News
3 July 2024

Top 10 Cybersecurity Certifications in 2024

The cybersecurity industry is experiencing rapid growth due to the escalating complexity and frequency of cyber threats, driving a demand for skilled professionals. Certifications in cybersecurity are vital for career progression. They not only enhance employability and potential earnings but also demonstrate a commitment to staying current with technological and tactical advancements. For those looking to thrive in this dynamic field, obtaining the right certification is crucial.

In this blog post, we will delve into the top cybersecurity certifications for 2024, focusing on the most sought-after credentials in the Netherlands and the Benelux region. By understanding these certifications, you can better navigate your career path and meet the industry’s critical demands.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

The CISSP is a globally recognized certification in the field of information security. It is designed for experienced security practitioners, managers, and executives interested in proving their knowledge across a wide array of security practices and principles. The CISSP certification validates an individual’s expertise in designing, implementing, and managing a best-in-class cybersecurity program.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Security and Risk Management
  • Asset SecuritySecurity
  • Architecture and Engineering
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Security Operations
  • Software Development Security

Skills Acquired:

  • Designing, engineering, and managing overall security posture.
  • Risk management and mitigation strategies.
  • Developing and implementing robust security policies and procedures.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Information Security Manager (€80,000 – €120,000)
  • Security Consultant (€80,000 – €120,000)
  • IT Auditor (€80,000 – €120,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 3 hours
Requirements: 5 years of cumulative, paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the CISSP CBK.
Cost: $749 (approximately €680)

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

CISM is tailored for management more than the IT professional on the front lines. It focuses on managing and governing the information security program. The certification demonstrates your ability to manage designs, and oversee and assess an enterprise’s information security.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Information Security Governance
  • Information Risk Management
  • Information Security Program Development and Management
  • Information Security Incident Management

Skills Acquired:

  • Managing and overseeing an enterprise’s information security program.
  • Risk assessment and management.
  • Incident response planning and management.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Information Security Manager (€70,000 – €110,000)
  • IT Risk Manager (€70,000 – €110,000)
  • Security Consultant (€70,000 – €110,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 4 hours
Requirements: 5 years of work experience in information security management.
Cost: $575 for ISACA members, $760 for non-members (approximately €520 – €680)

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

CISA is recognized globally as the standard of achievement for those who audit, control, monitor, and assess an organization’s information technology and business systems. It demonstrates proficiency in IS audit, control, and security skills.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Information System Auditing Process
  • Governance and Management of IT
  • Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Implementation
  • Information Systems Operations and Business Resilience
  • Protection of Information Assets

Skills Acquired:

  • Performing IT audits in accordance with standards.
  • Assessing vulnerabilities, and reporting on compliance and risk.
  • Managing IT governance and controls.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • IT Auditor (€60,000 – €100,000)
  • Audit Manager (€60,000 – €100,000)
  • Compliance Analyst (€60,000 – €100,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 4 hours
Requirements: 5 years of work experience in IS auditing, control, or security.
Cost: $575 for ISACA members, $760 for non-members (approximately €520 – €680)

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

CEH is a vendor-neutral certification for IT professionals who want to develop their knowledge and skills in ethical hacking. The certification emphasizes the ability to understand and locate weaknesses and vulnerabilities in target systems and to use the same tools as a malicious hacker, but in a lawful and legitimate manner.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to Ethical Hacking
  • Footprinting and Reconnaissance
  • Scanning Networks
  • Enumeration
  • System Hacking
  • Malware Threats
  • Sniffing
  • Social Engineering
  • Denial-of-Service
  • Session Hijacking
  • Evading IDS, Firewalls, and Honeypots

Skills Acquired:

  • Identifying vulnerabilities in network infrastructure.
  • Employing hacking tools and techniques to assess security.
  • Creating countermeasures to defend against attacks.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Ethical Hacker/Penetration Tester (€50,000 – €90,000)
  • Security Analyst (€50,000 – €90,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 4 hours
Requirements: 2 years of work experience in the Information Security domain.
Cost: $1,199 (approximately €1,090)

CompTIA Security+

Security+ is a foundational certification for anyone looking to start a career in IT security. It provides the core knowledge required for any cybersecurity role and offers a springboard to intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Threats, Attacks, and Vulnerabilities
  • Technologies and Tools
  • Architecture and Design
  • Identity and Access Management
  • Risk Management
  • Cryptography and PKI

Skills Acquired:

  • Implementing and managing security solutions.
  • Risk identification and mitigation.
  • Understanding and applying security concepts.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Security Administrator (€45,000 – €75,000)
  • Systems Administrator (€45,000 – €75,000)
  • Security Consultant (€45,000 – €75,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 90 minutes
Requirements: Recommended to have 2 years of experience in IT with a security focus.
Cost: $392 (approximately €360)

ISO/IEC 27001 Lead Auditor

ISO/IEC 27001 Lead Auditor certification is designed for professionals needing to audit an Information Security Management System (ISMS) and manage a team of auditors by applying widely recognized audit principles, procedures, and techniques.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Principles and concepts of the ISO/IEC 27001 standard
  • Information Security Management System (ISMS) fundamentals
  • Auditing principles and practices
  • Managing an audit program

Skills Acquired:

  • Planning, conducting, and reporting ISO/IEC 27001 audits.
  • Leading audit teams.
  • Implementing ISMS based on ISO/IEC 27001.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Lead Auditor (€60,000 – €100,000)
  • Compliance Manager (€60,000 – €100,000)
  • Information Security Manager (€60,000 – €100,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 3 hours
Requirements: No formal requirements, but prior knowledge of ISO/IEC 27001 is recommended.
Cost: Varies by certification body, generally €500 – €1,000

