SSCP - Systems Security Certified Practitioner

The Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) is the ideal certification for those with proven technical skills and practical, hands-on security knowledge in operational IT roles. It provides confirmation of a practitioner’s ability to implement, monitor and administer IT infrastructure in accordance with information security policies and procedures that ensure data confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Duration: 5.0 days

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You Will Learn How To:

• Access Controls
• Security Operations and Administration
• Risk Identification, Monitoring, and Analysis
• Incident Response and Recovery
• Cryptography
• Network and Communications Security
• Systems and Application Security


Domain 1: Access Controls

1.1 Implement and maintain authentication methods

» Single/multifactor authentication
» Single sign-on
» Device authentication
» Federated access

1.2 Support internetwork trust architectures

» Trust relationships (e.g., 1-way, 2-way, transitive)
» Extranet
» Third party connections

1.3 Participate in the identity management lifecycle

» Authorization
» Proofing
» Provisioning/de-provisioning
» Maintenance
» Entitlement
» Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems

1.4 Implement access controls

» Mandatory
» Non-discretionary
» Discretionary
» Role-based
» Attribute-based
» Subject-based
» Object-based

Domain 2:Security Operations and Administration

2.1 Comply with codes of ethics

» (ISC)² Code of Ethics
» Organizational code of ethics

2.2 Understand security concepts

» Confidentiality
» Integrity
» Availability
» Accountability
» Privacy
» Non-repudiation
» Least privilege
» Separation of duties

2.3 Document, implement, and maintain functional security controls

» Deterrent controls
» Preventative controls
» Detective controls
» Corrective controls
» Compensating controls

2.4 Participate in asset management
» Lifecycle (hardware, software, and data)
» Hardware inventory
» Software inventory and licensing
» Data storage

2.5 Implement security controls and assess compliance

» Technical controls (e.g., session timeout, password aging)
» Physical controls (e.g., mantrap, cameras, locks)
» Administrative controls (e.g., security policies and standards, procedures, baselines)» Periodic audit and review

2.6 Participate in change management

» Execute change management process
» Identify security impact
» Testing /implementing patches, fixes, and updates (e.g., operating system, applications, SDLC)

2.7 Participate in security awareness and training

2.8 Participate in physical security operations (e.g., data center assessment, badging)

Domain 3:Risk Identification, Monitoring,and Analysis

3.1 Understand the risk management process

» Risk visibility and reporting (e.g., risk register, sharing threat intelligence, Common Vulnerability ScoringSystem (CVSS))
» Risk management concepts (e.g., impact assessments, threat modelling, Business Impact Analysis (BIA))
» Risk management frameworks (e.g., ISO, NIST)
» Risk treatment (e.g., accept, transfer, mitigate, avoid, recast)

3.2 Perform security assessment activities

» Participate in security testing
» Interpretation and reporting of scanning and testing results
» Remediation validation
» Audit finding remediation

3.3 Operate and maintain monitoring systems (e.g., continuous monitoring)

» Events of interest (e.g., anomalies, intrusions, unauthorized changes, compliance monitoring)
» Logging
» Source systems
» Legal and regulatory concerns (e.g., jurisdiction, limitations, privacy)

3.4 Analyze monitoring results

» Security baselines and anomalies
» Visualizations, metrics, and trends (e.g., dashboards, timelines)
» Event data analysis
» Document and communicate findings (e.g., escalation)

Domain 4:Incident Response and Recovery

4.1 Support incident lifecycle

» Preparation
» Detection, analysis, and escalation
» Containment
» Eradication
» Recovery
» Lessons learned/implementation of new countermeasure

4.2 Understand and support forensic investigations

» Legal and ethical principles
» Evidence handling (e.g., first responder, triage, chain of custody, preservation of scene)

4.3 Understand and support Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)activities

» Emergency response plans and procedures (e.g., information system contingency plan)
» Interim or alternate processing strategies
» Restoration planning
» Backup and redundancy implementation
» Testing and drills

Domain 5:Cryptography

5.1 Understand fundamental concepts of cryptography

» Hashing
» Salting
» Symmetric/asymmetric encryption/Elliptic CurveCryptography (ECC)
» Non-repudiation (e.g., digital signatures/certificates, HMAC, audit trail)
» Encryption algorithms (e.g., AES, RSA)
» Key strength (e.g., 256, 512, 1024, 2048 bitkeys)
» Cryptographic attacks, cryptanalysis, andcounter measures

5.2 Understand reasons and requirements for cryptography

» Confidentiality
» Integrity and authenticity
» Data sensitivity (e.g., PII, intellectual property, PHI)
» Regulatory

5.3 Understand and support secure protocols

» Services and protocols (e.g., IPSec, TLS, S/MIME, DKIM)
» Common use cases
» Limitations and vulnerabilities 

5.4 Understand Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) systems

» Fundamental key management concepts (e.g., key rotation, key composition, key creation, exchange,revocation, escrow)
» Web of Trust (WOT) (e.g., PGP, GPG)

Domain 6:Network and Communications Security

6.1 Understand and apply fundamental concepts of networking

» OSI and TCP/IP models
» Network topographies (e.g., ring, star, bus,mesh, tree)
» Network relationships (e.g., peer to peer, clientserver)
» Transmission media types (e.g., fiber, wired,wireless)
» Commonly used ports and protocols

6.2 Understand network attacks and countermeasures (e.g., DDoS, man-in-the-middle, DNSpoisoning)

6.3 Manage network access controls

» Network access control and monitoring (e.g., remediation, quarantine, admission)
» Network access control standards and protocols (e.g., IEEE 802.1X, Radius, TACACS)» Remote access operation and configuration (e.g., thin client, SSL VPN, IPSec VPN, telework)

6.4 Manage network security

» Logical and physical placement of network devices (e.g., inline, passive)
» Segmentation (e.g., physical/logical, data/control plane, VLAN, ACLs)
» Secure device management

6.5 Operate and configure network-based security devices

» Firewalls and proxies (e.g., filtering methods)
» Network intrusion detection/prevention systems
» Routers and switches
» Traffic-shaping devices (e.g., WAN optimization, load balancing)

6.6 Operate and configure wireless technologies (e.g., bluetooth, NFC, WiFi)

» Transmission security
» Wireless security devices (e.g.,WIPS, WIDS) 

Domain 7:Systems and Application Security

7.1 Identify and analyze malicious code and activity

» Malware (e.g., rootkits, spyware, scareware, ransomware, trojans, virus, worms, trapdoors, backdoors, andremote access trojans)
» Malicious code countermeasures (e.g., scanners, anti-malware, code signing, sandboxing)
» Malicious activity (e.g., insider threat, data theft, DDoS, botnet)
» Malicious activity countermeasures (e.g., user awareness, system hardening, patching, sandboxing, isolation)

7.2 Implement and operate endpoint device security

» Host-based firewalls
» Application white listing
» Endpoint encryption
» Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
» Mobile Device Management (MDM) (e.g.,COPE, BYOD)
» Secure browsing (e.g., sandbox)

7.3 Operate and configure cloud security

» Deployment models (e.g., public, private,hybrid, community)
» Service models (e.g., IaaS, PaaS and SaaS)
» Virtualization (e.g., hypervisor)
» Legal and regulatory concerns (e.g., privacy,surveillance, data ownership, jurisdiction,eDiscovery)
» Data storage and transmission (e.g., archiving,recovery, resilience)
» Third party/outsourcing requirements (e.g.,SLA, data portability, data destruction, auditing)
» Shared responsibility model

7.4 Operate and secure virtual environments

» Software-defined networking
» Hypervisor
» Virtual appliances
» Continuity and resilience
» Attacks and countermeasures
» Shared storage


The SSCP is ideal for IT administrators, managers, directors and network security professionals responsible for the hands-on operational security of their organization’s critical assets, including those in the following positions:
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Systems Administrator
  • Security Analyst
  • Systems Engineer
  • Security Consultant/Specialist
  • Security Administrator
  • Systems/Network Analyst
  • Database Administrator


Candidates must have a minimum of 1 year cumulative work experience in 1 or more of the 7 domains of the SSCP CBK. A 1 year prerequisite pathway will be granted for candidates who received a degree (bachelors or masters) in a cybersecurity program.

A candidate that doesn’t have the required experience to become an SSCP may become an Associate of (ISC)² by successfully passing the SSCP examination. The Associate of (ISC)² will then have 2 years to earn the 1 year required experience. You can learn more about SSCP experience requirements and how to account for part-time work and internships at



SSCP - Systems Security Certified Practitioner

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