Which Cert's next, looking for advice.

MokilokMokilok Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone,

I have found a lot of conflicting advice on the web as to which certification paths to take so I'm looking for specific suggestions from experienced people (like you lot).

I already work in IT in a support/systems admin type role. I work primarily with windows and have only very basic experience with Linux.

I have about 8 years experience in IT, I hold a Cert IV in Information Technology, I have around an A+ knowledge of hardware, I have my CCNA, I'm currently working on CCNA Security as part of my Advanced Diploma in Network Security.

I'm definitely interested in penetration testing but I wouldn't be apposed to doing something else if it meant getting my foot in the door in security.

What certifications should I look at getting after I've completed my Adv Diploma?

I saw people suggesting Linux+/LPIC in another thread on this forum so I was considering that as a first cert but what about after that?

Can you offer any advice or suggestions for getting my foot in the door for what I want to do?

Thanks for your help.

Comments

  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    You are already a sys admin which is great! Generally, LPI is more recognized in Europe and RedHat in the US. RH is considered the better option by many people and for a reason. However, I have no idea about Australia. As far as getting the knowledge, LPIC will be great because it does not tie you to any specific distro and it does serve well for getting started. For someone with little experience, I think it's the right choice.

    CEH will help you get in because it is highly valued by HR(again - WHY!?). Taking into account you background, that shouldn't be too hard. It's kind of an entry cert.

    Of course, when pen testing is your goal, sooner or later, it is going to come to the OSCP. Are you familiar with Offensive Security certs? IMHO, it doesn't get any better than the OSCP(OSCE anyone :D ? ). But in order to start you will need to know your way around linux. Actually the more you know it, the better. You already seem to have the networking part covered so how are you with programming/scripting? It's nothing too serious but a little python and bash beforehand will save valuable time once in the course.

    What I'd suggest is familiarizing yourself with what the OSCP objectives are and what you should know before starting. There is a lot of info about it on the web.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • redzredz CISSP-ISSAP, ISSEP, ISSMP, CAP (& others) Member Posts: 265 ■■■□□□□□□□
    CEH will help you get in because it is highly valued by HR(again - WHY!?). Taking into account you background, that shouldn't be too hard. It's kind of an entry cert.

    I really want to call you Pastor of Muppets, but I don't know how lightheartedly you'd take it.

    The C|EH is a hacker methodology course, with an encyclopedic knowledge requirement for hacker tools past and present. It is NOT a hacking course. If you know nothing about hacking, this is the optimal place to start. By the end of it, you'll be a script kiddie with some tools. However, much like the ITIL, employers swoon over this one for no good reason.

    My recommendation would be to get a Linux cert before doing anything else. And then use Linux. Consistently. Command line up. I'm not joking.
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    redz wrote: »
    I really want to call you Pastor of Muppets, but I don't know how lightheartedly you'd take it.

    Not bad :D

    Of course it's not supposed to be a hacking course but even though everyone is supposed to know what you just said, recruiters think it is a big deal. I said it because I think it is going to increase his chances when it comes to job hunting. Sorry but I'm just not the biggest CEH fan. Although for starters, it could probably help you get the ball rolling.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • redzredz CISSP-ISSAP, ISSEP, ISSMP, CAP (& others) Member Posts: 265 ■■■□□□□□□□


    Oh, it is definitely helpful in finding a job. I'm thinking of getting one myself in the near future.

    Side note - fully agree that it's overvalued.
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    lol that cracked me up :D:D I'm going to have to save this one :D There was a really good joke about Metallica and routing, that I used to tell all the time, but for the life of me I can't remember it.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Member Posts: 366
    So, let me get this straight. You guys are not fans of an exam that actually pushes you to learn multiple tools from past and present to actually get you started in the realm of hacking if that's what you are interested in? But aren't you the same dudes who are saying take CCENT, then CCNA?!?! To learn the basics before you get into the more high level networking knowledge. The "Church of Cisco" is a funny bunch. I don't get how you can talk ish about a cert that is highly valued by employers and actually teaches you the basics of a field and where to actually start learning before taking on higher level hacking studies/exams. But then again, I'm the leader of the "Fugg a CCNA Techexam.net fanboy aka the Church of Cisco" fan club, so I don't really care. Carry on.
  • redzredz CISSP-ISSAP, ISSEP, ISSMP, CAP (& others) Member Posts: 265 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have no idea what you're raging about. The Holy Man and I concurred that the C|EH is an overvalued certification. EDIT: Not that it is worthless. Quite the opposite.

    I also said that it is a starting point - that it is a methodology course, not a hacking course. By the end of the C|EH you are not a hacker. I know half a dozen C|EHs who can barely use GUI vulnerability scanners without help, let alone anything in a CLI. I'm pretty sure my exact words were "If you know nothing about hacking, this is the optimal place to start." I'm so sure of this because I just copied and pasted them from above.

    If you're here to tell us that the C|EH is the expert level certification that recruiters and hiring managers treat it as, please get to that point, because I'd love to hear the argument.

    EDIT#2: In fact, most pen testers I know have the C|EH only as a prerequisite - the same reason they bother getting CISSPs. I've been told they find more value in eLearnSecurity and PWB courses.

