Everything You Need To Pass The Security+ – Ultimate Guide

Everything You Need To Pass The Security+ – Ultimate Guide

Like most certifications in the tech and cyber security industries, the CompTIA Security+ is not easy to pass. The Security+ is difficult for good reason, it validates your knowledge in the field of cyber security and tells employers that you’re adequately prepared to defend their environments.

If you are studying for the Security+, you have come to the right place. This guide compiles years of knowledge and experience in the field and provides it to you in an easily digestible format. I have tried very hard to provide unique insights that aren’t currently available in any other guide, so buckle up for the ride.

This Guide Includes:

  • 12 Strategies to pass the Security+ on your first attempt
  • Best Security+ Study Material
  • Frequently Asked Questions About the Security+
  • Security+ Success Timeline (Infographic At Bottom)

 

12 Strategies to pass the Security+ on your first attempt

 

Strategy 1: Understand the Exam

When you are taking on any challenge, the first task is to size up the opponent. Before you dive into any study material, get an understanding of the scope of the exam. Locking down the scope of the exam is the first step in creating your study strategy.

CompTIA releases a set of objectives for every exam they create. Familiarize yourself with this information in the beginning. Whenever you are studying and come across new information, identify how this relates to the objectives.

Strategy 2: Identify the Exam Objectives

Each objective that CompTIA outlines skills and knowledge that the industry has deemed important for candidates to be successful on the job. Using the objectives, and sub-objectives while you are studying will help you stay on track and ensure your learning the right material.

Strategy 3: Become Familiar with The Number of Questions and Time Limit

The Security+ time limit is 90 minutes. The test taker will have 90 minutes to complete a maximum of 90 questions. The 90 questions consist of both multiple-choice questions, and hands-on performance-based simulations. To pass, a test taker must score 750 on a scale of 100-900.

Strategy 4: Develop A Multiple-Choice Plan

The multiple-choice questions on the Security+ will make up a majority of the exam. Understanding how they are structured will help you better prepare to pass the exam.

The multiple-choice questions on the security+ ask you to choose the “best” answer out of the options. This means that you need to really have a good understanding of what the question is asking.

The questions on the Security+ will have each have 4-5 answer choices. Usually, 2 of these choices will be obviously wrong and you can simply eliminate them. Then comes the hard part, the remaining choices will be relevant to the situation and could easily serve as the answer.

Of the remaining questions, you then need to identify what answer “fits best”. At this point, it is best to re-read the question and make sure that you are understanding it properly.

Most people select the wrong answer because they misunderstand the question that is being asked. After you fully understand the question, this is where you need to call on your preparation.

If you are still unsure that you have selected the correct answer, go with your gut. According to Psychology Today, going with your first instinct results in the best decision. Trust your instincts and your preparation.

 

Strategy 5: Develop A Study Strategy

Everyone is different when it comes to studying methods, but here at Cyber Career School, we have really honed in on the approach of utilizing 3 main study methods.

  1. Reading the Book
  2. Watching the Video
  3. Taking Practice Questions

While it sounds simple, this proven approach is effective for visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, and reading/writing learners.

Strategy 6: Selecting the Correct Study Material is Crucial

Like we said previously, everybody learns differently. For the Security+ we recommend at least one aspect of each visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. The Security+ covers such a broad amount of information that simply reading the book or watching a course will not put you in a good position to pass.

Properly Choose Your Study Materials

Our Recommended Books: Through studying for the Security+ ourselves and advising other students, we have identified the two best study materials available. CompTIA Security+ Certification Kit: Exam SY0-501. The full certification kit provides both a study guide and a book of practice exams. This satisfies 2/3 of the requirements for the Cyber Career School study method. We have personally taken these practice exams and can attest to their value come exam day.

CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide Get Certified Get Ahead is arguably the most popular study guide on the market for the Security+. Darril Gibson organizes the content in a very digestible way and he also has a website with additional material. Getcertifiedgetahead.com really provides some great material on the CompTIA exams.

