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About ISC SSCP Exam

The security field is developing, so even the cleverest minds want to have the benefit from holding a guide on the way to success. This means that the professionals need to develop the skills, which will allow them to face any problems. Here the Systems Security Certified Practitioner certification comes into play. This certificate proves that you have advanced technical skills in implementing, monitoring, and administering IT infrastructure with the usage of security best methods, systems, and procedures.

The (ISC)2 SSCP certification is intended for the IT Administrators, Directors, Network Security Professionals, and Managers who are responsible for the practical operating security of their company’s critical assets. To apply for this certificate, the potential candidates must pass the corresponding exam and have at least one year of working experience in one or more of the seven domains of the SSCP CBK. Those individuals who don’t have the required experience may become an Associate of (ISC)2 after passing the SSCP test. The Associate of (ISC)2 will then have two years to gain the expertise required for the SSCP certification.

Exam Details

The (ISC)2 SSCP certification exam consists of 125 questions that have to be answered within the allocated time of 180 minutes. These items are presented in the multiple-choice format, and the applicants must get the passing score of 700 points or more. This result allows them to obtain the Systems Security Certified Practitioner certificate. The test is available in many languages, including English, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese. The candidates can choose the appropriate variant during registration. As for scheduling, this process is done through the Pearson VUE platform. This means that you will take the exam at one of its testing centers that are located all across the world.

It is highly recommended that the learners use various training courses that help them complete their exam with flying colors. (ISC)2 provides the students with different resources, including the following:

  • Classroom-Based Training: This variant is designed for those individuals who prefer classroom education instead of online training. This course gives them 4-5 sequential days of interactive training. All the information is presented by an (ISC)2 Accredited Instructor and you can have in-person support.
  • Instructor-Led Training or Private On-Site: This option is a 3-5-day training that allows you to gain all the required knowledge and skills for your certification exam. You can take this cybersecurity training online, at your office, or a private venue near you.
  • Online Self-Paced Training: This course gives you the ease and confidence to jump ahead on your schedule. It is a 180-day training, and the students have on-request access to recorded video materials from an (ISC)2 Accredited Instructor. These videos will give you all the information that you need to pass your certification exam.

Besides that, the candidates can opt for the printed study recourses that are available on the official website. Among them, you can find the following:

  • Official (ISC)2 Guide to the SSCP CBK
  • Official (ISC)2 SSCP Study Guide
  • Official (ISC)2 SSCP Practice Tests
  • Certification Exam Outline

Also, the applicants can join the SSCP Online Study Group and get the Official SSCP Study App or Official SSCP Flash Cards.

Exam Topics

The SSCP exam evaluates the professionals’ expertise in systems security with the help of 7 domains that are presented in the content of the test. This certification exam confirms that you possess the advanced knowledge and experience in implementing, monitoring, and managing IT infrastructure using security best methods, policies, and systems. Let’s have a closer look at its objectives that are highlighted as follows:

Access Controls

This topic makes up 16% of the exam content and measures the applicants’ skills in demonstrating the following processes:

  • Implementing and maintaining the authentication methods;
  • Supporting internetwork trust architectures;
  • Taking part in the identity management lifecycle, including authorization, maintenance, entitlement, proofing, IAM systems, and provisioning/de-provisioning;
  • Implementing access controls.

Administration and Security Operations

The questions under this subject area cover 15% of the whole content and are designed to validating the following students’ expertise:

  • Complying with the codes of values;
  • Understanding the security concepts, such as confidentiality, accountability, privacy, integrity, non-repudiation, availability, separation of duties, and least privilege;
  • Documenting, implementing, and maintaining the functional security switches;
  • Engaging in asset management;
  • Implementing security controls and assess compliance, including the technical, physical & administrative controls, as well as periodic audit & review;
  • Taking part in change management, security awareness & training, and physical security operations.

Risk Identifying, Monitoring, and Analysis

As for this domain, it contains 15% of the exam questions and evaluates the professionals’ ability to perform the following tasks:

  • Understand the risk management process, such as visibility, management concepts & frameworks, reporting, and risk treatment;
  • Perform security assessment activities;
  • Operate and maintain monitoring systems;
  • Analyze monitoring results.

Incident Responding and Recovery Process

In the framework of this part, which is 13% of the exam questions, the applicants are required to have proficiency in the following skills:

  • Supporting the incident lifecycle, including preparation, eradication, recovery, escalation, analysis & detection, containment, and lessons performing of new countermeasure;
  • Understanding and supporting forensic investigations;
  • Understanding and supporting Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) and Business Continuity Plan (BCP) activities.

Cryptography

About 10% of the entire content measures the individuals’ understanding of the following notions and operations:

  • Fundamental notions of cryptography, such as hashing, key strength, salting, non-repudiation, encryption algorithms, and cryptographic attacks, cryptanalysis & countermeasures;
  • Reasons and requirements for cryptography, including data sensitivity, confidentiality, regulatory, and integrity & authenticity;
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) systems (fundamental key management concepts and Web of Trust);
  • Supporting secure protocols.

Communications and Network Security

This module covers 16% of the exam content and validates the following competence:

  • Understanding and applying the fundamental concepts of networking;
  • Understanding system attacks and counteractions;
  • Maintaining network access controllers, including network access controlling & monitoring, remote access operation and configuration, and network access controlling standards & protocols;
  • Managing network security;
  • Operating and configuring network-based security systems, such as network interruption discovery/prevention system, traffic-shaping devices, routers & switches, and firewalls & proxies;
  • Operating and configuring wireless technologies;

Application and Systems Security

This is the last objective that makes up 15% of the whole content and evaluates the learners’ ability to demonstrate their skills in the following tasks:

  • Identifying and examining the malicious system & activity;
  • Implementing and operating endpoint device security (host-based firewall, endpoint encryption, application whitelisting, HIDS, and secure browsing, among others);
  • Operating and configuring Cloud security;
  • Operating and securing the virtual environments, such as virtual appliances, shared storage, hypervisor, as well as software-defined networking, and attacks & counteractions.

Career Opportunities

If you pass the SSCP exam and obtain the Systems Security Certified Practitioner certificate, there is no doubt that you will be a step closer to take a well-paid job. With this certification, it will be possible for you to become a Security Analyst, a Systems Administrator, a Database Administrator, a Systems Analyst, a Network Analyst, a Systems Engineer, a Security Administrator, a Security Consultant, a Security Specialist, and a Network Security Engineer. Besides that, you will receive a higher income. The average annual salary that the certificate holders can require is about $70,000-$120,000.

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Purchase Individually

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    Last Update: Nov 30, 2021

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