DoD DCWF - System Administrator

MCSI Certification

MSA - Certified System Administrator

This comprehensive System Administrator course is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively administer and maintain both Windows and Linux systems within a networked environment.

The curriculum prioritizes hands-on experience with these systems, ensuring that participants are well-prepared for the practical aspects of system administration. Alongside this, the course introduces essential skills in networking and virtualization, ensuring that learners are fully equipped to handle real-world challenges in system management.

By the end of this course, participants will be proficient in configuring secure servers and computers, detecting and mitigating vulnerabilities, and maintaining the security baseline of an organization’s computer network. This training ensures that participants are not only aware of the best security practices but are also capable of implementing them to fortify the systems they manage, making them invaluable assets to their organizations.

Intermediate Level MCSI Certification Beginner
ic-certificate Certification
ic-clock 600+ hours
ic-money $1295
No Expiry, No Renewals

Course Overview

System administration is a critical and dynamic discipline that demands a comprehensive skill set. The MSA course is designed to empower participants with the essential expertise required to excel in this dynamic field.

Throughout the program, participants will delve into advanced configuration techniques aimed at optimizing security settings for both Windows servers and computers. Topics covered include script writing, configuring Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to achieve stringent security objectives, and securing service configurations on Linux machines. By honing these skills, learners will gain the ability to troubleshoot effectively, resolving usage and security-related issues to maintain robust systems.

The course places significant emphasis on situational awareness within organizational computer networks. Participants will acquire the ability to detect vulnerabilities at network and host levels, learning the importance of maintaining a precise inventory of network assets. This proactive approach helps identify and address potential security risks promptly, reducing the likelihood of major disruptions.

Through practical case studies, participants will immerse themselves in administering real-world scenarios. This includes setting up, configuring, and managing complex Windows server and client environments, alongside maintaining services within a Windows domain setting. The hands-on experience gained through these case studies is invaluable, providing learners with the confidence and practical skills needed to manage sophisticated system environments effectively.

Upon completion of the MCSI System Administration certification, participants will be equipped with a diverse skill set enabling them to:

  • Implement security protocols using scripts and Group Policy Objects to enhance Windows system security.
  • Monitor and manage network traffic using firewall tools to ensure secure data flow.
  • Conduct comprehensive host scans to identify and address vulnerabilities.
  • Develop efficient troubleshooting methods to resolve common network and host issues systematically.
  • Utilize Ansible for efficient configuration management across networked systems.
  • Implement data security practices including regular backups and proficient recovery techniques.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities You Will Acquire

MCSI is one of the most respected and trusted names in cyber security education and training. Our certifications teach critical skills, knowledge and abilities needed to advance a career in cyber security. Our courses are comprehensive and up-to-date, and our instructors are experienced professionals who are dedicated to helping students learn. MCSI provides the real-world skills and knowledge you need to protect any organization from cyber threats.

  • Lab Setup and Virtualization

    Setting up and configuring VirtualBox is essential for creating virtualized environments to practice system administration tasks. Deploying virtual machines (VMs) within VirtualBox provides hands-on experience in managing virtualized systems.


    VirtualBox facilitates the creation of virtual machines in isolated network environments, providing a safe and controlled space for practicing cybersecurity skills. This setup ensures that learners can experiment with various configurations without risking the security of external systems or networks.

    By creating and configuring virtual machines, learners can develop essential skills in system administration, network security, and vulnerability assessment in a realistic environment. VirtualBox offers flexibility in creating and customizing virtualized environments to suit specific learning objectives. Learners can easily deploy multiple virtual machines with different operating systems, network configurations, and software installations, allowing for a diverse range of cybersecurity exercises and scenarios.

    ELK Stack

    The ELK Stack is a powerful combination of open-source tools used for log management and analysis. Elasticsearch provides real-time search and analytics, Logstash processes and transforms log data, and Kibana offers visualization and dashboarding capabilities, making it essential for monitoring system health, troubleshooting issues, and detecting security incidents in large-scale environments.

    The ELK Stack's relevance lies in its ability to centralize and analyze logs from various sources, enabling system administrators to gain actionable insights and maintain the security and performance of IT infrastructures efficiently.


    OpenVAS is an open-source tool designed for scanning and identifying security vulnerabilities in networked systems. It enables proactive security assessment and risk mitigation.

