Is CompTIA Security+ Hard?

Taylor Karl
Is CompTIA Security+ Hard? 1177 0

CompTIA Security+ certification is a professional credential for IT professionals demonstrating professional knowledge and experience with security fundamentals, networks, and organizational security. Earning this certification proves you have the skills and expertise to implement essential security services on any computer network.

The CompTIA Security+ course teaches students how to identify and address security incidents, including how to:

  • Scan and assess networks for vulnerabilities
  • Monitor network traffic for unusual activity
  • Investigate a network breach
  • Compare and contrast attacks
  • Compare and contrast security controls
  • Use security assessment tools
  • Explain basic cryptography concepts
  • Implement a public key infrastructure
  • Implement identity and access management controls
  • Manage access services and accounts
  • Implement a secure network architecture
  • Install and configure security appliances
  • Install and configure wireless and physical access security
  • Deploy secure host, mobile, and embedded systems
  • Implement secure network access protocols and network applications
  • Explain risk management and disaster recovery concepts
  • Describe secure application development concepts
  • Explain organizational security concepts

Are there prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites for taking the CompTIA Security+ course but it is recommended that individuals pursuing the certification have at least two years of IT administration experience with a security focus. We do recommend that if you're interested in this course, you first obtain the CompTIA Network+ certification or gain/have equivalent experience in a work setting. CompTIA Network+ provides individuals with the baseline networking knowledge necessary for cybersecurity careers.

The CompTIA Security+ course is designed for information technology (IT) professionals who have networking and administrative skills in Windows®-based Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networks; familiarity with other operating systems, such as macOS®, Unix®, or Linux®; and who want to further a career in IT by acquiring foundational knowledge of security topics or using CompTIA Security+ as the foundation for advanced security certifications or career roles. This course is also designed for students seeking the CompTIA Security+ certification who want to prepare for the CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 Certification Exam.

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What is included in the test?

The questions on the CompTIA Security+ exam are multiple-choice and performance-based, and come from the following topics covered in the Security+ course:

  • Comparing Security Roles and Security Controls
    • Compare and Contrast Information Security Roles
    • Compare and Contrast Security Control and Framework Types
  • Explaining Threat Actors and Threat Intelligence
    • Explain Threat Actor Types and Attack Vectors
    • Explain Threat Intelligence Sources
  • Performing Security Assessments
    • Assess Organizational Security with Network Reconnaissance Tools
    • Explain Security Concerns with General Vulnerability Types
    • Summarize Vulnerability Scanning Techniques
    • Explain Penetration Testing Concepts
  • Identifying Social Engineering and Malware
    • Compare and Contrast Social Engineering Techniques
    • Analyze Indicators of Malware-Based Attacks
  • Summarizing Basic Cryptographic Concepts
    • Compare and Contrast Cryptographic Ciphers
    • Summarize Cryptographic Modes of Operation
    • Summarize Cryptographic Use Cases and Weaknesses
    • Summarize Other Cryptographic Technologies
  • Implementing Public Key Infrastructure
    • Implement Certificates and Certificate Authorities
    • Implement PKI Management
  • Implementing Authentication Controls
    • Summarize Authentication Design Concepts
    • Implement Knowledge-Based Authentication
    • Implement Authentication Technologies
    • Summarize Biometrics Authentication Concepts
  • Implementing Identity and Account Management Controls
    • Implement Identity and Account Types
    • Implement Account Policies
    • Implement Authorization Solutions
    • Explain the Importance of Personnel Policies
  • Implementing Secure Network Designs
    • Implement Secure Network Designs
    • Implement Secure Switching and Routing
    • Implement Secure Wireless Infrastructure
    • Implement Load Balancers
  • Implementing Network Security Appliances
    • Implement Firewalls and Proxy Servers
    • Implement Network Security Monitoring
    • Summarize the Use of SIEM
  • Implementing Secure Network Protocols
    • Implement Secure Network Operations Protocols
    • Implement Secure Application Protocols
    • Implement Secure Remote Access Protocols
  • Implementing Host Security Solutions
    • Implement Secure Firmware
    • Implement Endpoint Security
    • Explain Embedded System Security Implications
  • Implementing Secure Mobile Solutions
    • Implement Mobile Device Management
    • Implement Secure Mobile Device Connections
  • Summarizing Secure Application Concepts
    • Analyze Indicators of Application Attacks
    • Analyze Indicators of Web Application Attacks
    • Summarize Secure Coding Practices
    • Implement Secure Script Environments
    • Summarize Deployment and Automation Concepts
  • Implementing Secure Cloud Solutions
    • Summarize Secure Cloud and Virtualization Services
    • Apply Cloud Security Solutions
    • Summarize Infrastructure as Code Concepts
  • Explaining Data Privacy and Protection Concepts
    • Explain Privacy and Data Sensitivity Concepts
    • Explain Privacy and Data Protection Controls
  • Performing Incident Response
    • Summarize Incident Response Procedures
    • Utilize Appropriate Data Sources for Incident Response
    • Apply Mitigation Controls
  • Explaining Digital Forensics
    • Explain Key Aspects of Digital Forensics Documentation
    • Explain Key Aspects of Digital Forensics Evidence Acquisition
  • Summarizing Risk Management Concepts
    • Explain Risk Management Processes and Concepts
    • Explain Business Impact Analysis Concepts
  • Implementing Cybersecurity Resilience
    • Implement Redundancy Strategies
    • Implement Backup Strategies
    • Implement Cybersecurity Resiliency Strategies
  • Explaining Physical Security
    • Explain the Importance of Physical Site Security Controls
    • Explain the Importance of Physical Host Security Controls

Is CompTIA Security+ hard?

Passing the CompTIA Security+ exam is a challenge. Candidates have 90 minutes to answer 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions and must achieve a minimum score of 750 on a scale of 100 – 900 to pass the exam. Those hoping to pass the exam must have good reading comprehension and know the justification behind each question's answer(s). Many questions also ask for multiple solutions or "best answers" to satisfy the scenario presented.

In the 2022 Dice Tech Salary Report, Security+ was listed as the second most popular certification, with 15% of the surveyed professionals holding it.

Is CompTIA Security+ appropriate for beginners?

CompTIA Security+ is considered to be an entry-level cybersecurity exam and as such is the ideal starting point for those pursuing a career in cybersecurity. There are no prerequisites but earning the CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA A+ certifications or equivalent experience and knowledge can make it easier to pass this course.

Do I need work experience first?

While there are no prerequisites for CompTIA Security+, it is recommended that students have at least two years of IT administration experience with a security focus and hold the CompTIA Network+ certification or equivalent experience/knowledge.

Briefly, what can I do to help pass the test? Are there resources to help me study?

There are several official resources to help candidates prepare for the Security+ exam, including the CompTIA Security+ Study Guide. This guide covers all exam objectives and includes review questions and practice tests.

You can also find more information on how to prepare for the exam here.

The Security+ certification exam can be taken in person or online through Pearson VUE. A link to the online testing requirements with Pearson VUE is available here: Pearson VUE Online Testing Guide.