Cisco Firewall specialist

Unanswered Question
Oct 27th, 2008

I passed 642-552 recently.I like to do 642-523 to get certified as Firewall specialist.When i check firewall Specialist page, it says expiring on 17th november this year.Actually 642-552 exam expires on that date?if i take 642-523 after 17th november, will i be certified as Cisco Firewall Specialst?

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vannacisco Mon, 10/27/2008 - 20:15

If that's the case, wht are the new exams i need to take to become firewall specialist.

Have they introduced any new exam repalcing 642-523?



Rob Huffman Tue, 10/28/2008 - 05:55

Hi Vanna,

I'm very sorry if I wasn't clear in my first post, but there will be no more "Firewall Specialist" Cert any more. Not just the exams are being retired but the whole Cert:( Please see my previous link.

It seems like it has been replaced by this;

Cisco ASA Specialist

Available August 29, 2008

Cisco security certifications focus on the growing need for knowledgeable network professionals who can implement complete security solutions. The ASA Specialist certification identifies individuals who possess in-depth expertise with implementing security technologies using the Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) technologies, especially firewall and VPN functionality. Other topics include ACL, AAA, advanced protocol handling, remote access VPN, secure socket layer VPN, site-to-site VPNs, failover, and security appliance management. Cisco ASA Specialists possess the ability to describe, configure, verify and manage the ASA products and the Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM).

Hope this helps!


andrew.fedyszak... Fri, 11/14/2008 - 08:38


I noticed this post only after asking similar question on this site (sorry, I was in a hurry).

I raised this as an issue with Cisco and it is being escalated.

My point is that if you retire Cisco exam like SNPA which is part of Cisco firewall specialism on 18/Jan/2009, you should retire that specialism on the same day (assuming it was last exam retired from the track) and not 2 months earlier.

It is especially true in view of SNPA counting towards CCSP for another 3 years !!!

Have some faith that it may be changed. Cisco originally stated that SND exam would count towards CCSP till summer 2009 when they announced their CCNA concentrations. When I raised this as an issue with Cisco (I am sure others did as well) they changed their policy to allow SND for 3 years since SND exam was retired.

I guess it is "buyers beware" scenario and interested parties (like myself) should have read Cisco website carefully. I am personally planning to get my CCSP by end of next year, but if I knew that firewall specialism retires by 17/Nov/2008 I would change my study plan and do my SNPA first and then just cram for SND this weekend to pass on Monday.

I know people who spent REAL money (I just got old course notes and have access to PIXes via workplace and GNS3 emulator) on SNPA course planning to take exam by due date and now this money is wasted (because not everyone wants or can get CCSP).

If Cisco still insists on retiring firewall specialism on 17/Nov/2008, they should at least allow SNPA exam in lieu of SNAF exam to gain Cisco ASA specialism. For a start SNPA exam and course are more difficult (and useful in real work) because you need to know command line configuration and not just ASDM GUI.

Rob Huffman Fri, 11/14/2008 - 10:38

Hi Andrew,

I have to agree with you that this does seem rather unfair. I felt this when answering the previous post. The timing of these "retirements" is very critical to those who trying to achieve these certs and needs to be handled in a very sensitive manner!

Best of luck in your quest to rectify this situation!


andrew.fedyszak... Thu, 02/19/2009 - 08:36

Hi Rob,

Well, I got lucky after 3 long months. Not really. After Cisco Certification helpdesk ignored me by just sending holding e-mails (we are considering your request etc) in response to cases I opened on their website, I escalated this issue via BT manager responsible for Cisco relationship and presto I got an e-mail saying that I am Cisco Firewall Specialist (I am still waiting for certificate though, although I was told that certificate was dispatched 2 weeks ago).

Learning point? Always use your elder brother to fight your battles for you :-)


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