Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

What certification would you recommend for mainframe security experts?

I have been in Mainframe (IBM CA-Top Secret) security for over 15 years. I now need to get certified in something related to security knowledge. Is there any thing you would recommend for the mainframe security experts.
Reviewing what's available in the vendor-specific and vendor-neutral security certifications, the closest thing you'll find to a mainframe security credential is something like a Tivoli consultant level certification or something similar for Computer Associates CA/Unicenter.

However, those credentials involve lots of other stuff besides security and may involve more effort and activity outside your chosen area of focus than would be worthwhile.

That's why I recommend that you pursue a good, solid general security certification -- such as the ISC-squared's CISSP (possibly with a security architecture or security management concentration above and beyond the CISSP itself) and work to position yourself as somebody who understand the general state of infosec and related security policy, best practices, and so forth, but who can also translate those things into mainframe environments.

On the other hand, you may want to ask your peers and colleagues who've been toiling in the mainframe area as long as you have if they have other suggestions, too.

For my part, this is the best I can suggest -- but they may (and probably do) know things about which I'm not aware, since mainframes really aren't an area that I know either intimately or extremely well.

HTH, and thanks for writing. If you wouldn't mind following up with me to let me know where your inquiries and analysis lead you, I could benefit by learning from your experience. Thanks!

This was last published in September 2003

Dig Deeper on Networking careers and certifications