CyberLive: The New Mark of Hands-On Cyber Security Skills

Cyber security professionals need discipline-specific certifications and practical testing that validates their knowledge and hands-on skills. GIAC recognized this industry-wide need, and developed CyberLive - hands-on, real-world practical testing- to fill the gaps in the market.

CyberLive proves you've got what it takes

  • CyberLive exams include real-world, practical questions in a VM environment
  • CyberLive requires candidates to perform analytical tasks directly relevant to skills and abilities tested on their GIAC certification exam
  • CyberLive reflects real-world job tasks, assessing the skills and abilities performed in live working environments

Today's cyber security professionals need:

  • Specific certifications confirming specialized abilities
  • Practical testing that proves their knowledge and hands-on skills

By challenging yourself with CyberLive, you'll prove to yourself and employers that you have the ability to solve hands-on challenges.

NEW! Applied Knowledge Exam 100% CyberLive

These new certification exams test your skills at the highest level, requiring you to apply your technical expertise and hands-on experience to solve complex security scenarios.

Hands-On, Real-World Practical Testing

applied knowledge certs

Click below to view all the CyberLive Applied Knowledge Certifications.

practitioner certs

Click below to view all the CyberLive Practitioner Certifications.


Read what your peers say about CyberLive.
If a hiring manager is trying to structure desired experience paired with relevant certs, then the practical component of the exam makes them more sure that someone could step in and do the things that their job entails.
Jason Nickola
GSE and COO - Pulsar Security
Increasingly, the hands-on portion is important to measure the abilities of cyber professionals.
Ben Boyle
Hands-on really helps solidify that cert. When you have that, we are confirming that this individual can sit in front of a computer and do that job.
Tony Knutson
    • It is a method of delivering GIAC exams with real practical, hands-on exam content, in a proctored environment.

      Candidates will be asked to complete tasks using operational virtual machines (VMs). In this VM environment, candidates must perform analytical tasks that are directly relevant to the skills and abilities aligned to the scope of GIAC's certification exam.

      Candidates will be required to master information security concepts AND apply real-world job situations using the VM-enabled test questions.

    • CyberLive testing assesses a candidate's ability to navigate the virtual machine interfaces and tasks encountered in the real world.

      This type of testing allows for the assessment of the skills and abilities performed in actual working environments.

      By implementing practical exam sections, GIAC is ensuring that certification holders can do the job.

    • The term "Performance Based" is used differently by different organizations. Traditional hot-spot and drag and drop questions have been classified as performance based by some organizations, but what we are doing is very different.

      Our practical testing items leverage full-featured virtual machines that allow us to test the candidate's ability perform real-world tasks in order to deliver the most realistic and relevant exams possible.

    • CyberLive questions are typically weighted more than the multiple-choice items. Consequently, more time has been allocated towards these items.

    • Yes. GIAC has carefully measured exam timing to accommodate the time required to complete CyberLive content.

    • Candidates lacking hands-on skills and experience with the most common information security tools and practices will most likely find the practical CyberLive content more challenging.

    • No. They are real virtual machines which allow candidates to leverage multiple methods to complete the required tasks.

      Candidates will be able to access common, integrated help utilities such as man pages, just like the workplace.

    • It varies by GIAC examination.

      Candidates who cannot answer a majority of the CyberLive items correctly should not expect to pass the certification exam.

    • Unlike simulations that get downloaded to testing systems, our virtual machines run in an interactive manner over the Internet.

      We have carefully customized and optimized these virtual machines for performance over appearance.

      We believe the live experience that virtual machines offer is worth the small tradeoff of appearance.

    • Yes. If CyberLive content is included on the certification exam, it will be on any associated practice tests.

      We recommend using practice tests to ensure you are familiar with the interface and can easily switch back and forth between the question/task environment in our exam engine and the virtual machine.

    • Currently, the CyberLive portion is delivered at the end of the exam.

      As this new question type is introduced into GIAC exams, we aspire to give candidates as much time as possible to complete the practical portion of the exam.

      Individual items on the exam sections are continued to be delivered randomly.

    • Currently these certifications include CyberLive:

      We have plans to implement CyberLive in other exams in the near future. We plan to deploy it on exams where the measurement of practical abilities is the most critical to candidate success. CyberLive testing can have the most impact by focusing on these certifications first.

    • Yes - Google Chrome is the preferred browser for CyberLive exams.

    • Please email