Overview of the Certification
Security+ is earned through CompTIA and is arguably the most important cybersecurity certification, as it provides a foundational understanding of cryptography, risk management, and vulnerabilities. This certification will prove you understand the proper way to install and configure systems as well as secure devices, applications, and networks. In addition, you will be able to conduct threat analysis on these systems and employ mitigation techniques.
To pass the Security+ exam, you will need to have a thorough understanding of the following:
- Threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities
- Identity and access management
- Risk management
- Network architecture and design
- Cryptography and KPI
CompTIA Security+ is a global certification that validates the baseline skills you need to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career
For anyone looking for a job in cybersecurity, the Security+ certification should be viewed as the bare minimum qualification; having it will open the door to some awesome jobs:
The cybersecurity analyst is responsible for protecting both company networks and data. In addition to managing all ongoing security measures, the analyst is also responsible for responding to security breaches and protecting company hardware, such as employee computers.
Security engineers are tasked with planning and executing a company’s information security strategy and maintaining all security solutions. They can also be responsible for documenting the security posture of their company and any issues or measures taken under their watch.
The security consultant is responsible for evaluating a company’s security posture on a contract basis, while also serving as an advisor to other IT employees. The goal of the consultant is threat management and they will often plan, test, and manage the initial iterations of a company’s security protocols.
Some other jobs include
- Systems Administrator
- Network Administrator
- Security Administrator
- Junior IT Auditor/ Penetration Tester
- Security Specialist
- Security Consultant
- Security Engineer
Why is It Different?
According to CompTIA(1),
- “No other certification that assesses baseline cybersecurity skills has performance-based questions on the exam. Security+ emphasizes hands-on practical skills, ensuring the security professional is better prepared to problem solve a wider variety of issues.
- More choose Security+ for DoD 8570 compliance than any other certification.
- Security+ focuses on the latest trends and techniques in risk management, risk mitigation, threat management and intrusion detection.
- The new Security+ certification covers the Junior IT Auditor/Penetration Tester job role, in addition to the previous job roles for Systems Administrator, Network Administrator, and Security Administrator.”
About the Certification
Security+ is compliant with ISO 17024 standards and approved by the US DoD to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements. Regulators and governments rely on ANSI accreditation, because it provides confidence and trust in the outputs of an accredited program. Over 2.3 million CompTIA ISO/ANSI-accredited exams have been delivered since January 1, 2011.
Successful candidates will have the following skills:
- Detect various types of compromise and understand penetration testing and vulnerability scanning concepts
- Install, configure, and deploy network components while assessing and troubleshooting issues to support organizational security
- Implement secure network architecture concepts and systems design
- Install and configure identity and access services, as well as management controls
- Implement and summarize risk management best practices and the business impact
- Install and configure wireless security settings and implement public key infrastructure
THREATS, ATTACKS & VULNERABILITIES
Detect various types of compromise and have an understanding of penetration testing and vulnerability scanning concepts
TECHNOLOGIES & TOOLS
Install, configure, and deploy network components while assessing and troubleshooting issues to support organizational security
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
Implement secure network architecture concepts and systems design
IDENTITY & ACCESS MANAGEMENT
Install and configure identity and access services, as well as management controls
Implement and summarize risk management best practices and the business impact
CRYPTOGRAPHY & PKI
Install and configure wireless security settings and implement public key infrastructure.
About the Exam
The CompTIA Security+ exam will certify the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to install and configure systems to secure applications, networks, and devices; perform threat analysis and respond with appropriate mitigation techniques; participate in risk mitigation activities; and operate with an awareness of applicable policies, laws, and regulations. The successful candidate will perform these tasks to support the principles of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. There will be a maximum of 90 questions. The questions would be performance-based as well as multiple choice questions. The exam is for 90 minutes and the passing score is 750 on a scale of 100 to 900.
The CompTIA Security+ exam includes a combination of multiple-choice questions, drag and drop activities, and performance-based items. The multiple-choice questions are single- and multiple- response. Performance-based items test your ability to solve problems in a simulated environment.
While there are eligibility requirements in terms of experience, CompTIA does recommend CompTIA Network+ and two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus. The exam costs 350 USD. CompTIA offers the following alternatives for recertification after the expiry of the certification 3 years later
Renewal Option 1: Training
CompTIA offers a CertMaster CE Security+ training course, which you take online and use to renew your CompTIA Security+ certification without taking an exam. Some users renew their CompTIA Security+ certification in six hours or less with CertMaster CE.
Renewal Option 2: Certification and Recertification Exams
You can renew your CompTIA Security+ certification by taking a recertification exam, qualifying higher IT-Industry certifications, a higher CompTIA certification or by passing the latest release of the CompTIA Security+ exam.
Renewal Option 3: Activities
Completing qualifying, multiple activities will earn you continuing education units (CEUs) that you need to accumulate to renew your certification. CompTIA Security+ requires 50 CEUs to be renewed.
Where to Get Online Resources for Security+ Certification
CompTIA provides resources for various parts of its certification programs. It offers study material, training resources, visual guides, e-learning material, interactive labs, exam preparation material for CompTIA security+, instructor-led training, video training, and several other purchase options to better attempt the exam.