Starting from scratch......

Hello everyone,

I've been a system/network Admin for about 12 years now was laid off 6 months ago, still out of work, and was at burn out and swore I would never go back to IT..........but here I am now, refreshed and ready to go again, but I would love to, need to, go down a different path - IT security, specifically FW's. I have basic knowledge of firewalls and administered ISA server for a couple of years so I do have some basic experience, but absolutely have no experience or have ever seen the Checkpoint interface or know anything about it.

From looking at Checkpoints website I would like to start with the CCSA route and would be so proud and relieved if I could obtain that certification (would be my first non MS cert!).
But I'm confused at what to start with. Should it be the CCSA NGX R65 or NGX & NSA??? Or do I start with VPN-1 (NGX R65), What's the difference?
Is Checkpoint a software based FW? or is it only installed on a Nokia platform?

They have an ATC that offers a 2 day course but what can I possibly learn in 2 days that would help me obtain the CCSA?

What's more important of course than the cert would be the training. should I buy the product and install it on a home pc? and what books or study guides would you consider? Is a home lab practical??? How did you guys do it?

Can anyone help out and guide me down this new and intimidating and exciting road??
Thanks!!!
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tolinromeAsked:
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Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
Not ignored the question, just know nothing about Checkpoint - which I assume is the specific topic.
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tolinromeAuthor Commented:
Found my own solution, will attend CCNA training first before considering Checkpoint.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
If you're going down security road, I would also recommend CompTIA Security+ in addition to the CCNA.  A lot of good knowledge there that will come in handy.

Not as familiar with Checkpoint myself either, however this link has a few good suggestions:
http://www.sadikhov.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php?t117931.html

Not too worried about the points - if you want to accept that's great, if you just want to go and close it I won't feel bad.
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tolinromeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for answering.
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