Our Recommended Courses: For a majority of our video courses, we recommend Pluralsight. Pluralsight has an excellent course on the Security+. One of the big benefits we see in Pluralsight is that there is a flat monthly membership price that gives you access to all of the awesome course they have available. When you’re ready to move on to another certification those courses will also be included in your membership. Check it out with a free trial and see if it is right for you!

Strategy 7: Hold Yourself Accountable.

Let’s face it, success in the Security+ depends on your long-term preparation. This requires holding yourself accountable. It is possible to pass this exam in a very short time-frame (depending on your background) but it is not a recommendation.

When I took the Security+ I passed it after three weeks of intense studying. I would certainly not recommend attempting to pass the Security+ in three weeks, but I can attest that setting a deadline for myself helped me pass.

Set Your Exam Date

I recommend scheduling the exam 30-45 days after you begin studying. I find this to be the sweet spot, any longer and you would procrastinate and any shorter and you would be too rushed to fully learn the important information.

So as soon as you crack open one of the Security+ books I mentioned above, you should plan out your exam date.

Develop Milestones

If scheduling the exam doesn’t motivate and hold you accountable enough, consider setting up some intermediary milestones. Some examples can be finishing the book in 3 weeks, finishing the video course in a week, taking 3 practice exams in a week, etc. Whatever works best for you, just make sure you develop a plan and stick to it.

Strategy 8: Take an Initial Assessment Before You Start Studying

The Get Certified Get Ahead book that I mentioned above includes an initial assessment. Set some time aside and treat this initial exam like the real thing. The most important advice in taking the initial assessment it to be honest with yourself. Set a timer and avoid using outside resources.

The initial assessment will serve as a benchmark and will help you focus in on the areas where you are week. After you have completed the initial assessment, it is time to see where you stand. Remember the passing score on the Security+ is 83%, if you score anywhere from 50%-70% you are in very good shape!

If you didn’t as well as you expected on the initial exam, don’t worry. A lot of people have a hard time getting used to “choose the best” multiple-choice questions.

After you have tallied up the score, note the questions where you struggled and read the explanations that are provided at the end of the book. Make sure you record this information somewhere so you can compare it to your final assessment that comes at the end of the book.

Bonus Tip: When I was taking the initial assessment and end of chapter quizzes, I treated every question where I did not definitively know the answer as wrong. This helped me avoid skipping topics where I may have had a lucky or educated guess. My reasoning behind this was that I did not want to have any question in my mind on test day.

Strategy 9: Focus on The End of Chapter Assessments

The end of chapter assessments are very important while studying. Each chapter will be followed by 15-20 questions on the material you just learned. As a general rule any end of chapter quiz where you get more than one or two questions wrong, you should note that this chapter needs review.

I took these quizzes very seriously and developed a list of chapters where I was weak. Closer to the exam date, I then took this list and re-read the chapters where I struggled.

The end of chapter questions is also another opportunity to get used to the way that CompTIA phrases their questions. No questions will completely prepare you for the exam questions, but those included in the recommended books and practice exams are very close!

Bonus Tip: Exam practice questions are very hard to come by. Even if you use all the practice exams in the Get Certified Get Ahead Book, and buy the practice exam book you will probably run out (Or at least I did).

One thing that I did that helped me a lot was to take every single available answer choice and define it and the reason why it wasn’t the “best” answer choice. If you don’t know why and the answer doesn’t fit but it just doesn’t seem right, google it!

This approach is time-consuming, but it is extremely beneficial for the exam. I even found myself doing it in my head during the actual exam.

Strategy 10: Prepare for the Performance Based Questions (PBQs)

What are the Security+ Performance Based Questions? In the Security+ exam, performance-based questions (PBQs) are tasked based questions that are meant to measure the test taker’s ability to perform hands-on simulations that test specific topic areas. PBQs are normally in the form of a drag and drop interface and simulate real-world scenarios like a firewall configuration for example.

The PBQs are difficult to prepare for. A solid understanding of the topics on the Security+ exam objectives will help a lot. Here are some example simulation topics that you should prepare for. We can’t say exactly what is on the exam but these will make sure you’re on the right track.

