Understanding CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CySA+

By : techNoEdge January 24, 2020

CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CySA+

In light of recent hacker attacks and data leaks, cybersecurity has become a burning issue for any organization that is dealing with sensitive and confidential information. Cybersecurity professionals must become more proactive with their defence and threat intelligence. They need to constantly update their knowledge of new tools and techniques implemented by attackers and understand how to avert them. CompTIA has designed courses to help technical specialists develop their practical, hands-on skills in cybersecurity and achieve a new level of qualification in the industry. When IT specialists are looking at the training available in the field they certainly come across CompTIA, the tech association that offers certifications in information technology. CompTIA Security+ certification and CompTIA CySA+ certification are the most common credentials in cybersecurity. Both of these certifications can demonstrate the possible employers that the specialist holding either of them is versed in cybersecurity and can be trusted with the relevant responsibilities. However, there is a difference between them as well.

CompTIA Security+ certification

The CompTIA Security+ course offers the basic training in cybersecurity for entry-level IT specialists. It helps to build the essential knowledge of the most common practices in cybersecurity with the focus of hands-on skills and abilities that can be applied in real-life scenarios. This course is an excellent choice for those who are not familiar with cybersecurity and are just starting their career in this field.

The CompTIA Security+ certification is part of the core competencies training recommended by CompTIA for IT specialists at the early stages of their careers. This is considered a foundation for any tech specialist upon which they will later build more specific qualifications tailored to various professional pathways. One of them could possibly be a cybersecurity field with a more in-depth understanding of its concepts and mechanisms.

Before taking the CompTIA Security+ certification exam the candidates are required to take the CompTIA Security+ course which is designed to provide them with the insights in cybersecurity and develop all the necessary skills to ensure they are prepared to deal with a wide range of security issues when they arise.

The CompTIA Security+ course covers the following areas:

• Risk Management
• Cryptography
• Authentication and authorization
• Host, LAN and application security
• Wireless, cloud and mobile security
• Environmental security and controls

Once the training is complete, the IT specialist will be able to take the exam to earn the CompTIA Security+ certification. It proves to the recruiters and potential employers that its holder possesses the core knowledge of cybersecurity and is capable of not only identifying the risks and issues but also of trouble-shooting them. After obtaining the CompTIA Security+ certification the tech specialists can be rightfully called cybersecurity professionals and can acquire positions such as Security Administrator, Security Specialist, Systems Administrator, Junior IT Auditor/Penetration Tester and other similar roles.

CompTIA CySA+ certification

The CompTIA CySA+ certification is the intermediate-level training in cybersecurity and the next step after CompTIA Security+ in this pathway. It allows the specialist to perform data analysis and assess the results to identify potential vulnerabilities, threats and risks. The fundamental skills developed in this certification include analyzing the data gathered during the tests and applying threat-detection solutions.

The CompTIA CySA+ course demonstrates the analytics-based approach. This means that cybersecurity professionals will be trained through examples and multiple scenarios of the situations that can happen in real life. Although there are certain patterns that can be followed in cybersecurity that tend to be more or less common, it’s important that professionals in this field know the tools available for them well and can act fast to trouble-shoot even in extraordinary circumstances.

The key components of the CompTIA CySA+ course are the following:

• Threat management
• Vulnerability management
• Cyber Incident Response
• Security Architecture and Tool Sets

IT Specialists who are seeking CompTIA CySA+ certification will learn how to apply environmental reconnaissance techniques using appropriate tools and processes and analyze results. They will also get to understand how to implement an information security vulnerability management process. The CompTIA CySA+ certification holders will know how to distinguish threat data or behaviour to determine the potential incident impact and develop the toolkit to select the appropriate course of action.

The CompTIA CySA+ meets the ISO 17024 standard. By obtaining this certification professionals can secure jobs such as IT Security Analyst, Vulnerability Analyst, Threat Intelligence Analyst, Cybersecurity Analyst and others.

Both CompTIA Security+ certification and CompTIA CySA+ certification can be earned after passing the respective exams. For Security+ the exam consists of 90 questions and lasts for about 90 minutes. The CySA+ exam has a maximum of 85 questions and its duration is about 165 minutes. Both exams have multiple-choice and performance-based questions. The passing score is quite high, it’s 750 for each of the test (on a scale of 100-900).

CompTIA Security+ certification and CompTIA CySA+ certification are high-stakes exams that are offered in a secure environment in the authorized test centres. Both of them will allow tech specialists to gain the thorough knowledge and practical skills of the cybersecurity which will enable them to progress in the career in this field.

Read our other blog: CompTIA Security+ 501 vs 601: What Does It Mean?

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