Coffee with CyberFrat – June 2019

ByCyberFrat

Coffee with CyberFrat – June 2019

Discussion Date: Sunday, 2nd June 2019

Time: 10:30 AM Onwards

Coffee With CyberFrat is a program initiated with an intent to aid in the local networking of cyber professionals and students aspiring to build a career in the cyber industry.

The basic funda of CWC is, the CF volunteers in different cities decide a venue and timing for the meet. This meet is open for anyone and everyone irrespective of their professional background. Further, a topic is decided to be discussed which is same for the meets in all cities. Everyone brings their thoughts and opinions to the table while sipping coffee which is paid individually.

On 2nd June 2019, Coffee With CyberFrat was held at 5 different locations and was a grand success. The topic decided for this meet was IMPORTANCE OF INFOSEC CERTIFICATIONS.

The outcome of the meets that happened in different cities of India is summarized below.

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Importance of Information Security Certifications

The discussions started with participants sharing their insights on the importance of information security certifications and how they are helpful in career growth for an individual. The discussion zeroed around basically four aspects which were central to the agenda. 

These are as follows: 

  1. Role of certifications in information security career growth
  2. Preparation Strategy for Information Security certifications
  3. Pitfalls to avoid after you successfully pass the certification
  4. Best practices to reinforce learning after passing certification exam

These points are summarized below.

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A) Role of certifications in information security career growth

 A credential in effect shows candidate’s significant commitment to the job profile in information security field.

  • Typically, an InfoSec credential is backed by an active Security community such as ISACA, ISC2, SANS Offensive Security etc. This gives a brand recognition to an individual which in turn leads to better career opportunities for him / her. 
  • All well-known InfoSec certifications come with a pledge of ethical usage behavior from the candidate. 
  • So in case there are provable reports of malpractice from a candidate, the credential gets revoked by the governing body immediately. 
  • This leads to higher assurance from client’s end.

Within a company, this may lead to quicker job promotion or first preference to work on a new environment / technology if a person is certified on that technology. 

  • As a result, chances of receiving a better pay increases a lot once the candidate is certified.

External factors such as regulatory or industry standard(s) might mandate and insist on sending only certified candidate as a qualifying requirement for a particular job role. 

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  • This in turn, pushes the companies to aggressively get their employees certified.

Better client assurance on work quality can be given hence client is comfortable to pay more the company if they send certified professionals. 

  • This translates to a win-win for both the client and vendors.

This may offer a vendor or service provider an edge over the competition. 

  • This may happen because the client may give preference to a company which employs certified employees when compared to its closest competitor.
  • For an InfoSec professional who is active as a freelancer, having credentials is always better as this attract new young companies
  • These young companies may not have sufficient budget to approach established companies for completing required information security compliance activities. 
  • However, they may very well afford a seasoned certified InfoSec professional to help them to get compliant w.r.t information security.
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B) Strategy to prepare for InfoSec certifications:

Knowledge based certifications (CISA, CISSP, etc.):

  • Study the basics and prepare well 
  • Do lots of practice questions
  • Better learning can happen via study aids, group studies with peers
  • Test your learning and accuracy via Mock tests 
  • Learn to manage time better as there is limited time to answer questions. 

Skill based certifications (OSCP etc.):

  • Learn and understand the basic concepts well
  • Do the test practice first on labs to reinforce the concepts
  • Heavily practice on stimulated labs before attempting live exam
  • Manage your time well, prepare necessary documentation as you move forward.
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C) Common Pitfalls to avoid once you successfully pass the certification exam:

  • No need to indulge in bragging about successful certification. Stay grounded and humble. 
  • Stay calm and focused. You may have completed an important milestone, but your career journey is still happening.
  • Don’t become arrogant and start behaving snobbishly around your peers. 
    • People are less likely to work or get along smoothly with a knowledgeable but arrogant person.
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D) Best practices to reinforce learning after certificate completion:
  • Try implementing some of the ideas in your company which you learned while pursuing certification. 
    • You will get to know the real-life challenges and how to overcome them during implementation phase itself. 
  • Offer to help your colleagues facing in any implementation challenge w.r.t InfoSec. 
    • Knowledge and skills only get better by sharing it with others. 
  • Don’t hesitate to share your exam experience and things you could have done better during examination preparation with your colleagues. 
    • Your respect and confidence will only increase among peers. 
  • Keep learning and share your knowledge freely among peers. 
    • You will eventually win people trust and confidence which will catapult you to new career heights in future.