  • Firewall Configuration
  • Device Controls
  • Access Controls

Bonus Tip: It is highly recommended that you skip the PBQs. Taking on the PBQs, in the beginning, can really bog you down right off the bat. I recommend that you initially look at the PBQs and think about them but then move on to the multiple-choice questions. You will have the PBQs in the back of your mind and you will find that some of the multiple-choice questions may be helpful for the PBQs.

Strategy 11: Link Relevant Concepts

While the Security+ covers a massive amount of information, it never really dives into one topic in too much detail. This can be extremely challenging because you have to familiarize yourself with so many topics from different areas.

The best approach to this is to create links between the topics. These can be mental links or you can actually map it out.

Focus on Understanding and Not Memorizing

The most important thing that you need to understand is that memorizing the material on the security+ will get you nowhere. Sure, you may pass the exam by a narrow margin, but in a week all that information will be gone. Our goal is to understand the material on the exam so we can use it in our careers. Ok, you may need to memorize the ports.

If you take the time to understand the material and make logical connections between the topics you won’t have to memorize at all. You know what that means, there is no last-minute cramming!

There is a bigger picture here, focus on understanding it, and not just remembering isolated facts.

Strategy 12: Phase Out Exam Day Distractions

I’m not going to beat the dead horse here. Everybody has their own exam day preparation and strategies. One thing that I would like to emphasize is to keep your cool during the exam. This sounds obvious but there are going to be a lot of factors under your control.

Every time I have taken a certification it was at a community college or similar testing center. Depending on your area some of these centers do not have the best equipment. If something goes wrong, keep your cool and tell your proctor. Do not let this stress you out and hurt your exam performance.

If you are taking the certification at home, you are in luck to set up the environment the way that works best for you!

One last note about the exam, during every CompTIA exam I have taken there, was at least one issue with the exam itself (mostly in the simulations). Do not let this stress you out, keep your cool and move on. You can report this issue later on to CompTIA or the proctor. Don’t let this knock you off your game!

After you focus on incorporating the 12 strategies, you can go into the exam with confidence. But you may still have some lingering questions. Next, I will answer the most common questions students have while studying for the Security+.

Common Student Questions

How Hard is CompTIA Secuirty+?

The Security+ exam is difficult for beginners. The Difficulty of the exam is related to the wide breadth of information that is covered by this exam. The individual topics are not difficult, but due to the wide scope of the exam, it can be difficult for most students.

What is The Security+ Passing Rate?

CompTIA does not make the passing rate of their exams public information. A score of 750 (83%) out of 900 is required to pass the exam. Due to the difficulty of the material, it is very common for students to score from 700-800. In the event that you fail the exam first try, you will not be penalized. CompTIA does not require any waiting period between the first and the second attempt.

Is There A Student Discount for The Security+?

Yes, there is a discount for current students looking to take the Security+. Active students enrolled in a four-year degree program will get a discount of 40%.

Does the CompTIA Security+ require two years of experience?

CompTIA states that students should have two years of experience before taking the exam. This is not a hard prerequisite. Most students take this certification with very little or no experience. This should not be a factor that holds you back. 

Security+ Success Timeline

Security+ Timeline

Final Thoughts

These strategies and tips are also very helpful for the CompTIA A+, Network, and CySA+. I have guides on these specific exams too so check them out.

I really hope that this guide helps you out with the Security+. I put a lot of time into it and tried to provide novel approaches to common problems students face. If you are taking the Security+ soon, best of luck to you. You will do great!

Do You Need The CompTIA A+ For Cyber Security? – Pros and Cons

Do You Need The CompTIA A+ For Cyber Security? – Pros and Cons

The CompTIA A+ is one of the 3 foundational certs that we hear a lot about (A+, Network+, and Security+). CompTIA recommends that students take the A+ first, followed by the Network+, and then the Security+. Many people getting into cyber security skip the A+, how do you know if you should move on to the Network+ and Security+.

Should You Take the CompTIA A+?

A CompTIA A+ candidate possess the ability to troubleshoot and problem solve a wide variety of issues, ranging from networking and operating systems to mobile devices and security. If you are new to IT or cyber security, this is a great certification to hold.

