Tell your clients (and the world) who you are
February 17, 2020
Security certifications, both general and specialized, have seemingly become as much a part of systems administration as the very computer hardware and software they serve. In fact, it’s hard to find an IT associate or contractor without at least a handful of networking or systems architecture certifications. The majority of specialty certifications are relatively new having only been created within the past 10 years—one notable exception being the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, which is now 25 years old.
Viewpoints differ as to whether certain certifications are really valuable or even necessary, e.g., SANS' Global Information Assurance Certification Security Essentials (GSEC), EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or CompTIA's Security+. Some people even view these as empty titles, insisting that real-world experience and application are the only ways to master and demonstrate said skills and abilities.
Yet, when it comes to cybersecurity certifications, they still offer a way to demonstrate commitment, capability and credibility to clients that are less technically inclined. They also give security providers a way to identify with—or differentiate themselves from—their competitors’ range of skills. It’s important to understand what security certifications communicate to your clients and the industry at large and how they can affect your success.
Clients who hire security providers trust them to protect their businesses’ most sensitive systems and information. An instant way to communicate that your business is up to the task is by displaying security certifications. Plus, you can set yourself apart from the thousands of less qualified, non-specialists within the industry.
Specialized security certifications require time and effort to earn and re-certify. Investing your effort and money to obtain some of the most prestigious certifications shows clients and prospective clients you’re committed to maintaining up-to-date knowledge within the always-changing landscape of information security technology. Less-certified or uncertified providers can’t offer the same bona fides and credibility as those who’ve earned the industry’s most desirable certifications.
Show off your skills
The most exclusive certifications require very high levels of technical skill and knowledge. You need to demonstrate functional proficiency and hands-on ability in realistic environments, including system configuration, in order to earn them. Displaying your specialized certs shows clients you can actually do what you say you can and elevates your business above general security providers.
Attract better talent
Finding and keeping top talent is the biggest challenge facing all businesses, but especially IT security, where even a slight misstep or oversight can mean millions of dollars lost. In addition to showing clients you’re qualified to help them, security certifications signal to highly skilled infosec professionals your dedication to staying at the forefront of industry knowledge. Serious security personnel will certainly consider such qualifications when deciding which companies they want to lend their skills to.
Establishing trust and demonstrating technical skill and knowledge are key to landing new clients. Your prospects want to be sure of your ability to keep their most precious assets safe. The best way to do that is through prestigious certifications and training that communicate to the world your commitment to the highest levels of infosec expertise, both now and for years to come.