News Release

Cisco Announces Certification Policy Updates for CCSP and Qualified Specialist Security Certifications

New Security Courses and Exams Validate Networking Professionals' Skills to Design, Implement and Maintain Networks that Identify, Prevent and Adapt to Threats
Sep 19, 2005

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA (Networkers 2005), Sept. 19, 2005 - Cisco Systems® today announced enhancements to the Cisco Career Certifications program certification policy for the CCSP professional-level certification and the Cisco Qualified Specialist security certifications. The course and exam updates help ensure that a growing number of networking professionals have the knowledge, skills and credentials necessary to deploy and maintain self-defending networks, while providing a clear career path in the IT security market.

"Cisco's Self-Defending Network security strategy helps customers build networked business systems that can identify, prevent, and adapt to the evolving Internet threat landscape," said Richard Palmer, vice president and general manager, Security Technology Group at Cisco Systems. "These new courses and exams are part of Cisco's dedication to offer partners and customers comprehensive security products, services and training scaled to meet their needs."

The CCSP certification is designed for IT professionals responsible for delivering self-defending networks that are integrated, collaborative and adaptive. The Cisco Qualified Specialist security certifications enable individuals to achieve the highest level of technical knowledge and expertise in specific Cisco security technologies and solutions, including intrusion prevention, firewall and VPN.

"Cisco is committed to enhancing its training and certification program so IT professionals have the training and skill sets necessary to design, build, implement and maintain converging network platforms," said Don Field, director of certifications at Cisco. "The CCSP and Specialist certification updates are consistent with the growing demand from our customers, channel partners and the industry for highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals to deploy self-defending networks."

CCSP course and exam enhancements include:

Course (Exam)
IPS (642-532) Implementing Cisco Intrusion Prevention Systems
SNPA (642-522) Securing Networks with PIX and ASA
SND (642-551) Securing Cisco Network Devices
SNRS (642-502) Securing Networks with Cisco Routers and Switches
CSVPN (642-511) Cisco Secure Virtual Private Networks OR HIPS (642-513) Securing Hosts using Cisco Security Agent*

The CCSP certification indicates advanced skills in securing Cisco networks. A CCSP validates that a network professional can secure and manage network infrastructures to protect productivity and reduce costs. The content emphasizes topics such as perimeter security, virtual private networks, intrusion prevention, as well as how to combine these technologies in a single, integrated network security solution. The CCSP will still require five exams. A CCSP certification is valid for three years from the date they are awarded, and must be renewed prior to their expiration date.

Cisco Qualified Specialist security courses and exams now include:

Course (Exam)

VPN Specialist
SND (642-551) Securing Cisco Network Devices
CSVPN (642-511) Secure Virtual Private Networks

IPS Specialist
SND (642-551) Securing Cisco Network Devices
IPS (642-532) Implementing Cisco Intrusion Prevention Systems

Firewall Specialist
SND (642-551) Securing Cisco Network Devices
SNPA (642-522) Securing Networks with PIX and ASA

To validate required skills, Cisco Qualified Specialist candidates must pass one or more proctored exams to demonstrate the required level of knowledge and expertise. Also, the Cisco Qualified Specialist certifications are valid for two years, ensuring that individuals keep their Specialist certifications up-to-date and market relevant.

The SECUR, CSIDS and CSPFA courses will retire on November 19, 2005. The last date to register for corresponding exams 642-501, 642-531 and 642-521 is December 19, 2005. The CSI (Cisco SAFE implementation; 642-541) exam is no longer required for a CCSP and is available for re-certification only.

The HIPS exam, which validates proficiency in the Cisco Security Agent application, has been added as an alternative to the CSVPN exam for the CCSP certification. Cisco Security Agent is an increasingly vital part of the Cisco security solution, designed to protect server and workstation hosts.

To determine the current status of a CCSP or Cisco Qualified Specialist certification, visit the Cisco Career Certifications Tracking System at:

Training and Availability

Authorized Cisco training is available from a global network of Cisco Learning Partners and the Partner E-Learning Connection. For complete details on the requirements for the CCSP, Cisco Qualified Specialist security certifications and other Cisco certifications, visit: To find a course offered by authorized Cisco Learning Partners, use the Learning Locator at

Training may be purchased using Cisco Learning Credits, an easy method of payment for Cisco authorized training, redeemable through participating Cisco Learning Partners worldwide. For information about Cisco Learning Credits, visit

About Cisco Career Certifications

The widely respected Cisco Career Certifications bring valuable, measurable rewards to network professionals, their managers and the organizations that employ them. Cisco offers three levels of general certification: Associate, Professional and Expert. Each is available in various tracks such as Routing and Switching, Network Security and Service Provider. A variety of Cisco Qualified Specialist focused certifications are also available to show knowledge in specific technologies, solutions or job roles. For Cisco Career Certifications information, visit

Visit for answers to questions regarding the CCSP and Cisco Qualified Specialist certifications or other Cisco certifications