Cisco just introduced two new certifications as entry-level Cisco certifications. This is not their first entry-level certification. There was an ICND1 exam; if you pass it, you will attain CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician).
They retired it and introduced CCT (Cisco Certified Technician), but this time, it had multiple tracks there was;
- CCST collaboration
- CCT Data Center and
- CCT routing and switching
Now they retired CCT and been replaced by CCST (Cisco Certified Support Technician). I think Cisco entry-level certifications have an image problem. Come on, think about this CCNA, CCNP, and CCI; their titles never changed; the only minor changes were before we had the CCNP, and then we also had CCSP, CCVP, and CCIP.
In Cisco certification, there are different tiers or different levels. if we check many different levels we will have the entry-level certification. The Cisco Certified Support Technician or CCST has two tracks, Such as
⦁ CCST in Cybersecurity and
⦁ CCST in Networking
CCST Cybersecurity is already available. The Cisco Certified Support Technician CCST certification validates an individual’s skills and knowledge of entry-level cybersecurity concepts and topics, including security principles, network security and endpoint security concepts, vulnerability assessment and risk management, and incident handling. This certification is also a first step toward CyberOps Associate certification. Required exams and recommended free online training details are placed here.
CCST Cybersecurity exam information
- Duration is 50 minutes and
- The price is only 125 US dollars
- The language is English.
This is even less than half cheaper than CCNA because CCNA is 300 US Dollars.
To earn your CCST Cybersecurity certification, you must pass the exam. This 50-minute exam tests your knowledge of the following:
- Essential Security Principles.
- Basic Network Security Concepts.
- End Point Security Concepts
- Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Management.
- Incident Handling.
Essential Security Principles prefer the below Criteria
- Define essential security principles: Vulnerabilities, threats, exploits, and risks; attack vectors; hardening; defence-in-depth; confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA); types of attackers; reasons for attacks; code of ethics.
- Explain common threats and vulnerabilities: Malware, ransomware, denial of service, botnets, social engineering attacks (tailgating, spear phishing, phishing, vishing, smishing, etc.), physical attacks, a man in the middle, IoT vulnerabilities, insider threats, Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)
- Explain access management principles: Authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA); RADIUS; multifactor authentication (MFA); password policies.
- Explain encryption methods and applications: Types of encryption, hashing, certificates, public key infrastructure (PKI); strong vs weak encryption algorithms; states of data and appropriate encryption (data in transit, data at rest, data in use); protocols that use encryption Basic Network Security Concepts.
- Describe TCP/IP protocol vulnerabilities: TCP, UDP, HTTP, ARP, ICMP, DHCP, DNS.
- Explain how network addresses impact network security: IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, MAC addresses, network segmentation, CIDR notation, NAT, and public vs. private networks.
- Describe network infrastructure and technologies: Network security architecture, DMZ, virtualization, cloud, honeypot, proxy server, IDS, IPS.
- Set up a secure wireless SoHo network: MAC address filtering, encryption standards and protocols, SSID.
- Implement secure access technologies: ACL, firewall, VPN, NAC.
End Point Security Concepts
- Describe operating system security concepts: Windows, macOS, and Linux; security features, including Windows Defender and host-based firewalls; CLI and PowerShell; file and directory permissions; privilege escalation.
- Demonstrate familiarity with appropriate endpoint tools that gather security assessment information: ns lookup, tcpdump
- Verify that endpoint systems meet security policies and standards: Hardware inventory (asset management), software inventory, program deployment, data backups, regulatory compliance (PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR), BYOD (device management, data encryption, app distribution, configuration management)
- Implement software and hardware updates: Windows Updates, application updates, device drivers, firmware, and patching.
- Interpret system logs: Event Viewer, audit logs, system and application logs, Syslog, identification of anomalies.
- Demonstrate familiarity with malware removal: Scanning systems, reviewing scan logs, and malware remediation.
Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Management.
- Explain vulnerability management: Vulnerability identification, management, and mitigation; active and passive surveillance; testing (port scanning, automation)
- Use threat intelligence techniques to identify potential network vulnerabilities: Uses and limitations of vulnerability databases; industry-standard tools used to assess vulnerabilities and make recommendations, policies, and reports; Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), cybersecurity reports, cybersecurity news, subscription services, and collective intelligence; ad hoc and automated threat intelligence; the importance of updating documentation and other forms of communication proactively before, during, and after cybersecurity incidents; how to secure, share and update documentation.
- Explain risk management: Vulnerability vs risk, ranking risks, approaches to risk management, risk mitigation strategies, levels of risk (low, medium, high, extremely high), risks associated with specific types of data and data classifications, security assessments of IT systems (information security, change management, computer operations, information assurance)
- Explain the importance of disaster recovery and business continuity planning: Natural and human-caused disasters, features of disaster recovery plans (DRP) and business continuity plans (BCP), backup, disaster recovery controls (detective, preventive, and corrective)
- Monitor security events and know when escalation is required: Role of SIEM and SOAR, monitoring network data to identify security incidents (packet captures, various log file entries, etc.), identifying suspicious events as they occur
- Explain digital forensics and attack attribution processes: Cyber Kill Chain, MITRE ATT&CK Matrix, and Diamond Model; Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP); sources of evidence (artefacts); evidence handling (preserving digital evidence, a chain of custody)
- Explain the impact of compliance frameworks on incident handling: Compliance frameworks (GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, FERPA, FISMA), reporting and notification requirements.
