IT Security Certs Questions

CertifiedWardCertifiedWard Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
I need some tips on what IT security certs to go for, for someone with 5 years of Network Infrastructure experience from being in the Air Force. I am out and a college student now, but i am looking to make myself more marketable, for the job market. There are so many certs out there, i don't really know where to start. For starters, i want to work in the network security side of the house, dealing with cyber attacks, intrusion detection, building security protocols, catching hackers. that sort of thing. i find that realm extremely interesting and fun. i need pointers.


  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do you have any certs now? First things I'd start with are your CCNA and Security+. Those are going to be the base certs you'll need for networking and network security. From there you can go for your CCNP and/or down the Cisco Security path. I think those would be a good start at least. You want to show a strong understanding of networking before you market yourself as a network security expert.
  • CertifiedWardCertifiedWard Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    CCNA seems like a good start. I do have my Security + . i received that while i was in. my only concern is, i currently do not know how to renew it, since i use to do it through the air force. Since i am civilian now, i am afraid that i may have to take it again. i hope not though
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Look on CompTIAs site. I believe the CCNA gives you a certain amount of credits towards a cert renewing. I think you just have to pay a small fee.
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you received your Security+, it was issued by CompTIA. As such, the AF has nothing to do with it, other than paying for it. How long ago did you get it? If it is older than 3 years, you will need to recertify on it. If it isn't that old, you can pay your dues and put CEUs toward it and keep it active.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    The Army (at least) has CEs that apply to your Security +(When did you get your Security +?). I had to get 40 hours and now my Security + is continued until 2020!
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • renacidorenacido Member Posts: 387 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Get some networking experience and Cisco security certs (CCNA/P:Security). Most network security pros start in network admin/engineering and specialize in security. You have to have a good understanding of networking, not just in theory but in practical application in live environments, to be a network security pro.

    In the meantime, set up a home lab if you haven't already. Buy used hardware online - desktop/server for VM host, storage, etc. Might as well pick up a CCNA/CCNP lab off CL/eBay while you're at it so you can prep for Cisco exams too. Set up Kali linux in a VM and get familiar with nmap, wireshark, netcat, snort, openvas, etc. Build other VMs in your lab network to be target or vulnerable machines for you to practice things on. Get an Alpha wireless adapter or another with a chipset capable of monitor mode (packet injection, send deauth frames, etc). You can build a kick-ass home lab nowadays with used hardware and open-source/trial software for <$500 all in.

    Recommended cert path: CCENT, CCNA:S, CCNP:S, then either CEH, SSCP or if you have the time and budget to invest do GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN. Get some other vendor certs (Juniper, Palo Alto) when your employer gives you the opportunity. After 5 years doing network security get your CISSP and your CCIE:S.

    I'm retired USAF btw.
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