GIAC Certified Enterprise Defender (GCED) icon

GIAC Certified Enterprise Defender (GCED)

Practitioner Certification

The GIAC Certified Enterprise Defender (GCED) certification builds on the security skills measured by the GIAC Security Essentials certification. It assesses more advanced, technical skills that are needed to defend the enterprise environment and protect an organization as a whole. GCED certification holders have validated knowledge and abilities in the areas of defensive network infrastructure, packet analysis, penetration testing, incident handling and malware removal.


Areas Covered

  • Network and cloud-based defensive infrastructure
  • Penetration testing; Digital forensics; Incident response
  • Network monitoring, forensics, and logging
  • Packet analysis; Intrusion analysis; Malware analysis

Who is GCED for?

  • Incident responders and penetration testers
  • Security Operations Center engineers and analysts
  • Network security professionals
  • Anyone who seeks technical in-depth knowledge about implementing comprehensive security solutions

Exam Format

  • 1 proctored exam
  • 115 questions
  • 3 hours
  • Minimum passing score of 69%

Note: 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 GCED exam has been determined to be 69% for all candidates receiving access to their certification attempts on or after October 1st, 2022. To verify the format and passing point of your specific certification attempt, read the Certification Information found in your account at


NOTE: All GIAC Certification exams are web-based and required to be proctored. There are two proctoring options: remote proctoring through ProctorU, and onsite proctoring through PearsonVUE. Click here for more information.

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.

Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

  • Defending Network Protocols
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of commonly-used network protocols and how to defend against protocol attacks. The candidate will demonstrate knowledge of audit techniques and the Center for Internet Security's benchmarks and Critical Security Controls.
  • Defensive Infrastructure and Tactics
    The candidate will demonstrate basic knowledge of network and cloud-based infrastructure defensive measures, including common detective and preventive controls.
  • Digital Forensics Concepts and Application
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of methods and practices of digital forensics. The candidate will demonstrate proficiency in identification of forensic artifacts.
  • Incident Response Concepts and Application
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of continuous incident response processes, and their relationship to threat intelligence practices and the Cyber Kill Chain.
  • Interactive and Manual Malware Analyses
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of interactive malware behavior analysis, knowledge of analysis tools, and ability to interpret the analysis results. The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of manual malware code reversal, disassembly and decompiling, and of code obfuscation techniques used by malware.
  • Intrusion Detection and Packet Analysis
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of intrusion prevention systems, their placement in the enterprise, and their configuration and tuning. The candidate will demonstrate proficiency in taking action in response to alerts.
  • Malware Analysis Concepts and Basic Analysis Techniques
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the various types of malware, identify symptoms of infection, and methods to analyze malware safely. The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the benefits and disadvantages of automated and static malware analysis techniques, and to interpret their results.
  • Network Forensics, Logging, and Event Management
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of using logs and flows in network forensics, the importance of logging and event management in security operations, and the usage of a SIEM and Security Analytics.
  • Network Security Monitoring Concepts and Application
    The candidate will demonstrate knowledge of devices that are used in SOCs to monitor networks, their understanding of packet types, packet capture tools, the practice of continuous network monitoring, and advanced issues such as monitoring encrypted traffic.
  • Penetration Testing Application
    The candidate will demonstrate familiarity and proficiency using penetration testing tactics and tools against typical types of penetration test targets.
  • Penetration Testing Concepts
    The candidate will demonstrate knowledge of penetration testing scoping, rules of engagement, the tools and tactics used in penetration tests, and reporting test results to the intended audience.

Other Resources

  • Training is available in a variety of modalities including live training and OnDemand
  • Practical work experience can help ensure that you have mastered the skills necessary for certification
  • College level courses or self paced study through another program or materials may meet the needs for mastery.
  • Get information about the procedure to contest exam results.

Practice Tests

  • These tests are a simulation of the real exam allowing you to become familiar with the test engine and style of questions.
  • Practice exams are a gauge to determine if your preparation methods are sufficient.
  • The practice bank questions are limited so you may encounter the same question on practice tests when multiple practice tests are purchased.
  • Practice exams never include actual exam questions.
  • Purchase a GCED practice test here.
  • GIAC recommends leveraging additional study methods for test preparation.

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