In the digital economy, the most valuable assets of a company are its data and infrastructure. As old as the internet itself, cybercrime is increasingly rising and targeting organizations to compromise their infrastructure and steal confidential data. This is why information security is crucial in organizations big and small.
This article will explain what is involved in information security and the importance of having a certification in this field. We also cover five certifications that will improve the career of anyone seeking to pursue the information security field.
Why Do We Need Information Security?
The term cybercrime was coined in the late 90s, but probably the first case of a crime using a computer occurred in 1834 when a pair of thieves hacked the French Telegraph System and stole financial market information. As the internet expanded through the years, so did cybercrime targeting its data.
Attacks can come from both outside and inside an organization; threats can include fraud, theft of intellectual property (IP), or trade secrets. Most of the time, attacks are motivated by financial gain, which is now more common thanks to the anonymity of cryptoware.
Other times a breach occurs to expose or leak data, like in the Sony Pictures Entertainment case of 2014, or when employees leak data to harm an organization. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, reported data breaches rose from 36 million in 2016 to 155 million in 2020.
Hence, it is essential to implement information security to identify vulnerabilities and threats to the information resources used by an organization.
How certificates Can Help
Getting a certificate in information security is not for everyone. First, you need a strong background in computer network architecture and IT infrastructure. In addition, it is ideal to have a couple of years of real-world experience in the technology or security industry. Some experience working with cloud technologies is also desired. You need real commitment to study, prepare and practice for the exams. But certification will be worthwhile for your career.
A certificate in information security will help your resume stand out, expand your career opportunities, and lead to higher remuneration. Industries like healthcare and manufacturing have great demand for security professionals. A certificate is also a requirement if you intend to pursue a career in the defense industry in the US and many other countries.
And there is also the financial benefit to your remuneration. Security experts are among the third-best paid in the technology industry, according to the Robert Half report of 2019.
So, without further ado, let's get into the five certificates that can help prove your expertise in information security.
1. CATO Networks SASE Expert Certification
SASE is a new term in the infosec industry, and it means Secure Access Service Edge. SASE provides two essential features: wide-area networking and security in a cloud service using a group of PoP (point of presence) nodes.
Now you can obtain a SASE certification from Cato Networks. This validates you as a specialist in a platform merging SD-WAN and security into one. Through this cloud, your organization can connect its branch offices, roaming users, on-premise servers, and cloud services in a unified, secure network. This approach makes it easier to manage all the resources and also lowers the cost of operation.
SASE might be a new approach to security, but its adoption is rapidly growing in our global collaboration and work from home age fueled by the pandemic. Gartner estimates that since June 2020, SASE has been adopted by more than 40% of remote workers globally. Cato is also the world's first SASE platform, so their certification encompasses everything you need to know.
2. Google Professional Cloud Architect
As one of the major cloud providers, Google extends the Professional Cloud Architect certification.
A Professional Cloud Architect uses the Google Cloud Platform to design and manage services with characteristics like security, elasticity, and risk management according to their company goals.
Some of the skills evaluated by the Certified Professional Cloud Architect exam are:
Designing and planning a cloud solution architecture
Supervizing and provisioning the infrastructure in the cloud services
Designing for security and compliance
Guarantee of the reliability of the solution and operations
The exam itself is offered in English and Japanese and has multiple-choice and multiple-select questions. For persons taking the exam, Google advises three or more years of experience in the industry, including at least a year designing and managing cloud solutions using Google Cloud.
3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect
The first level of certification offered is AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate. It is intended for IT personnel who have been working for at least a year or more designing cloud platforms that are flexible, distributed, and secure.
This certificate will assess your ability to design and deploy secure and robust applications using AWS technologies and provide a solution based on architectural design conventions in line with the customer's needs.
To get an AWS Solutions Architect certification, it helps if you have an understanding of network components and security characteristics in the AWS ecosystem and have firsthand experience implementing and managing services for AWS.
The exam is offered in four languages English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese, and the questions are either multiple choice or multiple responses.
4. CompTIA Security+
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) gives out certifications in hundreds of countries. For a career in cybersecurity, CompTIA offers Security+, which is not oriented to a specific vendor nor a cloud provider. Security+ certifies you as a professional capable of handling security tasks for your applications and network components.
This certification emphasizes hands-on, practical skills to guarantee that the security professional is better prepared to solve the wide range of today's complex issues. Among the skills covered in Security+ are architecture design, including cloud, governance, risk, compliance, and incident response, such as basic threat detection, risk mitigation techniques, and basic digital forensics.
This certification is chosen by many corporations and defense departments around the world.
5. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
The International Information System Security Certification Consortium, abbreviated as (ISC)2, was founded in 1989. Its primary purpose is to train professionals in the tech industry using a standard curriculum and extend certifications.
The Certified Cloud Security Professional is the newest credential from ISC2. This certification was developed with the help of cybersecurity experts to follow policies and best practices to attest your knowledge and experience to design and manage services hosted in the cloud.
The CCSP is well suited for professionals like enterprise architects, security administrators, systems engineers, and security consultants.
Organizations of all sizes are at risk of falling victim to hackers trying to steal confidential information or compromise valuable data.
Fortunately, well-prepared information security professionals can design, deploy and manage services that are secure and reliable.
Since the internet cloud has become the place of business for all kinds of organizations, many new security certifications are oriented towards cloud technologies.
Security certifications help show potential employers you have the right skills to deal with new technologies emerging in the rapidly changing tech world. In addition to broadening your job opportunities in the tech industry, a certificate will increase your earning potential.