CRN News: Cisco (NSDQ:CSCO) on Wednesday launched a new set of security certifications aimed at recognizing individuals who specialize in a certain sect of security.

The new Cisco security certifications, the company said, are designed to meet growing market needs for specialized network security skills, like IOS, VPN and firewall.

And for solution providers, the new security certifications can demonstrate their expertise in certain security areas while also helping them ensure they're hiring competent employees to navigate the security needs of customers.

"We're beginning to see a huge trend is the need for a properly trained security staff," said Tejas Vashi, Senior Manager Responsible for Product Management for Learning@Cisco.

According to Vashi, solution providers are offering a lot of security products and are required to prove their mettle when it comes to certain disciplines. The new Security Specialist certifications complements the CCNP Security career certification program that Cisco launched last year and highlight skills for critical product and technology areas.

The new Cisco Security Specialist certifications include Cisco Firewall Security Specialist, which recognizes security pros with the skills to design, implement and maintain Cisco security appliances, using the Cisco adaptive security appliance (ASA) and zone-based firewall solutions;the Cisco IOS Security Specialist certification, which recognizes security pros who demonstrate hands-on knowledge and skills required to secure networks using the Cisco IOS Security features in Cisco routers, switches and security appliances;and the Cisco VPN Security Specialist certification, which recognizes security pros with the skills and knowledge to configure, maintain, troubleshoot and support various VPN solutions, using Cisco IOS software and the Cisco ASA security appliance.

The new specialist certifications require a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security certification.

Vashi said the three new Security Specialist certifications join the Cisco IPS Specialist, Cisco NAC Specialist and Cisco ASA specialist in Cisco's security certification portfolio, bringing it to six key technologies.

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