    OpenVAS is valuable for system administrators to conduct thorough vulnerability scans and enhance network security by identifying and addressing potential threats efficiently.

    Active Directory Environment

    Active Directory (AD) is a directory service developed by Microsoft, used to manage and organize resources in a networked environment. It provides centralized authentication, authorization, and management of users, groups, computers, and other network resources.

    In system administration, understanding and configuring Active Directory environments is essential for managing user accounts, permissions, group policies, and domain services within a Windows-based network. Active Directory simplifies network management tasks, enhances security through centralized access control, and streamlines user and resource management processes.


    Ansible is an open-source automation tool used for configuration management, application deployment, and task automation. It simplifies the process of automating repetitive tasks across multiple systems and environments.

    In system administration, Ansible plays a crucial role in streamlining IT operations by enabling administrators to automate provisioning, configuration, and deployment tasks. It enhances efficiency, reduces human error, and facilitates consistent management of IT resources across diverse infrastructure environments.

  • Networking Fundamentals

    Network fundamentals cover the basic principles and technologies of computer networking, including protocols and architectures used for device communication.

    Understanding network fundamentals is crucial for system administrators to design, configure, and troubleshoot network infrastructures effectively, ensuring reliable connectivity, optimal performance, and secure network environments.

    Designing a Network

    Network designing is crucial for system administration as it lays the foundation for reliable and efficient communication across IT infrastructures. A well-designed network ensures optimal performance, scalability, and security, which are essential for maintaining and managing IT systems effectively.

  • System Security

    System security is vital for system administrators as it protects critical assets, data, and resources from unauthorized access, breaches, and cyber threats. By implementing robust security measures, system administrators ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of IT systems, minimizing risks and maintaining operational continuity.

    Windows & Linux Firewall

    Windows and Linux firewalls are critical tools for system administrators to enforce network security policies and protect systems from unauthorized access and threats. Firewalls control incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predefined rules, allowing administrators to filter traffic, block malicious connections, and mitigate potential security risks effectively.

    Configuring and managing firewalls on both Windows and Linux systems is essential for enhancing overall system security and safeguarding critical assets and data against cyber threats.


    ProcMon, or Process Monitor, is a powerful system monitoring utility that captures and displays real-time information about processes, file system activity, registry access, and network connections on Windows systems. This tool is essential for system administrators to troubleshoot application issues, analyze system performance, and identify unauthorized or suspicious activities.

    ProcMon allows system administrators to track and monitor process behaviors, file accesses, and registry changes, providing valuable insights into system activities and potential security threats. By leveraging ProcMon's capabilities, administrators can diagnose complex issues, audit system events, and enhance overall system security and stability.

    Windows Registry

    The Windows Registry is a centralized database that stores configuration settings and system information for Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is a critical component for system administration because it manages settings for hardware, software, user profiles, and system security.

    Understanding the Windows Registry is important for system administrators to perform various tasks such as configuring system settings, troubleshooting issues, optimizing performance, and ensuring system security. Manipulating registry keys and values allows administrators to customize Windows environments, deploy policies, and maintain the stability and integrity of Windows systems.

    Password Management

    Password management software is essential for system administrators to securely store, manage, and access passwords and sensitive credentials used across various systems and applications. This software enhances security by promoting the use of strong, unique passwords and facilitating centralized management of access credentials.

    System administrators rely on password management software to streamline password-related tasks, such as generating complex passwords, securely sharing credentials with team members, enforcing password policies, and auditing password usage. By utilizing password management tools, administrators can mitigate the risks associated with weak or compromised passwords and strengthen overall security posture across IT infrastructures.

    System Activity Reporter

    System Activity Reporter (sar) is a command-line utility on Linux used to collect, report, and analyze system activity metrics over time. It monitors system performance by collecting data on CPU utilization, memory usage, disk activity, network traffic, and other system resources.

    sar is a crucial tool for performance monitoring, capacity planning, and troubleshooting. By analyzing sar reports, administrators can identify performance bottlenecks, diagnose system issues, and optimize resource utilization to ensure optimal system performance and reliability. Sar provides valuable insights into system behavior and helps administrators proactively manage and maintain Linux servers and infrastructure.

