CEH vs. CISSP – Which Security Certification Do You Need?
The CEH and CISSP security certifications are essentially two sides of the same coin. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) sets up security measures for an organization, and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) tries to circumvent them and break in; letting the organization know what they could do better and help them strengthen their overall security blueprint. Both security specialists work together help to build a cohesive security strategy to keep the organization’s network safe.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of obtaining each certification and some positions that you will be able to pursue after becoming certified.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
Some people just have a natural talent for hacking into computer networks. They think quick on their feet and are able to problem solve. A CEH certification provides this individual with the opportunity to put their skills to good use for a positive endeavor instead of mischief and mayhem. They can also get paid quite handsomely for doing something they’re already interested in. The challenges keep coming and the sky’s the limit if they have the talent and build a reputation for themselves.
To obtain a CEH certification, you must have a minimum of two years of experience working in an IT security or a related position. Then you have to be accepted into a CEH program to train to take the certification exam. The course consists of a number of training modules and attack technologies, providing real-world scenarios that mimic hacking examples.
Upon completing your CEH certification, you will be qualified to work as a consultant for government agencies and private sector organizations looking to harden their security strategy. This type of position is usually more suited to someone who likes more freedom in choosing their work and someone who enjoys taking on consistent challenges.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
IT security professionals that hold the CISSP certification are generally individuals who have migrated into security from other areas of IT. They are mostly classically trained in another discipline and have decided to specialize in security as their career progresses. It’s their job to set up the organization’s security blueprint. Then the CEH attempts to break into the network without telling the CISSP the attack is coming. If the CEH gets in, they will give a full report on what they think could be changed to strengthen the security configuration.
The CISSP certification doesn’t have a structured training program to which you have to be accepted. The only requirement is that you have at least five years of experience in at least two areas of IT security that includes security and risk management, asset security, communication, network security, security assessment and testing, software development security, identity access management, or security operations.
Just keep in mind that the exam for the CISSP is much longer and more involved than the CEH exam, so getting some help would certainly not be a bad investment. Thankfully, there are training programs provided by training companies, such as ONLC, that can help you obtain the knowledge to complete your certification.
A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) has a more diverse list of potential positions that they qualify for and typically qualify for a broader salary range. Additionally, their work environment is much more structured, and they tend to work directly for an organization – whereas the CEH is more of a consulting role. The list of possible positions that you may acquire with a CISSP may include security consultant, security manager, security architect, security analyst, and security auditor.
The Choice is Up to You
You can choose either certification depending on your individual characteristics and criteria. However, there’s nothing that says you can’t obtain both; allowing you to understand both sides of the security conundrum. This unique understanding will serve to make you much more proficient at any security position you choose while effectively doubling your employment possibilities.
Whichever choice you make, you will undoubtedly benefit from training to help you achieve your certification. Discover your passion for IT security and enroll in one of our security certification programs today.