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The Security Certified Program

SCNP Certification Details

The focus of the SCNP certification is defensive-orientated technology. Don't expect a cakewalk in either of the two required exams. Depending on your level of experience you might be challenged. These exams are designed for individuals that have hands-on experience deploying and securing networks. You will need a basic understanding of Windows 2000, Linux/Unix, routers, and networking to be successful. Do you have an in-depth knowledge of IPv4? Well, that's not enough, a fundamental understanding of IPv6 and how addresses are translated between the two versions is also required. These certification tests cover a wide range of skills from configuring access control lists, firewall fundamentals, to understanding classless IP addressing.

Network Security Fundamentals Exam Content

The first test in the series is the network security fundamentals exam. There are six domains. Each domain is listed below with its corresponding weight.

  • Internet Vulnerabilities - 7%
  • Tools and Techniques - 11%
  • Router Security - 12 %
  • Network Security - 13%
  • IP and Packet Structure - 25%
  • Operating System Security - 32%

Take a good look at the weight values in each category. It should give you an indication of what the SCP program considers critical. If you are not quite up to speed with items such as IP and packet structure, you may want to pull up those pertinent RFCs for review. You can find these on the IETF Web site. Here are a few of the RFCs you may want to examine.

  • RFC 768 - UDP
  • RFC 791 - IP
  • RFC 792 - ICMP
  • RFC 793 - TCP

Finally, keep in mind the basic goal of hackers while you are working through the material.

  1. Reconnaissance
  2. Penetration
  3. Control

Network Defense and Countermeasures Exam Content

The second test in the SCNP series is Network Defense and Countermeasures. Once you have passed this second test, you will have met the requirements for SCNP certification. These domains and their weighted values are listed below.

  • Network Defense Fundamentals 5%
  • Security Policy Design and Implementation 10%
  • Network Traffic Signatures 10 %
  • VPN Concepts and Implementation 15%
  • IDS Concepts and Implementation 15%
  • Firewall Concepts and Implementation 30%

This test is mostly focused toward the goals of the security professional.

  1. Protect
  2. Defend
  3. Restore

The Next Challenge: SCNA

The next step in the SCP program is the SCNA. It also requires two tests to achieve certification. While the SCNP focuses on defense, the SCNA targets trust relationships.

Advanced Security Implementation Exam Content

This exam is sectioned into 6 categories. The 6 areas of focus test candidates in the following areas:

  • Cryptography - 5%
  • Digital Signatures and Certificates - 15%
  • Advanced Topics - 15%
  • PKI Technology - 20%
  • Strong Authentication - 20%
  • PKI Policy and Architecture - 25%

The Solution Exam

Here are the objectives of the final test. This one looks challenging. Candidates must be able to do more than simply remember facts and information. This test has but one domain, Security Scenarios. Although this test is still multiple choice, some questions may run several pages in length and require the reader to complete detailed technical solutions.

All facets of security technologies will be needed for successful completion of this exam:

  • Firewalls
  • Intrusion Detection
  • Operating System Security
  • Risk Analysis
  • Security Policies
  • Signature Analysis
  • Virtual Private Networks
  • Router Security
  • Cryptography
  • PKI Planning
  • Digital Signatures and Certificates
  • Biometrics and Strong Authentication
  • Email Security
  • PKI Policy and Pilot
  • Smart Cards
  • Desktop Security
  • Wireless Security
  • Law and Legislation
  • Computer Forensics