SSCP (SYSTEMS SECURITY CERTIFICATION PRACTITIONER) CERTIFICATION: 2024 Guide

SSCP CERTIFICATION
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The world is extremely competitive, and you must figure out how to advance your profession. Obtaining a suitable certification course is one of the best ways to accomplish this. There are other courses available, but CISSP and SSCP are two that can assist you in discovering untapped potential in your profession. This post will go over the SSCP certification and how it can help you advance in your profession.

What is an SSCP Certification?

The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium’s (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (or SSCP) is a technical certificate or credential that demonstrates a candidate’s expertise in implementing, managing, and maintaining information security to protect IT infrastructure.

The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium developed, maintains, and is in charge of the Systems Security Certification Practitioner (SSCP) certification. It is intended for those who are just getting started in cybersecurity. This certification validates a person’s ability to manage IT infrastructures following the security rules, processes, and policies in place to preserve data privacy, integrity, and availability.

Holders of an SSCP certification have the in-depth knowledge and abilities required to administer, execute, and monitor IT infrastructure security, as well as the ability to recommend and use best practices.

SSCP Certification: How to Get It

According to the ISC, there are six steps to obtaining SSCP certification.

Step #1

Prepare for the SSCP exam by doing the following: Candidates may self-study for the SSCP test or participate in training courses offered by certified vendors or third-party vendors.

Step #2

Meet the following requirements to take the exam: Candidates for the SSCP certification must have worked for at least a year in one or more of the exam domains and been compensated for it. Part-time jobs and internships, whether paid or unpaid, also count as work experience. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, systems engineering, IT, information system management, or computer engineering can also be used to satisfy the work experience requirement.

Step #3

Take and pass the following certification exams: The SSCP test is structured in a multiple-choice format, and students must score 700 out of 1000 marks to pass. The exam time will be increased from 3 to 4 hours. Furthermore, the SSCP exam will be available in four additional languages (Chinese, German, Korean, and Spanish) in addition to the current two (English and Japanese).

Step #4

Pearson VUE testing facilities administer the SSCP exam. Candidates without the necessary job experience may pass the SSCP exam and become (ISC)2 associates. They will then have two years to gain the required one-year experience.

Step #5

Finish the endorsement process: Candidates have nine months after taking the SSCP exam to submit an online application that has been authorized and digitally signed by another (ISC)2 certified expert. The ISC2 can attest to the same.

Step #6

Accept the ethics code: Before becoming SSCP-certified, candidates must agree to follow the four canons of ethical practice. They must sign an agreement to promote and safeguard the profession while also providing conscientious and professional service to principals. They must also undertake to act in an honorable, honest, just, responsible, and lawful manner to protect society, the common good, the public’s trust and confidence, and the infrastructure.

Individuals must pay an annual maintenance fee of $125 to maintain their certification. Within the three-year certification cycle, they must follow the (ISC)2 code of conduct and obtain and report a minimum of 60 continuing professional education credits.

Who Should Obtain the SSCP Certification?

An SSCP certification is recommended for information technology professionals who provide hands-on IT infrastructure security for their organizations. System administrators, security analysts, systems engineers, and database managers are examples of these professionals.

Curriculum for the SSCP Certification Course

Currently, the SSCP certification course curriculum is divided into seven domains that cover diverse aspects of cybersecurity. In the SSCP examination, each of the seven domains accounts for a weighted 14 to 16% percentage mark. The weights given to each category show how important different parts of cybersecurity are, like protecting networks and communications, running security operations, and managing the company’s finances.

The following are the domains:

  • Access controls
  • Administration and security operations
  • Identification, monitoring, and analysis of risks
  • Response to incidents and recovery
  • Cryptography
  • Security for networks and communication
  • Application and System Security

Cost of SSCP Certification

The costs connected with SSCP certification are as follows:

  • The SSCP exam costs: The SSCP examination costs $249. However, some vendors demand an additional fee to cover the costs associated with exam protocols, the scoring process, and venue costs. Candidates who wish to reschedule their examinations must pay a $50 cost, while those who wish to cancel their exams must pay a $100 price.
  • The cost of SSCP certification: When successful candidates receive their certificate, they are charged a one-time cost of $125.
  • The annual maintenance price is: A yearly maintenance cost of $125 is required for (ISC)2 certified members with the SSCP certification. (ISC)2 uses these fees to cover the costs of maintaining certifications and related support systems. (ISC)2 associates pay a fee of $50.
  • SSCP certification miscellaneous costs: If candidates choose to study at their own pace, there are numerous free study materials to pick from. Candidates might choose to take a training course from one of the certified suppliers. The Learning Tree worldwide recognized course, for example, costs up to $3,695. Third-party providers such as Udemy and Coursera offer lower-cost courses ranging in price from $10 to $1200.

Is the SSCP Appropriate For Me?

If you want to deal directly with an organization’s security, getting an SSCP could be an excellent first step. It may be especially appealing if you have a year or two of job experience in cybersecurity or have recently graduated from a cybersecurity or computer science degree program.

