Estimate the Value of GIAC Certification for Future Career Growth

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The information security certification prospect has become a confusing alphabet soup of competing credentials. A few of the early certifications, like the CISSP from (ISC)2, have become identical for information security professionals both inside and outside of the field. Many in the industry doubt the value of certifications because of their great expectations for InfoSec professionals and their experience with poor performing certified individuals. Certifications are often overestimated, as they cannot replace individual experience and are not a precise measurement of individual skills. Their value is much more explicit when perceived as an educational tool like a college degree.

Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) has introduced yet another information security certification, called the GIAC Critical Controls Certification (GCCC), into this already loaded marketplace. This tip will review this new certification — particularly, what it emphasis on, how it corresponds with other prominent InfoSec certs like CISSP and CISA/CISM, and who, if anyone, should think to earn it.

Reasons why GIAC Certifications are In Demand

Higher Usage and Dependency on Digital Devices

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“For better or worse, our lives and our personal/private data are now recorded on these devices moment-by-moment,” says Rob Lee, Curriculum Lead for Digital Forensic Training at the SANS Institute and Director of Mandiant, a major provider of information security consulting services and software to Fortune 500 organizations and the U.S. Government. As a result, offenses, civil litigation matters, and incidents exploiting saved data depend on these devices are increasing.

Rising Security Incidents and Fraud

Insider Theft

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“In today’s economy more people are working remotely, which provides greater opportunities for malicious employees to create harmful attacks,” says Paul Henry, SANS Institute certified instructor in Forensics and cybercrime and President of Forensics & Recovery LLC, an independent network breach and computer forensics investigative company situated in Florida.

Expanding use of Electronically Stored Evidence

Easy Operation of Attack Tools: “Also, attack tools have become as easy to use as a point and click cameras,” and organizations more and more are beginning to understand the importance of responding to security incidents, says Frisk.

Overview of the Three Most Sough-After GIAC Certifications

1. GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)

Individuals accountable for incident handling/incident response; individuals who need an understanding of the current threats to systems and networks, along with efficient countermeasures, are commonly the target audience for GIAC GCIH certification.

“GCIH certified individuals know how to use the same tools and techniques that attackers do and learn to think like an attacker,” says Christopher Carboni, Deputy Technical Director for GIAC. “GIAC-certified individuals, in particular, GCIH, possess the know-how to handle advanced technology and security issues, work very independently and have a distinct self-confidence in handling incidents, which is remarkable in many ways,” says Clay Boswell, GCIH, GCFA, GSEC, CISSP, Information Security Director, Sealed Air Corporation a global manufacturer.

Job Roles:

Who’s Hiring?

2. GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst (GCFA)

“We test not only for core computer forensic knowledge, but we also cover areas cutting edge in the field,” says Lee. These areas include memory collection and analysis, restore point examination, registry analysis, and volume shadow analysis. The SANS Institute combines the most advanced techniques to the material multiple times every year. “For example, some elements for Windows 7 are already covered in our material,” indicates Lee.

Job Roles Include:

  • Forensic Analyst: emphasis on collecting and analyzing data from computer systems to track user-based activity that could be utilized internally or in civil/criminal litigation.
  • Incident Responder : the first-line defense during the breach.

Who’s Hiring?

  • Information Security: to stop hackers, computer-based attacks, and restore from data breach incidents.
  • Legal: Win civil and criminal cases involving electronically stored evidence.
  • Law Enforcement/Defense Industrial Base: Arrest and prosecute criminals/Deter enemies

3. GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)

The GCIH addresses individuals responsible for network and host monitoring, intrusion detection, and traffic analysis.

“It is the first and only certification for individuals who monitor networks using Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPSs),” says, Jeff Pike Technical Director for GIAC.

“There is no other security credential like the GCIA currently being offered by any other certification bodies.” The skills required to complete the GCIA successfully have been in great demand since the certification was introduced, he adds.

Job Roles Include:

Who’s Hiring?

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