  • Group Policy Management

    Group Policy Management is a feature in Microsoft Windows that enables system administrators to centrally manage and apply settings and configurations to users and computers within an Active Directory environment.

    It is important because it allows administrators to enforce security policies, manage user preferences, control system behavior, and ensure consistent configurations across the network efficiently and centrally.

    Using GPO to Harden Windows Authentication

    Using Group Policy Objects (GPO) to harden Windows authentication is important for system administrators to enhance security and mitigate the risks associated with unauthorized access and credential theft.

    By leveraging GPO settings, administrators can enforce stronger authentication methods such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), password complexity requirements, account lockout policies, and credential management practices.

    Using GPO to Prevent Unauthorized Connections

    Using Group Policy Objects (GPO) to prevent unauthorized connections is important for system administrators to enhance network security and protect against unauthorized access to resources.

    By leveraging GPO settings, administrators can configure firewall rules, network access controls, and port restrictions to limit access to specific services and resources based on organizational policies.

    Using GPO to Harden Windows Against Exploits

    Using Group Policy Objects (GPO) to harden Windows against exploits is important for system administrators to mitigate the risk of security vulnerabilities and protect systems from exploitation.

    By leveraging GPO settings, administrators can enforce security configurations such as disabling unnecessary services, restricting execution of certain scripts or applications, applying security patches and updates, and configuring Windows Defender settings.

  • Network Security and Situational Awareness

    Network security and situational awareness are critical for system administrators to proactively detect, prevent, and respond to security threats and incidents within organizational networks.

    Situational awareness refers to the ability to understand and assess the current state of the network environment, including identifying potential risks, anomalies, or suspicious activities. It allows administrators to make informed decisions and take timely actions to protect network assets and ensure the integrity and availability of network resources.


    GrassMarlin is important for system administrators working in critical infrastructure sectors because it provides visibility into ICS/SCADA networks, allowing administrators to detect anomalies, identify potential cyber threats, and assess network security posture.

    Scanning the Network for Vulnerabilities

    Scanning the network for vulnerabilities is essential for system administrators to identify and address security weaknesses that could be exploited by attackers.


    System administrators use Nmap to perform tasks such as port scanning, service version detection, OS fingerprinting, and vulnerability scanning. This helps administrators identify potential security risks, monitor network health, and proactively manage network security by understanding the network's composition and potential vulnerabilities.

    Monitoring Network Traffic

    By using ELK, administrators can analyze network packets, monitor bandwidth usage, and detect suspicious activities such as unauthorized access or data exfiltration.

  • Backup, Recovery, and Troubleshooting

    Backup, recovery, and troubleshooting are essential practices for system administrators to ensure data availability, system resilience, and efficient problem resolution.

    Regular backups help protect against data loss due to hardware failures, human errors, or cyber attacks, while recovery processes enable rapid restoration of systems and services in the event of disruptions.

    Troubleshooting skills are crucial for diagnosing and resolving technical issues, minimizing downtime, and maintaining the operational continuity of IT environments. Implementing robust backup, recovery, and troubleshooting strategies is fundamental for system administrators to safeguard data integrity, optimize system performance, and ensure business continuity.

    Disaster Recovery Plan

    A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a structured approach that outlines procedures and protocols for recovering IT systems and infrastructure following a disruptive event or disaster. It is important for system administrators as it provides a roadmap to minimize downtime, restore critical services, and mitigate the impact of disruptions on business operations.

    Having a well-defined Disaster Recovery Plan enables organizations to respond effectively to unexpected events, protect data assets, and ensure continuity of operations, ultimately enhancing resilience and minimizing financial and operational losses.

    Recovering Deleted Files

    Recovering deleted files is a critical task for system administrators to restore lost data due to accidental deletion, file corruption, or other data loss scenarios.

    System administrators use specialized recovery tools and techniques to retrieve deleted files from storage devices, such as hard drives or storage servers.

    Backing up Active Directory

    System administrators use backup tools and methods, such as Windows Server Backup or third-party solutions, to create regular backups of AD. These backups are essential for disaster recovery, enabling administrators to restore AD in case of hardware failures, data corruption, or accidental deletions, ensuring continuity of directory services and minimizing downtime.

