SSCP Certification Exam

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SSCP Certification Exam

Become an SSCP – Systems Security Certified Practitioner

Earning a globally recognized advanced security administration and operations certification like the SSCP is a great way to grow your career and better secure your organization’s critical assets.

SSCP certification demonstrates you have the advanced technical skills and knowledge to implement, monitor and administer IT infrastructure using security best practices, policies and procedures established by the cybersecurity experts at (ISC)².

Who Earns the SSCP?

The SSCP is ideal for IT administrators, managers, directors and network security professionals responsible for the hands-on operational security of their organization’s critical assets, including those in the following positions:

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◉ Network Security Engineer
◉ Systems Administrator
◉ Security Analyst
◉ Systems Engineer
◉ Security Consultant/Specialist
◉ Security Administrator
◉ Systems/Network Analyst
◉ Database Administrator

What will You Need to Know to Pass the SSCP Exam?

The SSCP exam evaluates your expertise across seven security domains. Think of the domains as topics you need to master based on your professional experience and education.

SSCP Domains

Domain 1. Access Controls
Domain 2. Security Operations and Administration
Domain 3. Risk Identification, Monitoring and Analysis
Domain 4. Incident Response and Recovery
Domain 5. Cryptography
Domain 6. Network and Communications Security
Domain 7. Systems and Application Security

ISC2 SSCP Exam Summary:

Exam Name ISC2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) 
Exam Code SSCP
Exam Price   $249 (USD)
Duration  180 mins
Number of Questions   125
Passing Score  700/1000 
Sample Questions   ISC2 SSCP Sample Questions
Practice Exam   ISC2 SSCP Certification Practice Exam

ISC2 SSCP Exam Syllabus Topics:

