Introduction to Automation Specialist Course (CCAS)
The Automation Specialist Course (CCAS) offered by Check Point is a comprehensive training program designed to provide IT professionals with the skills needed to automate and orchestrate tasks related to managing Check Point security policies.
As increasing network complexity makes manual configuration and policy management impractical, automation skills have become crucial for security administrators and engineers.
Overview of Automation Specialist Course Content
The 2-day CCAS course covers a wide range of topics related to Check Point security automation and management APIs.
Participants learn key concepts like:
- Principles of automation and orchestration
- Check Point management APIs and scripting
- Developing scripts with bash, REST APIs, and Postman
- Troubleshooting automation workflows
- Building self-service web portals
- Lab exercises for hands-on learning
Through lectures, demos, and practical labs, students gain extensive knowledge of automating policy management, threat prevention, identity awareness, and other security functions using the Check Point R80 APIs.
Prerequisites for Taking Automation Specialist Course
While there are no formal prerequisites, Check Point recommends students have:
- Basic networking and security knowledge
- Understanding of programming fundamentals
- Familiarity with UNIX/Windows OS administration
- Working knowledge of TCP/IP networking
- Prior CCSA certification preferred
Some scripting experience with Python, PowerShell, or Bash would also help grasp the course material faster.
Key Concepts Covered in Automation Specialist Course
The CCAS course focuses on imparting concepts related to:
- Check Point API architecture
- Automation techniques like continuous integration/delivery
- Developing scripts with Python and Bash
- Consuming management and security APIs
- Building web services and microservices
- Debugging and troubleshooting automation workflows
- Orchestrating automated processes
- Securing REST APIs and web portals
Breakdown of Automation Specialist Course Modules
The course covers the following key modules:
- Introduction to Check Point Security Automation
- Check Point APIs
- API Development with Bash, REST APIs and Postman
- Troubleshooting Automation Workflows
- Self-Service Web Portals
- Lab Exercises
Hands-on Projects in Automation Specialist Course
The CCAS course provides students with ample opportunities for hands-on learning through lab exercises after each module. Some examples of hands-on projects include:
- Developing scripts to create API objects
- Using Postman to manage firewall policies via APIs
- Building a web portal to provision user VPN access
- Creating automated workflows for security reports
- Debugging a script to fix runtime errors
These realistic projects help reinforce the concepts covered in the lectures.
Real World Applications of Automation Specialist Course
The automation and scripting skills gained from the CCAS course have many real-world applications, including:
- Automating policy deployment and change management
- Developing CI/CD pipelines for security infrastructure
- Creating self-service portals for security requests
- Automating incident response workflows
- Generating reports and integrating with SIEM tools
- Building chatbots as virtual security assistants
Automation Specialist Course Instructors
The CCAS course is taught by experienced Check Point certified instructors.
They have in-depth expertise in Check Point solutions and hold credentials like:
- CCSA, CCSM, CCSE, CCSM-NGX, CCSM-SM
- IT certifications like CCNA, RHCSA, AWS Solutions Architect
- 5+ years experience with Check Point network security
Their real-world insights help students effectively grasp the subject matter.
Pros of Taking Automation Specialist Course
Here are some of the key benefits of taking the CCAS course:
- Learn how to automate management of Check Point solutions
- Handle complex policies at scale using APIs
- Boost efficiency by orchestrating workflows
- Create self-service portals for users
- Leverage integration with DevOps tools like Jenkins
- Career advancement as a security automation expert
- Prep for the CCAS certification exam
Cons of Taking Automation Specialist Course
Some drawbacks of the CCAS course include:
- Prior scripting experience is useful
- Course duration may be short for beginners
- Does not cover other vendor solutions
- Limited focus on coding best practices
- Light coverage of CI/CD methodologies
- Check Point certification has less recognition than CISSP
Who Should Take Automation Specialist Course
The CCAS course is ideal for:
- Check Point administrators looking to automate workflows
- Security engineers implementing automation
- Developers integrating Check Point into CI/CD pipelines
- System integrators and resellers of Check Point solutions
- IT professionals pursuing a career in security automation
What You Will Learn in Automation Specialist Course
By the end of the Automation Specialist course, participants will be able to:
- Understand principles of automation and orchestration
- Use Check Point APIs for automation
- Develop scripts using Python, PowerShell, and Bash
- Build REST APIs and webhooks
- Create web portals and microservices
- Monitor, log and debug automated workflows
- Troubleshoot common automation issues
- Automate security policy management
Skills You Will Gain from Automation Specialist Course
The CCAS course helps you gain skills like:
- Using Postman for API testing
- Consuming Check Point management APIs
- Scripting using bash and Python
- Leveraging REST APIs and JSON
- Building responsive web portals
- Remediating errors in automation scripts
- Following API security best practices
- Creating CI/CD pipelines for security policy
How Long it Takes to Complete Automation Specialist Course
The CCAS is an accelerated 2-day course. Class timings are typically 9AM to 5PM over the 2 days. Participants also need to spend 2-3 hours/day on lab exercises.
So the total learning time is around 24-30 hours to complete the course.
Automation Specialist Course Costs & Discounts
The CCAS course costs approximately $1,600 per participant. However, pricing can vary based on location, class size etc.
Bulk discounts are available for corporate group bookings. Firebrand often has 20-25% special discounts running too.
CCAS renewal costs around $125 and needs to be done every 2 years to maintain certification.
Best Ways to Supplement Automation Specialist Learning
To supplement classroom learning, students can:
- Enroll in Check Point cybersecurity courses
- Take online training courses on REST APIs testing
- Practice automation scripts using online IDEs
- Read blogs/communities to stay updated on new features
- Refer to Check Point API documentation
- Get hands-on experience with automation tools
Final Recommendation – Is Automation Specialist Worth it?
The Check Point Certified Automation Specialist course offers invaluable skills in security automation using the Check Point APIs.
For administrators managing large Check Point environments, automation is a must-have skillset.
Given the complexity of modern networks, manual policy management is error-prone, cumbersome, and inefficient.
The CCAS course effectively equips students with the knowledge to leverage automation for simplified security administration.
The certification also boosts career advancement prospects.
Considering the high demand for security automation skills, the CCAS course is certainly a worthy investment for aspiring security automation experts.
Q1: What are the prerequisites for CCAS certification?
There are no mandatory prerequisites. But basic scripting knowledge and Check Point CCSA certification is recommended.
Q2: Does the course teach coding skills?
Yes, the course teaches scripting using Bash, Python, and REST APIs.
But prior scripting experience allows you to grasp concepts faster.
Q3: What certification exam do I need to pass?
To get CCAS certified, you need to pass the 156-820.80 exam.
Q4: What job roles can I get after CCAS certification?
You can get roles like Security Automation Engineer, DevSecOps Engineer, Security API Developer etc.
Q5: Does the course require lab exercises?
Yes, comprehensive hands-on lab exercises are integrated to provide practical experience.
Q6: What is the validity period of CCAS certification?
CCAS certification is valid for 2 years. Renewal requires passing the exam again.