How to Get an IA Certification

Information assurance involves ensuring the safety of systems information by identifying, evaluating and managing risks to that information, especially as pertaining to information spread over the Internet. The most commonly used technique for managing such risk is to provide only for authorized access to information by authorized users and at authorized times. IA professionals are highly skilled and go through a training and certification process that can take anywhere from several months in a technical training program to 8 years in college, depending on their chosen information assurance field. Certified IA specialists can expect to work in government agencies or in private sector establishments. If you are interested in becoming an IA professional, follow these guidelines for how to get an IA certification.


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    Decide the type of information assurance you would like to specialize in. As an IA professional, you may choose to work in a number of different capacities, and each will determine the type of specialized training you should pursue. Specialized IA certifications include:
    • Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT). This specialist evaluates computer system vulnerabilities and security risks.
    • Certified Application Security Specialist (CASS). A CASS is responsible for all aspects of security-related computer programming.
    • Certified SCADDA Security Architect (CSSA). This designation is specific to the power transmission, gas, water treatment and oil industries.
    • Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst (CREA). CREAs must be able to locate and identify the path and function of malware threats.
    • Certified Data Recovery Professional (CDRP). These IA specialists must able to recover data from damaged technological sources.
    • Certified Computer Forensics Examiner (CCFE). CCFEs work closely with law enforcement agencies and investigation units to recover and analyze computer forensics evidence.
    • Certified Windows Security Specialist (CWSS). These specialists must be thoroughly knowledgeable in every aspect of the Windows operating system.
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    Choose an Information Assurance training program. You have several options when it comes to training to be an IA professional:
    • A branch of the military. The US Department of Defense implements a program for training members of the army, navy, marines and air force in the process of risk management for government information systems. Taking the necessary training for IA certification through any of the government's military branches is referred to as the DoD Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP).
    • Online learning institutions. There are several online schools devoted to providing IA training.
    • Technical/vocational schools. Any program geared toward the specialization you are interested in will help prepare you for the national certification examination.
    • Colleges and universities. You may decide to pursue anything from a 2-year associates degree to a doctorate in Information Assurance.
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    Complete your IA training coursework.
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    Register to take the certification examination with a reputable certifying authority. The Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), Information Assurance Certification Review Board (IACRB) and NIACAP are good examples.

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Categories: College University and Postgraduate