Topic Details 
Access Controls - 16% 
Implement and maintain authentication methods   - Single/multifactor authentication
- Single sign-on
- Device authentication
- Federated access
Support internetwork trust architectures   - Trust relationships (e.g., 1-way, 2-way, transitive)
- Extranet
- Third party connections 
Participate in the identity management lifecycle   - Authorization
- Proofing
- Provisioning/de-provisioning
- Maintenance
- Entitlement
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems 
Implement access controls   - Mandatory
- Non-discretionary
- Discretionary
- Role-based
- Attribute-based
- Subject-based
- Object-based 
Security Operations and Administration - 15%  
Comply with codes of ethics   - (ISC)² Code of Ethics
- Organizational code of ethics
Understand security concepts   - Confidentiality
- Integrity
- Availability
- Accountability
- Privacy
- Non-repudiation
- Least privilege
- Separation of duties 
Document, implement, and maintain functional security controls   - Deterrent controls
- Preventative controls
- Detective controls
- Corrective controls
- Compensating controls 
Participate in asset management   - Lifecycle (hardware, software, and data)
- Hardware inventory
- Software inventory and licensing
- Data storage 
Implement security controls and assess compliance - Technical controls (e.g., session timeout, password aging)
- Physical controls (e.g., mantrap, cameras, locks)
- Administrative controls (e.g., security policies and standards, procedures, baselines)
- Periodic audit and review 
Participate in change management   - Execute change management process
- Identify security impact
- Testing /implementing patches, fixes, and updates (e.g., operating system, applications, SDLC) 
Participate in security awareness and training    
Participate in physical security operations (e.g., data center assessment, badging)    
Risk Identification, Monitoring, and Analysis - 15%  
Understand the risk management process   - Risk visibility and reporting (e.g., risk register, sharing threat intelligence, Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS))
- Risk management concepts (e.g., impact assessments, threat modelling, Business Impact Analysis (BIA))
- Risk management frameworks (e.g., ISO, NIST)
- Risk treatment (e.g., accept, transfer, mitigate, avoid, recast)
Perform security assessment activities   - Participate in security testing
- Interpretation and reporting of scanning and testing results
- Remediation validation
- Audit finding remediation 
Operate and maintain monitoring systems (e.g., continuous monitoring)   - Events of interest (e.g., anomalies, intrusions, unauthorized changes, compliance monitoring)
- Logging
- Source systems
- Legal and regulatory concerns (e.g., jurisdiction, limitations, privacy) 
Analyze monitoring results  - Security baselines and anomalies
- Visualizations, metrics, and trends (e.g., dashboards, timelines)
- Event data analysis
- Document and communicate findings (e.g., escalation) 
Incident Response and Recovery - 13%  
Support incident lifecycle  - Preparation
- Detection, analysis, and escalation
- Containment
- Eradication
- Recovery
- Lessons learned/implementation of new countermeasure
Understand and support forensic investigations   - Legal and ethical principles
- Evidence handling (e.g., first responder, triage, chain of custody, preservation of scene) 
Understand and support Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) activities  - Emergency response plans and procedures (e.g., information system contingency plan)
- Interim or alternate processing strategies
- Restoration planning
- Backup and redundancy implementation
- Testing and drills 
Cryptography - 10%  
Understand fundamental concepts of cryptography - Hashing
- Salting
- Symmetric/asymmetric encryption/Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)
- Non-repudiation (e.g., digital signatures/certificates, HMAC, audit trail)
- Encryption algorithms (e.g., AES, RSA)
- Key strength (e.g., 256, 512, 1024, 2048 bit keys)
- Cryptographic attacks, cryptanalysis, and counter measures
Understand reasons and requirements for cryptography   - Confidentiality
- Integrity and authenticity
- Data sensitivity (e.g., PII, intellectual property, PHI)
- Regulatory
Understand and support secure protocols   - Services and protocols (e.g., IPSec, TLS, S/MIME, DKIM)
- Common use cases
- Limitations and vulnerabilities 
Understand Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) systems  Fundamental key management concepts (e.g., key rotation, key composition, key creation, exchange, revocation, escrow)
- Web of Trust (WOT) (e.g., PGP, GPG) 
Network and Communications Security - 16% 
Understand and apply fundamental concepts of networking - OSI and TCP/IP models
- Network topographies (e.g., ring, star, bus, mesh, tree)
- Network relationships (e.g., peer to peer, client server)
- Transmission media types (e.g., fiber, wired, wireless)
- Commonly used ports and protocols
Understand network attacks and countermeasures (e.g., DDoS, man-in-the-middle, DNS poisoning)  
Manage network access controls   - Network access control and monitoring (e.g., remediation, quarantine, admission)
- Network access control standards and protocols (e.g., IEEE 802.1X, Radius, TACACS)
- Remote access operation and configuration (e.g., thin client, SSL VPN, IPSec VPN, telework)
Manage network security   - Logical and physical placement of network devices (e.g., inline, passive)
- Segmentation (e.g., physical/logical, data/control plane, VLAN, ACLs)
- Secure device management 
Operate and configure network-based security devices   - Firewalls and proxies (e.g., filtering methods)
- Network intrusion detection/prevention systems
- Routers and switches
- Traffic-shaping devices (e.g., WAN optimization, load balancing) 
Operate and configure wireless technologies (e.g., bluetooth, NFC, WiFi)   - Transmission security
- Wireless security devices (e.g.,WIPS, WIDS) 
Systems and Application Security - 15%  
Identify and analyze malicious code and activity   - Malware (e.g., rootkits, spyware, scareware, ransomware, trojans, virus, worms, trapdoors, backdoors, and remote access trojans)
- Malicious code countermeasures (e.g., scanners, anti-malware, code signing, sandboxing)
- Malicious activity (e.g., insider threat, data theft, DDoS, botnet)
- Malicious activity countermeasures (e.g., user awareness, system hardening, patching, sandboxing, isolation)
Implement and operate endpoint device security   - HIDS
- Host-based firewalls
- Application white listing
- Endpoint encryption
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) (e.g., COPE, BYOD)
- Secure browsing (e.g., sandbox) 
Operate and configure cloud security   - Deployment models (e.g., public, private, hybrid, community)
- Service models (e.g., IaaS, PaaS and SaaS)
- Virtualization (e.g., hypervisor)
- Legal and regulatory concerns (e.g., privacy, surveillance, data ownership, jurisdiction, eDiscovery)
- Data storage and transmission (e.g., archiving, recovery, resilience)
- Third party/outsourcing requirements (e.g., SLA, data portability, data destruction, auditing)
- Shared responsibility model 
Operate and secure virtual environments   - Software-defined networking
- Hypervisor
- Virtual appliances
- Continuity and resilience
- Attacks and countermeasures
- Shared storage 

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