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GCWN - GIAC Certified Windows Security Administrator


The GCWN is a security certification that demonstrates that the owner has the ability to secure Windows 2000, XP or 2003 systems.

It is maintained by the SANS Institute (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security).


The GCIH is a hands-on certification that covers how to secure and audit Windows operating systems. This includes concepts such as Security Templates, Active Directory design, PKI and IIS security concepts.

The SANS Institute offers a course for preparing for this certification. The course is called Securing Windows and is listed as SEC-505.

The course can be taken through self-study or via a SANS conference or course.

Three separate levels are available through the GIAC certification tree (of which GCWN is part). By completing this certification, the individual is at the Silver level of certification.

The Gold level of certification requires the candidate to write a detailed technical report/white paper. If the paper is accepted, they will be certified as Gold level.

The Platinum level is the highest certification available and requires multiple Silver certifications. To obtain this certification, extensive testing, research and assignments are required.

Certification Criteria:

To be considered certified, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  1. The candidate must pay an examination fee. This fee can be added onto a self-study course, a conference course or paid by itself (called a challenge certificate);
  2. The candidate must pass two online exams, both multiple choice with time limits.
This certification must be renewed every four years.


GCWN Information