CCNA CyberOps is a relatively new certification program released by Cisco in 2017. They were offering numerous scholarships but unfortunately I was not able to apply since I did not meet the minimum requirements back then.

I am not on the scholarship programme but I was looking for associate-level certifications to study for. I looked at doing CSA+ which is another relatively new infosec certification offered by CompTIA. Therefore, it was a close call between CSA+ and this and I decided to go with the CCNA CyberOps.

Cisco CCNA Cyber Ops certification examination is divided into two parts - Understanding Cisco Cybersecurity Fundamentals SECFND (210-250) which covers the core skills which is needed to cover the second part, Implementing Cisco Cybersecurity Operations SECOPS.

Overview of topics to focus on

  • Network Concepts
  • Security Concepts
  • Cryptography
  • Host-based Security Analysis
  • Security Monitoring
  • Attack Methods
  • Endpoint Threat Analysis and
  • Computer Forensics
  • Network Intrusion Analysis
  • Incident Response
  • Data and Event Analysis
  • Incident Handling

SECFND notes so far

  • Much of the first two chapters feel like a review of CompTIA Network+ but with a lot more detail and more information about Cisco hardware/software

  • Keep in mind that this is a vendor-associated certificate, meaning that Cisco software, protocols, hardware, principles, methods and so on will be mentioned.

  • Keep in mind that this is only the theory - and to also flex your practice muscles. Download Kali and run through pentesting exercises to gain practical knowledge in this area. Have Windows Server and another Windows VM running if Windows is not your primary OS, if not get a GNU/Linux distro.

  • You can spin up a server using Digital Ocean - my referral link here

  • Aim to integrate as much as you can with your work the concepts that you learn on CCNA CyberOps so that you have hands-on practice.

  • Have some sort of notepad (be it text or handwritten or both) keeping track of your learnings.

More to come soon as I go through the materials!