In January 2010 I will be mentoring a SANS MGT414 “SANS® +S™ Training Program for the CISSP® Certification Exam” course in Boulder Colorado. I’m excited about participating in the mentor program and if you are in the area and are interested in getting your CISSP, this is a great way to do it.
The MGT414 course is what I took to get my CISSP and though there are many ways to study for this intimidating test I think the SANS material makes the process as focused and precise as you can hope to get. Rather than studying a huge book which covers topics in more detail than is necessary for the exam, the SANS material gives you the information necessary to understand the concepts and provides a mentor (me!) to help provide clarity on difficult topics.
I’ve seen quite a lot of discussion about the importance of certifications but few people will argue the value of the CISSP in helping to land a security role or continue to progress your career. The certification provides those who are considering you for a position some confidence that you are committed to being a security professional and in many cases, some form of certification is required. I like to think of the CISSP as your security drivers license – it doesn’t make you qualified to drive a race car, but for the vast majority of positions out there it gets you familiar with the concepts necessary to operate the machinery and navigate the roads. If you have a specific area of interest there are both CISSP concentrations or other GIAC certifications which can get you more focused knowledge and certification once you have the CISSP as a foundation.
The mentor program is a great option that SANS has begun to offer in many areas. First, class sizes are typically small – much smaller than what you would find at a SANS conference, which means we can focus more closely on those areas which are difficult for the group. Second, the cost is lower than any other form of SANS training making it very accessible to those who are budget constrained – which these days is many of us. Third, you get to hang out with me a few hours a week and we focus on covering those topics which need the most review and discussion for the group. The material is covered over a 10 week period which provides lots of time for you to read on your own time and come back to the mentor meetings with questions and get answers.
I’m really looking forward to this course. I always like discussing security with anyone who will listen and love meeting new people with different perspectives than my own. My hope is that I will come away from the mentor program having learned new things from the students while the students learn new things from me – it’s a win win for everyone.
If you are in the Boulder area or know someone who is and are looking to get this certification then I hope you join us on January 26th for this course. It’s sure to be a great experience.