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How to Prepare for the CompTIA Security+ Certification Part 1

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Introduction to CompTIA Security+ Certification

The CompTIA Security+ certification is considered the global, industry-wide benchmark of cybersecurity certifications. Widely recognized since 2002, the Security+ certification is the certification globally trusted to validate foundational, vendor-neutral IT security knowledge and skills. The Security+ certification, also known as Sec+, covers the essential principles for network security and risk management.

Vendor-neutral, the Security+ certificate is based on six core fundamentals, including:

  • Network security
  • Compliance and operational security
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Application, data, and host security
  • Access control and identity management
  • Cryptography

get it certified in comptia security plusCareer Paths for Those who Achieve Certification

The Security+ certification is an excellent entry point for an IT security career. CompTIA reports that the most common roles taken up by certificate holders include:

  • Security Architect
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Consultant
  • Security Specialist
  • Security or Systems Administrator

Given the current and projected dearth of qualified, certified cybersecurity professionals to address the ever-growing threats from bad actors, career opportunities and average salaries for certified cybersecurity professionals are indeed bright. Salaries in the six figures are the norm, not the exception.

The demand for skilled IT pros is high, check out this infographic showing the Top 10 in-demand IT jobs and skills for 2018 and their respective salaries.

How the Test is Structured

The 90-minute test consists of 90 questions that are either multiple choice or performance-based. Topics covered in the exam include:

  • Common security threats
  • Common security vulnerabilities
  • Common security weaknesses
  • Security tools and methods
  • Access control and identity management
  • User education and protection
  • Hardware and physical security measures
  • Cryptography
The Security+ test is structured as follows:
  • Threats, Attacks, and Vulnerabilities (21%)
  • Technologies and Tools (22%)
  • Architecture and Design (15%)
  • Identity and Access Management (16%)
  • Risk Management (14%)
  • Cryptography and PKI (12%)

Ways to Prepare for CompTIA’s Security+ Certification Test

With a tip of the hat to the Boy Scouts for the always appropriate motto, “be prepared,” flying by the seat of one’s pants is not advised. Approaches to preparing for CompTIA’s Security+ certification test vary widely based on how individuals best learn and retain the acquisition of new knowledge. Some excel through self-study, others from practice tests, while some require a variety of sensory input, including audio and videos to fully digest and process the materials.

Start learning for free with binge-worthy Security+ training from ITProTV.

Accordingly, there is no “one size fits all” prescription for preparing for the test. Particularly for security novices entering the field. However, taking a prep course is highly recommended, either through CompTIA or other vendors such as ITProTV that offer an array of online IT training video options for the CompTIA Security+ certification.

Part 2: Steps to Success: How to Ace the CompTIA Security+ Certification Test