Difference Between CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security (With Table)

CISCO SYSTEMS INC, one of the leading networking solution companies offers three certification programs specifically CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security. From the laymen’s perspective, these programs may sound similar but based on the complexity, scope and difficulty of the Program, they differ. The CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security are associate level, professional level and expert level security programs respectively.

CCNA Security vs CCNP Security vs CCIE Security

The main difference between these programs is that CCNA is an inceptive level program, whereas CISCO refers to as an associate-level, while CCNP is relatively an advanced-level program than CCNA, while CCIE is further advanced than the previously mentioned programs in this way, it is a specialist level program.

Difference Between CCNA Security CCNP Security and CCIE Security

CCNA is short for Cisco Certified Network Associate. The CCNA certificate is given an assortment of fields like Cloud, Data Centre, Routing & Switching, Security, etc. The CCNA Security is an associate-level program that provides a clear idea about setting up a network, legitimate establishment of the network and assists the candidates to develop a problem-solving capability in them.

CCNP Security is abbreviated as Cisco Certified Network. A CCNA certification is mandatory to pursue this program. After this program, the candidate can use their acquired knowledge in deploying the right VPNs, IDS/IPS solutions and Firewalls. The exam program is comparable to that of Network Security Engineering.

CCIE, abbreviated as Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert is the expert level program among the three. A person with this certificate can involve his knowledge in any part of Cisco’s network security. An individual with this security certificate can fabricate or deploy a network and troubleshoot the security issues of a network.

Comparison Table Between CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security

Parameters of ComparisonCCNA SecurityCCNP SecurityCCIE Security
Abbreviated asCisco Certified Network AssociateCisco Certified Network ProfessionalCisco Certified Network Expert
PrerequisiteShould have completed any one of the following certification courses, CCENT or CCNA Routing & Switching or any certification in CCIE.

Must have acquired any of the following certificates before appearing for CCNP, CCNA security certification, any CCIE certification.Cisco specialised certification is not required
Nature of the programAssociate levelProfessional levelExpert level
Exams to be taken210-260 Implementing Cisco Networking Security (IINS)300-208 SISAS to check the learnt basics, 300-209 SIMOS to test the knowledge on advanced technologies, and 300-210 SITCS
to examine knowledge on next-generation technologies.
The 400-251 written exam and an eight-hour lab exam should be completed successfully.

OutcomeCovers the basics of network security and enables the candidate to troubleshoot the problems.Develop knowledge in the fields of VPN, Firewall, remote communication and threat protection.Learn about advanced network security techniques, next-generation technologies and advanced malware protection.

What is CCNA Security?

The CCNA Security certification is an associate-level program in which a candidate can develop infrastructure of a network of their own, visualize problems in the network and develop a reasonable solution to overcome them.

To complete this program, a candidate must clear the 210-260IINS exam. An iTo pursue this program, a candidate must clear the 210-260IINS exam. An individual with this certificate can avail of an opportunity in the fields of network monitoring, installation, problem-solving etc.

What is CCNP Security?

After procuring the CCNA Security program, one can start their CCNP Security program. The CCNP Security is a Professional level program, acquired by clearing the necessary exams.

The necessary exams for CCNP security enable the candidate to be expertise in areas like threat mitigation and endpoint control in networks. It tests the BYOD capability in an individual as well. Some exams test the ability in strengthening the network perimeters.

The individual learns about some advanced technologies like Firewall, VPN, IPS/IDS, and malware protection in the field of network security. The individual learns about some advanced technologies like Firewall, VPN, IPS/IDS, and malware protection in the field of network security.

One should clear the following exams to complete the Cisco Certified Network Professional program: A 90-minute test, 300-208 SISAS, tests the knowledge about the mechanics and design of the network, 300-209 SIMOS, tests the knowledge on executing advanced technologies like VPN’s to the network and 300-210 SITCS, audits one’s performance on advanced firewall architecture.

What is CCIE Security?

Though it is an expert level program, an individual need not complete any of the CISCO offered courses to pursue this particular program. With the introduction of new technologies, the demand for this course raises every day.

CISCO suggests that the candidates should have work experience of 3 to 5 years in the field of network security before applying for CCNE security. It covers a vast scope of fields, from existing ones to the more advanced ones.

As the technology gets further developed, the reliability of the framework is still under an immense threat. So, they provide equal concentration to various security concepts also.

Being an expert level program, the exams to be cleared will be both written and practical.

Main Differences Between CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Security

  1. The CCNA Security is shortened to Cisco Certified Network Associate Security, CCNP Security is abridged to Cisco Certified Network Professional Security, while CCIE Security is abbreviated as Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Security.
  2. Based on complexity and advancement, CCNA security is on an intrinsic level, CCNP is on a professional or supervising level, and CCIE is on an expertise level.
  3. The exams to be cleared to finish the CCNP program are 300-208 SISAS (Implementing Cisco Secure Access Solutions), which tests the ability to recall all the substantial materials and designs related to network security. 300-209 SIMOS (The Implementing Cisco Secure Mobility Solutions), containing a maximum of 75 questions that stretch the knowledge upon advanced network security concepts like VPN installation and 300-210 SITCS (Implementing Cisco Threat Control Solutions) testing the next-generation firewall technologies and improved network security threat solving capabilities. For the expert level program, CCIE security, one should clear both written and practical exams.
  4. CCNA Security and CCNP Security can be attained, only if the prerequisite courses were accomplished. While CCIE Security doesn’t ask for a prerequisite.
  5. CCNA Security ensures that the candidates learn all the basic concepts regarding network security as well as the troubleshooting measures. CCNP Security covers various fields in network security and related theories. CCNIE Security shows progressed ideas of network security and troubleshooting ideas.


The Cisco offered programs in network security, CCNA Security, CCNP Security and CCIE Security are in great demand among the network security corporations. These programs are undoubtedly worth completing for individuals who wanted to lay their career on network security. The Security programs of CISCO vary based on the advancements of related technologies. One should pick the right program to get engaged in Network security properly.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1556540/
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PARCyPSSkF8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=ccna&ots=BfTlQsPi9q&sig=EX4vJGFi4_qgFJKqdBXxrG36fBw
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963868701000567