The Cisco Cyber Security Scholarship course culminates in me taking the new CCNA CyberOps certification. To obtain the CCNA CyberOps certification, you MUST complete both the SECFND (210-250) and SECOPS (210-255) exams.
The SECFND (210-250) exam syllabus covers the following topics:
- Network Concepts
- Security Concepts
- Host-Based Analysis
- Security Monitoring
- Attack Methods
While the SECOPS (210-255) exam syllabus covers:
- Endpoint Threat Analysis & Computer Forensics
- Network Intrusion Analysis
- Incident Response
- Data and Event Analysis
- Incident Handling
For both exams, you will be presented with approximately 65 questions and you will need a minimum of 82.5% to pass. Test takers can expect the usual MCQ (Single/Multi-Answers) and Drag & Drop with the exception of the iconic simlet questions.
As usual, I would recommend Cisco Official Cert Guides to prepare for your CCNA CyberOps exam.
The CyberOps SECFND official cert guide is extremely detailed and matches closely to scholarship program course materials. However, the same cannot be said for the SECOPS book. The book gleans through a lot of what is expected of the candidates, you will need to find an alternate source when doing the SECOPS exam.
In the SECOPS exam syllabus, there is a heavy emphasis on being familiar with the following NIST publications:
- NIST 800-61r2 Computer Security Incident Handling Guide
- NIST 800-86 Guide to Integrating Forensic Techniques into Incident Response
It is absolutely essential for you to understand the incident handling process in NIST 800-61r2 and the forensic process in NIST 800-86 as the SECOPS exam place strong emphasis on your understanding of these 2 documentations.
You will also need to briefly know the Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standard but I encourage you to have a read through the entire document as it is a prerequisite for many SOC Analyst level jobs.
Here are a couple of tips that saw me through the CyberOps exam.
- Go through the Start and End-of-chapter quiz in the Official Cert Guide. I have seen similar questions coming up in both exams.
- If you have or are going through the Cyber Security scholarship program, it is also helpful to go though the start and end-of-chapter quiz.
- Use the Cyber Security scholarship program course material to augment the SECOPS official cert guide book.
- Familiarize yourself with the NIST publication before attempting the SECOPS exam
- Read through the PCI-DSS compliance document to understand what constitutes payment card information and what information requires protection as mandated by the compliance document.
The CCNA CyberOps certification is a new kid on the block. I would not be surprised if employers would not give it as much weight as CCNA Security even though each certification teaches a different skill set.
Will CCNA CyberOps go the way of CCNA Industrial (i.e: The certification track will only offer CCNA level and not move beyound it) or be one with the other old and more established certification track? Only time will tell…