Cатсн²² (in)sесuяitу / ChrisJohnRiley

Because we're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't!

GIAC GPEN Certified

So I never did have a chance to update my blog after my GPEN exam. As you can see by the title I passed the exam, so all is good with the world. I’m talking to SANS at the moment about working as part of their Mentor team and doing some training (or Mentoring) in Vienna at some point. I’ll hopefully flesh out the details on this at some point in December as I’m in London at the SANS London ’08 training sessions helping out with the Sec:540 VOIP and Sec:542 Web-Application Penetration testing courses.

If you’re headed to London for the SANS classes let me know….

7 responses to “GIAC GPEN Certified

  1. Jim September 7, 2008 at 11:12

    Double Congrats!
    I just finished (and passed) my first practice exam for the GPEN but my score wasn’t as high as I would like. I came away with an 88.67 and probably should be happy with that but you’re not the only InfoSec person who is anal.
    I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you took both practice attempts before taking the exam so I was wondering if you could tell me how closely the practice exams mimic the real exam.
    Please don’t tell me I’m in for an unpleasant surprise!

  2. Chris Riley September 7, 2008 at 14:49

    Thanks Jim, appreciate it.

    I took both practice exams, and managed to get 87% and then 97%. In my opinion the final exam is a little harder than the practice tests. However that could be a number of things. It could be the luck of the draw. After all the questions are randomly drawn I’d guess, so maybe I just got a tough draw on the final test (or easier ones the 2 times before). Personally I think I just suffer from test stress. I wanted/needed more than 90% to join the mentor program, and deep down I wanted 100% just for me 😉

    The stategy I took was to do a practice exam, and then ensure I re-studied everything I got wrong or had to think about more than I’d liked. In the first practice I didn’t use the books, but for the second I looked up a few things to make sure. It was hard to study for so many possibilities, but it’s well worth doing.

    Hope you do good in the final exam, let me know how you do.

  3. Jim September 29, 2008 at 10:13

    Hey Chris,

    Thank you for your well wishes.
    You were right, the final was considerably more difficult than the practice test I took but I managed to get over 90%. I think the difficulty is due to the GIAC Exam Engine rather than luck of the draw though.

    Now I can start hitting the SEC 507 books!

    Can you tell me a bit about the SANS Mentor Program?


  4. Chris Riley September 29, 2008 at 11:37


    Congrats on the pass… and good luck with the 507 books. I’m thinking about what to go for next, but I won’t ahve the time before the Decmeber SANS thing in London. I’m also thinking about working on a paper so that I can get the GPEN Gold certification. Just trying to think up a topic right now.

    As for the mentoring, well I’m due to talk to Andrew in London when I’m there. So I can let you know after that. Best bet though would be to speak to them yourself. The Mentor program sounds like a good chance to learn and teach alongside like-minded people. That’s always worthwhile doing.


%d bloggers like this: