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|Cisco 640-554 Value Pack
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The Cisco 640-554 certification exam tests an individual’s skills and knowledge of securing Cisco routers and switches and their related networks. It provides the candidates the skills required for installation, troubleshooting and monitoring of network devices and creates expertise in the technologies used in Cisco’s security infrastructure. This credential demonstrates that a network professional has the necessary skills required to identify threats, resolve these threats and create a security infrastructure.
This certification is globally recognized and is an important credential for a network security specialist. It examines a candidate's knowledge of securing Cisco routers and switches and their corresponding networks. The credential also guarantees higher position in the industry and a better salary.
Major topics in this exam include: general security threats, security and Cisco routers, Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) on Cisco devices, IOS Access Control Lists, secure network management and reporting, common Layer 2 attacks, Cisco firewall technologies and Intrusion Prevention System, and VPN technologies,
Why is this exam required?
The Cisco 640-554 certification confirms an individual’s skills in installing, monitoring and troubleshooting network devices and building competency in the security infrastructure technologies used by Cisco. The Cisco 640 554 exam develops an individual's skills for the following job roles:
- Network Security Specialists
- Security Administrators
- Network Security Support Engineers.
The Cisco 640-554 exam is associated with the CCNA Security certification. This exam tests a candidate's knowledge of securing Cisco routers and switches and their corresponding networks.
A valid Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching, CCIE, or CCENT certification is required for attending the exam. At least two years of relevant work experience will give an advantage, even though it is not mandatory.
Objectives of the exam:
The Cisco 640-554 exam is categorized into 9 sections and different weights are allocated to each section. It is important to have knowledge on each section in order to pass the exam. The sections along with their corresponding percentages are summarized below:
- Common or General Security Threats (7%)
This section includes description of the common security threats, for example, threats to physical installation, email-based threats, web-based attacks, viral attacks, etc.
- Cisco and Security Routers (9%)
This section tests candidates’ skills to apply security on Cisco routers, understand Cisco Security Manager and transition from IPv4 to IPv6, etc.
- AAA on Cisco Devices (8%)
Topics covered in this section are: implementation of Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA), description of TACACS+, RADIUS, AAA, and verification of AAA operations.
- IOS ACLs (9%)
In this section, candidates are tested on their abilities to understand standard IP IOS Access Control Lists (ACLs) in order to filter packets; understand factors to be considered when building ACLs; and capability to administer IP ACLs to deal with various network threats.
- Secure Network Management and Reporting (8%)
This section demonstrates the candidates’ ability to understand and administer secure network management.
- Common Layer 2 Attacks (10%)
Topics included in this section include: understanding of Layer 2 security, VLAN security; implementing VLANs, trunking and spanning tree.
- Cisco Firewall Technologies (15%)
This section demonstrates the candidates’ ability to understand operational advantages and disadvantages of various firewall technologies, kinds of NAT used in firewall technologies, administer CCP enabled policy firewall, implementing Cisco Adaptive Security Alliance (ASA), Network Address Translation (NAT), and Port Address Translation (PAT).
- Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (16%)
Topics include: Understanding of Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) implementation options, IPS technologies and configuration of Cisco IOS Intrusion Prevention System.
- VPN Technologies (18%)
This section tests the individual’s knowledge on various ways used in cryptography, technologies like VPN, foundation of IPSec, implementing an IOS IPSec VPN, verifying VPN operations, and implementing Secure Sockets Layer VPN.
Passing the Cisco 640-554 exam proves that the individual is able to expertly secure the Cisco routers and switches, and their corresponding networks. It shows the individual’s expertise in installing, monitoring and troubleshooting network devices.
As this certification is globally recognized, it increases the chance for employees being hired for higher positions with an increased salary. A recent study shows that IT professionals who are certified hold 50% more job positions than those who are not certified due to the accelerated demand of this certification in the IT industry.
This credential gives a strong foot-hold for IT professionals. Companies like HP, Motorola, Dell, 3Com, IBM, Microsoft and Symantec, etc. highly value this credential. Professionals having this certification undoubtedly have an edge over those without the certification.