Job Openings for SSCP

The SSCP is intended for security professionals involved in operational security. On LinkedIn, the following job titles request or require SSCP certification:

  • $80,155 for network analyst
  • $85,445 for a systems administrator
  • $99,154 for a security analyst
  • $141,118 for threat intelligence analyst
  • $116,145 for a systems engineer
  • Engineer, DevOps: $123,800
  • $142,893 for a security engineer

The Advantages of Becoming SSCP Certified

For the proper candidate, becoming an SSCP has various potential rewards, including the chance of a high-paying, in-demand profession. You could also: by earning SSCP status, you could:

  • Learn new abilities that will help you on the job.
  • Validate your cybersecurity abilities and dedication to recruiters and hiring managers.
  • Improve your resume to make it more marketable.
  • Comply with security clearance requirements.
  • Gain access to a network of other cybersecurity specialists.
  • Clearance for security purposes

The SSCP is one of seven certifications authorized as an information assurance (IA) baseline certification by the US Department of Defense. This certification satisfies the minimum certification criteria for IAT Level II and CSSP Infrastructure Support positions.

What To Anticipate From the SSCP Exam

Passing a certification exam designed to test your knowledge in seven different security disciplines is required to become an SSCP. Here’s a basic rundown of the SSCP exam specifications.

  • The SSCP certification fee is $249.
  • The total number of questions is 125.
  • There are several options.
  • Time to finish 180 minutes
  • Passing grade of 700 out of 1000 points

The certification procedure consists of four steps.
Taking and passing the SSCP exam is a significant accomplishment, but it is only the first step in the certification process. Let’s go over the four steps you’ll need to follow to become fully certified.

  • Successfully complete the certification exam: At the time of writing, you’ll need 700 out of 1,000 points to pass the exam. You can take the exam four times in 12 months, but you must wait 30, 60, and 90 days between each attempt.
  • Finish the endorsement process: To be endorsed, you must submit an online application that has been endorsed and digitally signed by another (ISC)2-certified professional, such as a coworker or manager. If you don’t know anyone, (ISC)2 can serve as an endorsement. You have nine months from the date of your exam to finish this phase.
  • Accept the Code of Ethics: Before you can become a certified SSCP, you must agree to four canons of ethical practice. These are as follows:
    • Safeguard society, the common good, public trust and confidence, and infrastructure.
    • Honorable, honest, just, responsible, and legal behavior
    • Provide principals with diligent and competent service.
    • Advance and safeguard the profession
  • Pay the annual maintenance cost: You must pay a $125 charge upon certification and again on the anniversary of your certification each year. If you obtain further (ISC)2 certifications, you only need to pay the price once each year.

Requirements

To take the SSCP test, you must have at least one year of paid job experience in one or more of the exam domains. This may include full-time or part-time employment, as well as paid or unpaid internships.
A bachelor’s or master’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, computer engineering, computer systems engineering, management information systems, or information technology (IT) also counts as job experience.

How to Study for the SSCP Exam

The ideal strategy to prepare for the SSCP exam depends on your previous experience, current knowledge, and learning style. Here are some resources that may be useful to you while you prepare.

#1. Exam preparation classes

Several companies provide training sessions for the SSCP exam. While you can study alone, the structure of a course may be useful in ensuring you learn the required exam information. Before enrolling in a course, ensure that it covers the most recent version of the exam outline.
Prepare for the exam at your own speed by enrolling in the (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) Specialization, which is available on Coursera. You get 120-day access to courses covering the most recent exam domains and save money when you bundle them.

#2. Practice exams

Taking a practice exam will help you prepare for what to expect on exam day and highlight any areas where you may need to study more. (ISC)2 sells a book with 700 practice questions and explanations, but you may also find many practice examinations online.

#3. Exam advice

Here are some extra exam preparation and taking tips:

  • Allow yourself enough time to prepare. This could be a few weeks or a few months, depending on what you already know.
  • Make flashcards to help you remember acronyms and port numbers.
  • Each exam question should be read more than once. You will have one minute and fifteen seconds to answer each question.
  • To flag questions for review, use the “Flag for review” option. You can come back to them later.
  • Complete all of the questions. There are no consequences for incorrect answers.

Other Certificates To Consider

Security+ vs. SSCP

Both the (ISC)2 SSCP and the CompTIA Security+ are popular certification options for persons just starting out or early in their cybersecurity career. One may be a better fit than the other depending on your goals and experience.

In general, if you’re looking for your first job in cybersecurity and don’t have a degree or have a degree in a topic unrelated to cybersecurity, Security+ may be a better alternative. If you already have some expertise or a degree in cybersecurity or computer science, you might want to look into the slightly more complex SSCP.

SSCP vs. CISSP

If you have prior experience working in cybersecurity, you may be considering the (ISC)2 SSCP or the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
In this situation, the certification you pursue will most likely be determined by your level of expertise. If you’ve been working in cybersecurity for five years or more, it may be wise to pursue the CISSP, which is one of the most popular and regarded certificates. Otherwise, obtaining an SSCP designation may provide opportunities to gain the expertise required to obtain the CISSP in the future.

Summary

As worries about enterprise cybersecurity grow, it is critical to protect IT infrastructure and data systems. As a result, certified information security specialists are in high demand in both the public and commercial sectors. The (ISC)2 SSCP certification is one of the prime credentials you may pursue, providing you with exciting employment options and industry-leading earnings.

References

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