Top Cyber Security Certifications for 2021 to become a Security Expert

The numerous information security breaches of this kind not only result in massive losses but also call for the need for skilled security experts in the field of IT and programming. The expertise of this level can easily be gained by obtaining some well known and trusted security certifications which have been designed to help you understand the security systems better.

Why do you need Cyber Security Certifications?

Cybersecurity is one of the most vibrant and vital entities currently evolving in today's times when technological advances take a sharp leap. Massive security breaches have become common and even the major players like Facebook (faced data breach of 87 million records) and government entities like Aadhar (1.1 billion records were breached) are no longer safe from the massive security threats. With the help of these security credentials, not only do your employers get to examine your unmatched skills better, but the expertise you gain will also help you beat the hackers at their own game. So, let us explore some of the top cyber security certifications which will help you build a career in cybersecurity:

1) Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

One of the most well-recognized and respected certifications for cybersecurity professionals, OSCP provides a comprehensive and practical understanding of the penetration testing process. Containing targets of varying configurations and operating systems, the OSCP certification allows the cybersecurity personnel to identify the recurring problems and execute preventive measures in a focused manner.

The OSCP credential holders can efficiently analyze, correct, modify, cross-compile and port public exploit code along with successfully conducting both remote and client-side attacks. The credential holders are also able to write basic scripts and tools to aid in the penetration testing process and exploit XSS, SQL injection, and file inclusion vulnerabilities.

2) CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker Certification

International Council of E-commerce Consultants provides an intermediate level credential known as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) which is quite essential for IT professionals looking forward to their careers in ethical hacking. Certified Ethical Hackers have been known to understand the tactics of notorious hackers and can easily identify the loopholes in the information systems and existing vulnerabilities as they are trained accordingly.

The certified ethical hackers know the probable access points of penetration and other system vulnerabilities and utilize their skills to prevent unwanted access of bugs to the system. Experts with the CEH certification are often employed by established businesses to protect their information systems on a massive scale.

Often included among the top cybersecurity certifications, the CEH credential holders are meticulously trained in system hacking, footprinting, trojans, sniffers, social engineering, hacking web servers, wireless networks and web applications, session hijacking, cryptography, SQL injection and evading honeypots, IDS and firewalls.

3) Offensive Security Wireless Professional (OSWP)

Engaging the professionals to gain the practical ability to perform 802.11 wireless edits, OSWP certification holders are able to identify multi-faced vulnerabilities and challenging threats in wireless networks. The OSWP exam requires the students to connect to the exam lab via SSH where a number of wireless networks of varying configurations can be encountered.

OSWP holders can crack various WEP, WPA, and WPA2 implementations along with efficiently conducting wireless information gathering. They can also circumvent wireless network access restrictions and implement transparent man-in-the-middle attacks.

4) Certified Information Security Manager

Considered as one of the top cybersecurity certifications for IT professionals, the CISM credential helps them in managing, developing and overseeing information security systems and develop best organizational security practices for enterprise-level applications. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) introduced the CISM credential to security professionals in 2003 and is inherently engaged in achieving highest levels of standards in terms of audit, control, and security of information systems.

Apart from helping professionals achieve enterprise-level security management skills, the CISM credential holders are also trained in program development and management, governance and incident management. Designed exclusively for the experienced security professionals, the CISM credential program calls for ISACA's code of professional ethics and requires you to possess at least five years of security experience. Some combination of experience and education may be substituted complying with the organization's education policy.

5) Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE)

Considered as one of the most challenging penetration testing credentials in the industry, the OSCE certification provides a practical understanding of hard-to-find vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in various operating systems. Earned after passing a 48-hour online exam, the OSCE consists of a remotely-hosted virtual network containing varying configurations and operating systems.

OSCE holders can conduct intelligent fuzz-testing and identify hard-to-find vulnerabilities easily. Apart from being able to hand-craft binaries to evade antivirus software, the credential holders are also able to demonstrate creative problem solving and lateral thinking.

6) CompTIA Security+

One of the most respected and vendor-neutral security certifications, CompTIA security holders possess excellent technical skills along with broad knowledge in multiple security-related disciplines. Although an entry-level certification, the successful candidates of Security+ credential should possess at least two years of network security experience and obtain Network+ certification.

Cryptography, security systems, identity management, threat management, network access control, and security infrastructure are some of the areas where Security+ credential holders are structurally skilled in. Recognized among the top cybersecurity certifications, the CompTIA Security+ is approved with the standards of ISO 17024 and the U.S. Department of Defence as well.

