Microsoft Adds New Security Certification Program

Microsoft announced that it will offer a new security specialization program under its Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credentials.

Lutz Ziob, general manager for Microsoft's Training and Certification group, said that the MCSA: Security and MCSE: Security programs "go beyond \[the basic MCSA and MCSE baseline security training\] and look specifically at things like managing and troubleshooting service packs and security updates, and being able to implement and troubleshoot secure communications channels. This might include the implementation of \[IP Security\] IPSec or the wireless encryption protocol, or the configuration of remote access security, so that people can engage remotely using a virtual private network, or VPN. It might also include Smart Card or biometric authentication methods, as well as advanced security procedures, such as implementing a public key infrastructure, or PKI."

Administrators and Engineers who want to earn one of the new certifications must pass the core exams for the MCSA or MCSE programs and also pass several security specialization exams. One of the specialized exams is the CompTIA Security+ program, which covers cross-platform security skill sets. Microsoft hopes that the new specialization titles will help people differentiate themselves from other administrators and engineers as security specialists.

Other security training and certification programs exist, including the hugely popular CISSP, GIAC, CISA, and CISM programs, which are geared for people involved in all areas of information security including security administration, auditing, and management oriented positions

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