Other key points identified during the discussion, which are important when the focus falls onto information security certifications are as follows.

You need certification when you don’t know Information Security and you don’t need it when you know Information Security

This means, if you possess experience in InfoSec, certification may not be mandatory as you already have practical experience. However, for a fresher to enter into the industry, you need to have a certification to be eligible for the profile.

Top of Security is risk management 

However, it gets detached from Security as it focuses more on management of risk Security.

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No certification serves all sectors, there isn’t any generic certificate

There is no generic certification which satisfies all the criteria required. Thus, an individual ends up being perplexed, which certification needs to be completed in order to be eligible for a job opportunity,

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Preferably CEH certified individuals are hired but it doesn’t matter if they can demonstrate skills

Certain companies prioritize skills and experience over certifications for example if a candidate can demonstrate skills of ethical hacking, it does not matter if he/she possess certification.

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Certificate will become necessary as numbers grow to filter out people who do not have knowledge

As the digital era is expanding enormously, students would be inclined to work in security domain. Thus, to have an eligibility criterion and have a basic segregation of candidates, certification would be required.

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Certificate is important but cannot ignore people with experience.

Having a certificate is quite important but on the other hand people in the industry with considerable years of experience who possess knowledge as well as skills cannot be neglected over having no certification.

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EC council CEH is an entry place

CEH is considered as an entry level certification and expecting a candidate with CEH certification to have skills of higher level would not be fair.

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The Gaps that were identified which needs to be bridged to enhance the cyber community were: don’t consider him as a security guy.

No up to the mark certifications for cyber investigation

Scarcity of Good trainers 

CISOs ignore maintaining certifications and lack experience of business management

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Conclusion

CEH is a good entry point into the Information Security industry

CISSP can be considered as a relevant and useful certification for team members

CISM and CISM are good from industry perspective if you are leading a team

Udemy, Cybrary, Hack the box, Pluralsight, Project Drona, Corsera are good websites  for learning free learning.

CISM is fully defensive

CEH and OSCP can be considered as entry level certifications. CEH is objective exam while OSCP is hands on approach offensive security exam.

COFFEE WITH CYBERFRAT PARTICIPANTS

BANGALORE: Pooja Bagga, Vivek Verma

Starbucks Coffee House, Ground Floor, 115, Road Opposite Raheja Arcade, Koramangala

DELHI: Priyanka Tomar, Prem Gurnani, Nakul, Akshat

Cafe Coffee Day The Square, 46, Janpath Rd, Atul Grove Road, Janpath, Connaught Place

NASHIK: SaiPrasad Kulkarni, Amol Patwardhan, Mohit Bagul, CA Amit Sharma, Saujas Jadhav

Café Coffee Day – Mahatma Nagar, Parijat Nagar, Ramrajya Building

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MUMBAI: Gaurav Batra, Pooja Kadam, Ritesh Bhatia, Smith Gonsalves, Anirban Roychowdhury, Nikhil Talwar, Sameer Saxena, Amaresh Rajvedi, Sunil Sharma

Coffee By Di Bella Exclusive Link Road, Ground Floor. Kiran Kunj, 24th Road, Off Linking Rd, Opposite elbo room, Khar West

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PUNE: Manasdeep, Yogesh Mishra

Irani Café, World Trade Center, Dholepatil Farms Rd, EON Free Zone, Kharadi.

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About the author

CyberFrat administrator

This post is posted on behalf of the original author mentioned in the post above by CyberFrat, which is an Enterprise Risk management community with motive to help people understand the risk of operating in digital world – providing the ability to detect, investigate and respond cyber threats. Our member base is diverse and includes everyone from inquisitive students to CXOs from reputed organisations who share their learning with each others.

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