Security Certification: GDSA

Security Certification:

GIAC Defensible Security Architecture (GDSA)

The GDSA certification is now available for pre-sale in conjunction with affiliated SANS training. Exam will be available in early August.


"The GIAC Defensible Security Architecture (GDSA) certificate is an industry certification that proves an individual is capable of looking at an enterprise defense holistically. A GDSA no longer emphasizing security through a single control but instead applies multiple controls ranging from network security, cloud security, and data-centric security approaches to properly prevent, detect, and respond. The end result is defense-in-depth that is maintainable and works."
- Justin Henderson, SANS SEC530 Course Author

"Holders of the GIAC Defensible Security Architect (GDSA) certification have proved to be all-round defenders, capable of designing, implementing and tuning an effective combination of network-centric and data-centric controls to balance prevention, detection, and response. Certified GDSA professionals are versatile blue-teamers and cyber defenders possessing an arsenal of skills to protect an organization's critical data, from the endpoint to the cloud, across networks and applications. Armed with these skills, certified GDSA individuals possess, not only a strategic but also a tactical, hands-vision, that empowers them to continually improve an organization's security posture, knowing how to best defend now and in the future."
- Ismael Valenzuela, SANS SEC530 Course Author

Who is the GDSA for?

  • Security Architects
  • Network Engineers
  • Network Architects
  • Security Analysts
  • Senior Security Engineers
  • System Administrators
  • Technical Security Managers
  • CND Analysts
  • Security Monitoring Specialists
  • Cyber Threat Investigators

Areas Covered on the GDSA

  • Defensible Security Architecture: network-centric and data-centric approaches
  • Network Security Architecture: hardening applications across the TCP/IP stack
  • Zero Trust Architecture: secure environment creation with private, hybrid or public clouds

SANS SEC530 Alumni will be eligible to challenge the GDSA exam. All alumni of SEC530 will receive a special offer email with a discount code once the exam is live to the public in late July 2019

Find affiliated training for GDSA now.

*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.*


  • Minimum Passing Score To Be Determined


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.

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