SANS Management, Audit & Legal Domain Certifications 2015 Outlook

Certifications in the SANS Management, Audit & Legal domains have not enjoyed the same widespread adoption as other technical certifications in other SANS domains. This is not altogether surprising considering SANS is known for their hardcore technical training and many of these certifications have long standing competitors in the field that dominate the landscape.

Predictions for 2015:

  • The GIAC Security Leadership (GSLC) credential continues to grow but greatly lags its peers the CISP and CISM. If I ran the SANS program I would make the GSLC a one time certification and not require renewal to help differentiate it from the alternatives. Certification renewal is greatly overrated in a generalist domain such as security leadership so this seems a reasonable alternative to battle the credential renewal drain.
  • Adoption of the GSNA will continue to lag the CISA certification which dominates the Information Security Audit field.
  • Adoption of the GIAC Certified Project Manager (GCPM) credential will continue struggle gaining traction as most project managers will continue to seek the PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) which is more often mentioned in job applications for project management professionals.

All of these SANS Administration domain credentials have a base price of $1,099 (prior to any training related discounts). All of the certifications require renewal after 4 years which can be accomplished via 36 Continuing Education Credits and a renewal fee of $399. Another option to retain the certification after the four years is to retake the exam.

Here is the mixed domain summary table summarizing the key information for these certifications as of January 2015.

TitleDomainYear EstablishedTotal Certified 1/19/15# of Exam QuestionsTime Limit (hrs)Min Passing Score
GIAC Security Leadership (GSLC)Management20033003150468%
GIAC Information Security Professional (GISP)Management2006979250570%
GIAC Certified Project Manager (GCPM)Management2008160150470%
GIAC Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA)Audit20011941115370%
GIAC Law of Data Security & Investigations (GLEG)Legal200731575271%
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