National Credential
Credential: GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource  Army eLearning resource  ANSI resource
Credentialing Agency: Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)

The GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) is an entry level security certification created to provide assurance that a certified individual holds the appropriate level of knowledge and skill necessary for anyone with hands on technical responsibilities in the key or essential areas of information security. The certification is targeted toward IT security professionals that want to demonstrate they are qualified for IT systems hands-on roles with respect to security tasks. Candidates are required to demonstrate an understanding of information security beyond simple terminology and concepts. There are no prerequisites for the GSEC certification.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 4 years

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 17C Cyber Operations Specialist MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 18F Special Forces Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant MOS some          
Enlisted 1D Digital Media Collector (DMC) ASI other          
Enlisted 25B Information Technology Specialist MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 25D Cyber Network Defender MOS most   III   Proponent FundedFunded  
Enlisted 25N Nodal Network Systems Operator-Maintainer MOS other          
Enlisted 35F Intelligence Analyst MOS other          
Enlisted 35P Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Voice Interceptor MOS other          
Enlisted 35Q Cryptologic Cyberspace Intelligence Collector - Analyst MOS most  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information. II      
Enlisted 35T Military Intelligence (MI) Systems Maintainer/Integrator MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 37F Psychological Operations Specialist MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted E6 Interactive On-Net Operator ASI other          
Enlisted Q7 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Synchronization Manager ASI other          
Enlisted R3 Digital Network Exploitation Analyst (DNEA) ASI other          
Enlisted T5 Target Digital Network Analyst ASI other          
Warrant Officer 255A Information Services Technician WOMOS some        
Warrant Officer 255N Network Management Technician WOMOS some        
Warrant Officer 255S Information Protection Technician WOMOS most        
Warrant Officer 255Z Senior Network Operations Technician WOMOS some        
Warrant Officer 352S Signals Collection Technician WOMOS other        

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 4 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
8120 Woodmont Avenue
Suite 205
Bethesda, MD  20814
Phone: (301) 654-7267
Fax: (301) 951-0140
Email: info@giac.org

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

The GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) credential has the following other requirements:

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

  • Access Control and Password Management
  • Acitve Defense
  • Advanced Persistent Threat
  • Contingency Plans
  • Critical Controls
  • Cryptography
  • Cryptography Algorithms and Deployment
  • Cryptogrpahy Application
  • Defense in Depth
  • Defensible Network Architecture
  • Endpoint Security
  • Enforcing Windows Security Policy
  • Incident Handling and Response
  • IT Risk Management
  • Linux Security: Structure, Permissions and Access
  • Linux Services: Hardening and Securing
  • Linux: Monitoring and Attack Detection
  • Linux: Security Utilities
  • Log Management and SIEM
  • Malicious Code and Exploit Mitigation
  • Network Device Security
  • Network Security Devices
  • Networking and Protocols
  • Securing Windows Network Services
  • Security Policy
  • Virtualization and Cloud Security
  • Vulnerability Scanning and Penetration Testing
  • Web Communication Security
  • Windows Access Controls
  • Windows Automation, Auditing, and Forensics
  • Windows Security Infrastructure
  • Windows Service Packs, Hotfixes, and Backups
  • Wireless Network Security

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing for this credential is handled by Pearson VUE. The test centers are located in the U.S. They also have some test centers on military bases.

To find out more, use the following links on the Pearson VUE website:

For more information on the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) testing process, visit the agency website.

GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

Renewal Period: 4 years

The GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) credential has the following recertification information:

  • GIAC certifications are valid for four years. Certification holders are required to submit a total of 36 CPEs for each GIAC certification renewal or may take the current exam. Additional information can be found in the GIAC Certification Renewal Handbook.