The SANS Security Awareness Professional (SSAP) certification is the only industry-recognized credential that signifies, documents and certifies that the holder has the knowledge and expertise to build, maintain and measure a mature security awareness program.  The SSAP was developed and is maintained by GIAC, the same organization that develops and maintains security certifications for SANS Institute courses.

The first step to achieving your SSAP is taking the two-day SANS MGT433 course on building mature awareness programs.  Once you have completed this course, you are eligible to take the exam.  Full details on the exam and how to register can be found on our SSAP page.

A question we are commonly asked is how to prepare for the exam. Here are three tips for success.

  1. Know all the content.
    SSAP study tips
    First, make sure you understand all the SANS training content. If it’s in the course books, it’s eligible to be in the exam.  If it’s a fun but random story from the instructor, it’s not in the exam.  Keep in mind that even if you have multiple years of experience, you need to study the material, as the course goes into the theory and models behind behavior change. 

  2. Index your course books.
    SSAP study tips
    All GIAC exams are open book. That is why we recommend that you highlight, tag and take notes in your books during the course.  Even better, we suggest you index your books so you can quickly find and reference key points, such as models and frameworks covered in the materials. Check out this outstanding tutorial on how to index a SANS course by Hacks4Pancakes.

  3. Take the practice test.
    SSAP study tips
    Like other GIAC exams, the SSAP comes with a practice test.  Unlike other GIAC exams, you only get one practice test. This is due to MGT433 being a two-day course.  Be sure to take the practice test AFTER you complete the steps above.

Remember, GIAC exams are not designed to trick you.  These multiple-choice exams are designed to test your retention and comprehension. If you take the class, pay attention, review the content, create an index and then take the practice test, you are going to do just fine.

Best of luck, and welcome to the community!