What is a Cybersecurity Practitioner?

The Cybersecurity Practitioner or CSX-P is a certification of one’s ability to perform the five key cybersecurity functions based on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, which are: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. The credential demonstrates analytical abilities, foundational knowledge, and concrete skills required for cybersecurity first responders.  

Why is CSX-P Certification Important?

The Cybersecurity Practitioner certification is a performance-based validation of a person’s ability to solve real-world cybersecurity challenges. The credential provides a high level of assurance to employers and organizations.  

Who Needs CSX-P Certification?

There are three levels of CSX programs: a Practitioner, a Specialist and an Expert track. The CSX-P Certification is the entry-level certification for cybersecurity professionals. It is valuable for IT professionals who work with organizations on threat intelligence and vulnerability assessments. 

The certificate is most common among cybersecurity analysts, security analysts, IT security practitioners, and security specialists. The CSX credentials signify advanced knowledge of global cybersecurity standards and frameworks, including the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, NIST SP 800-53 Revision 4, ISO 27000 and COBIT 5.

How to Get CSX-P Certified

The CSX-P exam is 4-hours long and doesn’t contain any multiple-choice questions or simulations. Candidates are required to complete a wide-range of tasks of varying durations with minimal instructions and must navigate between multiple virtual machines. 

Although there are no prerequisites for the CSX-P certification, it is recommended that the candidate has enough relevant experience to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks. The ISACA website recommends that candidates have a foundational knowledge of the following applications, operating systems, and tools prior to sitting for the exam:

  • CentOS
  • Kali Linux
  • MS Windows 2016 Server
  • MS Windows clients – all beginning with XP
  • Pfsense
  • Security Onion
  • Ubuntu
  • Kibana
  • Lynis
  • Microsoft security features
  • Nmap/Zenmap
  • Network troubleshooting commands
  • OpenVAS
  • Squil
  • Terminal applications
  • Ubuntu
  • Wireshark

The CSX-P Certifying Association

CSX-P is offered through the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). ISACA is an international professional association for information technology and information security professionals.

Requirements to Stay Certified

To maintain a valid certification ISACA requires a minimum of twenty relevant CPE hours per year and 120 CPE hours for a three-year reporting period, and at least thirty of those credits must be lab or skills-based training.