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Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Cybersecurity Certifications for 2021

Cybersecurity is the area in the Information technology that aims to assist businesses and organizations protecting their devices, machines, and services from electronic attacks by the fraudulent actors called hackers. Cybersecurity concerns are raising and possibility of severe consequences in form of data and money loss have made cyber security professionals focusing on determining the best way to protect cyber infrastructure of businesses including computers, smartphones, network and databases from the attackers. Without cyber security experts making tireless efforts, it will be impossible to enjoy the several websites due to the constant threat of denial-of-service attack attempts. 

Cybersecurity has been a significant concern and among the highest priorities of businesses, not only in the last decade but in 2021 also, as the companies are continuously encouraging remote working trend. Due to this, the demand for cyber security experts is not showing any signs of slowing down.

 According to a report of Bureau of Labour Statistics the employment of information security analysts will raise by 31% between 2019 and 2029. This is much higher than the expected growth projection for any other occupation. For the aspirants seeking career in cyber security or advancing their information technology career with the cyber security skills, cyber security training certifications would be a great help in landing the career platforms, advancing opportunities and ensuring against a job loss if you pick wisely. There are many cyber security engineer certifications available in the market that can help you being demanded in the industry. In this article, we will discuss about the best cyber security certification programs in the year 2021.

Cyber Security Certifications

Cyber Security certification programs exist in numerous formats. On general note, cyber security certifications purpose on serving two main objectives which are-

  • Training entry-level workers or beginners to equip with the skills of using specific set of tools and different technologies; and 
  • Professional certifications open the path for more seasoned information technology and computer networking jobs to apply and demonstrate the expertise.

Professional certifications play a significant role in enhancing the opportunities for cybersecurity employment and information technology career advancement. Like other computer science and IT working areas, cyber security has its own specific importance.

Difference between Cyber Security Certifications

Presently, there are two different categories of cyber security certifications available in the market:

  • Professional Cyber Security Certifications: These certification programs are designed specifically for the IT employees already working in the cybersecurity or other related IT and networking fields. The purpose of these programs is to train them for using latest tools and software to perform against the cybersecurity threats. The skills included in these certificates are detection, prevention and combatting against cyber security issues.
  • Academic Cyber Security Certifications: These certification programs are designed to equip students with a deep background of significant cyber security issues existing today in the information technology field. These certifications provide knowledge of major cyber security issues and their possible resolutions.

The best way for professionals, who are new to the IT industry and cyber security field, and are looking to obtain cyber security certifications so that companies and potential employers would easily acknowledge their skills, is to pursue the cyber security certification online from an organization among the several reputed organizations offering cyber security training online. Many such well-known organizations are there such as the International Information System Security Certification Consortium ((ISC)2), EC-Council, CompTIA, Global Information Assurance certification, and ISACA which have high respect in the cyber security space. These organizations offer different professional level courses for those already serving the information technology and networking industry. For example- (ISC)2 is well-known for the courses like CISSP, SSCP, CCSP, CAP, CISSP-ISSAP and CSSLP, etc. EC-Council offers well acknowledged Certified Ethical Hacker certification course popular among security professionals.

In addition to this, there exist several academic cyber security certification programs too. They can be of two types- cyber security certification programs and academic training programs like cyber security bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. Certifications require lesser time to complete and generally they last maximum for a year or little more than that. Many organizations offer academic cyber security programs also. For example- Harvard’s Cyber Security: Managing Risk in the Information Age and the University of Maryland’s Online Cyber Security Certification. 

Most Valuable Cyber Security Certifications in 2021

We have compiled a list of most valuable cyber security certifications for aspiring and seasoned cyber security professionals, which can help them boost their career. Here are the highest rated certifications:

  • CompTIA Security+: It is most recommended certification to start with. It will equip the aspirants with the skills and knowledge needed to install and configure systems helpful in securing networks, applications and devices. It will also allow students to take part in risk mitigation activities and responding threats, and also give them the knowledge of applicable policies and legal regulations.
  • (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): CISSP certificate aims at considering career advancement for people already having some hands-on-experience in the field. The expertise offered within this course include- security and risk management; asset security; security architecture and engineering; communication and network security; identity and access management; security assessment and testing; security operations; and software development security.
  • (ISC)2 Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP): This course require at least two years of cumulative paid work experience. The skills involved in this course are- information governance in healthcare; information technologies in healthcare; regulatory and standards environment; privacy and security in healthcare; risk management and risk assessment; and third party risk management.
  • ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): This course is popular among the professionals having technical expertise and experience in IT security and control, and are willing to make a shift to management. CISM aims to incur credibility and confidence to the candidate’s interactions with internal and external stakeholders, peers, and regulators by considerably improving security knowledge and skills. The skills include in this are- information security governance; information risk management; information security program development and management; and information security incident management.
  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): It aims at developing skills like understanding and knowing how to find out weaknesses and vulnerabilities in target systems and uses this knowledge and tools in a lawful and legitimate way to assess a target’s security status. This course requires minimum two years of provable work experience in the security field.

Above list is not exhaustive and there are some other recognized certification courses as well which gives you opportunity to land a lucrative career in the IT field. CompTIA PenTest+, Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), CSA Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), etc. are some other popular and highly valued certifications for professionals seeking career advancement. 

If you are also an aspirant of building a career in cyber security field, above discussed information would help you being guided to the right platform to enhance your IT security skills and being demanded by the IT companies.

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