How to spot a fake cybersecurity certificate

It is an unspoken fact that fraud is the only constant in this ever-evolving world. Employers and certification buyers have both fallen victim to fake certifications. This can lead to extreme consequences, especially when dealing with “certified” cybersecurity professionals.

Employers hiring professionals with fake certifications run the risk of leaving the security of their sensitive data in the hands of unskilled professionals. While professionals who are unconsciously registering and attaining fake certifications risk investing in certifications that hold no real value in the market. In fact, producing such certifications can lead to you being blacklisted in the job market for falsified information.

Here are a few ways to differentiate fake cybersecurity certifications from authentic ones:

For cybersecurity certification buyers: Ensure that the company you are buying from is authentic

There are many ways to ensure the authenticity of an organization. Here are some of them:

1. Check on Google. Read up what others have to say. Testimonials and reviews speak a lot about an organization.
2. Check their location. Most organizations will have an address added to their ‘contact us’ page. A simple check on Google Maps will let you know if the company exists or if it is simply a fake address.
3. Is the organization certified? Even certification bodies must be registered and certified by government/ private certification bodies. For example, a distance education body will be certified by bodies such as DEAC, or in the case of cybersecurity certification bodies, ANSI accreditation is a must.
4. When buying from vendor parties, ensure that the company is authorized by the main certification body. Most certification bodies will have a way to check if a company is authorized by them.
5. Some certification bodies have also listed unauthorized training providers who are selling fake certifications.

For cybersecurity employers: Ensure that you are hiring the right people
Most organizations recognize that the market for fake certifications are on the rise and are coming up with ways to expose these frauds.

With digital badges being the new in-thing, most companies have a way for companies to check the authenticity of the certification (license numbers).

However, when checking the authenticity of the certification, ensure that you are on the right webpage first and that you have not been redirected to a scam website that replicates the real website.

Don’t fall victim to fake certifications. Stay alert and aware!

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