Consider Earning These 3 Cybersecurity Certifications

A ‘category one’ cyber attack, the most serious tier possible, will happen sometime over the next few years, warned a director of the National Cybersecurity Centre in September.

As the severity and incidence of cybercrime across the UK increases, Government is reacting by investing heavily in new initiatives aimed at building cybersecurity skills.

After May’s catastrophic hack, the NHS is now setting aside £20m to hire ethical hackers and establish a new cybersecurity centre. Meanwhile, a £20m initiative to get schoolchildren interested in cybersecurity was also launched this month.

There’s significant investment in cybersecurity from UK law enforcement as non-technical police officers are trained in the cybersecurity investigation and forensics techniques required to catch criminals.

“It’s a case of learning the practical skills that we can utilise, no different to a finding a gun at a crime scene that we can make safe from the public and attribute to the criminal,” said DC Steve Mersh, when interviewed on BBC Breakfast.

Technical knowledge is key, and police are learning how to advise and investigate cybercrime in organisations, as well as providing digital support when responding to conventional crimes.

To build and prove cybersecurity knowledge, UK police are gaining recognised cybersecurity certifications from specialised training providers. The knowledge gained is invaluable for police and public alike—these are certifications any cybersecurity professional should consider achieving.

For Foundation Security Skills: CompTIA Security+

For the frontline officers responding to cybercrime, specialist knowledge is key to investigating incidents and providing support to victims. That’s where certifications like CompTIA’s Security+ fit in.

The Security+ teaches officers the essential principles of networking and risk management, critical knowledge needed to deal with cybercrime. It’s also a rewarding certification for frontline police to gain foundational IT security knowledge.

“The Security+ is taught to officers who are directly involved in supporting victims of cybercrime and those who are potentially at risk of attack. These skills also enable officers to spot potential vulnerabilities within organisations and give guidance on risk mitigation,” writes Phil Chapman, Cybersecurity Instructor at Firebrand Training.

Officers taking the Security+ are responsible for management of victims of crime; the broad introductory skills gained on this entry-level certification align well to this need.

For officers investigating cybercrime, this technical knowledge is needed to recover digital evidence from crime scenes. Speed is essential when arriving at a crime scene – every second a computer is left unattended it loses data stored in its memory cache.

The cache could contain activity logs and internet history, data that could be critical to convicting a criminal. However, if an officer gets onto the machine, it can be kept alive while the volatile data is retrieved. This process doesn’t require expensive tools, just the expertise provided by cybersecurity training and certification.

For IT Security Management Knowledge: BCS CISMP

The CISMP (Certificate in Information Security Management Principles), administered by the British Computing Society (BCS), builds knowledge in a wide range of information security management principles.

Commonly considered as a foundation CISSP—a reference to one of the most sought-after certifications in IT security—the CISMP is ideal as an introduction to information security management.

This certification is undertaken by management-level law enforcement employees, with the aim to use these skills internally. Officers achieve the CISMP to gain knowledge of network security policies and countermeasures as well as threat and risk management.

The CISMP also builds on the networking and physical controls studied within the Security+ certification. Because of this, it is often taught alongside the Security+.

For Advanced IT Security Management Knowledge: (ISC)2 CISSP

The CISSP is the gold standard IT security certification that proves a professional’s ability to manage an organisation’s security blueprint.

Designed for security veterans, this certification is provided to senior investigating officers or experienced detectives in management roles. As the CISSP focuses on the managerial aspects of cybersecurity, it’s often undertaken by law enforcement staff who are involved in the management of cyber-related crime and teams of investigators.

Cybersecurity Skills for Every Business

The above certifications gained by UK law enforcement are all commercially available cybersecurity qualifications that can be adapted to any industry, sector or vertical.

After all, it’s not just law enforcement in need of cybersecurity skills. UK businesses must train their staff in cybersecurity, or risk facing more massive hacks on a larger scale than that of WannaCry.

Alex Bennett is a technical writer for Firebrand Training. Working at the forefront of the digital skills industry, Alex uses his insider knowledge to write regularly on cybersecurity, cloud and networking.

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