In this guide
- Cryptography certifications
- Certifications requirements
- Certification cost
- Job and salary info
- Related resources
- Frequently asked questions
As the use of cryptography becomes more widespread, so does the need for qualified professionals who can work in this field.
There are a number of professional certifications that can help cybersecurity professionals be qualified to work in cryptography.
This guide will introduce you to some of the top cryptography certifications and help direct your research into which may be the best certification for you to pursue.
Cryptography is the practice of secure communication in the presence of third parties. Militaries and governments have long used it to protect secrets, and it is now also widely used in civilian applications such as online banking and shopping.
Cryptography is used in two main ways: to protect information from being read by anyone except the intended recipient and to verify that a message comes from the claimed sender.
In order to achieve these goals, cryptographic algorithms are used to transform readable data into an unreadable format, known as ciphertext.
Only someone with the correct decryption key can reverse the transformation and read the original data. Cryptography is a complex subject, and there are many different techniques that can be used to achieve its goals.
However, all cryptographic schemes share some basic principles, such as the need for a secret key that is known only to the sender and receiver of the message.
A leader in cybersecurity solutions, Fortinet, defines cryptography as
“the process of hiding or coding information so that only the person a message was intended for can read it. The art of cryptography has been used to code messages for thousands of years and continues to be used in bank cards, computer passwords, and e-commerce.”
Technically speaking, cryptographers are the code makers, while cryptanalysts are the code breakers. However, cryptographers are code makers and codebreakers in many organizations.
So often, the line between the two jobs is blurred or even erased completely. But the distinction is worthwhile due to the two different classes of employers that generally utilize their services.
While there is no such thing as a certified cryptographer, a few cybersecurity professional certifications validate the certification holder’s knowledge of the field.
The most well-known professional certification that dives deep into cryptography is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), offered by (ISC)², an international, nonprofit membership association and arguably the world’s leading cybersecurity professional organization.
The CISSP is a globally recognized certification that indicates a professional has the knowledge and skills necessary to implement and manage security in an organization. CISSP holders are also required to keep up with new developments in the field of security, making it one of the most important credentials for those working in this field.
Other professional certifications that can be helpful for those interested in working in cryptography include:
- The EC-Council Certified Encryption Specialist (ECES)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF).
The ECES is a professional certification that validates an individual’s ability to design and implement cryptography solutions.
The ECES program is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to secure data effectively.
The certification exam covers topics such as cryptography fundamentals, symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, digital signatures, and cryptography standards.
Upon successful completion of the ECES exam, individuals will be able to demonstrate proficiency in cryptography and earn the ECES designation.
The CEH professional certification, also offered by the EC-Council, is a globally recognized cryptography credential that validates an ethical hacker’s skills and knowledge.
The CEH exam tests a candidate’s ability to identify, understand, and prevent cryptography attacks. The exam covers a wide range of topics, including cryptography basics, cyber-attacks, tools and techniques, cybersecurity policy and law, and ethical hacking.
To become certified, a candidate must pass the CEH exam with a 70 percent or higher score.
The GISF professional certification is designed to provide test-takers with a comprehensive understanding of the core concepts of information security, cryptography, network security, and risk management.
The exam covers a broad range of topics, including cryptography, network security, and risk management. It is an excellent choice for those looking to start or advance their career in information security.
Those who are interested in working in cryptography should consider pursuing one or more of these professional certifications. Doing so will help them demonstrate their knowledge and skills in this field and make them more attractive to employers.
What are the requirements for certification?
Gaining a professional certification can open up new opportunities in your career, but the process can be expensive and time-consuming if you are not well prepared.
Generally speaking, you will need to meet specific educational requirements and pass an exam before you can apply for certification. In some cases, you may also need to have several years of experience in the field.
The requirements vary depending on the profession, so it is essential to do your research before you commit to the process. However, if you are willing to put in the work, gaining a professional certification can be a great way to advance your career.
In order to become a CISSP, individuals must meet certain experience and education requirements. First, they must have at least five years of professional experience in two or more CISSP domains, including topics such as security architecture, operations security, and access control.
Alternatively, individuals can have four years of professional experience and a college degree in a relevant field. In addition, all candidates must pass an extensive examination that covers all aspects of information security.
Once an individual has passed the exam and met the experience requirements, they are eligible to apply for CISSP certification. Upon certification, CISSPs must agree to adhere to (ISC)²’s code of ethics.
The ECES program is designed to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to implement data encryption technologies.
To become certified, candidates must pass a written exam and demonstrate their ability to encrypt and decrypt data. The written exam covers topics such as symmetric and asymmetric encryption, key management, and digital signatures.
Candidates must also be able to identify encryption algorithms and explain how they work. In addition, candidates must have a strong understanding of the principles of data security.
To prepare for the certification exam, candidates can take an EC-Council approved training course or self-study using EC-Council approved materials.
