All You Need to Know About the CCNA Security Certification

Before getting to discover all details about the CCNA Security certification, the first thing you need to know is the difference between CCNA and the CCNA Security credential.

The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certificates validate a candidate’s early networking skills and expertise in a career domain. It is a one-step leveled higher certification than the CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Level Networking Technician) credential. Basically, Cisco has professionally organized its certification levels in accordance with their technicalities and relevant field expertise which these certifications provide IT professionals.

These levels are mainly categorized into 5 distinctions that are:

  • Entry,
  • Associate,
  • Professional,
  • Expert,
  • Architect.

Professionals with a higher level of certification achievement have the relevant career growth and opportunities as per the advancement of their knowledge and skill set towards networking domains.

The CCNA Security is an associate level certification mainly intended for the purpose of securing Cisco-powered networks. This credential validates the candidates’ skills of networking security infrastructure, identifying the vulnerabilities of a network, and a careful mitigating of security threats in networks. The core focus of this certification is on the main technologies of networking such as its security, installations, troubleshooting issues, monitoring the networking connections, device and data integrity.


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No doubt, each of the CCNA certifications require time and effort. The same applies to the CCNA Security credential which is based on validation of associate level skills and knowledge that are important in order to secure the Cisco networks.

Through the respective knowledge of this certification, a network professional is able to demonstrate the skills that are required to develop many security infrastructures, identify potential threats in the network systems, and also find out the risks that may be vulnerable to the networks and mitigate them.

CCNA Security Prerequisites

The most important question which comes to the mind of the individuals who want to earn the CCNA Security certification is whether there are any prerequisites or not. There are some prerequisites for the CCNA Security credential which include any of the following valid Cisco certs:

  • CCENT
  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • CCIE

These certifications mainly validate a candidate’s basic skill set and expertise related to the networking cores.

CCNA Security Curriculum

The overall knowledge of the CCNA Security Certification curriculum is the most important thing as it makes the particular emphasize on the core security technologies, troubleshooting of networking problems, mitigation of various security threats, installations and also monitoring for various network devices to have the complete maintenance of confidentiality, availability of data and devices, maintenance of integrity, and also the competency within the technologies which are used by Cisco in their overall infrastructure.

Every certification exam has its own specific format, and expertise that validates the candidates’ ability.

The required exam for the CCNA Security certification is 210-260 IINS. This examination consists of 60-70 questions and lasts 90 minutes. The candidates should have the knowledge of endpoint security using BYOD,ISE, 802.1x Authentication, SIEM Technology, and Cisco Advanced Malware Protection. Also, an individual wishing to successfully sustain the security related certification should surely identify the aspects of networking knowledge associated with IINS.

Training Course

It is highly recommended to take a respective training course – Implementing Cisco Network Security (IINS). It is a 5-day long instructor-led course that focuses on security technologies and principles which are used in the Cisco security products in order to have the provision of hands-on examples.

This training teaches the candidates how to understand basic security concepts, and develop common security techniques using study materials, instructor-led discussions, and practical lab exercises. The IINS course really enhances the candidate’s experience via practical implementation of networking cores with hands on practices.

The course provides a candidate with right experience and required skills to deal with networking core connectivity and troubleshooting of networking connections.

Study Materials

It is also necessary to have an idea of the study materials required for the CCNA Security exam preparation. They are easily available over the Internet, so that the candidates can get fully facilitate from them in order to do online preparation for the CCNA Security certification exam. The materials which are recommended for self-study include the following:

Learning Network Resources

There are several learning resources which are also helpful for the CCNA Security exam preparation.There are not only examination tests, but also some communities made for professionals to help each other better understand the core networking concepts, and provide each other a complete guidance for the certification tests.

The IT professionals have shared their experience of passing the certification exams, which is really helpful for the newbies in order to better understand the CCNA Security exam, as well as find effective methods and manuals to properly prepare for the exam tests.

Some of the important resources include the following: