Security Certification: GCIA

Security Certification:

GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)


GIAC Certified Intrusion Analysts (GCIAs) have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to configure and monitor intrusion detection systems, and to read, interpret, and analyze network traffic and related log files.


Individuals responsible for network and host monitoring, traffic analysis, and intrusion detection

*No Specific training is required for any GIAC certification. There are many sources of information available regarding the certification objectives' knowledge areas. Practical experience is an option; there are also numerous books on the market covering Computer Information Security. Another option is any relevant courses from training providers, including SANS.*


  • 1 proctored exam
  • 150 questions
  • Time limit of 4 hours
  • Minimum Passing Score of 67%


GIAC reserves the right to change the specifications for each certification without notice. Based on a scientific passing point study, the passing point for the GCIA exam has been determined to be 67% for all candidates receiving access to their certification attempts on or after August 2nd, 2012. To verify the format of your current certification attempt, please read the Certification Information found in your portal account at


Certifications must be renewed every 4 years. Click here for details.


NOTE: All GIAC exams are delivered through proctored test centers and must be scheduled in advance.
GIAC certification attempts will be activated in your GIAC account after your application has been approved and according to the terms of your purchase. Details on delivery will be provided along with your registration confirmation upon payment. You will receive an email notification when your certification attempt has been activated in your account. You will have 120 days from the date of activation to complete your certification attempt. GIAC exams must be proctored through Pearson VUE. Please click the following link for instructions on How to Schedule Your GIAC Proctored Exam GIAC exams are delivered online through a standard web browser.


Bulletin (Part 2 of Candidate Handbook)

Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

The topic areas for each exam part follow:

Advanced IDS Concepts
Demonstrate an understanding of IDS tuning methods and correlation issues (e.g., snort, bro)
Application Protocols
The candidate will demonstrate knowledge, skill, and ability relating to application layer protocol dissection and analysis including HTTP, SMTP, and various Microsoft protocols
Concepts of TCP/IP and the Link Layer
The candidate will understand the the TCP/IP communications model and link layer operations
The candidate will demonstrate a thorough understanding of how DNS works for both legitimate and malicious purposes.
The candidate will demonstrate comprehension of how fragmentation works through theory and packet capture examples, as well as the concepts behind fragmentation-based attacks.
IDS Fundamentals and Initial Deployment (e.g., snort, bro)
Understand architecture, benefits/weaknesses, and configuration options of common IDS systems. Demonstrate ability to configure and deploy IDS (e.g., snort, bro)
IDS Rules (e.g., snort, bro)
Create effective IDS (e.g., snort, bro) rules to detect varied types of malicious activity
IP Headers
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to dissect IP packet headers and analyze them for normal and anomalous values that may point to security issues
The candidate will demonstrate knowledge, skill and ability relating to the analysis of IPv6 as well as issues involving IP6 over IPv4.
Network Architecture and Event Correlation
The candidate will demonstrate competence with issues relating to IDS/IPS management, network architecture as it pertains to intrusion detection, and event correlation and management
Network Traffic Analysis and Forensics
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to analyze real traffic and associated artifacts: malicious, normal and application traffic; and demonstrate the ability to discern malicious traffic from false positives.
Packet Engineering
The candidate will demonstrate knowledge, skill, and ability relating to packet engineering and manipulation including packet crafting, OS fingerprinting, and IDS Evasion/Insertion
Silk and Other Traffic Analysis Tools
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to use Silk and other tools to perform network traffic and flow analysis
The candidate will understand TCP communications as well as expected responses to given stimuli at this layer
Tcpdump Filters
The candidate will demonstrate the skill and ability to craft tcpdump filters that match on given criteria.
The candidate will demonstrated the ability to analyze both UDP and ICMP packets and recognize common issues
Wireshark Fundamentals
The candidate will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with traffic analysis using wireshark from an intermediate to high degree of proficiency.

Where to Get Help

Training is available from a variety of resources including on line, course attendance at a live conference, and self study.

Practical experience is another way to ensure that you have mastered the skills necessary for certification. Many professionals have the experience to meet the certification objectives identified.

Finally, college level courses or study through another program may meet the needs for mastery.

The procedure to contest exam results can be found at