How to become a Certified Network Defender

The Certified Network Defender (CND) accreditation program is designed to prepare Network Administrators for ensuring, distinguishing and reacting to dangers and risks encountered by various network systems. These accredited professionals are typically acquainted with system parts, activities, executions and power usage as it pertains to business computer networks. A CND requires intimate knowledge of information exchange among networks and networking programs. With the ability to configure VPNs and firewalls, among countless other complexities of these systems, the Certified Network Defender is expected to provide businesses with effective security strategies that will allow them to retain full functionality even while being attacked by hackers. 

What is a Certified Network Defender?

CNDs are IT proficient individuals who has practical experience in avoiding, perceiving, and killing dangers to a business computer network. These profoundly specialized positions are relatively new but they are rapidly becoming necessities for organizations and associations that need to guarantee their delicate information isn’t endangered or exposed to bad actors. In their everyday work, CNDs are in charge of:

  • Scanning systems for unapproved users
  • Installing and updating security programs
  • Performing regular stress tests to discover weaknesses
  • Assessing and correcting damage caused by malware

Network defenders should have an exceptional working knowledge of all the most recent computer operating systems, network architectures, and online dangers. This data enables them to determine and establish an arrangement to keep their client’s data safe from any conceivable risk. Regardless of the industry, nearly all businesses in the 21st century require the aid of someone who can guard their data if they’re on a network. Malicious programmers and con artists focus on a wide range of organizations with the expectation of finding a reserve of individual information from their clients they can use for extortion or identity theft. They can also potentially obtain records containing proprietary data that can be sold to competitors. A CND can provide certain safeguards and guarantees that these events will not occur on their watch. Good luck!

What Does a Certified Network Defender Need to Know?

Like all digital security experts, CNDs require specialized knowledge and training in some code and programming. Network defenders need to know how to:

  • Recognize and react to network dangers and assaults
  • Assess existing security conventions and modify them for improved safety.
  • Design and introduce resistances dependent on the individual necessities of each client
  • Configure, oversee, and secure firewalls, VPNs, and IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems)
  • Monitor web activity to proactively identify potential dangers
  • Create backups and recuperation frameworks to decrease the effect of security breaches

For some businesses, their existing IT staff may play out a portion of these obligations as of now. Be that as it may, IT experts are often spread very thin due to the fact that they are in charge of many different aspects of the entire network. A devoted network defender just focuses on keeping this information out of the wrong hands, freeing up the IT team to focus on the other important aspects of their jobs. The CND program focuses on:

  • Network security controls
  • Devices
  • Protocols
  • Performing vulnerability/risk assessments and generating reports
  • IDS/IPS technologies, tuning, and configurations
  • Network topology
  • Firewall solutions

If you are currently working in a business’s IT department, getting trained and accredited as a CND is fairly straightforward. A short instructional course conducted by teachers with industry experience will adequately prepare you for the accreditation exam. These programs are mostly geared towards working experts who require only a bit of additional training to meet all requirements for system protection and network defense positions. When the test prep course is finished, you will then have the opportunity to take the certification exam. Like many other tests, this exams can cause pressure and anxiety, so many experienced tutors and test takers suggest these tips to ensure you maximize your chances of success:

  • Schedule your test immediately after your instructional class concludes so all the material is still new in your mind.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before exam day instead of cramming all night. This will actually improve your memory.
  • Take advantage of any breaks during the exam to relax and alleviate stress.
  • Bring two forms of ID to the testing site to avoid any delays when verifying your identity.

Here are some additional tips that can help you become a Certified Network Defender: 

Have a Plan, Stick to a Schedule

An examination plan acts a guide for your entire test prep journey. Before you get started hitting the books, you have to clearly outline your objectives and plan how you will accomplish them. Let’s be honest: any exam can be stressful, especially if it plays a major role in determining your career path. If you don’t have a reasonable guide set up, you run the risk of elevating this stress and wasting time on an unfocused study strategy. There are some critical aspects you have to cover while setting up your study plan. The most essential one is the time: how long do you have to study before exam day? How much time can you spend studying each day? Do you prefer to study early in the morning before work, or in the evening after work is over? Answering these questions will be helpful when determining your study strategy. The next step is to divide up the content you need to study into different segments. Then you can allocate your limited time to reviewing each segment, ensuring that you don’t take too long on one particular area.

Find Your Study Strategy

What is the best methodology when preparing for the CND exam? Truthfully, there is no one-size-fits-all system that works for everybody. No two people learn the same way; what works for some probably won’t work for others. For example, some students learn exceptionally well through independent study, utilizing cheat sheets and practice questions. Others are more visual and learn best through video content such as recorded lectures. Still others learn best in social gatherings such as a study group or live classroom environment. Comprehend your own qualities and shortcomings in order to determine your own form of intelligence.


Take Advantage of Practice Questions

CND exam questions are generally situation based. These situations can vary wildly, which means that simply reading about certain concepts and strategies won’t necessarily prepare you for the exam. Fortunately, this is where test prep courses come in handy. Enrolling in a test prep course with a company like Grey Campus CND or Simplilearn can provide you with many practice questions to pull from, offering an accurate facsimile of the actual test environment. Furthermore, as you complete these practice questions and compare your results, you can see what areas of the exam are more challenging for you. This will inform your study process as you can then focus more effort on addressing these weak points in your networking knowledge.


Grey Campus CND Training Online


    • Not All Questions Include Explanations: As with most courses you’ll know immediately if you got a problem right or wrong, but for some questions you may not find an explanation. While this isn’t a huge deal it’s definitely helpful to know why an answer is wrong or how to get a correct one. Luckily if you don’t understand a question’s reasoning you can always ask an instructor.


    Simulate the Real Thing

    An expansion on the previous tip is to create your own simulated exam made from practice questions that is nearly identical to the actual exam. Even if you have an intimate working knowledge of all the material covered on the CND exam, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have the ability to pass it. You would do best to practice the act of taking the exam itself as well. The fact is that this test will require some stamina on your part since you will need to sit in the testing center for 4 hours and answer 200 questions to the best of your ability. If you organize an accurate simulation of the exam right down to the finer details of the testing environment, you can mentally and physically prepare yourself for success.

    Don’t Get Nervous!

    It doesn’t matter how much time you spend reviewing the material and how well you’ve prepared for the exam; stress comes for us all. It’s highly likely that you will experience pre-exam jitters that can negatively affect your test-taking ability. After all, the majority of us don’t perform well under strain; there are numerous factors that you can’t control. Remember to get a good night’s sleep, eat a nice breakfast, and use the restroom before your exam starts. Most of all: trust yourself and your knowledge of the exam material.

    Final Thoughts

    Experts have predicted that there will be a worldwide deficiency in digital security experts over the next few years. This is a vacuum just waiting to be filled by any ambitious professional looking to further their IT career. Does that sound like you? If so, now is your chance to jump on this golden opportunity by preparing yourself for the CND exam! There are tons of great resources available through companies like Simplilearn: you can find out more about them here.

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    James Edge

    James Edge

    James is on a mission to uncover the greatest study guides and prep courses to ensure you pass your exam on your first attempt. He has personally assessed hundreds of study materials and developed courses himself.

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