Browse Definitions :
Definition

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ is a certification for basic security practices and functions. The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) advertises this security certification as one of the first security-based certifications information technology professionals should earn.

This certification exam can be taken online or in person at a designated test center. The test takes 90 minutes to complete and requires a passing score of 750 out of 900.

The CompTIA Security+ certification is good for three years and covers subject areas such as:

Recommended prerequisites

CompTIA does not set prerequisites for the Security+ certification. There are no age or educational requirements, but CompTIA does recommend that a candidate has at least two years of IT administration experience with a focus on security.

It is important to note that CompTIA Security+ gets updated every three years to meet any changes to industry needs. Certification renewals help ensure that IT pros have the skills needed for modern cybersecurity jobs.

Skills covered on the CompTIA Security+ exam

The CompTIA Security+ exam focuses on best practices for risk management and mitigation. Exam questions span subject matters such as threats and vulnerabilities, incident response, architecture design and implementation, compliance and governance. The exam focuses on these subjects because they relate to the typical responsibilities of a security or systems administrator. Certified individuals should be able to troubleshoot security issues, understand wired and wireless network architecture concepts and be able to install and deploy network components and configure identity and access services.

As an example, test takers should be familiar with:

Upon certification, successful candidates will be able to demonstrate working knowledge of security concepts, tools and procedures; respond to security threats, participate in risk mitigation activities, respond to threat analysis and work within the constraints of applicable policies and regulations.

How to prepare for the CompTIA Security+ exam

Candidates can expect a mix of 90 multiple choice, drag-and-drop and performance-based questions. Performance-based questions focus on practical ability questions to identify and address security threats, attacks and vulnerabilities.

CompTIA offers a range of prep tools that includes study guides, eLearning and online courses. For example, they offer an Official CompTIA Security+ Study Guide, a CertMaster eLearning and test prep, live online training and CompTIA Labs -- a virtual lab environment.

Test takers should study for:

  • Threats, attacks and vulnerabilities. Be able to identify and analyze any indicators of compromise.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM). Be able to implement IAM controls and account management controls.
  • Cryptography. Be able to identify and implement basic concepts of cryptography.
  • Risk management. Be able to identify the importance of policies, plans and procedures in security.
  • Technologies and tools. Be able to troubleshoot common security issues with software tools.
  • Architecture and design. Be able to summarize the concepts behind secure application development and deployment, as well as concepts behind securing clouds and virtualization.

How much does the CompTIA Security+ exam cost?

The CompTIA Security+ exam voucher is priced at $349, with three other options available. These options include:

  • Basic Bundle. $499 -- includes the exam voucher, one test retake and The Official CompTIA Security+ Study Guide e-book.
  • Exam Prep Bundle. $649 -- includes everything in the previous bundle, plus a 12-month individual license for CertMaster Practice for Security+, a knowledge assessment and certification training companion tool.
  • eLearning Bundle. $999 -- includes exam voucher, one test retake, a 12-month individual license for CertMaster Learn for Security+, which is a collection of interactive and self-paced instructional lessons with assessments, and a 12-month individual license for CertMaster Labs for Security+.

Who should take CompTIA Security+?

Anyone looking to start their path in the security field should consider beginning their journey with the CompTIA Security+ certification. CompTIA Security+ demonstrates a person's competency with core knowledge required of any infosec role, including IAM. IT support technicians, and admins or other positions such as security practitioners, should consider this certification. Security practitioners, for example, can pursue this certification prior to Certified Information Systems and Security Professional (CISSP). The CompTIA Security+ credential also counts as one year toward the four years' experience prerequisite of CISSP.

What job roles need the CompTIA Security+ certification?

CompTIA advertises the certification by calling it a "springboard into intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs." Positions that CompTIA Security+ holders hold may include IT and security professional job titles such as:

  • security administrator
  • systems administrator
  • help desk manager/analyst
  • network/cloud engineer
  • security engineer/analyst
  • DevOps/software developer
  • IT auditor
  • IT project manager
  • information security manager
  • security architect
This was last updated in March 2021

Continue Reading About CompTIA Security+

Networking
  • network traffic

    Network traffic is the amount of data that moves across a network during any given time.

  • dynamic and static

    In general, dynamic means 'energetic, capable of action and/or change, or forceful,' while static means 'stationary or fixed.'

  • MAC address (media access control address)

    A MAC address (media access control address) is a 12-digit hexadecimal number assigned to each device connected to the network.

Security
  • Evil Corp

    Evil Corp is an international cybercrime network that uses malicious software to steal money from victims' bank accounts and to ...

  • Trojan horse

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program downloaded and installed on a computer that appears harmless, but is, in fact, ...

  • quantum key distribution (QKD)

    Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties.

CIO
  • green IT (green information technology)

    Green IT (green information technology) is the practice of creating and using environmentally sustainable computing.

  • benchmark

    A benchmark is a standard or point of reference people can use to measure something else.

  • spatial computing

    Spatial computing broadly characterizes the processes and tools used to capture, process and interact with 3D data.

HRSoftware
  • learning experience platform (LXP)

    A learning experience platform (LXP) is an AI-driven peer learning experience platform delivered using software as a service (...

  • talent acquisition

    Talent acquisition is the strategic process employers use to analyze their long-term talent needs in the context of business ...

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping productive and talented workers and reducing turnover by fostering a ...

Customer Experience
  • BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store)

    BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) is a business model that allows consumers to shop and place orders online and then pick up ...

  • real-time analytics

    Real-time analytics is the use of data and related resources for analysis as soon as it enters the system.

  • database marketing

    Database marketing is a systematic approach to the gathering, consolidation and processing of consumer data.

Close