My experience of the Cisco CCNA Cyber Operations Certification Path

Exam Tips, Advice and Study Notes for the CCNA 210-250 and 210-255 CertificationCCNACyberOpsBadge

After passing both CCNA 210-255 Cyber Security Foundations and 210-255 SECOPS exams (retaking the 210-255 once) below contains a study guide, practice questions, tips for both exams and some considerations for Cisco to improve the quality of this course.

What did I like about studying the CCNA Cyber Ops Course?

  • It’s not very Cisco-heavy. Around 10% -15% of the total study material discusses Cisco product lines. It’s a solid, broad grounding in all aspects of Info Sec and cyber security without requiring you to know tons of Cisco products, CLI commands or nonsense that you’ll never use in real life!
  • Applicable knowledge you can impress your boss with. The OCG books provide great insights into how people attack infrastructure, the ways company’s can mitigate against this, and the frameworks that provide governance and guidelines for keeping your environment secure, as well as how to implement an incident response function.
  • There’s something for everyone, regardless of what role you perform. I was fairly naive to the breadth of attack vectors in any given IT eco-system, and considered this course would be an analyst-level undertaking for people working in infrastructure (primarily). Once of the real strengths of this course is its ability to be useful across disciplines – from architecture, networks, support to development or monitoring – there’s something for everyone.
  • You don’t need much (if any!) existing knowledge. It helps if you have a CCNA R & S already but is not necessity. You should however understand basics of an OS, typical networking equipment, the OSI model and TCP/IP stack.

What could improve about the CCNA Cyber Ops Certification?

  • Terminology. Cisco refer to the NIST Incident response phases using different terminology than the actual white paper. For example, Scoping is not an N.I.S.T Inc response phase (nor is it mentioned at all in the whitepaper).
  • Official study material could be improved. The video training that is available to supplement the course (with Omar Santos narrating) is a complete waste of £80 and he simply reads out what is already in the cert guide. Lazy. It would also be easy to provide a hosted instance of the FMC Console and an IDP/IPS device so, as a student, you don’t have to rely on screenshots to imagine how the software works.
  • Missed subject areas. Certain subject areas were missing from the OCG books but appeared in the exam. I had to pay for another resit after being blindsided by these. See my exam study notes for tips on how to avoid this.


Study Resources for the CCNA Cyber Ops Foundation and SECOPS Certification

CCNA Cyber Ops (SECFND #210-250 and SECOPS #210-255) Official Cert Guide Library  Read the books cover to cover, try to base your notes on the ‘Key Points’ sections and be sure to read the ‘Recommended reading’ sections.

Wider reading is necessary for this cert and my study notes cover which elements are mentioned in the exam and most relevant reading materials.

CCNA Cyber Ops (210-250 & 210-255) Ultimate Practice Exam – Charles Judd

100 questions available on Kindle – this is definitely more useful for the 210-250 exam but helps jog your memory.  Cheap and cheerful but a lot of questions are recycled from the OCG ‘Do I know this already?’ sections.


Exam Objectives

Download the PDF exam topics and be sure to check out the Study Materials link in both.

CCNA Cyber Ops Foundations 210-250 Exam Topics

CCNA Cyber Ops Implementing 210-255 Exam Topics

Study Notes

Download my study notes from here for both exams. They contain lots of links to wider reading, articles and tutorials.

210-250 – Cyber Ops Foundations

210-255 – Cyber Ops Operations


Latest NIST Incident Response Documentation

NIST 800-61 r2 Computer Security Incident Response Handling Guide

NIST 800-86 Guide to Integration Forensic Techniques into Incident Response

What you should know to pass the 210-255 SECOPS exam

210-255 Revision Dump

Example exam questions coming soon….