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GCIA Certification: Top 17 Reasons to Have It

What is the GCIA Certification?

GCIA certification stands for GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst. The GIAC Intrusion Analyst certification validates a professional’s knowledge of network and traffic analysis, host monitoring, and intrusion detection.

The candidates having the GCIA degree, have the skills needed to configure and monitor intrusion detection systems, and to read, interpret, and analyze network traffic and related log files.

Which Areas Are Covered Under GCIA Certification?

  • Network Traffic Forensics and Monitoring
  • Fundamentals of Traffic Analysis and Application Protocols
  • Open-Source IDS like Snort and Bro

Top Reasons to Go For the GCIA Certification?

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  1. The GCIA certification makes a candidate learn Advanced Analysis and Network Forensics. He becomes able to prove his skills in analyzing data from multiple sources like Netflow, full packet capture, log files, etc. as part of a forensic investigation.
  2. The candidate will be able to demonstrate the understanding of IDS tuning methods and correlation issues. The certification will teach Advanced IDS concepts to a candidate.
  3. Application Protocols are learned. So the candidate becomes able to prove his knowledge and skill relating to application layer protocol dissection and analysis.
  4. The concepts of TCP/IP becomes very clear after getting this certification. The candidate will explain what he has understood of the TCP/IP communications model. He will be able to operate link layers too.
  5. The candidate will become aware of the work process of DNS. His concepts will become so bright that he will be able to use DNS for both legitimate and malicious purposes.
  6. The candidate will explain his knowledge of how fragmentation works and how to identify fragmentation and fragmentation-based attacks in packet captures.
  7. A candidate learns about the Fundamentals and Network Architecture of IDS. He then uses his knowledge of fundamental IDS concepts, such as network architecture options. While getting the certification, a candidate comes to know about the benefits and weaknesses of standard IDS systems.
  8. The certification allows the candidate to create effective IDS rules to detect different types of malicious activity.
  9. Knowledge about IP Headers allows the candidate to explain the ability to dissect IP packet headers and analyze them for regular and anomalous values that may point to security issues.
  10. The candidate will show knowledge of IPv6, and will also explain the difference of IPv6 from IPv4.
  11. The candidate will attain the ability to analyze network and application traffic. Thus he will be able to identify both healthy and malicious behaviors.
  12. The candidate will gain knowledge relating to packet crafting and manipulation. He will be able to apply packet engineering well.
  13. Silk and other traffic analysis tools are learned during the certification. The candidate can use it to perform network traffic and flow analysis.
  14. The candidate will explain the knowledge of the TCP protocol and the ability to discern between typical and abnormal behavior.
  15. The candidate will learn to craft tcpdump filters that match the given criteria.
  16. They will be able to explain the UDP and ICMP protocols and the ability to discern between typical and unusual behavior.
  17. The candidate will prove skill related to traffic analysis using Wireshark with an intermediate degree of ability.

GCIA Certification Exam Details:

Exam Full Name: GIAC Intrusion Analyst.

The exam consists of 100-150 questions. A candidate needs to complete the question paper in 240 minutes. The passing score for the exam is 68%. The official price for the exam is 1899 dollars.


Syllabus Topics Covered Under GCIA Exam:

  • Advanced Analysis and Network Forensics
  • Advanced IDS Concepts
  • Application Protocols
  • Concepts of TCP/IP and the Link Layer
  • DNS
  • Fragmentation
  • IDS Fundamentals and Network Architecture
  • IDS Rules
  • IP Headers
  • IPv6
  • Network Traffic Analysis
  • Packet Engineering
  • Silk and Other Traffic Analysis Tools
  • TCP
  • Tcpdump Filters
  • UDP and ICMP
  • Wireshark Fundamentals

Final Words:

More than 165,000 GIAC certifications have been issued to date. GIAC certifications are well known and highly valued among employers and the information security industry. Even the United States National Security Agency values GIAC certifications.

GIAC offers more than 30 security certifications. These certifications are of introductory, intermediate, advanced, and expert levels.

GIAC certifications are unique because they measure specific skills and knowledge areas rather than general infosec knowledge. That means a typical GCIA certification needs hard preparation and becomes very valuable after completion. The GCIA certification opens a brighter career path for the holder.

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