CCNA Security Certified

CCNA_security_large

I am excited to write this post, finally! I passed my CCNA Security Exam – Implementing Cisco Network Security (210-260). I started studying around Summer of 2018 with reading the CCNA Security Official Certified Guide. I read this document for about two or three months getting halfway through that thick lexicon of security terms. If you have read my previous post about me getting my VCP-DCV6.5 certification and keeping up with my new role at Trend Micro. So far, I have not been on track for what I wanted to do originally. However, I am thankful because I am a network professional who demonstrates the skills required to develop a security infrastructure, recognize threats and vulnerabilities to networks, and mitigate security threats.

You are probably thinking, you just ONLY read the OCG!? The answer to that question is simply no. I used various mediums to get the knowledge needed. To start, purchase the “31 days until the CCNA security exam” and the “CCNA portable commands guide”. I used these two books religiously through my studies. Going through 31 days until the CCNA security exam book was the most helpful in understanding what I needed to know for the exam. Note that this book is not the only thing you need to do.

Another aspect of my studies was actually getting my hands wet with the Cisco Firewall Adaptive Security Appliance 5505. I was able to use the ASDM which was necessary for this exam. Also, I configured different features on firewalls, routers and switched that were outlined in the books I mentioned above. People say that you can use GNS3, but I always have a hard time getting the application to work properly. Doing it with a physical device will work fine.

Make sure to go through all the supplemental resources that are given in 31 days until the CCNA Security exam. I love that this book gives extra resources to go and get more information when confused about something. The key is to get a lot of information from a lot of different places.

The week leading up to the exam, I studied my butt off looking for exam dumps that had sample questions. Luckily, I found this youtube video and it saved me on a couple of questions on the exam. I am glad that I took my time and answered everything within time to leave with around 20 minutes left. I was stressing when I got my results. 870 out of 1000. Ten points away from having to pay another $300 to get this certification. Thank God Almighty!

Overall, this test was stressful since I was reading comments about people barely passing on Reddit and didn’t want to be one of those people. I needed to pass the first time. That is why it took me so long to actually get my confidence up to schedule the exam. So now, I want to continue my quest by getting my CCNP Security certification before the Cert Apocolyse happens on 2/23/2020. I plan on finishing this certification sometime before the end of the year, so stay tuned on my journey to become an Information Security engineer.

CCENT Certification (100-105)

I passed my Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician exam!

ccent_network_largeThis has been a struggling two months studying for this exam. Fortunately, I gained prior experience configuring and verifying commands on routers and switches through my courses in college. Most of the materials on the exam was review, but I did learn more in detail about routing and switching protocols. In order to fully understand the exam topics, one must mess around on routers and switches to get a feel of what you will be configuring and verifying.

My study materials consisted of the ICDN1 book from Ciscopress and a Youtube video series created by Ryan Beney. It is important to use multiple study aids–do not use only video tutorials or only books to study. The video series I used is very comprehensive and helpful for beginner. Here is the first episode of the video series:

As for my reaction when completing the exam, I was freaking out because I did not want to fail and have to study and take the test all over again. The score to pass was 832 and I got a 846! 14 points or about two questions away from failing. There were 54 question in total with 90 minutes to complete them. Thanks God for helping me through this stressful time because it was well worth the struggle.

My next step in my journey to become a Network Security engineer is to obtain my CCNA Security certification. So I will be studying for the IINS 210-260 (Implementing Cisco Network Security). With that certification, I will be able to continue on to the CCNP Security cert which will show off my skills in securing network infrastructures.