About CompTIA SY0-501 Exam
The CompTIA SY0-501 exam covers the cybersecurity sector and offers a process for validating baseline skills that are essential for performing core tasks of security. It gives an opinion regarding the applicants’ abilities needed for installing and configuring systems, securing apps, networks, and gadgets, conducting threat analysis, and applying proper mitigation techniques. The right passing score in the test grants the students the obtainment of the CompTIA Security+ certification.
Highlights of Exam Prerequisites
The SY0-501 test is aimed at those individuals who already have the relevant knowledge of security and related measures. They have a basic understanding of the cybersecurity field and can perform the tasks for securing apps, networks, and practicing techniques that can reduce threats.
There is a level of experience that is necessary before taking the CompTIA SY0-501 exam. One should have worked for 2 years in the area of IT administration with a bias in security to be able to deal with the tasks easier. It is also proposed that a potential candidate should hold the Network+ certificate.
Overview of Exam Content
There are about 90 questions in the CompTIA SY0-501 exam and the students need to clear all of them within 90 minutes. The type of questions embraces performance-based and multiple-choice options. The test can be presented in different languages, such as English, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese. The least passing score that you must earn is 750 out of the maximum 900 points. The exam costs $349, but this price can differ because of the taxes.
The CompTIA SY0-501 exam has six topics. They’re discussed below:
- Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Attacks (21%)
When it comes to this section, the individuals should learn how to analyze the signs of compromise and determine the malware type. It also covers viruses, crypto-malware, Trojan, bots, RAT, adware, ransomware, and others. Moreover, you need to know various attack types, which include social engineering as well as applications, services, attacks, and cryptography attacks. The next stage concerns the types and characteristics of actor attributes and types. They include script kiddles, hacktivist, competitors, organized crime, and insiders, while the characteristics include internal or external, sophistication level, resources, and intent.
The next subtopic is about the concepts of vulnerability scanning, such as passively testing security controls, identifying vulnerability, etc. It is wrapped up by learning about effects related to vulnerability types. They encompass race conditions, improper handling of input, misconfiguration, memory vulnerability, and system sprawl, among others.
- Tools and Technologies (22%)
This area introduces the task of installing and configuring hardware & software based on network components to ensure the security of an organization. This includes firewalls, VPN concentrator, NIPS, router, switch proxy, access point, etc. The next thing it covers is how to use appropriate software tools to assess the security posture of a company. Some tools include protocol analyzer, network scanners, wireless scanners, data cleaning tools, honeypot, banner grabbing, nmap, netcat, etc.
The candidates must also know about analyzing and interpreting output coming from security technologies. They need to understand how to work with HIDS/HIPS, antivirus, application whitelisting, advanced tools for malware, host-based firewall, check for file integrity, and more. Additionally, the learners should consider the approaches for deploying mobile devices in a secure manner. In this area, the issues that are covered in it include connection methods, management concepts for mobile devices, ways to enforce and monitor sideloading, custom firmware, carrier unblocking, and other tasks. This also applies to deployment models.
The final segment deals with implementing secure protocols. They include DNSSES, SSH, LDAPS, FTPS, SSL/TLS, HTTPS, and use cases, such as file transfer, voice & video, time synchronization, remote access, DNS, directory services, and routing & switching.
- Architecture and Design (15%)
The main subtopics in this objective include frameworks, secure guides for configuration, and best practices. The main issues include frameworks that meet the industry standards, guides for secure configurations, and layered security. Other areas that are touched in this subject include zones/topologies, segregation, tunnelling, security device, and SDN.
Another critical segment of this topic is why deployment concepts of secure staging are important. This includes sandboxing, secure baseline, environment, etc. This also encompasses embedded systems, such as SCADA, HVAC, printers, camera systems, and others. The concepts associated with developing and deploying for virtualization, Cloud and risk reduction, and controls for physical security are covered as well.
- Identity & Access Management (16%)
This area is aimed at the concepts for identity & management, including identification, authentication, as well as authorization. Next, you will face with the measurement of your skills in installing and configuring services for identity & access, such as LDAP, CHAP, PAP, etc. Another subtopic is connected to the implementation of controls for identity & access management, such as biometric factors, access control models, and tokens. You should also learn all about account management practices.
- Risk Management (14%)
Here, the test takers should familiarize themselves with the policies, procedures, and plans associated with the security of an organization. This includes SOPs, agreement types, and personnel management. They also must be aware of the concepts for analysing the business impact, such as RTO/RPO, MTBF, and privacy impact assessment. Other domains concern risk management concepts and processes, procedures for responding to incidents, basic forensic concepts, operation concepts, control types, and practices for privacy and data security.
- Cryptography & PKI (12%)
This subject considers cryptography algorithms as well as basic properties. You should know about symmetric and asymmetric algorithms, cipher models, hashing algorithms, etc. It also considers installing and configuring security settings for wireless. This concerns cryptographic protocols, authentication protocols, and methods. The final subtopic looks at implementing PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) and includes the following components: CA, CRL, OCSP, public key, and private key. Moreover, this area includes the concepts, such as stapling, pinning, key escrow and trust model, as well as certificate types.
Possible Career Paths
After acing the CompTIA SY0-501 exam and coming into the possession of the Security+ certification, a certified professional qualifies for various job titles. They include:
- Security Analyst/Engineer
- Security Administrator
- Systems Administrator
- IT Auditor
- Cloud/Network Engineer
Prominent organizations, such as Splunk, Netflix, Johns Hopkins, TARGET, and General Dynamics, are among those that prefer hiring the specialists with this sought-after certificate. As suggested by PayScale.com, their average salary is about $75,000 per annum.
Completing this step grants you the green light to apply for a job of your choice. Also, it is a stepping stone to the next stage of more advanced security skills. Within the CompTIA certification program, you can also pursue the higher-level option, which is CASP+, or go for one from other vendors. Anyway, it will afford you endless career opportunities.