Home > Uncategorized > More on Information Security-Related Certification and Also a Few Kudos

More on Information Security-Related Certification and Also a Few Kudos

If you have been reading my blog entries for a while, you know that I very much value certain information security-related certifications, particularly the CISM, CISSP and GSEC certifications. When I first entered the information security arena, these certifications were not available. I wish that they had been, as the information a person who is studying for a certification test must learn is extremely helpful in the real-life practice of information security. I am confident that I would not have made quite a few of the mistakes and omissions I have made over the years had I been privy to such information. Additionally, of the “big three” certifications that I just mentioned, I have taught or currently teach two of the three preparation courses for them, and will soon be teaching the prep course for the third. I must confess that although I think that my teaching these courses helps those who attend learn some very valuable principles and facts, teaching these courses has also helped me immensely. How? It has filled in missing details in my understanding of certain principles and also my knowledge in certain technical areas. Principles in the CISM examination preparation course have, for example, taught me how to “make the sale” of information security to senior management, something that I really did not know before I started teaching this course.

Whenever I teach a certification examination preparation course, I ask attendees to let me know whether or not they passed the exam once they learn how they did. It is incredibly gratifying to learn that someone who has taken the course has passed. It is in this vein that I would like to give a kudo to one such person, Ezhilan Maruthavanan, who took the CISM examination preparation course that I taught in Fort Lauderdale last May. Ezhilan paid particularly close attention to course-related information during this two day event, asked many questions, and seemed to almost always come up with astute answers to the questions I asked.  At the end of the two days, I was confident that he would pass. Several days ago I received a very nice message from him confirming that he did. He is not by any means the only highly motivated, sharp attendee of a certification examination preparation course that I have taught, but he certainly stands out as one the very best of the best. Well done, Ezhilan (who, by the way, somehow picked up the nickname “Robusto” in the class!).

At High Tower Software one of my wishes is that every information security engineer obtains at least one security-related certification (and we are very, very close to achieving this goal!). Two High Tower information security engineers, Jason Pereira and Alan Knutson, decided to pursue CISSP certification on their own. After many long days spent working on security engineering tasks, they would quickly eat a fast food dinner and then start studying the CISSP examination preparation materials. They constantly quizzed each other and took practice test after practice test. Without having the advantage of being able to attend a CISSP preparation course, they both passed the examination and now have CISSP certification. Kudos thus also go to these two exemplary High Tower employees.

I know that I have said this before, so I’ll make this brief. If you are an information security professional who does not have any information security-related certification, you should strongly consider pursuing one of the “big three” certifications in the field. You can use the stories of Ezhilan, Jason and Alan as your inspiration. As one television commercial goes, “just do it.”

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