Progressing into the Security Field from Networking

Hello Guys;

Just want to ask a few questions about branching out and gradually getting into the Security domain.

A bit about Myself: I have a passion for Networking and Security; I have completed a Bachelors degree in CS Majoring in Networking and Security and have achieved CCNA and now am looking to go on and achieve CCNA:S. I am currently working as a Network and Voice Engineer in a rather Large IT company supporting multiple large clients. I am hoping to one day branch out into Security sector as this has always been my "True Passion".

In my current role I get exposure to Cisco ASA firewalls, Fortinet Deivces and a few other range of Security devices.

I am considering going back to University and studying a Masters of Digital Security next year to assist with progressing my Career and was just wondering what are some of the main Security certifications which I can focus on achieving in my spare time? Ideally I would like to keep it in the Line of Network Security as I have a strong knowledge and background in Networking already.

For those that are already in this line of workforce; Would you recommend going any higher than a CCNA certification with Cisco? What are some other Vendor Certifications which you recommend?

All comments greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • samurai86samurai86 Posts: 104Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think the CCNA:Security is a good start. Also you may want to look at the Security+ certification.

    Most importantly just dig into the experience.
    Bachelor's of Applied Science in Technology Management - Information Security Assurance (St. Petersburg College)
    Masters of Science in Digital Forensics (University of Central Florida)
  • StussyNzStussyNz Posts: 177Member
    samurai86 wrote: »
    I think the CCNA:Security is a good start. Also you may want to look at the Security+ certification.

    Most importantly just dig into the experience.

    Security + seems to be a step backwards than forwards? I've reviewed the Material covered on the certification and I have touched most of the topics within my Bachelors degree..
  • CoolAsAFanCoolAsAFan Posts: 239Member
    CCNP Security sounds like it would be perfect for you. Have you given any thought to CISSP?
    IvyTech - AS CINS (Completed: May, 2013)
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  • YFZbluYFZblu Posts: 1,462Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    It depends on what you want to do - Do you want to admin/engineer? IE deal with Firewall changes, proxies, a/v suites, etc....or do you want to be an incident handler/analyst? Perform network forensics, host-based forensics, look at malware, determine root cause, stuff like that?

    Continuing a path of administration certifications would be useless if you're interested in the latter.
  • docricedocrice Posts: 1,706Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    The network security engineer has traditionally been the "firewall guy" which bundles in responsibility for security-oriented technologies such as proxies, intrusion detection, performing device hardening, etc., but I think in today's age where applications, user behavior, and business interactions are more complex than ever, actually making a difference requires a good contextual understanding of threats and risks and being able to determine normality vs. abnormality. I find that far too often engineers who know how to configure devices can't always assess risk levels involved when the radar beeps.

    There's always a place for knowing the nuances of vendor devices, but it will increase your value if you go at least a little beyond the device vendor certification track, because vendors (and their products) always make some assumptions about your environment which inevitably leads to false positives or negatives. You must understand the limits of the technologies you configure and employ additional compensating controls as necessary. I've dealt with too many vendors who thought they had the magic bullet and tried to seduce me with their solutions and in the end I always find something lacking.

    To be blunt, if all someone could do is configure security devices but couldn't understand what the attacks look like, they're missing out on at least half of the picture.

    Tinker. See beyond the tools. Experiment. Know the boundaries of what the device can do, and then imagine how they can be abused against you. This will help you defend the fort more effectively.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • LionelTeoLionelTeo Posts: 526Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    To break into Security line, a master from a well known university is viable. You can raise your Security chance with some GIAC certs. GIAC certs are good for roi if you can pass it via self study means. It does not require any work experience and hold quite a good value in a good employer eyes
  • docricedocrice Posts: 1,706Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think the value of GIAC certs depends on the employer. Some recognize them, some don't. To put it another way, there are a lot of places who aren't familiar with the GIAC program but are with the usual suspects (CISSP, Security+, CEH, CCSP/CCNP Security, etc.) because they're marketed better or their association with a vendor name (Cisco, Check Point, Fortinet, and so on), although a FCNSA or FCNSP is something I've yet to see on a job listing. That said, my impression is that private sector businesses who are more informed and well-invested into the security domain tend to be much more aware of GIAC.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • StussyNzStussyNz Posts: 177Member
    CoolAsAFan wrote: »
    CCNP Security sounds like it would be perfect for you. Have you given any thought to CISSP?

    Thanks for the input guys; All of your posts have given me something to think about...

    To be honest my Current plan would be do to CCNA Security and then progress on to CCNP Security. I would then look at obtaining CISSP.
    The only problem i see with that is that CISSP requires around 5 years work experience to obtain; By the time I would like to sit it I would only have around 3 years experience...

    Would they consider taking any time off the requirements if I were to obtain my Masters in that time also?

    Could anyone recommend any other well known Security Certifications other than CISSP which don't require as much experience in the workforce?
  • techwizardtechwizard Posts: 162Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    StussyNz wrote: »
    Thanks for the input guys; All of your posts have given me something to think about...

    To be honest my Current plan would be do to CCNA Security and then progress on to CCNP Security. I would then look at obtaining CISSP.
    The only problem i see with that is that CISSP requires around 5 years work experience to obtain; By the time I would like to sit it I would only have around 3 years experience...

    Would they consider taking any time off the requirements if I were to obtain my Masters in that time also?

    Could anyone recommend any other well known Security Certifications other than CISSP which don't require as much experience in the workforce?

    If you take the SSCP first, it takes a year off of the 5 yr requirement. Also, if you apply for ISC2 associate, that gives you some time to meet the requirements.
    With the Endorsement Time limit, you are required to become certified within nine (9) months of the date of your exam OR become an Associate of (ISC)².

    https://www.isc2.org/cissp-how-to-certify.aspx
    "Never give up" ~ Winston Churchill
  • LionelTeoLionelTeo Posts: 526Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    I agree with you regarding the popularity of GIAC certs among employers. The positive part about it is that at least the employer know what he is looking for when they are seeking an infosec candidate with less than 4 years experience. There are just too many broken job ads asking for candidates with CISSP yes having less than 4 years experience.

    Sometimes it can be that the advertising Department didn't do a good research and simply copy the common CISSP, CEH and Security+ requirement. But when it comes to the interviewer he may know the value of the certs your holding and therefore raise the chances in nailing the job.

    I cannot think of other certs that does not require experience that have a good market value. Maybe Security+and CEH, but having CEH myself i dont have very good impression of it. writing this will take up another thread so im not going into details. Security+ and SSCP may seem too basic for someone who gone through a master degree.
  • docricedocrice Posts: 1,706Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've personally seen first-hand where the person hiring for a security position didn't necessarily understand the certification market and hurriedly looked up the common alphabet-soup combinations and pasted them into the job description. It's sad, but in a fast-changing world like information security, it's hard for many people to know what's relevant, let alone keep up with the times.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
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