    Managing Disks

    System administrators use disk management tools to partition disks, format file systems, allocate storage space, and monitor disk health. Proper disk management helps prevent storage issues, such as disk failures or capacity shortages, and ensures efficient data storage and retrieval.

  • Inventory Management and Monitoring

    Inventory management and monitoring are important for system administrators to maintain visibility and control over IT assets, devices, and resources within the organization.

    By accurately tracking hardware and software inventory, administrators can ensure compliance, optimize resource utilization, and plan for upgrades or replacements.

    Develop Audit Checklists for Hardware & Software

    Audit checklists enable administrators to verify compliance with organizational policies, identify unauthorized or non-compliant hardware and software, and assess security risks associated with outdated or unapproved applications.

    Develop System Testing Review Checklists

    System testing review checklists help administrators systematically evaluate testing procedures, verify compliance with requirements, and identify potential issues or gaps in testing coverage.

    Develop a BCP/ DRP Review Checklist

    A BCP/DRP review checklist helps administrators ensure that all necessary components of the plans are in place, including emergency procedures, communication protocols, data backup strategies, and recovery processes.

DoD Cyber Workforce Framework KSATs

This course teaches the specific Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Tasks (KSATs) aligned with the DoD Cyber Workforce Framework (DCWF) as outlined in DoD 8140. By focusing on these critical competencies, the course ensures that you develop the essential capabilities required for various cybersecurity roles within the Department of Defense. This alignment not only guarantees that the training is relevant and comprehensive but also that it prepares you to meet the specific operational needs and standards of the DoD cyber workforce.

  • knowledge
    ID Description
    22 Knowledge of computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies.
    76 Knowledge of measures or indicators of system performance and availability.
    96 Knowledge of performance tuning tools and techniques.
    99A Knowledge of principles and methods for integrating system components.
    108 Knowledge of risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk).
    344 Knowledge of virtualization technologies and virtual machine development and maintenance.
    986 Knowledge of organizational information technology (IT) user security policies (e.g., account creation, password rules, access control).
    1033 Knowledge of basic system administration, network, and operating system hardening techniques.
    1158 Knowledge of cybersecurity principles.
    1159 Knowledge of cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
    6900 Knowledge of specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses.
    6935 Knowledge of cloud computing service models Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
    6938 Knowledge of cloud computing deployment models in private, public, and hybrid environment and the difference between on-premises and off-premises environments.
    70 Knowledge of information technology (IT) security principles and methods (e.g., firewalls, demilitarized zones, encryption).
    72 Knowledge of local area and wide area networking principles and concepts including bandwidth management.
    79 Knowledge of network access, identity, and access management (e.g., public key infrastructure [PKI]).
    81A Knowledge of network protocols such as TCP/IP, Dynamic Host Configuration, Domain Name System (DNS), and directory services.
    112A Knowledge of systems engineering theories, concepts, and methods.
    113 Knowledge of server and client operating systems.
    114A Knowledge of system/server diagnostic tools and fault identification techniques.
    141 Knowledge of the enterprise information technology (IT) architecture.
    145 Knowledge of the type and frequency of routine maintenance needed to keep equipment functioning properly.
    148 Knowledge of Virtual Private Network (VPN) security.
    287 Knowledge of file system implementations (e.g., New Technology File System [NTFS], File Allocation Table [FAT], File Extension [EXT]).
    342A Knowledge of operating system command line/prompt.
    1034C Knowledge of Personal Health Information (PHI) data security standards.
    1034B Knowledge of Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards.
    1034A Knowledge of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data security standards.
    1072 Knowledge of network security architecture concepts including topology, protocols, components, and principles (e.g., application of defense-in-depth).
    1074A Knowledge of transmission records (e.g., Bluetooth, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Infrared Networking (IR), Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi). paging, cellular, satellite dishes, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)), and jamming techniques that enable transmission of undesirable information, or prevent installed systems from operating correctly.
  • skills
    ID Description
    171A Skill in correcting physical and technical problems that impact system/server performance.
    211A Skill in monitoring and optimizing system/server performance.
    216A Skill in recovering failed systems/servers.
    219A Skill in operating system administration.
    167A Skill in conducting system/server planning, management, and maintenance.
    170 Skill in configuring and optimizing software.
    194 Skill in diagnosing connectivity problems.
    195A Skill in troubleshooting failed system components (i.e., servers)
    202A Skill in identifying and anticipating system/server performance, availability, capacity, or configuration problems.
    206A Skill in installing system and component upgrades.
    209 Skill in maintaining directory services.
    386 Skill in using virtual machines.
    892 Skill in configuring and utilizing software-based computer protection tools (e.g., software firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-spyware).
    6590 Skill in interfacing with customers.
    6942 Skill in designing or implementing cloud computing deployment models.
    6945 Skill in migrating workloads to, from, and among the different cloud computing service models.
  • abilities
    ID Description
    6918 Ability to apply cybersecurity strategy to cloud computing service and deployment models, identifying proper architecture for different operating environments.
    6919 Ability to determine the best cloud deployment model for the appropriate operating environment.
  • tasks
    ID Description
    452 Conduct functional and connectivity testing to ensure continuing operability.
    518 Develop and document systems administration standard operating procedures.
    518A Comply with organization systems administration standard operating procedures.
    521A Implement and enforce local network usage policies and procedures.
    683 Maintain baseline system security according to organizational policies.
    695 Manage accounts, network rights, and access to systems and equipment.
    701A Manage system/server resources including performance, capacity, availability, serviceability, and recoverability.
    713A Monitor and maintain system/server configuration.
    781 Plan, execute, and verify data redundancy and system recovery procedures.
    835A Troubleshoot hardware/software interface and interoperability problems.
    1153A Install, update, and troubleshoot systems/servers.
    456A Conduct periodic system maintenance including cleaning (both physically and electronically), disk checks, routine reboots, data dumps, and testing.
    499 Design group policies and access control lists to ensure compatibility with organizational standards, business rules, and needs.
    572 Ensure application of security patches for commercial products integrated into system design meet the timelines dictated by the management authority for the intended operational environment.
    728A Oversee installation, implementation, configuration, and support of system components.
    811 Provide ongoing optimization and problem solving support.

