Computer security is one of the widest fields of Information Technology (I.T). Large scale businesses suffer substantial losses due to an outdated security on their systems. Tens of millions of dollars are stolen with the use of information acquired illegally from computer systems. To tackle this problem, a number of I.T professionals and certified computer forensics analysts are being hired these days. Cyber hacking is surely a hazard for the business organizations and government structures, but has given birth to a whole new field of forensics investigation.

A computer security professional has to be very skillful and more importantly, responsible, as he will be dealing with critical matters regarding the security of a whole system of organization. Therefore, one has to pass through a certification process, in order to get his abilities validated. Two different types of programs are held for this purpose i.e. ‘computer security certificate programs’ and ‘certification programs’. They may sound the same, but have different procedures and criteria involved.

Cyber Security Certificate Programs

These programs are mainly proposed online. However, some of these certificate programs may require several visits to the campuses for computer laboratory work and other practical applications. The length of these courses is fairly short but varies, depending upon the required knowledge. The lessons may include cryptography, tackling security threats and other ways to prevent cyber attacks etc.

Certification Programs

These, unlike the computer forensics certification programs, are carried out by companies and verify that an individual is skillful in operating with computer security softwares, and is aware of the latest equipment associated with this task. Course work is offered online at times, but is optional for the applicants. The individual has to visit a certain testing centre in order to take the examination. Some experience in system security may be needed for the certification.

The ability and skills of computer security of an IT professional can be validated by both, certificates and certifications, however the two procedures differ in mediums. The online certificate programs are mainly held by an educational institute and impart knowledge to the students. On the other hand, the certification programs are offered by industry associations, and validate the knowledge of a professional mainly on the basis of experience and/or previous records.

Various universities and institutes in the United States hold online information security certificate programs. For certifications, some renowned credentials include the CISSP, GIAC and Security+ certifications.

Common Certification Courses (Information Security)

Courses for computer security focus on prevention from any kind of unauthorized intrusion such as viruses. Teaching topics include detection of harmful interruption, and handling a virus once it enters the system. Following are some major courses;


It is explained how errors in programming can leave penetrable security holes, and how they can be prevented or fixed.

Security Protocols:

This includes training of several security protocols; like WEP, SSL, and IPSec. The knowledge of cryptography is extended in this course. Individuals are told about vulnerabilities in the security maintenance and design flaws.

Data Management

The necessary techniques of ensuring information integrity are explained to the candidates. The skills that are taught include the processing of data, administration and its supervised distribution.



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