Overview of Cisco's CCNA Cyber Ops Certification

career success Aug 22, 2017

Many people ask me what technology (e.g. route/switch, collaboration, data center, etc.) they should pursue, based on industry demand. For years, my response has been, “There’s demand in all of those areas. Just pick the one you’re most interested in, because you’re going to spend a lot of time studying and working with that technology.” While I still contend that’s sound advice, I’ve got to admit there is one technology forecasted to be disproportionately in demand. That technology is cybersecurity.

It was a recurring theme at Cisco Live this year (Las Vegas, 2017); the demand for cybersecurity professionals is massive. Former Symantec CEO Michael Brown projected 6 million cybersecurity jobs by 2019, with a whopping 1.5 million of those jobs being unfilled. In the United States, the average salary for a cybersecurity professional is $67,000. However, with a few years of experience, cybersecurity professionals in the aerospace, defense, or financial services industry can earn salaries over $100,000.

Cisco recently introduced a Cybersecurity Operations (Cyber Ops) certification track. At the time of this writing (August, 2017), that track contains only one certification, the CCNA Cyber Ops certification. Following are the details about this new certification:

  • Job Role: The goal of the CCNA Cyber Ops curriculum and certification is to prepare someone to work in a Security Operations Center (SOC) as an associate-level security analyst.
  • Prerequisites: None. That’s right! You don’t have to have earned your CCNA R/S cert, or even your CCENT cert. You can immediately start working towards your CCNA Cyber Ops cert.
  • Exams: SECFND (210-250) and SECOPS (210-255).  Interestingly, since neither the CCENT  cert nor the CCNA R/S cert is a prerequisite, you’ll find some basic networking concepts in the SECFND material.
  • Main Topics: Network Concepts, Security Concepts, Cryptography, Host-Based Security Analysis, Security Monitoring, Attack Methods, Endpoint Threat Analysis and Computer Forensics, Network Intrusion Analysis, Incident Response, Data and Event Analysis, and Incident Handling.
  • Cisco Press Books: For your study, Cisco Press has two books (one for each exam) making up their CCNA Cyber Ops Official Cert Guide Library. You can click HERE to order.

If all this sounds like it’s in your wheelhouse, then in terms of job opportunities, (to paraphrase Timbuk 3 ) the future’s so bright you gotta wear shades.

Take good care, 

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945