McAfee launches security certifications for IT pros

Security vendor McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) hasn’t had a certification program for IT professionals since it was known as Network Associates. That changed this week though with the launch of the McAfee Security Certification Program.

Although it’s primarily designed for IT professionals, partners are also welcome to participate in the program. Ray Komar, senior director of global education services at McAfee, said they’ve been getting increasing demand from customers and partners for this sort of certification program.

“Our customers and some of our partners have said they want a certification program to demonstrate that they have competencies with our products, and that demand has accelerated in the last few years,” said Komar.

As McAfee transitions from selling point solutions to offering a wider range of integrated security solutions supporting the mission-critical architecture of larger businesses, Komar said both IT professionals and companies are more interested in making sure they have the right skills and certifications to manage their security effectively.

McAfee is offering two certification “tracks.” The McAfee Certified Specialist track demonstrated competency in the effective instillation, configuration and administration of key McAfee products. And the McAfee Certified Assessment Specialist track allows security practitioners to demonstrate deep technical assessment skills in the area of penetration testing and ethical hacking.

Komar said the first track is more McAfee-specific, while the second covers a broader range of security competencies. McAfee has partnered with Prometric Services, a global testing company, to administer the proctored exams for each certification. Training is also available in support of the exams, with both classroom and e-learning options but is optional. The tracks are aimed at IT professionals with one to three years of experience in IT security.

While other security vendors offer certifications and vendor-neutral third-party programs are also available, Komar said McAfee’s program is unique in that it has both product and non-product specific tracks, and covers both sides of the attack and defend coin.

McAfee expects interest to come both from IT pros looking to get a hiring edge by demonstrating their expertise, and organizations looking to upgrade the skills of their employees.

“One of the goals is for candidates to be able to effectively demonstrate their skills. It indicates they take their profession seriously, and it benefits employers as McAfee becomes much more critical to these organizations to have a comfort level that their folks have demonstrated a certain level of competency,” said Komar.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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