I am a chartered cost accountant based in India. Presently I am the COO of a dot.com company. I have been on the Internet around three years. I should be taking my Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) next year. I received an economics degree in 1979. I am keen to pick up certification since it forces me to enhance my knowledge and it would improve my marketability. What is my next step?

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With the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) already under your belt, your next credential could be the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) but only if you have seven years of security-related work experience to go along with your degree in economics. Check http://www.asisonline.org/cpp.html for more details on this excellent program.

You might also want to consider one or more of the following credentials, all of which will leverage your current experience and your auditing and accounting background:

-CCO -- Certified Confidentiality Officer CCO identifies individuals who possess management level expertise in information security, who can direct security implementations and deployments, and the security professionals who perform such tasks. Source: Business Espionage Controls Countermeasures Association (BECCA) More information: http://www.espionbusiness.com/faq.ivnu

-CCSA -- Certification in Control Self-Assessment CCSA identifies individuals with knowledge of internal control and related security self-assessment procedures. Source: Institute of Internal Auditors. More information: http://www3.theiia.org/ecm/ccsa.cfm?doc_id=31

-Certified Network Security Manager (CNSM) CNSM identifies individuals who manage security professionals, with an understanding of technical security fundamentals and of related topics in security forensics, law or incident response handling. Middle (management) rung in the CCTI security certification ladder. Source: Colorado Computer Training Institute (CCTI) More information: http://www.ccti.com/certifications/security/securityoverview.asp

-CIA -- Certified Internal Auditor CIA identifies individuals with working knowledge of professional financial auditing practices, including related security practices, procedures and auditing techniques. Source: Institute of Internal Auditors More information: http://www3.theiia.org/ecm/certification.cfm?doc_id=12

Of course, there are numerous more IT-focused, more technical security certifications to be had as well. May I suggest that you visit http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/tip/1,289483,sid14_gci516426,00.html to read my Tip entitled "The Security Certification Landscape: Choices and Benefits" wherein I survey over 20 security related credentials (including all the ones mentioned earlier in this e-mail)?

This was first published in July 2001

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