For those who work in Cisco-based infrastructures and environments, the Cisco Security Specialist credential is indeed a worthwhile security certification. If fact, some experts have argued that for training individuals in the specifics of Cisco infrastructure security, it is the best credential around. My recent article on searchSecurity was on vendor-neutral, rather than vendor-specific, security certifications. That's why I didn't mention the program therein; no slight or negative evaluation of that program was intended -- it simply did not meet the basic criterion for coverage in that particular story. You may therefore be interested to learn that searchSecurity just yesterday offered a commission for me to cover vendor-specific security certifications for them in the near future. Rest assured that the Cisco security credentials (including a CCIE security specialization as well as the specialist program you mention in your e-mail) will figure into that story.
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This was first published in February 2002