Choosing whether to take the A+ or to skip it and move directly into the Network+ and then the Security+ is a very individual decision. It really comes down to your background and previous experience. To help with this tough decision, we have put together 5 reasons why you would want to skip the A+, and 4 reasons when taking the A+ would make sense.

5 Reasons You Should Skip the CompTIA A+

Reason #1: The A+ is not a prerequisite for either the Network+ or the Security+. While CompTIA recommends that you take the A+ before the Network+ and the Security+, this is not a hard requirement. The material covered by the A+ does have some overlap with the Network+ and the Security+, but skipping the A+ will not put you at much of a disadvantage if any when it comes time to take the other CompTIA certs.

Reason #2: Adding this exam to your certification path means more money out of your pocket. The CompTIA A+ certification voucher costs $220. If purchase a retake and exam material from CompTIA the price will jump to $349. If you are in-between careers or are a young student, this is a substantial amount of money to spend on a certification that is not required.

Reason #3: The CompTIA A+ is a Difficult Exam. A very common question from beginners is “Is the CompTIA A+ difficult”.  The CompTIA A+ can be difficult for someone who is brand new to the field of IT. The exam covers a wide range of topics which can be challenging for some test takers. The A+ consists of two exams that are up to 90 questions each. The exam requires a lot of studying whether you are a beginner or have more experience.

Reason #4: The A+ Is Better Suited for Careers in IT. Plain and simple, the CompTIA A+ is not a cyber security focused certification. While it does mention a focus on security, if you are looking for the best bang for your buck the A+ isn’t the best certification for you. The A+ is more geared to technical support roles. While technical support roles are important and a lot of people enter cyber security from technical support, it is not a direct path into the field.

CompTIA Recommends the A+ For the Following Job Roles:

  • IT Support Specialist
  • Service desk analyst
  • Technical support specialist
  • Field service technician
  • Associate network engineer
  • Data support technician
  • Desktop support administrator
  • End-user computing technician
  • Help desk technician
  • System support specialist

None of these roles are particularly related to cyber security. When you are choosing whether or not to take a certification, it good practice to look at the recommended job roles of the exam. This will help you determine if the job role aligns with your selected path.

Reason 5: The A+ Will Require A Lot of Study Time. Even though the A+ is a beginner level exam, it will take a lot of time to adequately prepare for. It covers a lot of material. Time is one of our most valuable assets and should be considered when choosing a certification. Seeing as to how the A+ is not focused on security, our limited time could be better spend studying information that is relevant to the industry like the Security+ or the Network+.

The A+ certification also requires two exams to become certified. That is a lot of work for a certification that is not directly beneficial to the field.

5 Reasons You Should Take The A+

There are a lot of situations where it would be in the student’s best interests to spend the time and money and pursue the A+. Don’t let the above reasons deter you from taking this exam. They are simple meant to help you measure up your current situation and determine for yourself whether the A+ is a worthwhile certification.

Reason #1: If you are brand new to the field and have little to no background in IT. If you are transitioning into the field from another industry or need to build more foundational knowledge, the A+ is worth taking. The A+ will provide you with foundational IT knowledge that you will call upon throughout your cyber security career.

Reason #2: You Don’t Have A Cyber Security Degree. Most cyber security degree programs will cover a majority of the information that is encompassed in the A+ certification. But if you are going the self-taught route, the A+ may be worth going for. Going the Self-taught route, you need more certifications and projects that will validate the knowledge and skills you have. In this case is may be a good idea to take the A+ exam to certify your IT fundamentals knowledge.

Reason #3: The A+ Looks Good on A Resume. The A+ is a well-known exam and it is regarded highly in the industry (especially with recruiters). Having this certification will get your resume read. There is an unfortunate reality but in the tech industry in general, there are a lot of “HR Bots” which simply approve or deny applicants base on a very narrow set of factors. We hope that you never have to deal with this because that is absolutely not a proper way to screen applicants. Having the A+ on your resume could be the checked-box you need to pass on to the interview.

