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The Microsoft 98-367: Security Fundamentals exam validates the candidates’ basic cybersecurity expertise, including knowledge of physical security, operating system security, Internet security, software security, and network security. Passing this test makes you eligible for obtaining the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA): Security Fundamentals certification.
Requirements to Meet
The target audience for the Microsoft 98-367 exam is the entry-level professionals who lack the practical experience to get into the information security career. There are no formal prerequisites for taking this test. However, Microsoft recommends that the applicants develop competency in the required concepts and technologies by undergoing the relevant training courses. The candidates are expected to possess hands-on experience with Windows-based networking, anti-malware products, firewalls, Windows Server, network topologies & devices, Active Directory, as well as network ports.
Details to Know
Microsoft does not usually publish the details of its exams. However, the 98-367 certification test is known to be 50 minutes long and contain 40-60 questions in total. The questions can be of different types, including multiple choice, drag and drop, short answer, mark review, case study, etc. To pass this exam, the learners must score 700 points and above out of possible 1000. Registration for this test is done through Certiport for students and instructors. The non-students are required to schedule their appointment through the Pearson VUE platform.
The Microsoft 98-367 exam is available in the following languages: French, Italian, English, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Spanish (Mexico), Portuguese (Brazil), and Russian. The test will cost each candidate $127. However, it is worth mentioning that this sum may vary for the individuals who take the exam outside the United States. The applicants in other countries will pay more in case the applicable taxes are included.
Topics to Master
The content of the Microsoft 98-367 exam is based on a wide range of topics. They are subdivided into specific knowledge domains so as to measure the candidates’ specific abilities. The topics covered in the certification test are described in detail below:
- Understanding Security Layers (25-30%)
Within this subject area, the applicants should have expertise in core security principles, including integrity; availability; confidentiality; threat modelling; impact of threat and risk on principles; social engineering; principle of least privilege; attack surface analysis. They also need to be proficient in physical security. This includes the knowledge of such aspects as site security; removable devices & drives; access control; computer security; mobile device security; keyloggers. Their competency in Internet security, including Browser security settings and secure websites, is also required. Additionally, the test takers should be conversant with wireless security. This requires their understanding of the advantages & disadvantages of particular security types; service set identifiers (SSIDs); keys; MAC filters.
- Understanding Operating System Security (35-40%)
This topic requires that the examinees possess a solid understanding of user authentication (including physical & virtual smart cards; biometrics; multifactor authentication; Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS); using Run As to execute administrative tasks) as well as permissions (including file system permissions; registry; sharing permissions; Active Directory; enabling/disabling inheritance; multiple groups with various permissions; procedure when copying or moving files within the same disk or on another disk; fundamental & advanced permissions; taking ownership; inheritance; delegation). The individuals should also have a good grasp of password policies (including password complexity; password history; password length; account lockout; password reset procedures; time between password changes; common attack techniques; enforcing by using Group Policies; protecting domain user account passwords) and audit policies (including enabling auditing; types of auditing; what can be audited; where to save audit information; what to audit for particular purposes; how to secure audit data). Additionally, this domain covers your understanding of encryption. This comes with your familiarity with Encrypting file system (EFS); token devices; virtual private network (VPN); BitLocker (To Go); public key/private key; software-based encryption; TPM; encryption algorithms; MAIL encryption & signing as well as other uses; certificate services; certificate properties; PKI/certificate services infrastructure, among other concepts. Lastly, the section comprises knowledge of malware, including Buffer overflow; spyware; viruses, worms, and polymorphic viruses; ransomware; Trojan horses; backdoors; adware; rootkits; zero day attacks.
- Understanding Network Security (20-25%)
This section includes three subsections, such as understanding dedicated firewalls; understanding network isolation; understanding protocol security. Within the first subsection, the learners should demonstrate their understanding of hardware firewall types and their characteristics; Security Compliance Manager; stateful vs. stateless firewall inspection; security baselines; when to utilize a hardware firewall instead of a software one. The second subtopic covers such competencies as knowledge of routing; perimeter networks; honeypot; VPN; network address translation (NAT); IPsec; server & domain isolation. The last subtheme focuses on IPsec; protocol spoofing; network sniffing; tunnelling; denial-of-service (DoS) attacks; DNSsec; common attack techniques.
- Understanding Security Software (15-20%)
Here the candidates should demonstrate that they have expertise in client protection. This includes their understanding of protecting against unwanted software installations; Antivirus; User Account Control (UAC); software restriction policies; keeping client software & operating system updated; the principle of least privilege; encrypting offline folders. The objective also measures the competency of the test takers in server protection, including their knowledge of hardening; keeping servers updated; separating services; disabling insecure authentication protocols; securing dynamic Domain Name System (DNS) updates; Read-Only Domain Controllers (RODC). The last area within this topic comes with one’s understanding of such concepts as antivirus, antispam, phishing, spoofing, and pharming; Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records; server vs. client protection; PTR records.
Career Path to Pursue
All the MTA certifications, including MTA: Security Fundamentals, are created to align with college and high school curricula to introduce the non-IT students to core Microsoft technologies. The 98-367 exam confirms one’s fundamental skills in cybersecurity and qualifies the entry-level professionals for a wide range of positions in the Information Technology field. Some of the job titles that you can apply for with this certificate include an Information Security Analyst, an Information Security Administrator, a Network Administrator, a Systems Administrator, and a Network Engineer, among others. The average salary for these positions ranges from $49,000 to $95,000 per annum.
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