Submitted by: Sakshi Aggarwal

Recently I passed, GFACT (GIAC Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies) Certification provided by Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). In this article I will be writing about:

  • What is GFACT certification and what areas does it cover?
  • How I get this exam attempt for free and How I prepared for it?
  • What was the exam format?


The GFACT certification validates an individual’s knowledge of important foundational cybersecurity concepts. GFACT-certified professionals are familiar with theoretical and practical skills in computers, technology, and security fundamentals that are needed to kickstart a career in cybersecurity. This certification demonstrates that the practitioner has hands-on skills in various areas like Linux fundamentals, Windows essentials, Programming, Exploitations, and using various forensics tools. Also, the candidates have core knowledge of Networking, Computer hardware, Virtualization, Servers, Operating systems, etc. This certification can be taken by anyone who is new in the cyber security field because no prior knowledge is needed to complete this exam. Anyone from any university/College or someone who wants a career change can register for this.

How I got this exam attempt for free?

Free!!! Free!!! Free!!! Isn’t it really cool and easy? No, my friend, it was not easy to get this exam attempt for free. It was 5 months of hard work, dedication, and tough competition with women around the world. Firstly, I would like to thank WiCyS (Women in CyberSecurity) for offering the Security Training Scholarship which was made possible by Google, Bloomberg, and Facebook, in partnership with the SANS Institute. This training program is free to register and contained multiple stages which we need to clear to get this certification. Follow the link to get more information: WiCyS Security Training Scholarship

How did I prepare for it? 

The SANS Institute is GIAC’s preferred partner for exam preparation. To prepare for this exam SEC275: Foundations – Computers, Technology, & Security course was provided. This course is specially designed for GFACT preparation and is a perfect blend of theoretical understanding and practical implementation of concepts. It consists of 15 different modules including an introduction to the course and summary of the course and is designed to develop fundamental skills and knowledge in key IT subject areas such as:

  • Computer Components & Concepts
  • Operating Systems, Containers, & Virtualization
  • Linux
  • Networking Fundamentals
  • The Web: Search Engine & Servers
  • Practical Programming in Python and C
  • Windows Foundations
  • Advanced Computer Hardware (e.g. CPU & Memory)
  • Encryption
  • Introduction to Basic Security Concepts
  • Introduction to Forensics
  • Introduction to Reconnaissance, Exploitation, and Privilege Escalation
  • Introduction to Network & Computer Infiltration (e.g. Lateral Movement)

The exam is in perfect alignment with the course. So going through the course helped me to crack it. Along with the course, 2 practice tests were provided so that we can be familiar with the exam pattern. Training materials books were delivered to me by the institute which helped me to memorize the majority of the information more quickly and easily. Watching the videos on course and quickly writing and marking important points in the book was my method of learning.

Exam format

It was 2 hours, online proctored exam including 75 questions to answer. The passing percentage was 71%. In the end, I would like to thank again WiCyS community for providing this amazing opportunity to Cyber enthusiasts like me to learn and grow in the field of cyber security. It is wonderful to be a part of a cohort established with mentors and peers who guided and supported me throughout this journey.

 Now I am heading towards GSEC (GIAC Security Essentials), waiting for my registration process to complete and get access to the next course and exam. 😀Thanks for reading. All the best!!!

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