Reason #4: Having the A+ opens you up to opportunities in the tech industry. If you are going the degreeless route it can be very hard to break into the cyber security industry depending on where you live and the job opportunities that are available. It is very common for someone to get an initial job in IT and then transition into cyber security after having built that work experience. Holding the A+ will really help you land this springboard job.

Hopefully the pros and cons we provided helped you decide whether or not the A+ is the right certification for you. Just to emphasize it again, this is not a yes or no answer and it really depends on your personal situation.

If you have decided that the A+ is right for you, we recommend following our proven study method and checking out our top A+ study materials.

How to Study for The CompTIA A+

Everyone is different when it comes to studying methods, but here at Cyber Career School we have really honed in on the approach of utilizing 3 main study methods.

  1. Reading the Book
  2. Watching the Video
  3. Taking Practice Questions

While it sounds simple, this proven approach is effective for visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, and reading / writing learners.

CompTIA A+ Study Guide

We highly recommend The CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Tenth Edition (Exams 220-1001 & 220-1002). This can be purchased on amazon and is our favorite book on the A+. Mike Meyers is a proven author and puts out some of the best CompTIA exam study guides out there.

Recommended Course

For a majority of our video courses, we recommend Pluralsight. Pluralsight has an excellent course on the A+ exams. One of the big benefits we see in Pluralsight is that there is a flat monthly membership price that gives you access to all of the awesome course they have available. When your ready to move on to the Network+ or the Security+ those courses will also be included in your membership. Check it out with a free trial and see if it is right for you!

Practice Questions

You can never have enough practice questions. After you are done the book and the Pluralsight course, its time to test your knowledge with as many practice questions as you can get you hands on. Sybex puts together an entire book of practice questions to prepare you for the exam. This is our first choice. Like we said before, you can never have enough practice exams. If you think you are going to blow through the first book of practice exams, check out the practice exams provided by Exam Cram.

Final Thoughts

Deciding whether to take the A+ or to skip it entirely is a tough decision. Evaluate where you are in your career progression and then identify where your goal path is. This is the best way to decide whether the A+ certification is for you.

 

 

6 Things You Should Know Before Starting Cyber Security

6 Things You Should Know Before Starting Cyber Security

I really wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self these 6 things I wish I knew before starting cyber security. I obviously can’t go back in time so I guess this post is the next best thing. I have learned a lot over the years in cyber security, not only about cyber security topics but also, I have improved how I learn, approach problems, and how I manage time.

 

Lesson 1: You Will Never Learn It All

 

Especially in the beginning, it is very easy to go overboard with trying to learn every single concept as quickly as humanly possible. This is just not a good long-term strategy. It’s great to have a desire to learn, but be sure to balance this out with other things. Think about this like a crash diet. You can really be in a good groove for days, weeks, or months but what is going to happen when you can’t keep it up?

 

Lesson 2 Learn How to Avoid Burnout in Cyber Security

 

If you go overboard, you’re going to get burned out. Plain and simple. We all have different tolerances to burnout, but if you study 24/7, work crazy hours, and devote your whole 24-hour day to cyber security it’s going to happen to you. The best way to combat burnout is to put it all into perspective, you will never learn it all in a month and at some point, your work phone needs to be turned off. Create a plan for your learning path and enjoy the ride. This is one of the number one things I tell people when they ask me how to learn cyber security.

 

65% of security professionals considered quitting their jobs due to burnout

 

The Ponemon Institute conducted a recent study that found that 65% of security professionals considered quitting their jobs due to burnout. This is mostly due to the culture and the environment of cyber security programs. There is really a “always on” environment and this is not healthy. Most cyber security professionals are always working and when they finish work, they are studying for their next cert.

 

Burnout: Workplace Stress That Has Not Been Successfully Managed

A 2019 study by The World Health Organization (WHO) classified burnout as an “occupational phenomenon”. WHO states “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” “Successfully managed” is the key phrase here. We need to identify the conditions for burnout early on and develop a strategy to successfully manage it.

