While technology has been a great thing for the world, just like everything else in society there will always exist someone who is willing and waiting to exploit that technology for dishonest gain. We can now do business easier and faster but this also sets us up to be ripped off easier and faster by thieves.
Data Security Breaches on the Rise
It seems like we are hearing about some sort of security breach or identity theft incident almost every day. According to IndentityTheft.info, more than 500 million records containing personal identifying information of United States residents stored in government and corporate databases was either lost or stolen between 2004 and 2009. In addition, DataLossDB, states that Zappos, suffered a security breach that resulted in more than 24 Million records being compromised.
As computer security threats continue to rise, the need for qualified computer security professionals has also risen. This has prompted employers to place a premium on those individuals that have IT security experience and certifications. The security field has been quickly growing over the past five years and is expected tocontinue growing. In an effort to prove their competency, many IT professionals are choosing to obtain the CompTIA Security+ Certification.
What is a Security+ certification
CompTIA’s Security+ certificatification is a vendor-neutral certification which focuses on the network security field within information technology. The Phrase “Vendor-Neutral” means that the exam has been designed to test and demonstrate skills and knowledge across a broad spectrum of network, operating system, products and security environments.
The Security Plus certification is considered the entry-level certificate for the network security field. Often, individuals seeking a career in the security field, will obtain their Security Plus certification before attempting to get other security certifications such as the Information Systems Auditor (CISA) or the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification
According to CompTIA, the people that should consider getting the Security+ are: Security Architects, Security Engineers, Security Consultants/Specialists, Wireless Administrators, Network Administrators, Security Administrators and Personnel seeking IAT-1 certification to Information Assurance Technician (DoD 8570.1 Directive).
Security+ Certification Exam Details:
- Exam Name: CompTIA Security+
- Exam Code: SYO-201
- Number of Exams: 1
- Number of Questions: 100 questions worth 900 points.
- Correct Answers Needed to Pass: You need 750 out of 900 points to get a passing score.
- Skills Prerequisites: CompTIA Network+ certification and two years of technical networking experience with an emphasis on security.
The 2011 edition of the CompTIA Security+ exam covers the following security areas:
- Network Security (21% of exam)
- Compliance and operational security (18% of exam)
- Threats and vulnerabilities (21% of exam)
- Application, Data and Host Security (16% of exam)
- Access Control and Identity Management (13% of exam)
- Cryptography (11% of exam)
Is the CompTIA Security+ Certification Really Worth It ?
I think so… Obtaining certifications are less about showing what you know than showing your commitment to learning. Many places will pass up a prospective employee without certifications if they can get one with them, even if the certified individual has less practical experience.
Many “above-entry-level” IT positions require certifications, and the Security+ certification is a hot ticket right now. However, if you are new to IT, I would consider tackling the A+ certification and then the Network+ before trying to pass the Security+.
Please note that if you received your Comp TIA security+ certification before 1/1/2011, you will be a lifetime credential holder not subject to credential renewals. If you achieved your certification after 1/1/2011, you will be subject to a CompTIA security+ renewal process every three years.
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