In this post I am going to describe the way I am studying for CWSP (Certified Wireless Security Professional) certification. I used only self-study method by going through the CWSP Official Study Guide in my own phase. If you get an opportunity for an instructor led classes (normally 3 days) that would be a bonus for your CWSP studies.  Here is a link to find all CWNP training schedule via authorized partners.

Like any other exam, you have to aware of the exam objectives & weight of each exam topics. As you aware pass mark is 70%, you can determine which sections you have to focus on & spend more time during your studies. Exam includes 60 Questions (MCQ type) & should be finish within 90minutes. Below shows the exam objectives with their respective weight in %

Security Design & Architechture (50%)
– CH11 (Wireless Network Security Models)
– CH3 (Encryption methods WEP,TKIP,CCMP,RSN, )
– CH4 (Authentication & Key Management, 802.1X/EAP methods)
– CH5 (Dynamic Key Generation, 4-Way Handshake, Group Handshake)
– CH6 (WPA2/PSK, )
– CH12 (WLAN security Architecture)

Monitoring & Management (25%)
– CH9 (Protocol & Spectrum Analyzsers,)
– CH10 (WIPS, WIPS Base-lining, WIPS Security features)
– CH12 (WLAN Management Systems & features)

Fast Secure Roaming (10%)
– CH7 (Preauthentication, PMKCaching, OKC, 802.11r, 802.11k,WiFi-Voice-Personal)

Wireless Network Attacks & Threat Assessment (10%)
– CH8 (Types of attack,Preventative measures, WLAN Risk Assessment, Public WiFi)

Security Policy (5%)
– CH13 (General & Functional Policies, Client-side Security, )

When you go through the above topics, you can break them into small parts where you can learn them one at a time.Also it is important to understand the concept first & then trying to lab it up. It was extremely helpful for me doing some lab configuration & then take few wireless packet captures to see what’s exactly going on. (eg EAP Methods, Fast Roaming). I have taken lots of time to do those testing & put them as blog post which helps me to go through any time from anywhere. (I hope those notes helps many others as well 🙂 )

I have focused my studies around most important topics first & then depend on the time availability go through the others (so all of the blog post are not completed at the time of this writing). So here is the list of blog post related to CWSP certification.

CH2- Legacy 802.11 Security
1. CWSP-Legacy Security Protocol

CH3- Encryption Ciphers & Methods
1. CWSP- TKIP Encryption Methods
2. CWSP- CCMP Encryption Methods

CH4- Enterprise 802.11 L2 Authentication Methods
1. CWSP – EAP Basics

CH5- 802.11 L2 Dynamic Encryption Key Generation
1. CWSP – RSN Information Element
2. CWSP- 4-Way Handshake
3. CWSP- Group Key Handshake

CH6- SOHO 802.11 Security
1. CWSP- SOHO 802.11 Security

CH7- 802.11 Fast Secure Roaming
2. CWSP- 802.11 Roaming Basics
3. CWSP- PMK Caching & Preauthentication
4. CWSP- Opportunistic Key Caching (OKC)
5. CWSP- 802.11r Key Hierarchy
6. CWSP- 802.11r FT Association
7. CWSP- 802.11r Over-the-Air Fast BSS Transition
8. CWSP- 802.11r Over-the-DS Fast BSS Transition
9. CWSP- 802.11k AP Assisted Roaming
10. CWSP- Voice Personal & Voice Enterprise

CH8- Wireless Security Risks
1. CWSP- Wireless Security Risks

CH9- Wireless LAN Security Auditing
1. CWSP – WLAN Security Auditing

CH10 – Wireless Security Monitoring
1. CWSP – Wireless Security Monitoring
2. CWSP – 802.11w Management Frame Protection

CH11- VPN, Remote Access & Guest Access Service
1. CWSP – VPN, Guest & Remote Access

CH12- WLAN Architecture Capabilities Overview
1. CWSP – WLAN Architecture

CH13- Wireless Security Policies
1. CWSP – WLAN Security Policy.
2. CWSP – Government & Industry Regulations.

It is difficult to concentration & dedication towards this sort of exam as unless you have lots of commitment. If possible try to find a study partner as that will help to motivate each other. Once you discuss a topic with another person, it will help to clarify the doubts & ensure you have understand something correctly. Also that give you an opportunity to teach someone else and that help you to remember things as well.

Towards your exam closure, you have to go through some sample questions. There are 20 questions at the end of each chapter. Also there are two sample exams available on the CD comes with the CWSP Official Study Guide. There are also some practice CWSP exam questions available on the CWNP website. These can be used as final exam preparations.

I have scheduled my exam in couple of days time & I hope my preparation given above enough for me to cross the line.

Update@16th Sep 2014
I have done my CWSP exam today & got through it with 85% mark. I follow the study method listed above & below result proven my strategy worked well.CWSP-Result-01Next is CWAP !!!!

*** Update Dec 2020 ***
Since this original post done in 2014 and CWSP blueprint updated to include latest security mechanism (WPA3), below posts may be useful if you are taking CWSP now a days. Still previous post are valid since wireless security fundamentals remains as it is.

  1. WPA3 SAE Mode
  2. WPA3 SAE Transition mode
  3. WPA3 Enterprise mode
  4. Enhanced Open/OWE
  5. Enhanced Open Transition mode