Overview of the Certification
Global Information Assurance Certification is an information security certification entity that provides vendor-neutral technical and practical certifications that help individuals stay ahead of black hat techniques. This equips professionals with cutting-edge knowledge in cybersecurity to govern and manage an enterprise’s IT programs.
GIAC certifications develop and administer professional cybersecurity certifications. Its arsenal of 30 cybersecurity certifications provides master in critical and specialized InfoSec domains. They are a testament to the highest and most rigorous cybersecurity skills available to any industry, government, or military clients across the world.
Because of its emphasis on both technical and practical elements, these certifications align with the real-world implications of IT security. Its exams are focused on the application of this knowledge for protecting enterprise’s proprietary information and IT security programs. Today’s cyberattacks are highly sophisticated and exploit specific vulnerabilities. Broad, general InfoSec certifications are no longer enough. Professionals need specific skills and specialized knowledge to meet multiple, varied threats.
The design of a certification exam can impact the quality and integrity of certification. GIAC exam content and question design are developed through a rigorous process led by GIAC’s on-staff psychometrician and reviewed by experts in each technical area. More than 146,000 certifications have been issued since 1999. GIAC Certifications meet ANSI/ISO 17024 standards and align with the NICE framework.
Is This Certification Right for You?
Defending against attacks is an ongoing challenge, with new threats emerging daily and APT (advanced persistent threat) on everyone’s mind. Well prepared organizations understand what has worked and will always work is taking a risk-based approach to cyber defense. Ensuring the highest level of cyber security means having the expertise and knowledge to focus on the right areas of cyber defence.
Technical knowledge is no longer sufficient for leading a security function across complex organizations. Today’s security leaders must combine technical knowledge with leadership and management skills that are rooted in a deep understanding of the business. GIAC certifications prove performance mastery of intensive, practical steps necessary for defending applications and systems against the most dangerous threats.
Knowledge in a particular area, Intrusion Detection or Incident Handling, is both important and valuable. Individuals who earn any of the GIAC certifications have worked hard, demonstrated essential technical skills, and should rightfully take pride in their accomplishments. Those who pursue an in-depth technical education in all areas of information security are the target audience for the GSE certification.
GIAC Gold status demonstrates that the certification holder understands and can communicate the knowledge and skills necessary in key areas of information security. GIAC Gold is your chance to shine and demonstrate not only your technical knowledge but also your ability to write clearly. Once a Gold paper has been approved, it will be published in GIAC’s Reading Room.
Eligibility Criteria and Road Map for GIAC Certifications
Initially, all SANS GIAC certifications required a written paper or “practical” on a specific area of the certification in order to achieve the certification. In April 2005, the SANS organization changed the format of the certification by breaking it into two separate levels.
The “silver” level certification is achieved upon completion of a multiple-choice exam. The “gold” level certification can be obtained by completing a research paper and has the silver level as a prerequisite. Other than that, there are no eligibility criteria. The certifications that GIAC offers, according to its own website, are
|GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials||Cyber Defense|
|GCIH: GIAC Certified Incident Handler||Penetration Testing|
|GCFA: GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst||Incident Response and Forensics|
|GPEN: GIAC Penetration Tester||Penetration Testing|
|GCIA: GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst||Cyber Defense|
|GWAPT: GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester||Penetration Testing|
|GCFE: GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner||Incident Response and Forensics|
