CCSM R80 Certification Has Been Retired

This certification has been replaced by Checkpoint with new certification(s).

Certification Details

Check Point CCSM R80 is an advanced certification that targets individuals who utilize time-saving directives in configuring and troubleshooting security solutions. Earning it is a way to display their technical mastery in managing virtualized security committed to sophisticated networks as well as awareness of modern optimization techniques.

Accreditation Path

Check Point has several certification levels, starting from the core Administrator (CCSA) and Expert (CCSE) and proceeding to the Master (CCSM) certificate. However, a new entrant called CCSM Elite has been launched recently. Also, the company offers the Infinity Specialist Accreditations (ISA) that relate to the administration, deployment, and management of specific Check Point security-based solutions.

More about CCSM R80 Certification

CCSM is the short form of Check Point Certified Security Master. The certificate’s aim is to verify one’s capacity to effectively administer, deploy, troubleshoot, and set up Check Point services and products. These also include skills in identifying issues and challenges using commands, resolving problems with VPNs, reducing false positives in IPS, and troubleshooting ClusterXL and SecureXL, among the rest. Note that the candidates should meet some prerequisites. These involve possessing the CCSE R80 or CCSM R77 certificate or equivalent skills and knowledge and having practical networking experience. The most crucial requirement on this path is passing an associated exam.

Exam Details

Check Point assesses if you are eligible to be rewarded with the CCSM R80 certificate through one test that has 156-115.80 as its code. There are plans to retire it on 31st March 2021, so start preparation as soon as possible. Here are the details for the current one:

  • Questions: 100
  • Time: 90 minutes
  • Passing score: 70%
  • Cost: $350

Note that applicants from non-English-speaking countries have extra 15 minutes as a time extension.

CCSM Certification Exam Domains

The mentioned score is reachable if one is deliberate about how they study the topics. They are reviewed in detail below:

  • Advanced Management for Database

    This domain covers extensive knowledge concerning the Security Management Architecture, the utilization of key processes alongside debugs by Security Management Server, representation of objects within the database, and also checks one’s understanding of how GuiDBedit works.

  • Troubleshooting for Kernel Mode & User Mode

    This section is all about the usage of fw monitor in capturing packets, utilizing fw debug process and debug infrastructures during the debugging for user mode, and enabling and using core dumps in case of the crashing of the User mode process.

  • SmartConsole & Policy Management

    The questions under this domain concern troubleshooting and debugging SmartConsole issues. Moreover, they assess one’s knowledge of how to perform these processes with problems that might occur when installing policy.

  • Advanced NAT

    For Advanced NAT (Network Address Translation) module, one should demonstrate expertise in troubleshooting and debugging of NAT issues with the use of Gaia commands and Client Side as well as Server Side NAT. Also, one has to be able to perform configuration for mapping services meant for a port.

  • VPN Troubleshooting

    This CCSM certification objective expands into the debugging of issues related to VPN. It checks the candidate’s skills in choosing the right utilities for analyzing the vpn output, knowledge of various commands, and understanding of differences between “vpn debug on” and “vpn debug trunc”, to name a few areas.

  • Troubleshooting Policies for Access Control

    This objective is focused on the processes and components of infrastructure utilized for the installation of policy and processing of packets within the policies for Access Control. In addition, it emphasizes troubleshooting and debugging matters that occur with Application Control as well as URL Filtering, HTTPS Inspection, and Content Awareness.

  • Troubleshooting Policies for Threat Prevention

    Included are subjects such as debugging and troubleshooting matters occurring with policies for Threat Prevention, Antivirus, and Anti-Bot. Other topics covered here regard using IPS Bypass to manage performance issues and configuring IPS to ensure the reduction of false positives.

  • Optimizing and Tuning

    This domain requires candidates to be knowledgeable about the impact of server hardware in addition to the operating system on how the Security Gateway works. Also, applicants should be skilled in the evaluation of hardware configurations to achieve optimal performance and know additional tools for assisting the monitoring of CPU utilization.

  • Advanced Clustering

    This section is dealing with the monitoring of cluster status in addition to working with critical gadgets. Moreover, one should be able to handle troubleshooting tasks when it comes to state synchronization.

  • Acceleration Debugging

    The candidates can master this topic by delving into the usage of sim as well as fwaccel to ensure enabling and disabling accelerated traffic. The skills in using commands for fwaccel dbg as well as sim dbg and configuring CoreXL to optimize the performance of Security Gateway are also needed.

  • Deploying IPv6

    The final domain is mostly focused on the deployment process for IPv6 within a localized environment. For instance, one should know how to monitor IPv6 traffic and which features of Check Point can’t be used when IPv6 is running, among the rest.

Career Prospects and Job Positions Arising from Being CCSM Certified

The CCSM certification offers opportunities for those willing to provide advanced solutions targeting sophisticated attacks as well as threats. It prepares professionals to be more innovative and have the passion to work within a fast-changing global environment. Job positions to fill when certified in CCSM include cybersecurity analyst, network engineer, senior network engineer, and senior network security engineer. More so, the compensation for these specialists is decent. As stated by ZipRecruiter, salaries for CCSM accredited employees can go up to $122k annually.

Certification Path: Which Way to Go after Obtaining CCSM?

For most professionals, finding a job is their only priority after acquiring the accreditations they have been seeking. However, there are those who prefer adding another certification or even advancing to a higher level. And Check Point is there for such individuals. Although the CCSM certificate relates to the advanced level, the new CCSM Elite certification will prove even deeper competence in the field.

CCSM Certificate Renewal

The CCSM certificate is valid for 2 years. Therefore, renewal is of importance if one aspires to stay relevant. This includes obtaining an extension of one year by passing one ISA test. Acing the second ISA exam leads to being awarded the CCSM Elite certificate.