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BlueWolf's Howl

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February 12, 2014


Baaad blogger. No...wait, not bad blogger, but now infrequent blogger here. I can't have that long of a break and just let it go without mentioning something about the large time gaps. So here's the update:

I've decided to no longer update the "Reading Stats" part of this blog. I think by now you get the idea - and now that I'm reading more security books... well, it's not as useful to put my cards on the table. In addition, my studies have morphed into more videos, web seminars and in-person classes - along with a lot of online reading. The reading stats are not really covering all that I'm doing.

After my first attempt at the CCIE R/S Lab - I had started working towards a second attempt. Then I took some time to study for and attain the CISSP certification. It's something that I've wanted for a very long time. And then I started practicing for the Lab again. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking. I had to make a decision - especially when I received emails reminding me that 9 Cisco certifications were about to expire. So I studied for the CCIE R/S Written Exam - and passed it (again). This nicely reset the clock for the Lab and renewed all 9 certifications. Whew.

Of course, I took advantage of this breathing space by... taking an online workshop series for the C|EH! And now that I've completed that and while I was waiting for the EC Council to approve my application for the exam... I decided to study for the Wireshark certification. Yeah. I have wanted that certification ever since they created it. And today I took that test and PASSED! So now I am a Wireshark Certified Network Analyst.

Naturally, I'm simplifying the process. The actual process started years ago (2007) when I convinced my supervisor to get the 4 Wireshark Training CDs. I went through them from start to finish. And they helped me to go from muddling my way through a trace file to actually knowing what I was doing. And then I kept going. Every time the opportunity arose to perform and analyze a trace, I was front and center, waving my hands and shouting "pick meeeeeeee" like Donkey from the movie Shrek. For me, surfing the web is not shoe shopping; it's finding training videos - and there are plenty on Wireshark, Pilot, ACE Analyst, Observer, and other bit spitting. During this time, the certification was created. Then it disappeared. Then it reappeared and was turned into a certification program (now with continuing education requirements and study guides). I bought the Study Guide ... and then I bought the Exam Prep Guide. So when I saw the opportunity to study up and test - it was only a few weeks of prep, but it was also a few years of creating the foundation for that prep. And now I have another cert that I have wanted for a long time.

That leaves the C|EH and then back to the rack to finish the Lab. Yes, I know - if I don't retake the 4.0 Lab before the beginning of June, I will have to take the new 5.0 version of the lab. Oh...yeah... in the new 5.0 version they now have a new Diagnostic module (which is the meat and potatoes of the Operations crew) and Interpret Packet Captures! So am I studying for the Lab or am I taking detours?

On the one hand, it would be better to take the 4.0 Lab. I have already attempted it once and I pretty much know what's expected of me for that version. Although, the new 5.0 Lab seems to dovetail nicely with my strengths and may be somewhat more fun. Perhaps the answer will be in the next update.

Posted by BlueWolf on February 12, 2014 12:04 AM