How I passed GCFW

MunckMunck Posts: 150Member
Dear friends,

As I recently passed the GCFW silver certification, I thought I would share my study strategies with you.

Even though SANS has changed the way GIAC certifications are awarded, I still think they are very valueable to a security professional. After having completed the 502 track, I can easily see myself attending other SANS tracks in the future.

I attended a LMP (Local Mentor Program) session, but there are other ways to approach this. The most common is attending one of their conferences. The month prior to starting the LPM, I read the book "Inside Network Perimeter Security" by Stepken Northcutt (ISBN: 0-672.32737-6). The content of the book is very similar to the curriculum of the actual course thus filling out areas I were weak in, in advance.

I studied doing the following:

First, I read about a particular subject in the textbooks. Then I heard the audio files (they are very good by the way) while going over the textbooks again. After completing a subject, I did the practical assignments if I felt I needed practice in a particular area.

The week prior to taking the exams, I read the textbooks cover-to-cover. That's about it actually Very Happy I used 4 of the 6 months available.

One final note: I will definitely go for the GCFW gold later this year. I have learnt more in the 4 months of studying for the GCFW, than I have learnt by doing any of my other certifications. I highly recommend this SANS course to anyone working in network/perimeter security.


  • Excellent job man! I haven't really explored the world of SANS yet, but I do hear that their certs are mighty tough to tackle. I was looking into GIAC myself. Thanks for your input!
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,443Admin Admin
    Congratz on passing the GCFW! :) :)

    Did you pay for it yourself or is your employer footing the bill?
  • MunckMunck Posts: 150Member
    My employer paid for the course :)
  • WebmasterWebmaster Posts: 10,292Admin Admin
    Those are the best kind of employers ;)

    Congrats and thanks for the info!
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,443Admin Admin
    Munck wrote:
    My employer paid for the course :)
    Until I get one of those types of employers the SANS certs are just a dream in a thick brochure to me. icon_cry.gif
  • Ten9t6Ten9t6 Posts: 691Member
    Congrats...that is a nice one to have.

    A+, Network+, Linux+, Security+, MCSE+I, MCSE:Security, MCDBA, CCNP, CCDP, CCSP, CCVP, CCIE Written (R/S, Voice),INFOSEC, JNCIA (M and FWV), JNCIS (M and FWV), ENA, C|EH, ACA, ACS, ACE, CTP, CISSP, SSCP, MCIWD, CIWSA
  • darkuserdarkuser Posts: 621Member
    one thing that kept me from the sans certs was writing that thesis they wanted ..... kids .... job .. no_time
    rm -rf /
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