Home > Blogs > Introduction to the GIAC Certification Program

Introduction to the GIAC Certification Program

By  Feb 24, 2009

Topics: Certification

Hi there. Most IT veterans who have some experience with certification are familiar with the major IT security credentials: CompTIA Security+, (ISC)2 CISSP, and the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker. In this post I would like to introduce you to the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) titles.

What is GIAC, Anyway?

What would information technology be without an alphabet soup of acronyms, right? First of all, GIAC stands for Global Information Assurance Certification, and it represents a suite of vendor-neutral computer security certifications. So far, so good.

The GIAC credentials were created by the SANS Institute in 1999. The SANS Institute, in turn, is a computer security training and research institution that has been around since 1989 and is highly respected by most IT professionals, myself included.

Therefore, we can rest assured that the GIAC certifications are grounded in an organization that is neither fly-by-night nor weak in the credibility department. This is solid stuff, friends.

So, What’s Available?

The GIAC certification portfolio is broken down at the broadest level into four disciplines:

Throughout the four GIAC certification tracks, there exist three proficiency “levels”:

  • Silver: Pass one proctored exam
  • Gold: Research and write one technical report or white paper
  • Platinum: Must hold three GIAC certs (at least two at the Gold level)

The references to proctored tests and authoring white papers probably has you scratching your head a bit, eh? Yes indeed—the GIAC credentials are a wee bit different from your traditional CompTIA or Microsoft certification programs.

In future blog posts in this series we will examine each of the four GIAC certification tracks in greater detail.

Until then, happy studying!

Related Resources

Become an InformIT Member

Take advantage of special member promotions, everyday discounts, quick access to saved content, and more! Join Today.