10 Things You Should Know About the Cisco CCNA Security Certification


1. What industry trends motivated Cisco to create the CCNA certification?
Cisco created the CCNA Security certification to offer new IT professionals a rapid path to specialization in security as well as to offer experienced networking professionals a path to enhancing their careers with new security knowledge and skills. Security skills are one of the highest-demand areas in the networking job market. IT organizations need staff with the specialized knowledge and skills to administer devices and applications in a security infrastructure, recognize network vulnerabilities, and detect security threats.
2. What do employers say about their needs for people with this type of knowledge and skill?
More than any other area, security and risk management skills are some of the most highly sought after skills across the network, and demand is continuing to grow. Within five years, dedicated security roles are expected to exist in 80 percent of the companies studied versus today’s dedicated security role, which exists in only 46 percent of the companies surveyed. 3. Where will the CCNA Security certification be the most relevant?
With the CCNA Security, you’ll be ready for specialized jobs such as network security specialist, security administrator, and security support engineer.
Through the CCNA Security training, you will gain an overview of security challenges and solutions, and be able to install, monitor, and troubleshoot Cisco security solutions to secure a small branch office network. Cisco IOS security features on Cisco routers and switches are deployed using both graphical user interface tools (GUIs such as the Cisco Security Device Manager or SDM) and command line interfaces (CLIs). You will also understand the necessity of a comprehensive security policy and how it affects the posture of the network.
4. Is the CCNA Security path right for you?
The choice to pursue a networking specialist or generalist path is an important career decision. Your interests, the jobs available in your area, and other factors will likely influence your choice.
Your potential salary is another important factor. Industry surveys show that IT specialists receive higher compensation.
TCPmag.com reports in a 2006-2007 survey that workers holding a Cisco CCSP certification had an average annual salary of nearly US$94,000.
All of the CCNA concentrations help you to distinguish yourself in the highly competitive world of IT networking. CCNA Security takes full advantage of your current CCNA certification as a foundation, while specifically preparing you for new career opportunities in network security.
CCNA remains the certification of choice for individuals who want to demonstrate a solid foundation in core routing and switching skills, and then later advance as network generalists.
5. Will the CCNA Security concentration lead to higher-level certifications?
The CCNA Security certification is the prerequisite for the Cisco CCSP professional-level certification. A CCSP certification is excellent preparation for attaining the highest Cisco security designation, the Cisco CCIE Security certification. However, the CCIE Security certification has no prerequisites.
6. If I already have a CCNA certification, what’s my best path to becoming a Security Specialist?
With the introduction of the CCNA concentrations, Cisco has changed the prerequisites and paths to higher-level certifications. To become a security specialist, one possible path is shown below:
7. Are there any prerequisites for the CCNA Security certification?
Holding the CCNA certification is required before you can earn the CCNA Security certification. You may take one or more CCNA concentration exams without retaking original CCNA exams. Through November 17, 2011, the CCNA + SND exam from the CCSP certification will be accepted as a pre-requisite for CCSP in addition to CCNA Security to accommodate those in process or starting their CCSP.
8. Is any training available or required for the CCNA Security certification?
Training for all new CCNA concentrations is available through Learning Solutions Partners and Learning Partners.
As of mid-2008, instructor-led classroom training courses are only available through Cisco Learning Partners. For CCNA Security, the recommended training is Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security (), a five-day classroom course with labs that simulate real-world scenarios.
Cisco Press will offer corresponding products for each CCNA concentration. In addition to their best-selling exam certification guides, Cisco Press will offer digital quick reference guides and other online materials to help you prepare for the CCNA Security exam.
9. What are the details about the CCNA Security course and exam?
Only one exam is required for the CCNA Security certification: Cisco IINS. To prepare for the exam, the suggested IINS training course covers network security principles, perimeter security, LAN/SAN/voice/endpoint security, Cisco IOS firewalls, Cisco IOS intrusion protection systems (IPS), and site-to-site VPNs. In-classroom labs enhance the learning experience.
You will develop skills for installation, troubleshooting, and monitoring of network devices to maintain integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data and devices and develop competency in the technologies that Cisco uses in its security infrastructure.
10. Where can I get more information about the CCNA Security concentration?
Technical requirements and information about the CCNA Security can be found here on the Cisco Learning Network.

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