About CompTIA Security+ Certification
CompTIA Security+ is a globally recognized certification designed to validate the professionals’ expertise in solving security problems, including their ability to assess the security position of an organization and recommend and implement appropriate security solutions, monitor and secure hybrid environments, as well as determine, decompose, and respond to security events and incidents.
What Are the Requirements for Obtaining the CompTIA Security+ Certification?
The CompTIA Security+ certification has no official prerequisites, except passing one qualifying exam. That is why this is an ideal option for anyone who wants to prove their ability to carry out fundamental security duties and launch a career in cybersecurity. However, the candidates are recommended to first have the CompTIA Network+ certificate and at least two years of experience in an administration role with a security focus.
What CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 Exam Details Should You Know?
To become CompTIA Security+ certified, the students are required to pass a single exam referred to as SY0-601. This is a new version of the test that replaces the old one known under the codename SY0-501. CompTIA SY0-501 will retire by July 31, 2021 and will be fully replaced by the new exam.
The SY0-601 exam is a 90-minute test consisting of 90 questions. The formats that are presented in this certification exam involve multiple-choice and performance-based questions. The test is delivered in the English and Japanese languages and can be taken as an online proctored exam or at one of the Pearson VUE centers that are located worldwide. You can schedule the session after paying the registration fee that amounts to $349. To prepare for CompTIA SY0-601, you can opt for one of the various training tools offered by the vendor, including study guides, virtual labs, and instructor-led courses, among others.
To complete the CompTIA SY0-601 exam successfully, you need to score a minimum of 750 points on a scale of 100-900. After passing the test, you will be awarded the Security+ certificate, which is valid for three years. Once this period expires, you have to recertify to maintain your certification status. You can do that in several ways: by earning a higher-level certificate, by passing the latest version of the exam, or by completing certain educational activities approved by CompTIA.
What Topics Are Covered in the CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 Exam?
The CompTIA SY0-601 exam checks the candidates’ knowledge of a wide range of cybersecurity domains. All the topic areas covered in this certification test can be united into several groups. These are the following:
- Threats, Attacks, & Vulnerabilities (24%)
- Architecture and Design (21%)
- Implementation (25%)
- Operations and Incident Response (16%)
- Governance, Risk, and Compliance (14%)
The percentage related to each objective shows the share of questions from each area that will appear in the certification test. First of all, you need to master the domains with higher weight, as there will be more questions from these sectors. But remember to cover other topics, as only a solid understanding of all the exam subjects ensures achieving the required passing score. Each of the above-mentioned objectives contains the specific skills that you need to prove proficiency in. We will have a closer look at them below.
The first domain, Threats, Attacks, & Vulnerabilities, covers comparing different types of social engineering techniques; analyzing potential indicators related to app and network attacks; explaining different intelligence sources, vectors, and threat actors; explaining the security concerns associated with various types of vulnerabilities; summarizing the techniques used in security assessments; explaining the techniques used in penetration testing.
The next topic, Architecture and Design, comes with the following skills: explaining the importance of security concepts in an enterprise environment; summarizing virtualization and Cloud computing concepts; summarizing authentication and authorization design concepts; implementing cybersecurity resilience; explaining security implications of specialized and embedded systems; explaining the importance of physical security controls; summarizing the basics of cryptographic concepts.
The Implementation sector checks the applicants’ competency in implementing secure protocols and secure network designs; implementing host or application security solutions; installing and configuring wireless security settings; implementing secure mobile solutions; applying cybersecurity solutions to Cloud; implementing identity and account management controls; implementing authentication and authorization solutions; implementing public key infrastructure.
Within the Operations and Incident Response domain, the learners need to demonstrate that they are capable of using the appropriate tool to assess organizational security; utilizing the appropriate data sources to support an investigation; applying mitigation techniques or controls to secure an environment; explaining the key aspects of digital forensics.
The last objective, Governance, Risk, and Compliance, encompasses the following skills: comparing various types of controls; explaining the importance of applicable regulations, standards, or frameworks that impact organizational security posture; explaining the importance of policies to organizational security; summarizing risk management processes and concepts; explaining privacy and sensitive data concepts in relation to security.
What Career Opportunities Does the CompTIA Security+ Certification Offer?
The CompTIA Security+ certification is a springboard to intermediate-level security job roles. The positions that the certified professionals can count on include:
- Security Administrator
- Helpdesk Manager/Analyst
- System Administrator
- IT Project Manager
- IT Auditor
- Security Engineer/Analyst
Besides providing vast opportunities for one’s professional growth, the CompTIA Security+ certification allows the candidates to significantly increase their earning potential. Let’s refer to the real figures. According to PayScale.com, holding the position of System Administrator, you can earn on average $62,692 per year, whereas the title of IT Auditor can bring you $67,816 annually. The average annual income of the Security Administrators ranges from $49,000 to $95,000, while the average pay of Security Engineers varies from $62,000 to $134,000. Certainly, the exact sum of your income will largely depend on the organization you will work for and your experience. However, even with your modest background, the salary you can earn with the CompTIA Security+ certificate is very tempting.