TL;DR: IT certifications are absolutely necessary for many positions in the cybersecurity industry. This section further explores some of the most valuable IT certifications for cybersecurity professionals. The certifications detailed below can be found and expanded on via their official online channels.
Not all IT certifications can be applied towards cybersecurity, but many network administration and cybersecurity positions share the same required certifications. These certifications are more general than the certifications featured in the previous section, but they can still be applied towards work in cybersecurity. It’s important for a candidate to have a clear idea of what kind of work they want to do before delving into any of the required qualifications. This provides a clear goal to avoid any unnecessary time, money, and certification efforts.ITIL v3 Foundation
ITIL is one of the gold standards when it comes to the practice of managing information systems. The most basic level of ITIL certification
is Foundation, and ITIL v3 certification is the current working level. ITIL v4 certifications will not be available until February 2019. ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of standards and practices for managing networks and other information technology entities. This certification is used and accepted by many high-profile organizations across the world, including corporate computer giants, and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration.CCNP Routing and Switching
This certification is for advanced networking skills and is mostly recommended towards those with prior experience in networking technology. The Cisco Certified Network Professional
certification, or CCNP, is designed to prepare candidates for the planning, implementation, and management of wide-area networks. This means networks that span multiple buildings or a similarly large area. The skills required for this certification are more advanced than a standard networking certification, but will allow opportunities for highly-qualified candidates in the industry.Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
CISA certification is designed specifically with cybersecurity incidents in mind. A Certified Information Systems Auditor
is responsible for auditing the security of an organization’s information technology. This means making an assessment of an organization’s network for any serious security flaws or exploits. This certification is unique in that it requires five years minimum prior experience in network security or systems auditing. CISA certified candidates are qualified for advanced analysis of organizational networks and professional system security auditing.Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
This certification is very similar to Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification and Certified Information Systems Auditor certification. These exams require the candidate to have a working knowledge of network security, the implementation of network security systems, and the active administration of networks in the context of cybersecurity. The certification is offered and regulated by the ISACA, or the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional
certification is one of the most widely-used and sought-after certifications for cybersecurity professionals. The purpose of this certification is to prepare candidates for the design, implementation, and management of an organization’s cybersecurity program. Candidates with Certified Information Systems Security qualifications can analyze and manage all aspects of an organization’s network security.Each of these certifications can provide a direct pathway towards a number of professional opportunities in the cybersecurity industry. However, it’s best to have a clear destination before beginning the expensive, time-consuming process of professional certification. There is a wealth of resources available on preparing for each exam, but choosing the right certification requires some research and forethought.