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How to spot a fake cybersecurity certificate

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Janvi A, a student of Indore, MP narrated her story on LinkedIn on how she was just close to be duped by Star Certification, an institute offering one the best cyber certificate course in India. In her story she explains the steps to check how to cross check such fake certification institutions which are mushrooming in every nook and corner of the country, riding on the success of digital economy and ever-rising demand for various skills required in the new age industry.

At times employers and certification buyers have both fallen victim to fake certifications. This can lead to extreme consequences, especially when dealing with “certified” cybersecurity professionals.

Employers hiring professionals with fake certifications run the risk of leaving the security of their sensitive data in the hands of unskilled professionals. While professionals who are unconsciously registering and attaining fake certifications risk investing in certifications that hold no real value in the market. In fact, producing such certifications can lead to you being blacklisted in the job market for falsified information.

Here are a few ways to differentiate fake cybersecurity certifications from authentic ones:

For cybersecurity certification buyers: Ensure that the company you are buying from is authentic. There are many ways to ensure the authenticity of an organization. Here are some of them:

1. Check on Google. Read up what others have to say. Testimonials and reviews speak a lot about an organization.

2. Check their location. Most organizations will have an address added to their ‘contact us’

page. A simple check on Google Maps will let you know if the company exists or if it is simply a fake address.

3. Is the organization certified? Even certification bodies must be registered and certified by government/ private certification bodies. For example, a distance education body will be certified by bodies such as DEAC, or in the case of cybersecurity certification bodies, ANSI accreditation is a must.

4. When buying from vendor parties, ensure that the company is authorized by the main certification body. Most certification bodies will have a way to check if a company is authorized

5. Some certification bodies have also listed unauthorized training providers who are selling fake certifications

For cybersecurity employers: Ensure that you are hiring the right people.

Most organizations recognize that the market for fake certifications are on the rise and are coming up with ways to expose these frauds.

With digital badges being the new in-thing, most companies have a way for companies to check the authenticity of the certification (license numbers). However, when checking the authenticity of the certification, ensure that you are on the right webpage first and that you have not been redirected to a scam website that replicates the real website.

Some of the organisations which offer real certification in cybersecurity courses are ECCouncil, CompTia, SANS, OSCP, ISACA, (ISC)2. These organisations have trained thousands professionals across the globe.

EC-Council, alone claims to have certified over 220,000 security professionals, including those from some of the finest organisations around the world such as the U.S. Army, the FBI, Microsoft, IBM, and the United Nations.

So, don’t fall victim to fake certifications. Stay alert and aware!


If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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2 Comments
  1. Cyberexpert says

    This is a half-baked article; written by a novice. Some of the most important points are sorely missed

    # Check for accreditations
    # Check for certifications with matching Job titles
    # Check the age of the organization
    # Check the associations – where have their certifications been conducted – which corporates, government bodies?
    # Check the credibility of the top management of the organization
    #
    If any cert body has any of these missing – they are clearly not reliable or credible – or they are a small shop

  2. Koenig Solutions says

    Thanks for sharing helpful information about Cyber Security Certificate….

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