Roadmap to Success: Check Point CCSA
Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.
Information security is a growing concern for organizations of every size. As the need for IT security professionals grows exponentially, the need for certifications related to the security field expands.
The Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) certification equips learners to start up, configure, and manage daily operations of Check Point Security Gateway and Management Software Blades systems on the GAiA operating system. Roles typically affiliated with the CCSA certification include security engineer, senior network engineer, security analyst, and more.
Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) The Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) certification is an intermediate-level security certification that ensures that learners have the skills and knowledge needed to:
install the security gateway in a distributed environment;
configure rules on Web and Gateway servers;
create a basic rule base in SmartDashboard and assign permissions;
schedule backups and seamless upgrades with minimal downtime; and
monitor and troubleshoot IPS and common network traffic.
The CCSA is made up of one exam, which is covered by CBT Nuggets:
MicroNugget: Check Point R77 Features (this MicroNugget by Keith Barker addresses features and updates for the 156-215.77 exam.)
Though there are no formal prerequisites for the CCSA, it is an intermediate-level certification for which learners should have a basic knowledge of networking, experience working with Windows Server and/or UNIX, as well as internet and TCP/IP experience. Learners should have a year of experience working with Check Point products, and we recommend that learners consider earning an entry-level security certification prior to attempting the CCSA.
Exam Details Learners seeking the CCSA begin by setting up a Check Point user profile.
Exam #156-215.77 Time allotted for exams: 100 minutes Number of questions: 60-100 Question types: Multiple choice; scenario Passing score: 70% Exam registration: Pearson Vue Exam cost: $200 (USD) Study guide: Check Point provides a free study guide that addresses all exam topics
CCSA study guide
Recertification The CCSA is valid for two years. Learners can recertify their certifications by retaking the current version of the exam or by passing a higher-level Check Point certification.
The Next Step Since the CCSA is the first certification for Check Point, there are opportunities to continue learning Check Point technologies. Next steps within the Check Point universe include:
Some learners may choose to diversify their vitae/resumes by choosing to pursue certifications outside of Check Point products. Certifications often pursued by CBT Nuggets learners include:
CompTIA Security+ (made up of one exam: SY0-401);
Certified Ethical Hacker (made up of one exam: EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker v 8.0); and/or
Security CISSP (made up of one exam: (ISC)2 Security CISSP).
Career Considerations Payscale.com/ provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the CCSA. Payscale.com/ reports a range of salaries between $43,600 and $123,822.
However, the breadth of this range might be misleading. Learners should note that professional experience and other certifications are required in order to be in the upper-levels of the salary range. Roles that are common for those holding a CCSA certification include security engineer, senior network engineer, security analyst, and more.
Check Point Certification Pathways Check Point has developed a certification pathway that is simple and direct. Made up of just four certifications, Check Point offers certifications for learners who are just beginning their Check Point training, as well as for seasoned Check Point and security professionals. Certifications offered by Check Point include:
There are no prerequisites for the Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) certification. However, Check Point's other certifications each carry a prerequisite of the preceding exam. So, the CCSM requires the CCMSE, the CCMSE requires the CCSE, and the CCSE requires the CCSA.
Concluding Thoughts Security concerns continue to dominate the IT industry. Learners who can demonstrate expertise and experience in security-related products can expand their career prospects and opportunities. The Check Point CCSA certification is the first step in conquering Check Point products and a career in ITsec!
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