If you want to grow and make your way in the IT industry as a network security professional, CCNP Security is the certification you're looking for.
This certification assesses whether you have knowledge in network security, endpoint protection and detection, secure access, and basic network management.
In the following blog, we will understand this certification, the benefits it offers, and how to use and create a reliable study guide with appropriate resources to successfully obtain your certification.
CCNP Security Certification Overview
A. What is CCNP Security?
CCNP Security is a certification that validates an individual's skills and knowledge in the implementation and operation of core network technologies, cloud security, security solutions, network protection, and other key network security concepts.
B. Benefits of CCNP Security Certification
C. Prerequisites for CCNP Security
You don't need prerequisites to take this exam; however, a basic understanding of network security and at least one year of practical experience in the field are recommended.
D. Exam Format and Structure
To become certified as a CCNP Security professional, you must take an exam that assesses your knowledge in network security and one concentration exam to specialize in an area.
These exams consist of multiple-choice questions and fill-in-the-blank questions. The first exam has around 120 questions with a duration of 120 minutes, and the concentration exams typically have 55-60 questions with a duration of 90 minutes.
E. Exam registration Process
Knowing the exam name and number.
Registering personal information such as legal name, Cisco certification ID or test ID number, company name, valid email address, and payment method.
If you have taken Cisco exams before, locate your Cisco certification ID to avoid duplicate issues.
Register on Pearson VUE if you don't have an account, as this is the authorized platform for Cisco exams.
You can access Pearson VUE and search for the certification at the the Pearson VUE website
F. Exam Costs and Passing Score
The exam costs $400, and the concentration exams cost $300, although this may vary depending on the location of the individual.
Core Topics of CCNP Security
First, let's understand the objectives of the first exam that you need to pass.
A. Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies (SCOR)
Security Content 25%
Explore local and cloud threats, common security vulnerabilities, virtual tunnel interfaces, VPN, controls used against phishing attacks.
Network Security 20%
Understand security solutions, attack prevention, network infrastructure configuration, access control, segmentation policies.
Cloud Security 15%
Understand public, private, hybrid, and community clouds, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, cloud security solutions, monitoring methodologies, privacy policies.
Content Security 15%
Identity and authentication for web proxy, capture methods for web proxy, configure email security methods for local, remote, and hybrid users, benefits of Cisco Umbrella.
Endpoint Protection and Detection 10%
Configure and verify outbreak control, understand endpoint anti-malware protection configuration, understand Cisco Secure Endpoint, endpoint protection (EPP), and endpoint detection and response (EDR).
Secure Network Access, Visibility, and Enforcement 15%
Identity management, network access, profiling, network access with CoA, application control, network telemetry.
B. Concentration Exams
Security Identity Management and Secure Access (SISE)
Understand the knowledge of Cisco Identity Services Engine, architecture, and implementation, policy enforcement, device management, operational efficiency, network visibility.
Cisco Threat Response (CTBR)
Integrate threat intelligence into security solutions, threat identification and response, security analysis, detect and analyze types of threats.
Securing Networks with Cisco Firepower (SNCF)
Understand knowledge about Cisco Secure Firewall, Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center, implementations, configuration, management, and troubleshooting, policy management.
Implementing Secure Solutions with Virtual Private Networks (SVPN)
Architecture and secure troubleshooting, remote and secure communications, virtual private network (VPN) solution, monitoring and support, security and encryption, enhanced privacy.
Study Resources for CCNP Security
There are various resources available to prepare and build your study library, many of which are official resources, and others are from recognized providers within the industry.
A. Official Cisco Learning Materials
CCNP Security Cisco Secure Firewall and Intrusion Prevention System Official Cert Guide Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test
This guide includes practice exams and practical questions that will help you prepare for your exam.
You will reinforce your knowledge of configuration, integration, implementation, and management.
CCNP Security Cisco Secure Firewall and Intrusion Prevention System Official Cert Guide
You will master the exam topics and objectives, key concepts, practice questions, and all the training needed to take your exam.
B. Cisco E-Learning
Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies (SCOR) v1.0
You will grasp the fundamentals of network security, network strategy, network technology through labs and practice videos.
SCOR E-Learning and Exam Bundle
Here, you will access practical labs, practice questions, training videos for 180 days, understanding the basic and key objectives to obtain your CCNP Security certification.
C. Third-party Study Guides
Udemy | CCNP SECURITY - CORE SCOR-350-701
This course consists of 30 hours of on-demand video, 1 article, a certification certificate, providing a comprehensive focus on the exam with key concepts in configuration, security, management, and infrastructure.
Pluralsight | Cisco SCOR (350-701) for CCNP Security
In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of security, network access, visibility, VPN configuration, infrastructure, and cloud security. It includes 12 courses and has a duration of 24 hours.
D. Practice Labs and Simulations
Testprep | CCNP Security (350-701 SCOR) Practice Exam
This practice exam will help you become familiar with the format of the actual exam, covering all the objectives and key points of the exam such as security concepts, network security, cloud security, and content security.
Cisco Learning | Implementing Secure Solutions with Virtual Private Networks (SVPN) v1.0
Here, you can perform practical security labs to verify the knowledge you've gained so far. It also includes training videos and access for 180 days.
E. Video Tutorials for Beginners
Simplilearn | Network Security Engineer Full Course 2023 | Learn Networking In 4 Hours
In this 4-hour video tutorial, you will receive an introduction to network security, learning both basic and advanced concepts, among other important topics.
Sysable IT solutions | CCNP Security 300-710 Introduction
With this video tutorial, you will understand all the objectives of one of the concentration exams (SNCF), including installation, configuration, and verification.
F. CCNP Security Study Communities
Cisco | Security Certifications Community
In this online forum, you can share technical questions and doubts that other professionals who have already obtained their certification can answer and clarify for you.
Facebook | CCNP/CCIE Security Study
In this group, you can stay in constant communication with individuals who are in the same training process and with knowledgeable professionals who can address any concerns or provide advice and resources to use.
Study Strategies to Prepare for Success
To achieve success in your exam, you must properly manage your study strategies. At this point, we will understand the most common ones.
Common Pitfalls to Avoid
Many people stumble and make the following mistakes when preparing for the exam, and these are errors you should avoid at all costs.
Understanding the exam objectives is crucial for crafting an effective study plan, utilizing reliable resources, and avoiding common mistakes while following recommended advice.
This certification is widely recognized in the industry, enhancing your professional credibility and significantly boosting your prospects for securing excellent job opportunities, ultimately fostering both personal and career growth.
This is one of the most advanced certifications, so it can have a high level of difficulty, although it depends on each individual's skills and knowledge.
Yes, you can take these exams online.
It depends on the individual, but it takes approximately 3-6 months of preparation and 1 year of practice.
You don't need prior experience, but practical experience is recommended for better chances of success.
Job prospects are high. You can pursue positions such as cybersecurity analyst, network engineer, security administrator.