Cisco Certified Security Specialist Exam is a professional level examination conducted by Cisco. This is an extremely useful step for people who have already attempted the first or basic level certifications in Network Administration. The professionals after certification get placed as Senior Network Administrators, Senior Hardware Engineers, and Senior Network Security Specialists.


Once this certification is cleared the candidates are assumed to be experts by the employers in various fields like VPN’s, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and security management.


Since this is a professional level exam, the candidate has to clear the basic level (CCNA) and preferably middle level (CCIE) certification before attempting to write this exam. This requires the test taker to give a total of five exams, four mandatory and one optional from the following list.

  • Securing Cisco Network Devices-75 minutes
  • Securing Networks with Cisco Routers and Switches-75 min 53 questions
  • Securing Networks with PIX and ASA-90 min 70 questions
  • Implementing Cisco Intrusion Prevention System-90 min   70 questions and
  • Securing Hosts Using Cisco Security Agent-75 min 75 questions or
  • Implementing Cisco NAC Appliance-75 min 60 questions or
  • Implementing Cisco Security Monitoring Analysis and Response System or
  • Cisco Secure Virtual Private Networks-75 min 65 questions

The test needs to taken again after 3 years after its expiry and specializations need to be covered.

How to take CCSP test:

The test can be taken from any authentic Pearson or Prometric site or test centre. The test can be booked online from the test site and the date and time can be chosen according to convenience. The test can be re-scheduled or cancelled accordingly as per need. Each test costs around 250 USD.

Take a sample test:

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