Career Outcomes

Our System Administrator course prepares you to manage and maintain critical IT infrastructure. Gain hands-on experience in installing and configuring systems, optimizing performance, and troubleshooting issues. Learn to implement security measures, manage system resources, and ensure data redundancy and recovery. By the end of the course, you will be equipped to effectively support and secure an organization's IT environment.

Certification Detail

MCSI certifications are highly respected and sought-after credentials in the industry. Earning an MCSI certification is a testament to your knowledge and skillset, and demonstrates your commitment to excellence. The content is cutting-edge, uniquely-designed, and hands-on. Our exercises teach in-demand skills that are immediately applicable in the field.

The certifications are valid indefinitely and do not require any renewal fees. The training is accessible without any time limits.


Training Modules

This course provides you with multiple training modules, each of which is designed to teach you practical skills that can help you solve important cyber problems. Each module offers exercises that will help you build your skills and capabilities.

  • MSA-001: Lab Setup - 6 exercises
  • MSA-002: Virtualization Fundamentals - 8 exercises
  • MSA-003: Networking Fundamentals - 4 exercises
  • MSA-100: Windows System Security - 7 exercises
  • MSA-101: Deploying GPOs on Windows machines - Simple - 9 exercises
  • MSA-102: Deploying GPOs on Windows machines - Advanced - 8 exercises
  • MSA-103: Automating Windows System Security with PowerShell - 17 exercises
  • MSA-104: Windows 10 Hardening - 4 exercises
  • MSA-105: Microsoft Office Hardening - 2 exercises
  • MSA-106: Deploying GPOs on a Domain at Scale - 7 exercises
  • MSA-107: Automating Windows Security in a Domain - 2 exercises
  • MSA-108: Linux System Security - 5 exercises
  • MSA-109: Linux Server Security - 9 exercises
  • MSA-110: Linux Server Hardening - 8 exercises
  • MSA-200: Network Situational Awareness - 5 exercises
  • MSA-201: Monitoring Windows Machines - 5 exercises
  • MSA-202: Detecting Vulnerabilities on Windows Machines - 5 exercises
  • MSA-203: Network Security on a Linux Server - 5 exercises
  • MSA-204: Detecting Vulnerabilities on the Network - 10 exercises
  • MSA-205: Configuring Network Firewalls - 6 exercises
  • MSA-206: Automating Network Configuration - 7 exercises
  • MSA-301: Backup, Recovery and Restoration - 9 exercises
  • MSA-302: Troubleshooting - 4 exercises
  • MSA-303: Managing and Tracking Inventory - 11 exercises
  • MSA-304: Basic ELK Security Searches - 5 exercises


