Cisco updates CCNA/CCNP Security certifications

Mortar BoardCisco Systems is updating the courses and certifications for its CCNA Security and CCNP Security designations. The updates follow on the vendor’s regular 18 to 24 months renewal cycle for its certifications, and the new versions of the courses will include more material related to IPv6 and access control lists.

It’s no secret that security continue to evolve, and as businesses change with new technology trends like bring your own device (BYOD), mobility, cloud and virtualization, there’s a greater need for IT security professionals to keep their education and certifications up to date. With the updates of CCNA Security, Cisco is providing focused content on how to protect networks from threats that are designed to attack IPv6. According to Tejas Vashi, director of product management at Cisco, the skill levels around IPv6 security are being moved down from the engineering to the associate level.

“What we’re seeing in the industry is a continued evolution of job roles, very focused on the dedicated job roles around the advanced technologies,” Vashi said. “Ten years ago, we had a lot of networking professionals that were sort of pulling double duty and also saying they could do some security or some wireless. That’s the way it evolved. The network folks could multi-task and do other types of things. The complexity and the way the envionrment has actually evolved with the virutalization growth, the mobility growth, it’s really driving a whole different change in how networks need to be constructed, how neteworks need to be supported, even how they need to be implemented.”

More professional-level baseline technologies are moving down into the CCNA course and exam, he noted. At the CCNP level, there is new content related to access control lists because, as Vashi said, it’s now a virtualized and mobile world. Individuals are accessing the network from so many different locations and devices that more knowledge about access control is required to keep networks secure.

Many of the Cisco products that are covered under CCNA/CCNP Security have become simpler to use and manage so that individual job roles can do more, said Andy Gremett, senior manager of product marketing at Cisco. The new versions of the courses and exams were designed based on the idea that security professional roles are being asked to do more.

Additionally, Cisco is updating its VPN Security Specialist and Firewall Security Specialist designations. Both specialist exams are being updated.

All of the new exams are available now through Pearson Vue examination centres.