Best Cyber Security Certifications In 2020

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by Sandeep
Last modified: September 10th 2017

Top 10 Certifications, Essential For Getting into a Prominent Cyber Security Analyst Role

As the businesses are growing, the use of technology has also scaled to the next level. Due to the gap between managing the data and securing the data we have encountered numerous occasions where data has been stolen via cyber attacks and a lot of vital information has been transferred to the wrong hands.

Cyber Security Certifications In 2018

The number of data breaches, size, and the severity has increased in past few years. Also, there is a considerable gap of exclusive cyber security talent within the market. Due to the lack of talent availability, it is getting difficult for the organizations to maintain their security standards and protocols optimum.

So a significant investment has been made by the organizations together to increase the cyber security talent within the market and at the same time create an awareness within the employees.

This has helped the organizations to build the talent within the organization and at the same time created an awareness within each and every individual who is working with the data. In today’s world data is considered to be the biggest asset of an organization and it is their duty to manage it carefully and securely.

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Cyber Security Classified Into categories

  1. Secure coding

  2. Penetration test experts

  3. Breach identification

  4. Attack mitigation

  5. Ethical hacker

So it depends upon your interest and skill set to choose one stream and excel in the career path.

To certify and also to make you stand out from the regular cyber security professionals one can go through certifications and increase their skill set and increase their credibility.

So the top 10 cyber security certifications that an individual can concentrate on are listed below:

Certification Details
Cissp Certified Information Systems Security Professional
CISA Certified Information System Auditor
CISM Certified Information System Manager
GSEC GIAC Security Essential Certificate
CRISC Certified in Risk and Information systems control
CEH Certified Ethical Hacker
ECSA EC Council certified Security Analyst
GPEN GIAC Penetration Test
SSCP Systems Security Certified Practitioner

CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional:

  1. This certification is offered by International Information System Security Certification Consortium. It is a nonprofit organization which specializes in information security.

  2. Within the test, overall 250 questions needed to be answered. It takes on an average about 6 hours to complete the exam.

  3. Minimum of 3 to 5 years of working experience is required.

  4. This certification is considered to be vital for an individual who wants to be a Chief Information Security officer (CISO).

  5. Typically, the salary would be around  $110,000. The salary also depends on the role, location, and experience.

CISA - Certified Information Systems Auditor:

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  1. This certification is offered by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

  2. This certification mainly concentrates on the systems control and monitoring skills of an individual.

  3. It is necessary to have at least 3 to 5 years of work experience to clear this certification.

  4. In total, an individual has to score 450 points in an 800 point test.

  5. In general, the individuals will be evaluated based on information system disciplines, development, maintenance and auditing topics. Further, it will also assess Information Technology management and governance topics.

  6. This certification is necessary for an individual who is looking into a role of Security audition positions.

  7. The typical average salary range for these professionals range between $110,000 to $130,000. Also, it depends upon the roles and responsibilities, location and experience level.

CISM - Certified Information Security Manager:

  1. This certification is offered by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

  2. In addition to Certified Information Security Auditor, CISM is an additional certification that an individual can go through. Having this certification credibility one can get into managerial positions.

  3. The individual has to go through 200 questions based exam which will evaluate their ability to develop and manage an Information security programs.

  4. The individual should have at least 5 years continuous work experience to register for this certification.

  5. The average salary for CISM certified individual will be of $120,000 to $140,000.

GSEC - GIAC Security Essentials Certification:

  1. This certification is provided by Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC).

  2. The individual who is interested in securing the IT systems can enroll for this certification.

  3. A good knowledge of all IT systems and security concepts should be enough to clear this certification. One has to answer  180 questions exam pattern. This certification will be ideal for an individual who has not gone through any other certifications, this can be acted as a base.

  4. The average salary for an individual holding GSEC certification will be around $75,000.

CRISC- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control:

  1. This certification is offered by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)

  2. An individual with this certification will have a credibility that they will have a better understanding of the IT risks and their effects on overall organizations.

  3. They are responsible for managing corporate risk and also implement the appropriate security controls within the organization.

  4. The CRISC certification mainly focuses on the following areas

    1. Risk identification

    2. Risk assessment

    3. Response

    4. Monitoring and reporting

  5. For an individual to go through this certification it is mandatory to have three years of relevant experience.

  6. The average salary of an individual who is CRISC certified is about $111,000.

CEH- Certified Ethical Hacker:

  1. This certification is provided by International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants ( EC-Council). It is a professional organization that offers widely respected IT security certifications.

  2. Certified Ethical hackers are also same as of hackers and use the same tools but Ethical Hackers work for the good and betterment of an organization.

  3. With the help of Certified Ethical hackers, the security protocols and network security can be maintained at an optimum level and every business should be using their services.

  4. The individual should have at least 2 years of valid experience to go through the certification process.

  5. The average salary of Certified Ethical Hacker is about $ 98,000 to 110,000.

ECSA- Ec Council Certified Security Analyst:

  1. This certification is also provided by Ec-Council (ECSA). This is an updated and next version of certification after Certified Ethical Hacker.

  2. The outcome of this certification will give credibility to the individual that he/she has an in depth knowledge about building up effective security protocols and help within penetration testing.

  3. An individual with ECSA certification generally states that they used improved methods and techniques to mitigate the risks identified at the enterprise level.

  4. This certification is vital for an individual who is attending an interview for network server administrator or system administrator.

  5. The average salary for an individual who is Certified Security Analyst will be about $89,000 to $105,000.

GPEN- GIAC Penetration Tester:

  1. This is another certification which focuses on developing skills for a system where the security and network related vulnerabilities are mitigated.

  2. A penetration test will help the organizations to see and evaluate whether their systems are prone to any cyber attacks and if they are attacked what sort of information is compromised. Using this testing process it will help the organizations to evaluate the risks and also take appropriate measures to resolve these issues.

  3. For an individual, it is easy to go through this test because it doesn’t need any work experience and at the same time doesn’t need any entry level certifications to be completed before attending this.

  4. The average salary for an individual who is Certified Penetration Tester is about $75,000 to $80,000.

CompTIA Security+

  1. This certification is offered by Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

  2. Security+ certification is considered to be a globally recognized benchmark for implementing the best practices in IT security and also covers the essentials of network security and risk management.

  3. For an individual to take this certification, it is advised to have at least 2 years of IT administrator experience and also earn their Network+ certification before applying for their Security+ certification.

  4. The average salary for an individual who has gone through Security+ certification is $ 95,000 to $105,000. The salary range will obviously depend upon the size of the company, location, and experience.

SSCP - Systems Security Certified Practitioner:

  1. With the help of this certification, entry level skills will be nurtured, like :

    1. Cyber Security

    2. Cryptography

    3. Access controls

    4. Malicious code and activity

    5. Monitoring and analysis

    6. Network communications and security operations

  2. The Systems Security Certified Practitioner is a competitor for CompTIA Security+ + certification.

  3. The average salary for an individual who has Systems Security Certified Practitioner credibility will be around $70,000 to $75,000. The salary component will differ based on the size of the company, location, and experience associated with the individual.


As we are ready for the year 2018, the trends of cyber security threats and cyber attacks will escalate more.  Understanding the rising need for cyber security talent is very much needed and it will be a good career path for those individuals who are looking to build their career in the cyber security world. With the growing need, it is vital for an individual to showcase their credibility by doing certifications and it will help the individual to get into their dream jobs with hefty salary packages.

So it is important to get a good knowledge about all the topics and at the same time maintaining credibility by doing continuous certification will increase your chances of getting a respectable role.

If you have any other certifications and information that is relevant and worth reading, please do mention your comments in the Comments section below.

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