After successfully completing the certification requirements, individuals will be able to help organizations protect their data from unauthorized access and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
The CEH certification is one of the most popular certifications in the cybersecurity field.
The CEH credential is widely recognized in cybersecurity and can help ethical hackers advance their careers.
To become CEH certified, candidates must pass a four-hour exam of 125 multiple-choice questions to test their knowledge of ethical hacking concepts and tools.
To sit for the exam, candidates must have at least two years of experience working in information security or a related field. Additionally, candidates must submit an application that includes a signed code of ethics and agree to adhere to the code during the certification process.
Once certified, ethical hackers are required to maintain their CEH credentials by completing continuing education requirements and renewing their credentials every three years.
The GISF certification is designed for individuals who want to demonstrate their knowledge of basic information security concepts. To earn the GISF certification, candidates must pass a multiple-choice exam with a score of 70 percent or higher.
The exam covers a range of topics, including risk management, incident response, and security controls. There is no experience required for the GISF certification, making it an excellent option for entry-level professionals.
The Department of Homeland Security also recognizes the GISF certification as part of their Cybersecurity Professional hiring program. Candidates who earn the GISF certification will have a foundation in information security that they can build upon with additional GIAC certifications.
How much do certifications cost?
The cost of getting a professional certification can vary depending on the type of certification and the organization offering the certification.
For example, the CISSP certification from (ISC)² costs $749 for members. The EC-Council’s ECES certification training program with labs and books costs $1,399. The CEH exam costs $1,199. Finally, with two practice tests included, the GISF certification has a registration fee of $949.
In addition to the certification fees, candidates may also need to pay for training courses and exam prep materials.
The cost will vary widely depending on whether you choose a computer-based self-paced course or an instructor-led live class. These costs can add up, but professional certifications can lead to career advancement and higher salaries, so they are often worth the investment.
Job and salary information
When you’re looking for a job, your potential employer will want to know what kind of experience you have. A professional certification shows you have the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job. In many cases, it can also help you to earn more money.
Employers are often willing to pay more for someone with a professional certification because they know they can do the job and won’t need as much training.
In addition, having a professional certification can help you get promoted more quickly. If your employer knows you have the skills and knowledge to do the job, they’re more likely to give you a promotion when one becomes available.
The average CISO salary in the United States is $231,447. The range falls between $202,104 and $267,299, according to Salary.com. Security analysts and security consultants can make comparable wages, depending on factors such as their geographical location and employer size.
According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary of a cryptographer is $150,009 annually. ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $201,500 and as low as $47,500. Most cryptography salaries currently range between $130,000 to $171,500, with top earners making $192,500.
CEH-certified professionals are in high demand by both government agencies and private businesses. Common job titles for those with a CEH certification include security analyst, penetration tester, and security consultant.
Salary levels vary depending on experience and location, but CEH-certified professionals can typically expect to earn higher than average incomes. Payscale.com reports that Penetration Testers are making from about $59,000 to about $140,000 per annum, with an annual average wage of $88,492.
In addition to finding employment, CEH certification holders may also choose to start their own security consulting businesses.
The GISF certification is a great way to show employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to work in the field of information security. With this certification, you will be qualified for a variety of positions, including security specialist, network administrator, and security incident responder. In addition, the GISF certification can help you advance your career by demonstrating your commitment to professional development. Payscale indicates that information security specialists’ salaries range from $51,000 to $124,000.
Frequently asked questions
Cryptography certifications are formal recognitions awarded by accredited organizations to individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of cryptography. These certifications often involve passing an exam or completing a course that covers various aspects of cryptography, such as encryption algorithms, key management, and secure communications.
If you’re in the cybersecurity field, a cryptography certification can bolster your credentials and make you more marketable. It’s a way to demonstrate your expertise in securing digital communications and data. Employers often look for these certifications when hiring for roles that require a deep understanding of security protocols.
Some of the most recognized certifications in cryptography include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Each has its own focus and prerequisites, so you’ll need to decide which is most aligned with your career goals.
Preparation often involves a mix of self-study, online courses, and hands-on experience. Many certification bodies offer official study materials, and there are also third-party books and online resources available. Some people also opt for bootcamps or intensive courses to get up to speed quickly.
Most certifications require periodic renewal, often every two to three years. Renewal usually involves earning continuing education credits and may require retaking the exam. This ensures that certified professionals stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.
While a certification can enhance your job prospects, it’s generally not a substitute for experience and education. Most employers look for a combination of academic background, work experience, and certifications when hiring for specialized roles in cryptography.
With the rapid growth of the cybersecurity field, workers with cryptography skills are in high demand. Earning a cryptography certification will enhance your career by making you more marketable to employers and increasing your chances of being promoted within your current organization.
The certification process can be rigorous, but it is worth it. Certification shows employers that you are serious about your career and have the dedication and skillset required for the job.
Certification shows that you have taken the time to learn best practices and possess the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in this field. We hope this information has been helpful and encourages you to pursue a cryptography certification.