The world is on the path to becoming more virtual than we ever imagined. With the recent announcement of the Metaverse launch by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, our lives are soon to be transformed and our data becoming more vulnerable.

On a daily basis, we generate a humongous volume of data, while storing and transferring it at the same time. Owing to global interconnectivity, thanks to technologies like 4G, 5G, and LiFi, businesses have grown multifold and are capable of operating efficiently with remotely located offices.

While there are numerous pros of technological advancements, the cons are not less either. With so much data floating around on networks and the cloud, the frequency and severity of cyberattacks are also increased. Hackers are eyeing these gold mines of data to commit denial-of-service attacks, steal & leak data, or simply create havoc.  

As per the study by Statista, there were a total of 1001 cases of data breach in the US in 2020 and more than 155.8 million individuals became the target of data exposure in the same year.

Hence, companies are highly focused on protecting enterprise data and infrastructure from cyberthreats. This, in turn, bolsters the demand for cyber security professionals. The organizations are ready to pay high salaries to candidates who are capable of safeguarding their data, applications, computers, and networks from attack, unauthorized access, and damage.

To leverage this on this booming opportunity in the USA, you can pursue the following certifications, thus fortifying your chances of working with industry giants and negotiating lucrative paychecks.

CEH Certification

Certified Ethical Hacker, or CEH, is the world acclaimed certification provided by the EC-Council. It validates the candidate’s ability to find the weaknesses and vulnerabilities in computer systems and proficiency in tools used by hackers.

The CEH training course is built on the expression that ‘to beat a hacker, you need to think like one’. It prepares the individual to think creatively and stay a step ahead of the adversary. There are no prerequisites for taking up ethical hacking training and should be opted if you plan to become a part of Blue Team in the future.

The application fee for CEH certification is USD 100. The exam duration is 4 hours, having 125 multiple choice questions, and the passing score ranges from 60-85%.

CND Certification

Accredited by ANSI and defined by NICE (National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education), the EC-Council provided CND certification course offers comprehensive knowledge about the best techniques and practices for network protection. It trains the candidate with the study of firewalls, cyber laws, wireless technologies, VPN security, and intrusion detection systems.

You can opt for CND course online to thoroughly understand the 14 domains, focusing on essential theoretical concepts for real-time network analysis, and recommended tools & techniques for vulnerability assessment & network maintenance.

Notably, CND or Certified Network Defender is an entry-level certification and doesn’t have any prerequisites. The registration fee is USD 450, and the exam is four hours long with 100 multiple choice questions to be answered. 

CISSP Certification

Awarded by the globally recognized non-profit organization, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2, the CISSP certification asserts that the contender has the acumen to effectively design, implement, and manage the company’s security model.

CISSP training covers eight domains, including security & risk management, asset security, security architecture & engineering, communication & network security, identity & access management, security assessment & testing, security operations, and software development security.

The eligibility criterion for this accreditation is that the candidate needs to have at least 5 cumulative years of paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains enlisted above. The exam duration for CISSP CAT is 3 hours and has 100-150 questions, multiple-choice as well as advanced innovative items. The passing score for the test is 700 out of 1000.

In order to earn this certification, you can enroll yourself in CISSP online course offered by Vinsys and secure a successful future in positions like Chief Information Security Officer, Director of Security, Security Auditor, Network Architect, or similar high-paying roles.

CISA Certification

The Certified Information Systems Auditor, widely known as CISA certification, is recommended for professionals who audit, monitor, control, and assess an organization’s business and IT systems on a regular basis as a part of their job. The attestation is awarded by the ISACA (Information Systems Audit & Control Association) and guarantees expertise in domains such as information systems auditing process, protection of information assets, governance & management of IT, information systems operations & business reliance, and IT systems acquisition, development & implementation.

It is to be noted that the CISA certification exam can only be taken by candidates with a minimum five years of experience in IS/IT audit, assurance, control, or security jobs. The test fee is recorded at USD 575 for ISACA members and USD 760 for non-members.

In order to prepare for the exam, the contender can opt for self-preparation using ISACA self-paced exam prep solution priced at USD 299 for members, or can enroll themselves for CISA training online led by an instructor, depending on their knowledge and experience.

If you see yourself as an IT auditor for the industry behemoths, then passing the CISA certification examination with 150 MCQs in four hours is your best shot at achieving the goal.

CISM Certification

Another certification offered by ISACA, Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification is curated to ascertain that the merit holder is accomplished in information security incident management, information risk management, information security governance, and information security program development & management.

Though achieving CISM certification is a toilsome task, the fruits are way sweeter, giving you access to the most prudent job opportunities in the information security domain, thus touching an impressive pay scale.

Apparently, there is no work experience prerequisite to take the exam, however, the candidates need to gain a minimum five years of professional experience in information security management while building their career, only after which they will be awarded the CISM designation.

Apart from gaining on-field knowledge, you might need to opt for in-person or online CISM training sessions, conferences, and study material to ensure that you are proficient in the subjects when sitting for the exam. The exam registration fee is USD 575 for ISACA members, and the test duration is 4 hours with 150 questions.

Now that you are acquainted with various certifications in demand in present times, the question arises which one to pursue. The answer depends on your experience level, overall cost of certification, area of focus, return on investment, and potential employers. Meditate on these factors and make sure the ROI is high, you will know exactly which attestation to go for.