|GSLC: GIAC Security Leadership||Management, Audit, Legal|
|GREM: GIAC Reverse Engineering Malware||Incident Response and Forensics|
|GISF: GIAC Information Security Fundamentals||Cyber Defense|
|GCED: GIAC Certified Enterprise Defender||Cyber Defense|
|GICSP: Global Industrial Cyber Security Professional||Industrial Control Systems|
|GSNA: GIAC Systems and Network Auditor||Management, Audit, Legal|
|GMON: GIAC Continuous Monitoring Certification||Cyber Defense|
|GNFA: GIAC Network Forensic Analyst||Incident Response and Forensics|
|GCWN: GIAC Certified Windows Security Administrator||Cyber Defense|
|GXPN: GIAC Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester||Penetration Testing|
|GISP: GIAC Information Security Professional||Management, Audit, Legal|
|GPPA: GIAC Certified Perimeter Protection Analyst||Cyber Defense|
|GCCC: GIAC Critical Controls Certification||Cyber Defense|
|GMOB: GIAC Mobile Device Security Analyst||Penetration Testing|
|GAWN: GIAC Assessing and Auditing Wireless Networks||Penetration Testing|
|GCTI: GIAC Cyber Threat Intelligence||Incident Response and Forensics|
|GCUX: GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator||Cyber Defense|
|GPYC: GIAC Python Coder||Penetration Testing|
|GWEB: GIAC Certified Web Application Defender||Developer|
|GSTRT: GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership||Management, Audit, Legal|
|GSSP-JAVA: GIAC Secure Software Programmer-Java||Developer|
|GASF: GIAC Advanced Smartphone Forensics||Incident Response and Forensics|
|GLEG: GIAC Law of Data Security & Investigations||Management, Audit, Legal|
|GCDA: GIAC Certified Detection Analyst||Cyber Defense|
|GRID: GIAC Response and Industrial Defense||Industrial Control Systems|
|GDAT: GIAC Defending Advanced Threats||Cyber Defense|
|GCPM: GIAC Certified Project Manager||Management, Audit, Legal|
|GSSP-.NET: GIAC Secure Software Programmer- .NET||Developer|
|GDSA: GIAC Defensible Security Architecture||Cyber Defense|
|GSE: GIAC Security Expert||GSE|
|GCIP: GIAC Critical Infrastructure Protection||Industrial Control Systems|
|GCSA: GIAC Cloud Security Automation||Developer|
|GEVA: GIAC Enterprise Vulnerability Assessor||Penetration Testing|
|GOSI: GIAC Open Source Intelligence||Cyber Defense|
|GBFA: GIAC Battlefield Forensics and Acquisition||Incident Response and Forensics|
What is the Cost of GIAC Certification?
|GIAC Certification (Challenge) Attempt||$1,999|
|GIAC Gold Certification||$579|
|GSE Hands-on Lab Fee||$2,579|
|GSE Entrance Exam||$529|
|Certification Attempt Retakes||$799|
|Certification Attempt Extensions||$399|
|Gold Certification Attempt Extension||$399|
|Practice Exams (Additional)||$169|
Affiliate Pricing for GIAC Certification Attempts purchased in conjunction with SANS training is $799 (as of October 1, 2019). GIAC Certification Attempts purchased independently from a SANS training package are $1,999.
Alumni of a SANS training course wishing to attempt the associated GIAC certification at a later date are eligible for a $850 discount. You will receive an email notification when your certification attempt has been activated in your account. Each certification attempt includes 2 practice tests, a $338 value.
GIAC’s website reads a disclaimer, saying, ‘The GIAC certification program only offers certification attempts to individual candidates, including verification of individual identity at multiple steps. GIAC does not permit the resale or transfer of any certification registration or GIAC exam voucher. Each certification attempt purchased is non-transferable and any certification application/registration instance is intrinsically tied to one and only one individual account.’
What are the Salary Options for GIAC Certification?
The average salary for GIAC Security Essentials is about $91k. Overall, the salary for all categories of certifications ranges between $70K to $150k. As GIAC reports, over 81% of hiring managers said that GIAC certification played a role in the certification process
Where to Get Online Resources for GIAC Certification?
GIAC has an official training partner – SANS institute. Apart from that, there are some affiliate training institutes aligned with SANS institute. These providers provide the practice exams for the certification. Because of its high standard, the training providers must be vetted and are held to a high standard.
[ Also Read: 15 Top Paying IT Certifications in 2020 ]