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Top 15 Cyber Security Certifications for 2020

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By: Suketh Evani

December 28, 2020

Many cyberattacks occur every day, and these incidents cause millions of losses and create a dire need for companies to enhance their security measures. The increased cyberattacks create a massive demand for certified cybersecurity professionals. This article will highlight the top 15 cybersecurity certifications for 2020 that can help individuals reach the expectations organizations are looking to build and develop their cybersecurity defenses and teams' effectiveness.

To put things into perspective and make the task of finding a worthwhile certification easier, focus on key points these certifications offer to help aspiring or practicing IT or cybersecurity pros choose the right certification to develop their careers. These key factors include:

  • The cost of certification,
  • industry acceptance,
  • validity, and
  • job opportunities.

This process applies to any certification you may plan to acquire. By following the previously mentioned factors, the following certificates are well known to be highly important for today's cybersecurity professionals:

1. CEH - Certified Ethical Hacker

This certification, issued by EC-Council, is famous and fundamental. Any individual who wants to get into the field of cybersecurity should consider acquiring this certificate. CEH certification covers the following topics: Ethical Hacking, Scanning, Enumeration, Footprinting, and other security attacks. The certification is issued to anyone who passes a computer-delivered exam, which consists of 125 questions. The pass percentage varies based on the question's toughness, and it costs $850 for each exam attempt. It is valid for three years and must be renewed after this period.

2. OSCP - Offensive Security Certified Pentester

This certificate is the hallmark for any penetration tester from the viewpoint of many companies. OSCP is regarded as one of the most challenging and most honored certifications for a penetration tester. It thoroughly covers topics like penetration testing, bash scripting, web application exploits, and other significant security vulnerabilities and exploits. This certification cost varies from $999-$1349, and a retake of the exam costs $150. It is an online-based exam requiring the examinee to get the root privilege of 5 different systems. It is crucial for anyone looking to get into Threat Intelligence and Pentesting.

3. CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional

CISSP is one of the most prestigious certifications in the cybersecurity arena. Professionals qualified are eligible for jobs like Chief Information Security Officer and Security Systems Admin. It has a wide range of exam delivery options and resources for preparation. The certification costs $699, and the pass percentage is 70%. It requires professional experience to attempt the exam, and the certificate is valid for three years.

4. CISM - Certified Information Security Manager

CISM is a renowned certification for security professionals in leadership roles. It proves a professional's expertise in information governance, risk assessment, program development and management, and incident management. CISM, issued by ISACA, requires you to pass the CISM examination, agree to their ethics and policies, and qualify for the required work experience. This certification costs around $415 (conditions apply) and requires the individual to earn credit points certified by ISACA to renew the certificate.

5. CISA - Certified Information Security Auditor

Auditing is one of the prominent roles in the IT industry. CISA trains professionals in the Information system auditing process, Governance and Management of IT, Systems acquisition and development, Information systems operations and resilience, and Protection of information assets. Since ISACA also issues this certification, the requirements to qualify and renew are similar to the CISM certificate.

6. CompTIA Security+

Security+ is a beginner level certification issued by CompTIA. It is a globally recognized certificate that adds great value for Security and Network Administrators, even though it is an introductory level certificate for professionals in the security domain. An ISO 17024 compliant exam covers topics like threats, attacks, vulnerabilities, identity and access management, risk management, and cryptography. The exam contains 90 MCQs and costs $349. The Security Plus certificate should be renewed after three years.

7. CHFI - Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator

CHFI certification, issued by EC-Council, is paramount to digital forensic investigators. This exam requires a minimum of 2 years in the respective field or an exam code you get after completing the preparatory course from a certified trainer. The certification covers topics like computer forensics, data acquisition, seizures, and many forensic tools. It is the industry's gold standard for any entry-level forensics job and costs $500.

8. EDRP - EC-Council Certified Disaster Recovery Professional

The EC-Council Disaster Recovery Professional certificate trains professionals for Business Continuity and Recovery, which also plays a vital role in security management. This certification costs around $450.

9. CCNP Security - Cisco Certified Network Professional

This globally recognized certification for security professionals, issued by Cisco, CCNP is one of the most recognized industry certifications. It trains individuals on Cisco's proprietary products, which hold around 80 percent of the world's networking products.

10. CRISC - Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control

The Certified Risk and Information Systems Control Certification indicates a professional's expertise in risk identification, risk assessments, response and mitigation, and reporting. CRISC is a professional and highly recognized certification program for Risk Analysts and Risk Consultant. The certification costs $415 and follows the same standards as CISM and CISA since they're all issued by ISACA.

11. LPT - Licensed Penetration Tester

The EC-Council certified Licensed Penetration Tester is a beginner level certification for penetration testers and follows the same exam and certification standards as the other EC-Council certification. The certificate is valid for two years and costs about $250. It can be valuable for junior pentesters or senior job roles that do not require high technical knowledge, such as CEO or CFO.

12. CCSP - Certified Cloud Security Professional

The Certified Cloud Security Professional is a highly recognized and recommended certification for Cloud administrators and Security experts. Issued by (ISC)2, it provides skills required to maintain cloud architectures. Security and administrations. The CCSP certificate is valid for three years and costs $100 to renew.

13. AWS Certified Security-Specialist

The AWS Certified Security-Specialist is a certification that trains professionals on cloud security and can be very valuable in the right scenario, as 62 percent of the market share is based on Amazon web servers. It is a computer-based exam and costs $300.

14. Azure Certifications Microsoft provides multiple certifications in IT security fields such as Azure administration and DevOps. Azure certifications train professionals on Cloud and DevOps, mainly applicable to Microsoft products.

15. Google Cloud Products Certifications

Google Cloud products keep up with the competition by providing comprehensive certification courses on cloud security. The registration costs $200, and the certification requires 3+ years of experience with Google products. Though this course concentrates more on Google products, it can be beneficial for someone looking to enter into an enterprise that works more with Google products.


These certifications are most relevant to major roles in the industry and cybersecurity. However, this doesn't imply that the other industry certifications are not important. IT security professionals must keep updated with the latest technologies and must be proactive in their approach. For example, consider incidents such as COVID-19. Pandemics have changed the way people work, and they have forced companies to change their business strategies. People are connecting to their workplaces from home using the cloud, VPN, and remote desktop services. Companies like Zoom are experiencing a surge in their number of users due to conference calls and meetings. The increased security risks have forced companies to bring in revised security measures. Remotely connecting to servers opens up many opportunities for attackers.

Now companies are concentrating their planning on withstanding such scenarios. Companies proactively identify the threats they are likely to face and create contingency plans to sustain their market and business in such scenarios. Companies will undoubtedly look to strengthen their cybersecurity defenses, and having a skilled workforce is the most critical component in any cybersecurity defense plan.

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