- Describe the elements of cybersecurity incident response: Policy, plan, and procedure elements; incident response lifecycle stages (NIST Special Publication 800-61 sections 2.3, 3.1-3.4.
CCST Networking exam information I have given below:
The CCST Networking this exam is not yet available, so another few weeks is required. The Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) Networking certification validates an individual’s skills and knowledge of entry-level networking concepts and topics. The certification demonstrates foundational knowledge and skills needed to show how networks operate, including the devices, media, and protocols that enable network communications. The Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) Networking certification is also a first step toward CCNA certification.
- Duration is 50 minutes and
- The price is only 125 US dollars
- The language is English.
To earn your CCST Networking certification, you must pass the exam. This 50-minute exam tests your knowledge of the following:
- Standards and Concepts.
- Addressing and Subnet Formats
- Endpoints and Media Types
- Diagnosing Problems
Standards and Concepts
- Identify networks’ fundamental conceptual building blocks: TCP/IP model, OSI model, frames and packets, and addressing.
- Differentiate bandwidth and throughput: Latency, delay, speed test vs Iperf.
- Differentiate between LAN, WAN, MAN, CAN, PAN, and WLAN: Identify and illustrate common physical and logical network topologies.
- Compare cloud and on-premises applications and services: Public, private, hybrid, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, remote work/mixed work.
- Describe common network applications and protocols: TCP vs UDP (connection-oriented vs. connectionless), FTP, SFTP, TFTP, HTTP, HTTPS, DHCP, DNS, ICMP, NTP.
Addressing and Subnet Formats
- Compare and contrast private and public addresses: Address classes, NAT concepts.
- Identify IPv4 addresses and subnet formats: Subnet concepts, Subnet Calculator, slash notation, and subnet mask; broadcast domain.
- Identify IPv6 addresses and prefix formats: Types of addresses, prefix concepts.
Endpoints and Media Types
- Identify cables and connectors commonly used in local area networks: Cable types: fibre, copper, twisted pair; Connector types: coax, RJ-45, RJ-11, fibre connector types/.
- Differentiate between Wi-Fi, cellular, and wired network technologies: Copper, including sources of interference; fibre; wireless, including 802.11 (unlicensed, 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz), cellular (licensed), sources of interference.
- Describe endpoint devices: Internet of Things (IoT), computers, mobile devices, IP Phones, printers, and servers.
- Demonstrate how to set up and check network connectivity on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android, and Apple iOS: Networking utilities on Windows, Linux, Android, and Apple operating systems; how to run troubleshooting commands; wireless client settings (SSID, authentication, WPA mode)
- When instructed by an engineer, identify the status lights on a Cisco device: Link light colour and status (blinking or solid).
- Use a network diagram provided by an engineer to attach the appropriate cables: Patch cables, switches and routers, small topologies, power, and rack layout.
- Identify the various ports on network devices: Console port, serial port, fibre port, Ethernet port, SFPs, USB port, and PoE.
- Explain basic routing concepts: Default gateway, layer 2 vs. layer 3 switches, local network vs. remote network.
- Explain basic switching concepts: MAC address tables, MAC address filtering, and VLAN.
- Demonstrate effective troubleshooting methodologies and help desk best practices, including ticketing, documentation, and information gathering: Policies and procedures, accurate and complete documentation, prioritization.
- Perform a packet capture with Wireshark and save it to a file: The purpose of using a packet analyzer, saving and open a PCAP file.
- Run basic diagnostic commands and interpret the results: ping, ipconfig/ifconfig/IP, tracert/traceroute, nslookup; recognize how firewalls can influence the outcome.
- Differentiate between different ways to access and collect data about network devices: Remote access (RDP, SSH, telnet), VPN, terminal emulators, Console, Network Management Systems, cloud-managed network (Meraki), scripts
- Run basic show commands on a Cisco network device: show run, show cdp neighbors, show IP interface brief, show IP route, show version, show inventory, show switch, show mac-address-table, show interface, show interface x, show interface status; privilege levels; command help and auto-complete.
- Describe how firewalls operate to filter traffic: Firewalls (blocked ports and protocols); rules deny or permit access.
- Describe foundational security concepts: Confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA); authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA); Multifactor Authentication (MFA); encryption, certificates, and password complexity; identity stores/databases (Active Directory); threats and vulnerabilities; spam, phishing, malware, and denial of service.
- Configure basic wireless security on a home router (WPAx): WPA, WPA2, WPA3; choosing between Personal and Enterprise; wireless security concepts.
I think this is the year of entry-level certifications. Think about the cloud service providers such as:
- Google Cloud
Their entry-level certifications are popular and have value. Cisco is just joining the bandwagon where they never cared about their entry-level certifications in the past.