    EDIT#3: And I only bothered studying the first 5 or 6 C|EH domains before forming a negative opinion of it, so I can't speak from experience on the entire subject matter.
  • bobloblawbobloblaw Member Posts: 228
    CEH is overpriced and overvalued. If you got $600 to blow, it's valued in your country, and you're looking for another job - Sure, go get it. OR just get the cheap book and brush up on some of the methodologies and tools in it, but don't get the cert. It's a good intro, but the cert price is just silly.

    Concur with above. Get your linux certs. Whichever ones are most valued in your country.
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    redz wrote: »
    I have no idea what you're raging about. The Holy Man and I concurred that the C|EH is an overvalued certification. EDIT: Not that it is worthless. Quite the opposite.

    I'm going to have to change my "Not bad" to "Pretty awesome" :D .

    Khaous, I also can't see much point in what you said. Apples and oranges. Cisco has nothing to do with this. How can we be happy about a cert that that is so overrated? We didn't thrash it anywhere. Quite the opposite really. At some point, I'm going to get it as well. If you read more carefully, we actually recommended it. However, personal opinions/views is something entirely different. On the other hand, you're going to see that many people agree.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,669 Admin
    $600 is a very cheap investment in something that may help you get a job that pays well and that you really want.
  • Psyco32Psyco32 Member Posts: 104 ■■■□□□□□□□
    IMHO, I would recommend going the Linux route and getting as much CLI experience as possible in it (Force yourself to NOT use the GUI in distros). Another grossly overlooked skill set is scripting and knowing a language, i.e. Python (Most pentest stuff is written in this), Bash, and Powershell. After you get intermediate in linux CLI and a language then try the OSCP, GPEN, etc. C|EH is a door opener for the job market but it is really just a glorified overview of some defense and pentest tools mixed in w/concepts.
    2014 GOALS
    > GMOB [MAR_2014] OSCP [MAY_2014] GREM [OCT_2014]
  • MokilokMokilok Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions thus far. I have 'some' experience with bash, I have a few servers at work that are running *nix variants and my laptop is a Macbook but it's definitely not what I would call a professional working knowledge.

    I have some scripting experience, I write windows batch scripts at work for AD/GP as well as some stuff in PowerShell. I have also taught myself the very basics of Python (string manipulation, working with variables, lists etc).

    I was reading up on OSCP yesterday and thinking that it looked like a good entry level cert but it seems it requires that you have someone in the Security field vouch for you which to me kind of implies that you be already working in a security related job before ever starting this cert? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'll read up on CEH and look into it after LPIC if that's what you guys recommend. Oh and I should probably also mention that I have 'some' experience with tools. I've played around with Backtrack and Kali a little bit, I've used the social engineers toolkit in a VM lab, reaver to break in to two of my routers and performed a man-in-the-middle attack on my home network which seemed to work except I didn't end it cleanly and nothing could communicate until everything was rebooted lol.
  • redzredz CISSP-ISSAP, ISSEP, ISSMP, CAP (& others) Member Posts: 265 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm going to have to change my "Not bad" to "Pretty awesome" :D .
    ... I think we're suddenly BFFs.
    Mokilok wrote: »
    I was reading up on OSCP yesterday and thinking that it looked like a good entry level cert but it seems it requires that you have someone in the Security field vouch for you which to me kind of implies that you be already working in a security related job before ever starting this cert? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Read up on the OSCP on https://www.ethicalhacker.net/forums/index.php?sid=55e53ad8976776bc907b46db78a51883. EH-Net has a lot of information about it (mostly the, apparently high, level of difficulty of the exam). I don't know the specifics - it's not a course I intend to take in the near future.

    Personally, I would do the LPIC and C|EH, in that order, prior to the PWB route. PWB courses and exams aren't expensive, but C|EH has a lot more name recognition; It'll look better on a resume and, since you're at a beginner-mid level, a very solid base for continuing to hacker certifications.

    I don't think pen testing is something people go straight into often (I do not know this for fact). Most of my pen tester friends were either programmers or DBAs, but that's a sample size of, like, 9 people.

    EDIT:
    Psyco32 wrote: »
    Python (Most pentest stuff is written in this),
    Python is a great language to know, and once you have a solid knowledge of it, pick up Ruby, as well. Metasploit (also known as "cheating") is written in Ruby. It is similar to Python, once you have one the other will come more easily.
  • RedBoxRedBox Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Go for the SSCP, or GSEC if you're just starting out -- these a pretty well respected and known. I always say to steer away from the CEH and anything from EC-Council, mostly because any certification with the term "hacker" in it is just fluff for the people who really don't know what they're doing. CEH does provide oversight on tools, but you can get the O-S certification that actually makes you a master of the tools and is more respected. Secondly, CEH really doesn't teach you C or anything advanced, it gives you a 2 cents worth of a burrito and makes you believe you run the taco stand. Cisco certs...eh, I am not a fan of them as they're geared for one vendor: Cisco. And, any SOC you go to will have a huge array of different vendors other than Cisco, but I would guess it does hold some value regardless especially in Data Centers.

    Side note of Metasploit, it now has a Python Meterpreter. You can learn Python or Ruby and switch between the two with whatever you're doing, they're only different by their rules and syntax.
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