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ED
Advisor

CCSA/CCSE certification study material at CP community

First I would like to say that this community is the place to go if you need help and also a place where everyone share their knowledge and tries to help each other. Also being so close to the experts at Check Point is great and makes this community unique and great but it's also a great way for Check Point to get feedback from customers to improve their products even more and see what people struggle about. That said, I suggest to make this community even better and to raise up the level/knowledge even more for those that work with Check Point products every day. 

Attending a CCSA course forexample takes 3 days and costs around 3000 USD. Let's be honest, not everyone can afford that or get that covered or have ability to take 3 days off work. My idea is to have all the study material/labs for self study available here at this community for both CCSA and CCSE exam. Attending a live course will always have advantage over self studying and you don't need to setup your own virtual environment. If Check Point would allow us to have a dedicated place under this community where users can contribute with the materal for CCSA and CCSE exam and sort of have an approved mark from someone at Check Point for the contributed materials so that the information is correct and validated. The material would have to be divided into two parts, a part covering all the topics and then the related lab excercises. It could be divided according to the data sheet from Check Point like this for CCSA:

 

COURSE TOPICS

• Introduction to Check Point Technology

• Security Policy Management

• Policy Layers

• Check Point Security Solutions and Licensing

• Traffic Visibility

• Basic Concepts of VPN

• Managing User Access

• Working with ClusterXL

• Administrator Task Implementation

LAB EXERCISES

• Working with Gaia Portal

• Modifying an Existing Security Policy

• Configuring Hide and Static NAT

• Managing Administrator Access

• Installing and Managing a Remote Security Gateway

• Managing Backups

• Defining Access Control Policy Layers

• Defining and Sharing Security Policy Layers

• Working with Licenses and Contracts

• Working with Check Point Logs

• Maintaining Check Point Logs

• Configuring a Site-to-Site VPN

• Providing User Access

• Working with Cluster XL

• Verifying Network Compliance

• Working with CP View

I hope i managed to explain my idea correctly. What do you guys think? 

Why am I not allowed to publish this voting on other places than Developers (code hub)? 

Yeah it would be interesting for me and I would benefit from it.142
Not interesting for me.1
42 Replies
shay_solomon
Employee
Employee

Hi Guys, 

We will be more than happy to see the community developing more training content around check point core products, emerging products and certifications. I'm pro and supportive for that direction. 

For any assistance or collaboration please contact vjohnson@checkpoint.com Vanessa Johnson from the courseware development team at Dallas office.  

Many Thanks, 

Shay Solomon | Director, Cyber Security Education Services BU

+972-52-3769206 (Mobile/Whatsapp)

+972-3-7534721 (Office)

Tel Aviv, Israel

http://www.checkpoint.com/clc

 

 

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_Val_
Admin
Admin

Thanks, Shay Solomon

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Eric_Young
Explorer

After 20+ years, certifications in Microsoft and Cisco platforms, and 12+ years inside Cisco Systems, I am of this opinion:

Freely making available study blueprints (for exams), study guides (guided topical self-training books/downloads), and freely-available virtual appliance VMs (OVA, etc.), could in no way be deemed detrimental to the vendor's market share or bottom line - in fact just the inverse.  The key is making the exams tough enough to weed out the 'players' from the 'stayers' - those who truly learned the content and who can think their way through scenario-based exam questions.  This puts most of the onus on the exam development team:  want good practitioners... write well-crafted (eg., not vague and grammar-splitting idiotic) exam questions / scenarios.

Beyond that, requiring that same training content be restricted to a paid-course with a talking head (or even a very skilled practitioner) guiding the discussion in a group setting - simply amounts to the vendor seeking another revenue stream.  This is short-sighted.  It's also not always effective in many cases with a 10:1 or 15:1 student-instructor ratio.

From a business perspective, the vendor will more than offset the cost of developing the training content, through increased sales, and delivering more certified professionals who are capable of recommending (consulting) or implementing (technical bench) the vendor's products.

 

The fact is that training platforms like Pluralsight (one of the best platforms visually / structure / content) / Skillsoft (skillport.com) / Safari (not my favorite), provide advocate / enthusiast-produced content in a professional 'learning management system' (LMS) platform, allowing tracking of progress, achieving milestones, and even facilitating exam prep and possibly integration with vendors like PearsonVUE, etc. to schedule exams.

Cisco has done this with their 'learningnetwork' system - but again at an exorbitant price point for the content.