Cyber professionals must be ready for everything. The typical security training strategy, which focuses on individual skills and tools, is insufficient. You must be able to operate as part of a team, see the big picture, and respond swiftly and effectively to unforeseen circumstances. That's why, as part of our training, we use replays of whole cyber missions. Our scenarios help you prepare for the demands of the job and give you confidence in your ability to work professionally.

  • MSA-SC-01: Windows Server 101 - 12 exercises
  • MSA-SC-02: Introduction to Exchange Server Administration - 10 exercises

Enroll now with lifetime access for $1295


MCSI Industry Certifications are important for you to earn because they signify that you have the skills required to work in a cybersecurity. Certificates of Completion are also important to earn because they signify that you have completed an exercise. Earning Certificates of Completion and Industry Certifications demonstrates that you are willing to put in the extra work to be successful.




Obtain CPE points by solving exercises


Achieve multiple certifications


Receive help from instructors online

This certification is aligned with the DoD Cyber Workforce Framework (DoD 8140), ensuring you receive training that meets the standards and competencies required for cybersecurity roles within the Department of Defense. This alignment guarantees that you gain relevant, up-to-date skills and knowledge tailored to the specific needs of the DoD cyber workforce, effectively preparing you to support and secure defense operations.

Certificate Level Curriculum Completion Requirement Scenarios Completion Requirement
MCSI System Administrator (Basic) Level 1 50% 0%
MCSI System Administrator (Intermediate) Level 2 75% 50%
MCSI System Administrator (Advanced) Level 3 95% 100%

Sample Exercises

Below are three (3) exercises from the 100+ exercises available in MSA - Certified System Administrator:

Deploy A GPO To Harden UAC On A Fleet Of Computers


Deploy A GPO On A Single Machine That Defends The System Against Unauthorised Anonymous Connections


Write A Checklist Of Items For A Network Security Audit


Our Instructors

Student exercises are reviewed and graded by multiple instructors. This one-of-a-kind approach allows you to get highly personalized input from a number of successful professionals.

MCSI's teachers bring real-world experience and knowledge to the classroom, ensuring that students have the skills they need to excel in the field of information security. Due to their extensive experience in penetration testing, vulnerability assessment, reverse engineering, incident response, digital forensics, and exploit development, students will understand the most up-to-date defensive and offensive cybersecurity strategies and procedures.

Our instructors are passionate about information security and are always looking to further their own knowledge. Students who attend an MCSI course can be confident that they are learning from some of the best in the business. They can adapt their teaching approaches to match the demands of any student, regardless of their degree of expertise.

The MCSI team strives to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date cybersecurity training available. Whether you are a seasoned security professional or new to the field, MCSI has a course that will meet your needs.

Receive personalized feedback from cybersecurity experts:

  • Overcome challenges and hurdles preventing you from advancing your skills
  • Receive guidance on how to focus your training efforts and avoid wasting time
  • Learn how to meet the industry's quality standards and produce high-quality work
  • When you're stuck, go to a support forum or ask inquiries to the instructors right on the platform

Help and Support

24/7 Discord Community

If you're looking for additional support during your studies, consider joining our Discord server. Our community of fellow students and instructors is always available to provide help and answer any questions you may have.

Personalized Support

Your submissions will be reviewed by MCSI instructors, who will provide you with personalized feedback. This input is critical since it can assist you in identifying the areas where you need to enhance your skills. The instructor's feedback will also tell you how well you did an exercise and what you can do to improve your performance even further.

Click here to see an example of personalized feedback.

Our personalized support will take your skills to the next level. Read what a student says about it:

Quick Questions

If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the exercises, MCSI offers a Quick Questions section on each exercise where you can ask for help. This is a great resource to use if you need assistance. This feature is only available for paid courses.