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

GSEC is designed for professionals who want to demonstrate that they are qualified for IT systems hands-on roles with respect to security tasks. It certifies that a practitioner understands information security beyond simple terminology and concepts.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Information Security Foundations
  • Networking and Protocols
  • Defense in Depth
  • Cryptography
  • Incident Handling
  • Wireless Security

Skills Acquired:

  • Implementing security controls and practices.
  • Understanding security concepts related to networks and hosts.
  • Defending against cyber threats.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Security Analyst (€50,000 – €90,000)
  • Network Security Engineer (€50,000 – €90,000)
  • IT Security Consultant (€50,000 – €90,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 5 hours
Requirements: No formal requirements, though having experience or training in security fundamentals is beneficial.
Cost: $2,499 (approximately €2,270)

Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

OSCP is a hands-on certification that demonstrates your ability to execute penetration testing methodologies and use hacking tools in a controlled and focused manner. It’s ideal for those looking to prove their practical, technical knowledge of ethical hacking.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Penetration Testing Methodologies
  • Exploitation Techniques
  • Buffer Overflow Exploits
  • Web Application Attacks
  • Client-Side Attacks
  • Bypassing Security Mechanisms

Skills Acquired:

  • Conducting advanced penetration tests.
  • Exploiting vulnerabilities.
  • Understanding and applying various hacking techniques.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Ethical Hacker/Penetration Tester (€60,000 – €100,000)
  • Security Consultant (€60,000 – €100,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 24 hours (hands-on practical exam)
Requirements: No formal requirements, but extensive preparation is recommended.
Cost: $999 (approximately €910)

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

CCSP is ideal for IT professionals who have hands-on experience with cloud security architecture, design, operations, and service orchestration. It ensures that cloud security professionals have the necessary knowledge to manage cloud environments securely.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Cloud Concepts, Architecture, and Design
  • Cloud Data Security
  • Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security
  • Cloud Application Security
  • Cloud Security Operations
  • Legal, Risk, and Compliance

Skills Acquired:

  • Securing cloud environments.
  • Managing cloud security architecture.
  • Implementing cloud security policies.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Cloud Security Architect (€70,000 – €110,000)
  • Cloud Security Consultant (€70,000 – €110,000)
  • Cloud Engineer (€70,000 – €110,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 3 hours
Requirements: 5 years of cumulative, paid work experience in IT, of which 3 years must be in information security and 1 year in one or more of the six domains of the CCSP CBK.
Cost: $599 (approximately €545)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

CCNA is a foundational networking certification that is essential for any network or security professional. It validates the ability to install, configure, and troubleshoot networks and understand basic security measures to protect them.

List of Topics Covered:

  • Network Fundamentals
  • Network Access
  • IP Connectivity
  • IP Services
  • Security Fundamentals
  • Automation and Programmability

Skills Acquired:

  • Installing, configuring, and managing network devices.
  • Understanding of network security principles.
  • Troubleshooting network issues.

Career Opportunities and Average Salaries:

  • Network Engineer (€40,000 – €80,000)
  • Systems Administrator (€40,000 – €80,000)
  • Network Security Specialist (€40,000 – €80,000)

Exam Details:

Duration: 120 minutes
Requirements: No formal prerequisites.
Cost: $300 (approximately €270)

How to Choose the Right Certification

Choosing the right certification depends on various factors, including your career goals, current skill level, and area of interest. First, identify your career path. If you aim for a managerial role, certifications like CISM or CISSP might be ideal. For hands-on roles, consider CEH or OSCP. Assess your current skills to ensure you choose a certification that matches your expertise level, filling any knowledge gaps.

Research job requirements in your desired field to understand which certifications are valued by employers. Additionally, consider the cost and time required for the certification process, including exam fees and preparation time. Seeking advice from industry professionals or mentors can also provide valuable insights into the most beneficial certifications for your career aspirations.

How to Get Started in Cybersecurity

Getting started in cybersecurity requires a strategic approach. Begin by gaining a solid foundation in IT knowledge, including networking, operating systems, and basic security principles. Pursuing relevant education, such as a degree in cybersecurity or related fields, can provide a robust base. Start with entry-level certifications like CompTIA Security+, which offer fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for a career in cybersecurity.

Hands-on experience is crucial; therefore, seek internships or entry-level positions to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios. Continuous learning and staying updated with the latest cybersecurity trends and technologies will also help you advance in this dynamic field.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity is a critical and ever-evolving field, and certifications are an excellent way to validate your skills and knowledge. Whether you are just starting or looking to advance your career, the right certification can open doors to numerous opportunities. With the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals in the Netherlands and the broader Benelux region, pursuing certifications like CISSP, CISM, CEH, and others can significantly enhance your career prospects.

Carefully consider your career goals, current skills, and the requirements of potential employers when choosing a certification. By taking strategic steps towards gaining knowledge and experience, you can build a successful and rewarding career in cybersecurity.

RESOURCE GUIDE

Cyber Security Salary Guide 2024

Whether you’re considering a job change or seeking a promotion, our guide helps you understand what you should be earning and plan your career effectively.
Accurate Salary Insights: Helping you negotiate fair compensation
Labour Market Trends: Helping you understand the emerging roles in cybersecurity
Salary Conditions Data: Helping you understand which roles offer the best benefits
Hiring Manager Demands: Helping you stay relevant which changing hiring demands

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