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Security Certifications: Qualifying Yourself for System Defense

  • May 9, 2003
  • By Steve Rowe
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TICSA Certification

The group formerly known as the International Computer Security Association (ICSA), now known as the TruSecure Corporation, offers this security certification. The TruSecure Corporation is a well-respected and widely known computing security organization. TruSecure kept the ICSA lettering for this exam, thus the naming of the TICSA security certification.

As with the Security+ exam, this too is a foundational-level certification. TruSecure's aim is to offer a foundational-level set of credentials for IT professionals who are currently doing enterprise IT security, but they don't have verifiable training and certification to back up their skills. TruSecure has made this exam skills-based in its nature. This means that questions will center on hands-on application of knowledge rather than simple recall questions that can be answered correctly by simply reading a book. The exam itself covers 14 areas known as the "Essential Body of Knowledge". See www.trusecure.com for what topics are included in this body.

To take this exam the candidate has to provide verifiable proof of at least two years experience in network security. Also, one can substitute a verifiable 48 hours of approved security training that has been completed within a 24-month period. Secondly, the candidate must adhere and sign a code of ethics that essentially holds you to ethical behavior while practicing systems security. Also, candidates must complete an online practitioners profile and account along with successfully completing the exam.

The following are some important facts for the TICSA security exam:

  • The exam is vendor neutral. The skills this exam tests on are applicable across vendors of all types of network hardware and software.
  • The TICSA exam is endorsed by the (ISC)2 who offers the high-level and prestigious CISSP security exam. The (ISC)2 views the TICSA exam as the perfect practitioner level exam that effectively begins to prepare the candidate for the CISSP exam. (See more on the CISSP exam in the next section)
  • The exam consists of around 70 multiple-choice questions with 90 minutes to complete the exam.
  • The certification is good for two years then you will need to re-certify. To re-certify you will need to pay a renewal fee, show 48 hours of approved continuing education within a 24-month period, re-commit to the TruSecure code of ethics, or possibly take the test over if the examined content changes drastically.
  • The exam costs $295 domestically and $395 internationally.

You may be curious as to which foundational-level exam you should take. As with any choices you have in deciding which certification path to follow, look at what the market is asking for. Look at job postings, call recruiters, or contact people you know in the industry. Whichever fundamental exam people are looking for is the one you should strongly consider pursuing. If you are employed, consult your employer as to which exam track will better prepare you for on-the-job benefit. If all other things are equal, look at what each exam covers and decide which exam gives you the preparation that best fits your career goals.





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