Why Take the CCNA Security Exam?

The Cisco Certified Network Associated Security (CCNA Security) certification is meant to validate the knowledge and skills necessary to secure Cisco networks. CCNA Security enables the holder to demonstrate certain skills, including:

  • developing security infrastructure
  • recognizing vulnerabilities in and threats to networks
  • neutralizing security threats

CCNA Security places emphasis on core security technologies. It also focuses on installing, configuring and troubleshooting network devices to sustain the integrity of networks. Confidentiality and privacy of customer data are high priorities. CCNA Security centers around maintaining the competency in the technologies used by Cisco’s security structure. CCNA Security is designed for job roles like Network Security Specialist, Security Administrator and Network Security Support Engineer.

Job growth in Computer Network, Systems and Database Administrators, which includes security specialties, is expected to increase by over 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. Additionally, job prospects in this field are expected to be plentiful over the same time period. This provides ample opportunities for individuals who decide to upgrade their desirability by obtaining the CCNA Security certification.

Network Engineers with a CCNA Security certification can earn between $45,000 to $70,000 per year. Considering the prospects for job growth, wages are likely to remain favorable in the coming years. Other positions like Data Security Administrator can earn between $36,000 and $75,000 per year.

The CCNA Security certification is an associate-level, specialized certification, focusing on the security and integrity of Cisco networks and devices such as routers or switches. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) both recognize that the CCNA Security coursework meets the CNSS 4011 training standard. By complying with this standard, holders of CCNA Security certifications have the required training to assist private sector entities and federal agencies. CCNA Security network professionals help protect the information of private entities and aid in the defense of the nation’s critical IT infrastructure.

Cisco has the ability to recognize candidates who have met the CNSS 4011 training standard. Candidates who have met the standard will receive a letter recognizing their accomplishment. Candidates so recognized can, in turn, use the letter as proof of their completion of the CNSS 4011 standard and incorporate it in their professional documentation.

To become CCNA Security certified, a valid CCNA certification must have been previously obtained. If this is not the case, any valid Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification is also acceptable. The CCNA Security certification is valid for three years. To become re-certified, one of several examinations must be taken and passed before the three-year period is up and the certification expires.

The CCNA Security certification requires applicants to pass the 640-553 IINS exam. To prepare for the exam, the recommended training class is Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security (IINS). Students must have taken a previous class, Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1), and have a working knowledge of Windows. The 640-553 IINS exam tests an applicant’s knowledge of securing Cisco routers and switches in addition to associated networks. The exam validates an applicant’s ability to install, configure and troubleshoot network devices to maintain the integrity of Cisco networks.