11 Replies Latest reply: Jul 2, 2019 9:21 AM by Matt Saunders - Community Manager RSS

    CyberOps vs Security Learning Path


      Hi folks. I must preface this by saying that I have always considered Cisco Certifications to be one of the best out there for any IT professional. I am strongly considering picking up the ball that I dropped a long time ago when I was still in school and looking to get into some kind of network security role. And I know that Cisco is refining a few things in the next year or so, so my question may be a frivolous one:


      Given my preference towards the security side of things, and with full intent to pursue the entry level CCENT certification as soon as humanly possible: At the associate level what are the core differences between CCNA Cyber Ops and the CCNA Security certifications? Would I be correct in assuming that Cyber Ops is more to do with specific responses to particular incidents and Security is more on the administrative side of things? And would an associate level Security certification not also prepare me for responding to specific incidents? It may be a bad analogy but I'd rather be the search and rescue guy on the ground versus the police chief dishing out orders and dealing with policy and protocol. So I am not sure which would be the best route to take or if it is a moot point given the upcoming changes Cisco is making.


      Thanks for reading and I appreciate any and all feedback that could shed some light on the subject.


      - Chris

        • 1. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path

          Hi Chris,


          I guess you already know about the new cisco certification changes. If you are planning to achieve CCNA security or CCNA cyber Ops, you have to pass the required exam for the certification by Feb 23, 2020.


          Now, there are significant difference between ccna security and cyber ops track.. CCNA security is suitable for one who is looking for career in network defensive side. You'll learn about General security concepts, Cryptography, Firewall technologies, how to configure and ensure security using firewall, how to prevent Layer 2 / Layer 3 attacks and mitigation techniques, securing functional planes, VPN technologies etc..Overall, this track will teach how to ensure perimeter security with proper security configuration in Routers, Switches and Firewalls (of course, just basics know-how appropriate for associate level)

          IINS Exam Topics


          On the other hand, Cyber Ops track is to prepare someone who is working or looking for work in threat hunting environment or to be specific, SOC analyst role. It will give you idea of different types of cyber attacks and little bit of methodologies of how these attacks are carried out in the wild. Also how to track/identify these kinds of malicious attacks in your organisation using various monitoring tools. It's heavily focused on first level incident response.

          Cyber Ops (CCNA)


          If you want to know more of this cyber ops track, you can go through these below free training from Cisco Netacad regarding cyber security. Please note that, these are not for certification exam, it's for foundation knowledge.


          • Introduction to Cybersecurity


          • Cybersecurity Essentials



          Hope this will help you a bit which track you want to follow. But remember that as both of these certifications are going to retire, you have to decide quickly and pass before Feb, 2020.



          • 2. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path
            Matt Saunders - Community Manager

            Spot on.

            • 3. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path

              Thanks Matt 

              • 4. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path

                New Program Update for CCNA Cyber Ops as of June 28,2019. Thanks to Matt to share us this information in another Thread


                Cyber Ops (CCNA)



                • 5. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path
                  douglas j. sheehan

                  I would recommend verifying with Cisco that the CCNA-Cyber will convert to a CCNA in the new structure. the CCENT is not a pre-requisite for the CCNA-Cyber, but it is a pre-requisite for the CCNA-Security. Both CCNA's require two exams.


                  You are correct in the assumption that which certification you pursue will be largely irrelevant, since they will both be the same CCNA in February.


                  The one advantage to getting the CCNA-Security is that if you pass quickly, you can work on passing one of the CCNP-Security exams; and that will benefit you through the migration tool towards a CCNP-Security in the new certification structure.


                  I do have both the CCNA Cyber and the CCNA Security. I am studying for one of the CCNP Security Exams now. I believe I have enough time to pass the CCNP Security before Feb.

                  • 6. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path

                    New Program Update for CCNA Cyber Ops, confirmation as of June 28th., 2019.  As confirmed previously by Phoenix, but now from a different page including information of recertificaction policy.   Please check the following link:






                    • 7. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path
                      douglas j. sheehan

                      Thanks Gus,

                      I believe you are 100% correct. I have seen it in two places now that the CCNA Cyber is not going to be changing, but I don't understand why Cisco would collapse all of the other CCNA's into a single CCNA, and have only this one remain an outlier. If the justification for changing all of the other special CCNA's change to a single CCNA to avoid market/employer confusion, then this doesn't make any sense.


                      The new DevNet will have a CCNA-like path, but not be a CCNA. It would make more sense (to me) if Cisco either made the CCNA-Cyber part of the unified CCNA, or made it "CCNA-Like" without calling it a CCNA, with a path progression for developing security professionals.


                      The CCNA-Cyber was very different to the CCNA R/S and CCNA Security.. The CCENT was not a pre-requisite.It was challenging, but in a different way to the other CCNAs. It didn't have any Lab Simulations.In my opinion, It would make more sense to me to move it over to the DevNet side. The initial certification, as an overview, shouldn't require a lot of coding, but as an engineer or analyst progresses, it will be more useful if they have coding skills.


                      Thanks for the Link. As I said, you are absolutely correct. Thanks for the post.

                      • 8. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path
                        Matt Saunders - Community Manager

                        Great synopsis Douglas - Truly a spot on analysis. I would say to expect more focus given here in  the coming months.

                        • 9. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path
                          Tim Harmon - San Diego CCNA CyberOps

                          The reason why the CCNA Cyber Ops is not a part of the new CCNA is because it is "not a networking role." (According to the Learning @ Cisco leaders in the Cisco Certifications Community Event that was held on June 20, 2019) Cyber Ops is a security professional role where the CCNA Cyber Ops is for a Security Analyst in a Security Operations Center (SOC)! It might be moved to the Cisco Certified Specialist certification but there has not been any word lately on this. I think that they should have an Associate level Cyber Ops (Security Analyst role), Professional level Cyber Ops (Security Engineer role), and Expert level Cyber Ops (Security Architect)!


                          For all of you going for any of the CCNA certifications, keep going! I am currently working on a blog post regarding the new certification changes and hoping to have it live within a few days! In the meantime, you can check out my other blog posts at https://harmont2007.wixsite.com/cybertalk (posts regarding Cisco and Cyber Security)!

                          • 10. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path

                            You're welcome Douglas!

                            Great analysis you do of the situation with all the CCNA's.  We will have to wait in the coming days for a clear direction from Cisco regarding to what they will be doing with the CCNA Cyber Ops track. 



                            • 11. Re: CyberOps vs Security Learning Path
                              Matt Saunders - Community Manager

                              ^^^^^^^^^^^^ Read this post regarding how the Cyberops Cert path "fits" within the Cisco Certification Portfolio.


                              Thank you very much Tim.