Whether detailed study guide content is available or not - exam blueprints/guides should be available - providing the outline of what you need to study.  Then I suggest the following approach for networking / technology studies:

   1 - Get a newer or even a little older PC and load it with as much RAM as it can take (minimum 16GB, 32GB or more preferred) (CPU is not as critical here for non-production use)

   2 - Install EVE-NG as your virtual lab platform (FREE) (can also use GNS3 in many cases)

   3 - Get VMs and software images whatever legal means you may do so (Cisco .bin OS images, CP FW VM - available for download, Arista EOS VM, etc. - whatever you might want to study)  (FREE)

   4 - Build template machine images in EVE, to be reused across various lab scenarios

   5 - Practice these scenarios

The last item can be influenced / guided via content in places like this forum, StackExchange, etc. where exam content is discussed.

In closing - it seems self-defeating to arbitrarily limit training to classroom-based (instructor led training (ILT)) or even virtual-instructor-led training (V-ILT) - which is usually the same price as in-class pricing - though you'd save on the travel costs.

Business development 101: 

Make the best / most effective / easiest to manage products ==> Then grow vendor-skilled consultants and tech practitioners = grow support for that vendor across industries and the world = market readiness-to-execute = market penetration = happy customers.... rinse and repeat.

Cheers!

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_Val_
Admin
Admin

Well said, Eric Young

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Melvin_Robinson
Explorer

Eric Young, Point well said.

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Dustin_Hayes
Explorer

I find it quite amusing that people will come here representing CP and find it crazy that people expect training from the vendor.  Having worked at a MSSP and now working at a CP only shop, I just started looking for material for CCSA, and here I am!  Let me tell you all the differences between CheckPoint and the other vendors in the firewall market (and some other markets too)

Fortinet:  Free  training (plus free pdf), FREE virtual lab access with a free lab book, free trial periods for almost all of their products.  

Palo Alto:  Free  training in both  and pdf form.  Free training and certification (ACE) to show users how to do basic setup and configuration.  Palo Alto also has a series called "Test Drive" in which you sign up for different FREE virtual LIVE training classes on different products/features.  They work with a vendor to provide lab access for $80 I believe or refer you to the FUEL group that provides FREE lab access.

F5:  F5 university provides free certification training and also has free virtual lab access.  Free study guides and everything.

Cisco may not have much free stuff but they have tons of material and publish their own books and courses and they are much more in depth and geared towards the certifications instead of CP's "Admin Guide" that won't even go in depth of the exam.

All I have found so far is the CBT nuggets video course for R.80 and it was pretty good.  They always have well presented material and it does have some decent lab examples.  I will also say that check point providing free trial periods for almost fully functioning R.80 virtual appliances is nice.  I am planning on deploying a MDS in my esxi lab.  

With all that said, CP seriously needs to overhaul their structure and support for their training and certifications.  You have been in the game far too long and your products are much more complicated to setup and manage compared to the other vendors.  Companies are falling in love with the easeness and performance of the competition and it's much easier to find qualified engineers to support them.

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GG27
Contributor

"CP seriously needs to overhaul their structure and support for their training and certifications"

That's the simple true

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shay_solomon
Employee
Employee

Hi Dustin, 

Thanks for your feedback. 

Can you please send me links to shay_sol@checkpoint.com for where Cisco/PAN/40Net provide free courseware and labs? 

-As for universities -  Check Point has the SecureAcademy program with hundreds of institutions around the globe.  All the material is free. Please see the program  SecureAcademy | Check Point Software   

- Test Drives - Check Point provide 1-2 days Test drive both for Core products and Emerging techs, it's FOC in most regions.

Virtual Labs to practice Check Point products - Check Point offers that as well ( the same as other vendors) through the CLC program Cyber Security Learning Credits (CLC) | Check Point Software  (Less than $80). 

  

Courseware - We are on top of the courseware offering by all vendors. Non of the vendors provide free courseware but I will be happy to be wrong. Please send me the links for where you saw that info. 

Best Regards, 

Shay Solomon | Director, Cyber Security Education Services BU

+972-52-3769206 (Mobile/Whatsapp)

+972-3-7534721 (Office)

Tel Aviv, Israel

http://www.checkpoint.com/clc

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Russell_Agee
Employee Alumnus
Employee Alumnus

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arun_kumar1
Explorer

i am looking for check point r 80 training slides and Hands on lab 

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_Val_
Admin
Admin

It depends on what kind of materials you are looking for. If you need official CCSA/CCSE slides and courseware, those are only availabe for designated parties:

  1. Training course slide for Authorizes Training Centers (ATCs)
  2. Courseware  - for all CCSA/CCSE students.

If you need self-study materials without relations to the official certification framework, you can start here: https://community.checkpoint.com/thread/9695-welcome-to-check-point-for-beginners 

CP4B - Check Point for Beginners - materials are free of charge for all CheckMates members. Good luck with your studies.

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Arjun_Mayannava
Participant

Hi All,

Can someone help me in getting CCSA syllabus and study material[R 80].  

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_Val_
Admin
Admin

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