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CSTA from 7Safe

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luckydevil

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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:17 am

CSTA from 7Safe

Guys,
I was looking through Computing today and noticed an advert for a course and cert path i was not aware of.

7safe appear to be running a cert path with practical courses that can be put towards a post grad cert as well as part of a masters. I have been thinking of pursuing an IT related post grad but found that they were very academic with not much practical/useful courses whereas this would be more security based at least for most of the course.
The course seems ok and the price is not too bad, compared to some. Although a lot of these courses are starting to look similar once you read into it.
Looking further into it the next level includes an exam that is a practical assessment of skills, something i had not seem before.
I am really wondering if people have any comments or experieince of this as it seems good but must say i am worried there is a catch. The main oddity as far as i can see is that you must do the course to take the exam (from what i can read into it) so wonder how global accepted it is as it would be run by a single company.

Details of the cert can be found here : http://www.7safe.com/CSTA-Certified_Security_Testing_Associate.html

Comments?
Nothing is impossible just improbable!!!
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LSOChris

Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:32 am

Re: CSTA from 7Safe

seems similar to courses out there already.  slipping on my LSO hat, i dont see how one can learn everything  you need to in a 3 day course, but thats just my opinion.

taking off my LSO hat, you mention a hands on practical exam, i didnt see that on the site, looks like there are hands on labs but didnt see if for the final test.  it also says that 50% is the passing rate.  getting 25 out of 50 questions correct, it a little below the level i would expect of a good security professional.

i also dont see much value, in the current security world, of getting their certification, you can argue all day which cert is better or worse than others, but if you want to help your customers out, you would prepare them for a cert that can help them in the job markert.  so testing the CEH at the end of the day would probably get someone more mileage for the 1300 pounds...

the prices seem reasonable if you live in the UK and are close to where they offer the course.

lastly, i have never heard of the University of Glamorgan, gonna guess that its in the UK so might not have much value to me in the U.S. for credits towards a masters from a university here.  your mileage may vary.

hope that helps.
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don

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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:55 am

Re: CSTA from 7Safe

I've never heard of them either, but that's not the end of the world.

One thing I will say is that it is generally a good idea to keep a cert organization and the training for the cert as 2 separate entities. The only truly successful group doing both right now would be SANS. Mile2 is making inroads, but it is a tough way to go. This is why CISSP, CEH, MS and Cisco certs, etc. do well. They concentrate of the content and marketing of the credential and the 3rd parties concentrate on training.

Most who try to do both just simply offer the cert as something to take home to your boss showing that you actually were awake during the training. At a passing rate of 50%, you could probably get away with a little dozing during class!  ;)

So I guess it depends on what you're looking to get out of the course: Knowledge or a Certification. If it's a recognized cert to go on your resume, I'd pass. If it's the knowledge, then I'd say consider it. But seeing as though myself and ChrisG have never heard of them, then they're too new for us to pass judgement.

Hope this helps,
Don
CISSP, MCSE, CSTA, Security+ SME
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luckydevil

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Post Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:21 am

Re: CSTA from 7Safe

Thanks for the comments. Something to think about. I see what you mean about the pass mark for the exam, i misread it as for the assignments.

Glamorgan Uni is in walse so as you say not much use to anyone outside the UK.

I think that Don is right about keeping the certs and training seperate it makes it easier to become a more recognised thing if you can do the course/exam anywhere as apposed to being tied to one place. They are also less likley to go under as well.

I agree the 3 days is a bit short and would be very intense but then that is not always a bad thing, especially if you already have some knowledge...but then why pay the full 1300 for it. ???...
I think that i might still consider it, as you say Don, for the knowledge and as a pathway to a Masters/
post Grad cert rather than for a technical cert. I have been looking to do a Masters for some time and this could prove an interesting way to do it. I will see what other options are available as most courses i have seen tend to go off into the management systems and higher end of computing.

See how it goes but thanks again for the comments.
Nothing is impossible just improbable!!!

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