Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies SCOR 350-701: Everything You Need to Know to Prepare and Pass the Exam
- August 3, 2020
- Posted by: Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
- Category: CCIE Security CCNP Security Implementing Cisco Security Core Technologies (350-701 V1.0)
In this article, I am going to cover every bit of detail that you need to get started, to prepare and pass the Cisco Security Core Technologies SCOR 350-701 exam. If you are already up to speed on what this exam is all about, you can go ahead and download my 140-hour learning plan by submitting the form shown below.
The Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies or the SCOR 350-701 exam is one of the many new exams that Cisco announced in June 2019 as part of their most sweeping career certification program update since inception (all the way back to 1993!). Not only did Cisco announce newer exams, they also revised rules for recertification as well as introduced the brand new Cisco DevNet certification. All exam and rule changes went into effect on February 24 2020.
The Cisco Security Core Technologies or SCOR 350-701 is both a CCIE and a CCNP level exam, this is the exam that you need to pass if you are planning to sit for the Cisco Security Lab or gearing up for your CCNP Security certification. For CCNP, it is one of the two exams that you need to pass, the other exam can be one of the six security concentration exams. Last but not least, there is no CCNA Security exam in the newer exam format, i.e. specializations now start at the CCNP level.
Cisco SCOR 350-701 exam (along with the 300 series concentration) replaces the following CCNP exams.
Older CCNP Exams
- Secure Access (SISAS)
- Network Security (SENSS)
- Mobility (SIMOS)
- Threat Control (SITCS)
Older CCIE Exam
Cisco SCOR 350-701 exam replaces the following CCIE exam. You can consider the SCOR as the new security “written exam”.
- Security Written 400-251 Exam
SCOR Exam Topics or Objectives
The Cisco SCOR 350-701 exam topics include six sections. Based on my analysis, 68% of the exam topics covered within the official exam blueprint contain theoretical topics whereas 32% of the topics necessitate some level of hands-on activity.
- Security Concepts
- Network Security
- Securing the Cloud
- Content Security
- Endpoint Protection and Detection
- Secure Network Access, Visibility, and Enforcement
Let’s now cover each of the exam sections as defined in the official Cisco SCOR exam blueprint.
This section includes topics such as the common threats and vulnerabilities, cryptography components, site-to-site and remote VPNs, security intelligence, SDN APIs, DNAC APIs and basic python scripting. 100% of the content in this section is about theory, hence there are no topics that require hands-on which makes sense since the section is about concepts.
This section comprises of topics such as the firewall and IPS, NetFlow, AVC, AAA and configuring site-to-site and remote access VPNs. About 33% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 66% requires hands-on.
Securing the cloud
This section consists of security solutions for cloud environments, on-premise versus cloud security, concept of DevSecOps, application and data security, and cloud logging and monitoring. About 57% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 43% requires hands-on.
This section comprises of topics such as the traffic redirection, web proxy identity, configure and verify web and email security, and Cisco Umbrella (formerly OpenDNS) solution. About 38% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 62% requires hands-on.
Endpoint protection and detection
This section Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) and Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), antimalware, outbreak control, multifactor authentication (MFA), and endpoint posture assessment solutions. About 90% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 10% requires hands-on.
Secure network access, visibility, and enforcement
This section identity management, 802.1X, COA, exfiltration techniques, network telemetry, and Cisco Stealthwatch. About 85% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 15% requires hands-on.
If you compare the SCOR exam with the older now obsolete security written exam, you’ll notice that it maps nicely section to section with the exception of evolving technologies.
CCNP Security Concentration Exams
In the newer exam format, to get CCNP Security certified, you need to pass SCOR as well as one of the following six concentration exams. All concentration exams carry 300 series, i.e. SAUTO exam is numbered as the 300-835.
- ISE (SISE)
- Firepower (SNCF)
- ESA (SESA)
- WSA (SWSA)
- VPN (SVPN)
- Automation (SAUTO)
SCOR Exam and Job Task Analysis (JTA)
JTA is about the exam alignment with the actual role that you’re required to perform as a security engineer. So, what are the actual roles that are out there that you can work in cyber security space.
- Cloud security
- IT/Systems security (legacy)
- Security Operations
- Automation/AI (emerging)
Now, based on those five roles, we can easily see that the SCOR exam maps nicely to the first four cyber security roles.
SCOR versus CISSP Exam
SCOR versus SSCP Exam
SCOR versus CCSP Exam
SCOR and Concentration Exam Costs or Fees
Each attempt at SCOR exam costs $400, like it does for all 350 series exams. Likewise, fee for each attempt at the concentration exams happens to be $300, again like it is for all 300 (and 200) series exams.
CCNP and CCIE Security Certification and Recertification Costs or Fees
Given that you need to pass SCOR and one 300 series concentration exams, CCNP security certification would cost you $700. For CCIE, it obviously goes up as you need to pass both the SCOR written exam as well as the Security Lab or hands-on exam, so we’re talking about $400 + $1600 or $2000 total.
For recertification, things get more interesting, since you’ve multiple options. For CCNP Security recertification, you’ve got the following four options.
- Pass SCOR exam again ($400)
- Pass any 2x concentration exams ($600)
- Pass any CCIE Lab exam ($1600)
- Use Cisco Learning Credits >=80
For the CCIE Security recertification, you’ve got the following four options.
- Pass SCOR exam and 1x Concentration exam again ($700)
- Pass any 3x concentration exams ($900)
- Pass any CCIE Lab exam ($1600)
- Use Cisco Learning Credits >=120
SCOR 140-Hour Learning and Study Plan
I have put together a comprehensive learning plan that you can follow to guide your SCOR exam prep. Watch the video below where I cover the learning plan in detail.
SCOR Practice Tests
SAUTO Exam (Concentration)
SCOR Exam Prep Bundle
Cisco Security Sandboxes
Currently Cisco offers Firepower Management Center, Firepower Threat Defense device (FTD), Identity Services Engine with MUD learning labs. You can get started by checking out Cisco’s security sandboxes.
Author:Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
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