Enterprise Linux software maker Red Hat Inc. Thursday launched a new security certification program for IT managers and Linux sysadmins and developers, Red Hat Certified Security Specialist.
It is the first enterprise Linux certification program of its kind, the company said.
Red Hat has long had RHCE (Certified Engineer) and RHCA (Certified Architect) programs in operation.
The RHCSS (Certified Security Specialist) designation is the first performance-based certification focused on security competency for enterprise Linux servers, the company said.
"We insist upon performance-based testing on live systems to certify individuals in the program," Red Hat Vice President of Global Learning Services Peter Childers told Ziff Davis Internet.
"The standard security certification program, the CISSP (Certified Information System Security Professional), is simply a multiple-choice test. It is what it is.
"But we believe that for a companys shareholders, data is where much of their value lies. We are adding another level of assurance that a companys data will be secure when the professionals who administer that data are certified to a higher level. That is why we use performance-based testing on live systems, only, in our programs. Its the only way to really know whether a person is truly qualified."
Linux security has not been nearly as problematic as Windows system security over the years, due largely to the proliferation of Microsoft Corp. operating systems in desktops and servers and the security-conscious architecture of Linux itself.
Thus, the need for security certification programs like Red Hats hasnt been as pressing.
But, Childers said, things have changed in the last few years.