Just a poll to see what industry certifications people of the board have, and what job position they have with these certifications.
I appreciate any responses -)
Network Security Engineer by profession
I own the company so I guess that makes me god?? lol
I don't hire by certs either - I find they are a crutch for people who can't back up their abilities. I give my techs a real life situation and let them dig their way out of it. Watching how they respond is what I go by in hiring them
Work as a Information Security Analyst at fortune 500 company. Lead for incident response. litigations e-discovery and forensics.
Certs achieved so far are Security + and Certified Computer Examiner.
I agree with RoboGeek's comment. Nothing beats real life experience and being able to make the right choices when hiring. Corporate hiring practices are too fluffy.
Being well rounded with different technologies is the key.
One of the things I always tell my student is that the only thing a certification is good for is to get you the interview. However, they have to realize that the interviewer is not going to ask multiple-choice questions… that is where the experience and good communications skills come into play.
Do you have a small crutch since you say that you have minor certs?
I think you will find that you will alienate LOTS of people with statements like that.
I am training to be a forensic computer analyst and I am a certified computer examiner. I am looking at perhaps becoming a MCSA but that is more of a general interest thing. I don't think certifications are all that impressive but for someone starting off in the field they are a way of saying to the judge that you are working within your own knowledge barriers.
Interesting responses. I look at it a little different. I can understand those in field not being to overly impressive, but I would probably say that Certifications are extremely important, especially in the Forensics Field. Here is why, like bjgleas said, certs get you the interview. As forensics is mostly in the consulting/contract job field, done for multiple companies and such, Certs look alot better when companies are looking to hire a Computer Forensics Examiner for a investigation.
Think of it this way, you are a company who is looking to hire someone for a computer Forensic investigation, do you hire A) Joe with no specialized CF certifications but has said he is experienced in Computer Forensics or B) Doug who has Overall Security Cert (Security +, CISSP or GSEC) a specific Forensic Cert (CCE or GCFA) and a Forensic Tool Specific Cert (ENcE Or ACE)
Which would be considered more of an Expert Witness?
Currently, I hold the GSEC, GCFA and am in the process of the ENcE. I am also a Information Security Analyst Sr.
In that respect how much are academic qualifications worth or is it assumed that people will have a degree and possiblity a postgrad? If not then how do they really compare to professional certifications?
Interesting question. Which, unfortunately, cannot be measured, other than personal preference. IMO, I believe that a BS and/or MS in a computer related field gives you good building blocks to get a job in the industry and shows you can be taught.
However, due to the aggressive nature of technology progression, anything more than a couple of years old could be considered out-of-date. For instance, when I was getting my BS in CS, they were still teaching ADA! Some say that once a book on CF is printed, it is out-of-date. So the key to "Good" Certs, and the difference between that and a BS or MS, is the requirement of CPE or Continuing Professional Education at the least (CISSP, EnCE), or even retaking the entire Cert every couple of years (GSEC, GCFA).
One of the "dangers" with most certs is that they are only a single, multiple choice exam, and for many of them, there are brain dumps available. I have the Security+, EC-Council CHFI, CISSP, and the GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst from SANS. Those all have their pros and cons, but they are only multiple choice tests, and simply say that I can read and take a multiple choice test.
The cert I like the most (so far) is the Certified Computer Examiner from the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners. In this test, you are given an online multiple choice test, and that is followed by three practical physical evidence examinations a floppy, a CD-ROM, and a hard drive. There is no multiple choice - you need to duplicate the evidence, and provide a detailed report to the client on what you found. Each one of these report (for me anyway), ran in the neighborhood of 20+ single spaced pages. It is reviewed by a human, who generates your score. This is more comprehensive and valuable than just a single, simple, automated exam.
As far as degrees go, I also hold a BS and MS in Computer Science and a BA in Criminal Justice. The big difference between certs and degrees is that there is a more significant time commitment, and the number of class and professors you encounter will often challenge you, in many different ways. And from what I have seen in the corporate world, many companies won't hire people without a college degree, and it would be a tough sell to have an expert witness without a degree.
In my mind, the degree shows that you have completed a comprehesive course of study, and the certs show that you are keeping up in the field. I go even further back than M7esec (FORTRAN, punch cards, JCL), but despite that, have been able to prove to my various employers that I have mantained my knowledge in the field by obtaining various certifications.
In my mind, the degree shows that you have completed a comprehesive course of study, and the certs show that you are keeping up in the field.
I think that probably summarises it quite nicely. In such a field like IT where everything is changing so quickly it is important to be able to say that you move with the times and keeping up with current technology. I completed my degree in 2002 and although quite a lot of it is still relevant now, new technology is emerging all the time and of course there are many aspects of IT that I didn't cover in my degree or postgrad.
As for the Certified Computer Examiner, I found it quite a useful examination process which helped me learn a lot of stuff whilst working through it. In fact, I quite enjoyed doing it. Out of interest Bj, are you thinking of completing the specific exams in various file systems to upgrade to MCCE status?
The CCE was a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.
In order to become a MCCE you need to take 3 or more file system endorsement exams. But when I go to register at http//www.certified-computer-examiner.com/register.htm, I only see 1 - Win9x. I was going to wait until I saw that a few more were available.
Yes, I also noticed this and emailed John about it. I received a reply from John Mellon the other day to state that the other specialist exams should be ready in the next few weeks so if you are interested in the MCCE you might find it useful keep checking the site in the near future.
The EnCE is similar to CCE in some levels, it requires a level of experience (18 months) and after the initial exam there is a practical requirement where they send you data to run a Forensic Exam. There is a good overview of Security Certifications here.
An interesting list. Thanks for posting that )