. but that doesn't mean that I can't study for it anyway, while doing my CCNA.  8)

I'll check out ISSA, InfraGuard and any other organizations you guys know about from the top of your head.  Keep in mind that I'm in Canada and don't have much money if the membership is costly.

Thanks a lot!!
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oleDB

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Post Fri May 11, 2007 2:51 pm

Re: CCNA valuable for IT Securty industry?

Infragard is a FBI program thats free, but probably isn't in Canada. ISSA does have fees associated with it, but its not too much. I belong to a Snort Users Group which is cool and free.

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