7) Offensive Security Exploitation Expert (OSEE)

Considered as one of the top cybersecurity certifications, OSEE demonstrates a candidate’s ability to research and develop exploits through reverse engineering, assembly, and disassembly. Earned by passing a 72-hour online certification exam, an OSEE certificate holder is quickly able to analyze vulnerable software, find the problematic code and develop a functioning exploit within no time. The certificate holders can also create custom shellcode, exploit Windows kernel drivers and evade DEP and ASLR protections.

8) Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

An advanced level certification for IT professionals, the CISSP credential is an excellent platform for sharpening information security knowledge and making a career out of it. ISC2or the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium offers this vendor-neutral credential and is recognized worldwide. Apart from possessing an expert level of technical knowledge and skills, CISSP credential holders are excellent decision makers when it comes to developing and managing security standards and policies within their organizations.

Well-recognized by IT ecosystems, CISSP continues to be one of the most sought after security certifications. CISSP credential requires you to have a minimum of five years of experience in at least two of ISC2's eight common body language (CBK) domains or four years of experience in at least two of ISC2's CBK domains apart from a college degree or an approved credential. Security Architecture and Engineering, Identity and Access Management, Software Development Security, and Risk Management are some of the CBK domains where you can look for experience.

9) Offensive Security Web Expert (OSWE)

After completing the OSWE exam, the OSWE certification provides a clear and practical understanding of the web application assessment and hacking process. Earned by completing a 24-hour online certification exam, an OSWE credential holder is able to identify threats in a wide variety of web applications using various technologies. The credential holders can also audit web application code to find vulnerabilities and demonstrate creative problem solving and lateral thinking.

Web services depend on experts who help keep them running and an OSWE certification can go a long way in adding an extra bullet to your cyber skills as you get to develop knowledge about advanced SQL injection attacks, bypassing character restrictions in payloads, advanced file inclusion attacks and overcome the difficulties that surface in real-life penetration tests.

10) Offensive Security Exploitation Expert (OSEE)

Considered as one of the top cybersecurity certifications, OSEE demonstrates a candidate’s ability to research and develop exploits through reverse engineering, assembly, and disassembly. Earned by passing a 72-hour online certification exam, an OSEE certificate holder is quickly able to analyze vulnerable software, find the problematic code and develop a functioning exploit within no time. The certificate holders can also create custom shellcode, exploit Windows kernel drivers and evade DEP and ASLR protections.

11) Kali Linux Certified Professional (KLCP)

Widely regarded as a professional credential that testifies to one's knowledge and fluency with the Kali Linux penetration testing platform, the KLCP holders have the requisite skills, knowledge, and abilities to put Kali Linux to use as advanced power users who are capable of creating highly customized and secure deployments.

The goal of the valued KLCP certification is to specifically test working proficiency in Kali Linux, and this is objectively measured by asking technical questions about the operating system. The exam is proctored by VUE and the possession of this highly trusted credential ensures your stronghold as an expert cybersecurity professional in the market.

12) GSEC: SANS GIAC Security Essentials

GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) is another entry-level credential for professionals who wish to understand information security terminology and possess technical expertise and knowledge vital for occupying hands-on security roles. Public Key Infrastructure, Network Mapping, Linux, Network Protocols, Access Controls, Password Management, DNS, Cryptography, Ipv6, and Preventing Wireless Attacks are some of the major areas where GSEC holders are inherently trained in. Quite a bit more expensive than Security+ exam, GSEC is currently priced at $1,899 and the successful candidates are required to renew the certification after every four years.

Apart from these must-have credentials, there are a number of other top cybersecurity certifications available for IT professionals interested in this field. Some of them include Cybersec First Responder (CFR) certification, Cisco CCNA Cyber Ops certification, CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ certification, and CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor).

If you are looking for a cybersecurity career, then these certifications not only add to your career infographic but also help you stand out among other candidates as far as job prospects are concerned. It can prove out to be one of the critical factors deciding your level of excellence in work and your career growth as well.

Bonus: In addition to these certifications, add to your knowledge base FREE unbiased and genuine information of the top threats and vulnerabilities that are plaguing the cybersecurity ecosystem.

Download the FREE OWASP E-Book to know more > > > > >



Published on Jul 8, 2020
Harshit Agarwal
Written by Harshit Agarwal
Harshit Agarwal is co-founder and CEO of Appknox, a mobile security suite that helps Enterprises and Financial institutions to automate mobile security. Over the last 6 years, Harshit has worked with over 300+ businesses ranging from top financial institutions to Fortune 500 companies to set up security practices helping organisations secure their mobile applications and speed up the time for security testing.


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