Actively Maintained Course

This course is actively maintained to ensure that it is current and error-free. We want to ensure that you have the best possible experience while taking this course, which includes having access to accurate and current information. This course is also tested for flaws on a regular basis, so you can be sure you're getting a high-quality product.

This course is constantly updated with the support of trustworthy industry peers to ensure that students are acquiring the most up-to-date information and skills. This dedication to staying ahead of the curve is what distinguishes this course as one of the greatest in the market.


Training Laptop Requirement

This course can be completed on a standard training laptop. To ensure you have the necessary hardware to complete the course, your machine should meet the following specifications:

  • 64-bit Intel i5/i7 2.0+ GHz processor or equivalent
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Ability to run at least (1) virtual machine using Virtual Box, or an equivalent virtualization software
  • Windows 10 or later, macOS 10 or later, or Linux
  • Local administrator privileges
Do you support older operating systems?

Yes. Many of the exercises can be completed on older OS versions. A few of our students are successfully using older equipment to learn cyber security.

Proficiency in the English language

You must have the ability to comfortably read and understand IT documentation written in English. Ideally, they have an IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6 (or equivalent).

Note: You can register for this course without having undertaken an English test.

Lab Environment

This course teaches you how to setup and configure your own cybersecurity lab.

There are numerous advantages to creating your own cybersecurity lab rather than paying for one. The cost savings are perhaps the most evident benefit. When compared to the expense of licensing a pre-built lab, creating your own lab can save you thousands of dollars. You also have the option of customizing the lab environment to meet your specific requirements. You can, for example, select the hardware and software that will be used in your lab.

Another advantage of setting up your own cybersecurity lab is that it allows you to learn new skills. Building a lab from the ground up necessitates knowledge of networking, system administration, and other technical subjects. This experience is invaluable in your career as a cybersecurity professional.

We frequently see students who can complete a task in a pre-built lab but cannot complete the same task at work. This is because these labs are meant to lessen work complexity, thereby creating an illusion of personal capabilities. It's also worth noting that you'll be expected to set up your own lab to test tools and techniques in the workplace. Employers may give you the resources to set up virtual computers and networks, but it will be up to you to manage the lab environment and maintain your tools.

Finally, you should know that pre-built labs are not commonly licensed by top cybersecurity professionals. They've realized that setting up a lab is simple, efficient, adaptable, cost-effective, and that it sparks creativity. It also nullifies risk of performing unauthorized actions against systems provisioned by a third-party.

Why MCSI's System Administrator Certification is World Class

why MCSI

Comprehensive, Effective, Exceeds Standards

Holders of the MAS Certification have completed a rigorous training program, demonstrating their skills and knowledge in key areas such as network administration, system configuration, security management, virtualization, and cloud computing.

why MCSI

Internals Focused

System Administrators certified by MCSI possess deep knowledge of operating system internals, including Windows and Linux systems, enabling them to effectively manage and troubleshoot complex IT environments.

why MCSI

Skills in Programming and Automation

MCSI's System Administrator certification emphasizes programming skills in languages like PowerShell, Python, and Bash scripting, enabling administrators to automate routine tasks, enhance security, and streamline operations.

Enrollment and Fees


Terms and Conditions

  • No discounts
  • No refunds
  • No transfers
  • No renewal fees
  • No hidden fees
  • No time limits
  • Exercises must be completed on MCSI's Online Learning Platform
  • You'll also be charged GST if you live in Australia

Cooling-Off Policy

Received a full refund if you changed your mind about a purchase within 24 hours. No questions asked. Read the full details here.

Don't Buy This Course

Don't buy this course if you think learning cyber security is simple, that it will only take a few hours, that remembering a few concepts from videos and books would be enough, or, that you should be provided with walkthroughs and solutions to practical problems instead of thinking critically for yourself.

Our competitors are misleading you by claiming that their video courses and open-book theoretical certificates will teach you everything you need to know about cyber security. We recommend that you stay away from our courses until you've realized that cybersecurity requires hundreds of hours of training against difficult challenges under the watchful eye of experts encouraging you to improve your weaknesses. Only then will you understand the value of this course and the benefits that the MCSI Method™ can bring to your career. We only want satisfied customers.

When purchasing a course, you acknowledge that you understand and agree with our 100% practical MCSI Method™: no solutions, no walkthroughs, and you're expected to use critical thinking and research to solve the exercises. If you're not sure how this work, try our free version before buying.

