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
  • 100-150 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 Analysis and Network Forensics
The candidate will demonstrate competence in analyzing data from multiple sources (e.g. full packet capture, netflow, log files) as part of a forensic investigation.
Advanced IDS Concepts
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of IDS tuning methods and correlation issues.
Application Protocols
The candidate will demonstrate knowledge and skill relating to application layer protocol dissection and analysis.
Concepts of TCP/IP and the Link Layer
The candidate will demonstrate understanding of the TCP/IP communications model and link layer operations.
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of how DNS works for both legitimate and malicious purposes.
The candidate will demonstrate understanding of how fragmentation works, and how to identify fragmentation and fragmentation-based attacks in packet captures.
IDS Fundamentals and Network Architecture
The candidate will demonstrate knowledge of fundamental IDS concepts, such as network architecture options and benefits/weaknesses of common IDS systems.
IDS Rules
The candidate will create effective IDS 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 of IPv6 and how it differs from IPv4.
Network Traffic Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate the ability to analyze network and application traffic to identify both normal and malicious behaviors.
Packet Engineering
The candidate will demonstrate knowledge relating to packet crafting and manipulation.
SiLK and Other Traffic Analysis Tools
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of SiLK and other tools to perform network traffic and flow analysis.
The candidate will demonstrate understanding of the TCP protocol and the ability to discern between typical and anomalous behavior.
Tcpdump Filters
The candidate will demonstrate ability to craft tcpdump filters that match on given criteria.
The candidate will demonstrate understanding of the UDP and ICMP protocols and the ability to discern between typical and anomalous behavior.
Wireshark Fundamentals
The candidate will demonstrate skill associated with traffic analysis using Wireshark with an intermediate 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