Difference Between CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security (With Table)

Difference Between CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security (With Table)

CISCO SYSTEMS INC, one of the leading networking solution companies, offers three certification programs, specifically CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security. From the layman’s perspective, these programs may sound similar, but based on the complexity, scope, and difficulty of the Program, they differ. The CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE Security are associate-level, professional-level, and expert-level security programs, respectively.

CCNA Security vs CCNP Security vs CCIE Security

CCNA Security is an entry-level certification focused on foundational security concepts. CCNP Security is an advanced certification for mid-career professionals covering various security technologies. CCIE Security is an expert-level certification for seasoned experts, emphasizing mastery of complex security solutions and strategies.

Difference Between CCNA Security CCNP Security and CCIE Security

CCNA is short for Cisco Certified Network Associate. The CCNA certificate is given an assortment of fields like Cloud, Data Centre, Routing and Switching, Security, etc. The CCNA Security is an associate-level program that provides a clear idea about establishing a legitimate network and assists the candidates in developing a problem-solving capability.

CCNP Security is abbreviated as Cisco Certified Network. A CCNA certification is mandatory to pursue this program. After this program, the candidate can use their acquired knowledge to deploy the right VPNs, IDS/IPS solutions, and Firewalls. The exam program is comparable to that of Network Security Engineering.

CCIE, abbreviated as Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, is the expert-level program among the three. A person with this certificate can involve his knowledge in any part of Cisco’s network security. An individual with this security certificate can fabricate or deploy a network and troubleshoot the security issues of a network.

Comparison Table Between CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security

Parameters of ComparisonCCNA SecurityCCNP SecurityCCIE Security
Certification LevelEntry-levelAdvanced-levelExpert-level
Target AudienceNovice to mid-careerMid-career to seniorSeasoned experts
FocusFoundational security concepts and skillsIn-depth security knowledge and skillsMastery of complex security solutions
Topics CoveredBasic security concepts, firewall technologies, VPNs, and security implementationAdvanced security technologies, including firewall, VPNs, identity management, and intrusion preventionAdvanced and intricate security technologies, strategies, and solutions
Career StageStarting career in network securityMid-career professionals seeking specialized rolesProfessionals in senior and leadership roles
Certification PathOften a precursor to CCNP Security or CCIE SecurityCan be a stand-alone certification or a precursor to CCIE SecurityAdvanced certification following CCNP Security or equivalent experience
ComplexityRelatively less complexModerate complexityHighly complex and demanding
ValidationValidates fundamental security knowledgeDemonstrates expertise in securing network environmentsValidates mastery in addressing complex security challenges
Career OpportunitiesEntry-level security rolesMid to senior-level security roles, security consultingSenior leadership roles in security, expert consultants
PrerequisitesNoneCCNA or equivalent experienceCCNP Security or equivalent experience
Examination TypeMultiple-choice and simulation examsMultiple-choice and lab-based examsLab-based exams and practical assessment

What is CCNA Security?

CCNA Security refers to the Cisco Certified Network Associate Security certification, a specialized credential offered by Cisco Systems, a leading provider of networking and cybersecurity solutions. This certification is designed for IT professionals who aim to develop expertise in network security. CCNA Security covers various aspects of network security, including implementing and monitoring security measures, recognizing vulnerabilities, and ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of network data.

It validates skills related to firewalls, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), intrusion prevention systems, and more. CCNA Security certification is valuable for individuals seeking careers in network security, as it demonstrates their ability to safeguard and defend network infrastructures against threats and attacks.

What is CCNP Security?

CCNP Security stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional Security, a prestigious certification offered by Cisco Systems, a leading networking and cybersecurity solutions provider. This certification is designed for experienced IT professionals specializing in network security. CCNP Security validates advanced knowledge and skills related to the design, implementation, and management of network security solutions.

It covers various topics, including firewall technologies, secure VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), intrusion prevention systems, and identity management. Achieving CCNP Security certification demonstrates a professional’s expertise in securing complex network environments and qualifies them for roles such as network security engineer, security consultant, or security administrator. It is a valuable credential for individuals pursuing advanced careers in network security.

What is CCIE Security?

CCIE Security, or Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Security, is a prestigious and advanced-level certification offered by Cisco Systems, a prominent networking and cybersecurity solutions provider. This certification is designed for seasoned IT professionals and experts who aspire to become masters in network security. CCIE Security validates in-depth knowledge and expertise in designing, implementing, and managing complex security solutions for enterprise networks.

It covers many topics, including network infrastructure security, VPNs, firewall technologies, intrusion prevention, and identity management. Achieving CCIE Security certification is significant and demonstrates a professional’s ability to address intricate security challenges in modern network environments. It is highly regarded and sought-after in the cybersecurity industry.

Main Differences Between CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security

CCNA Security:

  • Entry-level certification.
  • Focuses on foundational network security concepts and skills.
  • Covers topics like firewalls, VPNs, and basic security implementation.
  • Suitable for individuals starting their career in network security.
  • Validates fundamental security knowledge.

CCNP Security:

  • Advanced-level certification.
  • Designed for experienced professionals in network security.
  • Covers a wide range of security technologies and solutions.
  • Includes topics like firewall technologies, VPNs, identity management, and intrusion prevention.
  • Demonstrates expertise in securing complex network environments.
  • Suitable for mid-career professionals seeking specialized roles.

CCIE Security:

  • Expert-level certification.
  • Targets seasoned experts in network security.
  • Covers advanced and intricate security technologies and strategies.
  • Requires an in-depth understanding of security design, implementation, and management.
  • Validates mastery in addressing complex security challenges.
  • Often pursued by professionals in senior and leadership roles.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1556540/
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PARCyPSSkF8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=ccna&ots=BfTlQsPi9q&sig=EX4vJGFi4_qgFJKqdBXxrG36fBw
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963868701000567
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