Networks are no more simple connectivity of systems and servers, they are very complex systems comprising servers, routers, and end points. Network administration is a sophisticated task and the job of a network administrator has become challenging and often demand concentration on parameters beyond their regular administrative work.
The internet has made the world smaller and this transition also carries a new-age vulnerability that is infectious and can spread across devices connected to the network. The role of a network administrator is now moved from a mere administration to a network defender. Apart from playing the role of a network manager, the network defender shall also assure the security of the network, including devices, processes, and data connected to it.
Why Should I Become a Certified Network Defender?
Network administrators are experts in network environments and components like network topology, protocols, IP addresses, traffic, etc. When equipped with adequate network security skills, organizations can defend themselves from vicious attacks caused by vulnerabilities in the network. The Certified Network Defender (C|ND) is a credentialing program offered by EC-Council for network administrators to equip themselves with security skills by protecting, defending, and responding to threats on the network.
Top Reasons to Become a Certified Network Defender
1. Employment Scalability
“Global Network Security Market is estimated to grow at a substantial CAGR of 4.74% during the period 2017-2022” 
With the growth of the market comes the growth of employment opportunities. Even though a wide skill gap exists in the cybersecurity industry, there are millions of cyber enthusiasts who are yet to enter the industry. Even advancements in technology, such as the rising usage of mobile devices and integrated security solutions, are working toward the creation of a strong foundation for all network security enthusiasts.
2. Mapped to NICE Framework
C|ND is based on job-task analysis and a cybersecurity framework, as defined by the National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education (NICE). The NICE framework defines the combination of cybersecurity tasks in detail, including, skills, abilities, and knowledge required to perform any defined task at work. C|ND is directly mapped to the NICE 2.0 Framework’s Protect and Defend specialty area and this ensures that the program is also unconversant with a wide array of job roles.
3. Accredited by ANSI
C|ND is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private non-profit certification body that verifies certification programs and regulates them based on international standards. The purpose of ANSI is to provide confidence and trust in the outputs of an accredited program. Being credentialed does not serve the purpose unless it gives you recognition. Anyone can offer a certified program; the true value rolls into place with an accreditation.
4. Comprehensive Learning
C|ND is the most comprehensive of a network defense course, which encompasses 14 latest network security domains, that any aspiring network defender would want to learn. Having learned these many network domains, a security network defender would able to defend the company’s networking assets and processes. Network administrators, system operators, network architects, or network technicians can avail an opportunity to conquer the peaks of information security, which they otherwise would not have made it.
The program will give you the fundamentals of network technologies to understand how the network works, the automated software, and analysis of the subject material. In addition, it includes the application of network tools, security controls, VPN and firewall configuration, vulnerability scanning in the network, protocols and appliances, and many other topics that would help a network administrator design and respond to resilient processes proactively.
5. Exam Based on Real Challenges
EC-Council maintains a high-level of integrity while assessing the candidate’s performance via online examination and therefore, drafts the questionnaire in the most unpredictable way with real-time situations. The duration of the C|ND exam is four hours with 100 questions, provided in different questionnaires. All the questionnaires are analyzed via beta testing by a committee of subject matter experts. The analysis of the questions individually is to ensure that they represent real-world challenges. The individual rating, of the individual exam form, contributes to the overall cut-score which attributes to 60%-85%, based on which exam form is challenged.
6. Intensive Lab
How do you define the benefit of a lab? Is it the number of hours that you gain to practice and what if your practice is not effective? Anyone can host a lab to practice, but unless you know whether you are practicing the right way or how far you are successful in your lab tests, your practice is a sheer waste of time and effort. This won’t help you get through the exam confidently with a great score. EC-Council labs are online and assisted by lab trainers who are present to guide you with proper feedback. When working on network methodologies, you must able to manage and defend thousands of devices, and the lab practice inculcates this confidence in you. Beyond this, you can also use our exclusive iLabs service, which is a virtual real-time platform for EC-Council. It will help you gain experience with real-time challenges.
7. Salary Benefit
The average salary that you can earn by becoming a Network Administrator is USD 60,153  whereas when you upgrade yourself to C|ND, your expected average salary will be USD73,000 annually.  In addition, you can expect a higher appraisal percentage in cybersecurity, for the reason being, lack of workforce. The unemployment issue of cybersecurity cannot be overcome in a year or two, and by the time the industry attains the peak, you will be also at a higher scale in your cybersecurity career.
After learning about why you should become a network defender, it is important to learn how to defend as well. Never delay what best matters to your career. Join EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender program to become a Network Defender!
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This article is taken from EC-Council website with permission granted.