How does MCSI Compare?

If you are looking for a certification that will give you an edge in the job market, look no further than MCSI certifications. Thanks to our innovative approach, cybersecurity training is more affordable and effective than traditional methods.

Our pricing is more affordable than our competitors because we have reinvented how cyber training is done online. Our innovative Online Learning Platform is highly effective at teaching cyber security. The platform provides a more engaging and interactive learning experience than traditional methods, which helps students learn and retain skills better. Try the free version and see for yourself.

Enroll now with lifetime access for $1295

Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy is a system for categorizing distinct stages of intellectual growth. It is used in education to assist students comprehend and learn material more effectively. MCSI teaches students how to apply, analyze, evaluate, and create at the highest levels of the taxonomy. The majority of our competitors are simply concerned with getting you to remember concepts.

The intellectual developments outlined in Bloom's Taxonomy are directly tied to your capacity to advance in your cyber security career. Employers look for people who can solve challenges that are worth paying for. With us, you'll learn practical skills that are in demand and applicable to a wide range of cyber occupations.

Industry Recognized Skills

MCSI credentials are well-respected around the world, and organisations searching for people with real cyber security abilities seek them out. Obtaining an MCSI certification verifies your understanding of critical cyber security topics as well as your ability to provide real-world results.

The ability of MCSI's training programme to give students with real-world, hands-on experience is unrivalled. Students must conduct their own research and develop their own answers in order to complete our practical exercises, which are meant to give them the skills they need to be successful in the field.

With MCSI, you will build a comprehensive cybersecurity portfolio of your skills as you complete exercises. This portfolio is a powerful tool for displaying your cybersecurity knowledge and abilities. A portfolio, as opposed to typical resumes and paper-based credentials, presents a more thorough summary of your skills and accomplishments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the MCSI Method™?

Common Questions

  • Are solutions included in certifications and bundles?
    • No. Our method of teaching cyber security consists of challenging you with real-world problem statements that you're expected to research and solve by doing your own research. This is how you'll be expected to work in the field. When you fail an exercise, we provide you with constructive feedback to improve and try again.
  • Do bundles, training content, or certificates ever expire? Am I expected to buy again in the future?
    • Upon purchase, bundles and certificates are permanently unlocked with no recurring or ongoing fees.
  • Do I need to buy the training and the certification separately?
    • No. The price provided covers both. You only pay once.
  • Do you offer any special offers and discounts?
    • We understand that many of our customers may be looking for discounts, and we would love to be able to offer them. However, we do not provide discounts because we believe that our prices are fair and reasonable. We work hard to keep our prices low, and we feel that discounts would be unfair to our other customers. We hope you understand.
  • If I can't solve the exercise where do I go for help?
  • Who reviews and marks exercises?
    • Trained cyber security instructors that work for Mossé Cyber Security Institute.
    • MCSI instructors are highly qualified and experienced professionals who are able to teach a variety of topics related to information security. They have the ability to tailor their teaching methods to meet the needs of each student, regardless of their experience level. In addition, they are always up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in information security, which enables them to provide students with the most relevant and current information.
  • We can't pay via credit card. Can you raise an invoice for wire payment instead?
    • Yes. Send us the list of bundles and certifications you want to purchase at [email protected]
  • Can I access a trial/demo the certification programmes prior to enrolling?
    • We provide a free curriculum with 100+ hours practical exercises you can try.
    • The Free Curriculum teaches Security Tools, Penetration Testing, Red Teaming, Threat Hunting, Cyber Defence, GRC and Windows Internals.
    • Try the Free Curriculum
  • Do you provide Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits?
    • Yes. Every single exercise offers CPE credits. The number of credits earned depends on the difficulty of the exercise completed. Below are the CPE Credits achieve for an exercise in each difficulty:
    • Novice exercises = 1 CPE credits
    • Advanced Beginner exercises = 2 CPE credits
    • Competent exercises = 5 CPE credits
  • Do I need to complete an exam to receive MCSI Certification?
    • No. MCSI Certifications are completed by solving practical cybersecurity exercises.
  • Do I need to purchase cybersecurity tools or subscriptions?
    • No. Only free or trial versions are used in our exercises. You do not require making any purchases.

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