I had passed my CCNA and now am deciding next steps. I have interest in Network Security, so I think maybe CCNA Security would be a good next move followed by CCSP. However, I have read articles and just speaking to people in the field that it would be in my best interest to complete my CCNP before considering CCSP. I would just like to know how the experts on this site feel about this? My current job role is on a help desk supporting desktops, laptops, ms office
An extra side question is, for those working as network security engineers, are they typically the people who handle the anti virus programs and microsoft updates for end user workstations, or is the role strictly securing the network?
I can only talk from my experience and what I have done.
I got into the security field about 3-4 years ago. After doing CCNA I started doing some of the CCSP exams first. Because I work with PIX/ASA a lot I did this one first, then SND (which is retired now but replaced by CCNA Security), and then SNRS.
Because I don't work with IPS at all I haven't done that one yet or any of the elective exams.
I am now doing CCNP and have almost completed this now. Most of the work I do does not currently involve much in terms of routers/switches so that is why I have done it in this order.
Personally I think to truly be a security expert it is hard to just focus on the pure security devices (such as firewalls, IPS, etc) if you don't know how the rest of the network really works.
I did (and would recommend) that you do what interests you more. Most people I know started with either security papers and then did routing/switching, or vice versa. In the end generally I think people end up doing both.
Also I think it depends on the type of company you work for or plan to work for. If they are a very large company and have a whole team that just focus on routing/switching then if you are in the security team, you may not get much of a chance to get much exposure to those devices.
However in saying that, when things really go haywire there "can" be finger pointing between the teams and it can help if you are a security person to really know what is going on in the background and give ideas or check things out yourself.
HTH, please rate if helpful.