Let’s face it, in the world of technology, there are literally a ton of certifications that are out there, especially in Cybersecurity. Not only is it confusing deciding which one to get, it can get even more difficult trying to figure out the best way to pass the exam on the first attempt. In this article, we explore several ways in which you can best prepare for a Cybersecurity cert.

The Methods

  • Have your company pay for it:
    This is probably one of the best options that is available. With this, not only will the company that you work for foot the bill for the exam, but more than likely, they will also pay for your training in order to get the certification. Getting it can be an expensive proposition. So, there is some serious convincing that you may have to do in order to convince your boss that he or she will get a return on it. In order to go down this route, it is best to wait until you have worked for the company for a year or more, so you have proven your worth and they are more likely to see the value in the investment. Then, as you approach your boss, you can tell them about the experiences that you have accumulated, and how having a certain certification will be advantageous in growing that knowledge. But the trick here is to not present your case as to how you will benefit from it, but rather, how it will be advantageous for your team and company. One way that you could possibly position this is to explain how having a particular certification will actually add more prestige value when bidding on new projects or prospecting for new clients.
  • Going to a bootcamp:
    When one hears this term, the image of reveille sounding to start off the day often comes to mind. But relax, you will not have to go through rigorous calisthenics or listening to a drill sergeant. Instead, you will have to survive day long and very intensive classes that can be mentally grueling to say the least. Most Cybersecurity cert bootcamps are about a weeklong (typically five business days), and the goal of them is to teach you all that you need to know in order to pass the exam for your desired certification shortly after it is over. Typically, these kinds of bootcamps are a blend of both classroom instruction and hands on, practical training in order to get you as prepared as possible for the exam. While the pass rate can be deemed to be high, bootcamps are also very expensive. They can range anywhere from $2,000.00 to $20,000.00 total (depending upon how long the bootcamp is – some are even offered over the course of 2-3 months). Worst yet, the fees are not refundable, so if you don’t pass the exam on the first attempt, you may need to do it all over again. Bootcamps can be both very advantageous but also very costly in the end, with no guarantees.
  • Online Instruction:
    If you cannot afford the cost of a bootcamp, there is yet another option that is available to you. Many vendors of the more popular certifications offer online training for just a fraction of the cost (typically, most of them run only about a few hundred dollars). With this approach, you get access to live instruction from an experienced professional. Plus, the instructional lessons are broken up into several modules. You also get practice quizzes and exams, and even hands on lab experience as well in many instances. The other advantage with this approach is that you can more or less learn at your own pace, especially if you have a hectic schedule both personally and professionally.
  • Cyber Range hands-on experience:
    If you can, get your hands on the latest security tools with Cyber Range.. We are huge fans of this type of training because you cannot know what to do or what you would do until you experience an attack in real time.   The gamification  gives you an idea as to where you astandcompared to your fellow team mates.  This gaming  experience will truly set you on the path to knowing what to do and what choices to make. Our favorite tool in this space is Project Ares by Circadence.
  • Self-study:
    If any of the approaches just reviewed do not fit your bill, there is one more option: studying on your own. With this, you are embarking on teaching everything to yourself that you need to know in order to prepare for the exam. The most popular way to do this is to purchase a book and start reading/taking notes. But keep in mind, purchasing these kinds of materials through the certification vendor can also be expensive. Rather, your best bet is to find comparable books from Amazon or even looking for books at your local library. With this method, time is literally on your side. You can take as much time as you want to learn the material, and you can sign up for the exam when you feel that you are ready for it. But the downside here is that you have to be motivated and highly disciplined on a regular basis in order to help ensure that you will pass the exam on the first attempt. To help you do this, it is always best to form a study a group with others who are also taking the same exam. Also keep in mind that there are also plenty of  flash cards, quizzes, and other study aids that you can download for free to aid in your preparation. However, remember, that you still need practical experiences and that is where a Cyber Range comes in to play.

Conclusions

Whatever route you choose to take, keep the instruction fun and focused on the needs of the certifications you are striving for For help on cybersecurity topics, contact us at KAMIND IT today.