 

 

Lesson 3: There Is No Secret Sauce or Silver Bullet to Teach You Everything

 

There really is no secret course or book that will teach you everything you need to know. Many people starting their cyber security journey think there is one course or one book that will teach them everything. Accept that this knowledge comes with time and practice.

 

The Secret is Persistence

 

If this is something that is stressing you out, don’t worry. Everybody is in the same boat here. We are all learning with the same materials that are available to us all. If you really want to know about the secret sauce, it is persistence. Persistence is key to learning cyber security and being successful in the field.

 

Lesson 4: Avoid Jumping Between Topics and Courses

 

Let me be honest with you, I get really excited at the thought of starting a new course or certification. Does that make me weird? Let me give you an example, when I first joined Cybrary and Pluralsight, I was really excited to dig in. I cannot tell you how many courses I started and then watched maybe the first hour before jumping into another course and doing the same thing.

 

It’s very easy to fall into this trap, the course sounds very appealing, the topic is new to you, the thumbnail is flashy and then you lose interest. You’re not learning anything by jumping around this much. Stick with a topic until you at least understand the basics before moving on.

 

Lesson 5: Learn Early on That Google is Your Best Friend

Google is your best friend in cyber security and every technical field. Early on, many people get stuck on a problem and wait far too long before consulting google for an answer. Using Google is not admitting defeat in any way. I Google things I’m working on constantly, even stuff I know how to do pretty well. Even if you think you know something google it. There is no harm in double-checking or confirming your thoughts.

 

If I could just google it, then why am I getting certifications, taking courses, or going to college?

 

If you understand the topic you are googling well, you will be able to craft a search, and be able to quickly discern which information is relevant to your problem. Google does not hold the answers to every single problem. But there is so much information out there that you can identify a similar problem that has been addressed and apply your knowledge and understanding in how to implement a solution.

 

Become an Expert Googler

Every time you google something, even if is something that you know pretty well, you will learn something. I’m going to tell you something now that is very important to understand, if you’re stuck on something don’t just waste time. Google it, and spend that time learning instead of bashing your head against the wall. Everyone in the industry will tell you they are master Googlers.

 

Lesson 6: Just start!

Queue the “Just Do It” meme. But in all seriousness, people get hung up on execution. If you really want a career in cyber security, or a specific certification just do it! Action will always beat inaction. Personally, I really wish I got more involved with the community and doing ctfs earlier on.

 

Cut the Excuses

 

Hopefully, I don’t sound like a motivational speaker yet. But all too often I hear people say ” well, I’ll start studying next year after BLANK” or “I’m too busy now I’ll start it later, I just need to find the right course”. Time is your friend, start now. This applies to everything.

If time is isn’t the issue and the problem is more motivation-based, you really need to evaluate if you want to get into cyber security or not. If you’re not motivated to get started, then how will you be motivated to go to work, or to get new certs if your employer requires them?

 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you can take some good information away from these six lessons. If even just one person reading this takes these lessons to heart, I think I have done my job here. The key takeaway here is to clearly define your goal and go after it. Good Luck!

 

 

ComTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ – Do You Need All Three?

ComTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ – Do You Need All Three?

Do you need to take the CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+? Taking the CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ will establish a strong foundation in information technology, networking, and information security. Obtaining all three of these certifications will set you up very well for a career in cyber security. Investing the time early on in your career to stress the foundation will save you years of headache.

 

Security+, A+, Network+

Stress the Foundation

It is incredibly important to build a strong foundation if you are looking to excel in the field of cyber security. Let’s compare this to a house. We could jump go right to building the structure and start building the walls and the roof and it may be fine for the first year. As time goes on the walls begin to crack and they can’t support the roof anymore. We need to fix the foundation. The house is already built and it would very difficult to go back and build a proper foundation with the walls and roof in the way.

Let’s compare this to your cyber security education. It can be very easy to neglect to study foundational concepts. It is possible to start studying for the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) for example with no experience in cyber security or ethical hacking at all. The OSCP is a very difficult exam that is very hands-on and applied. You can learn buffer overflows, SQL injection, and Metasploit but if you fail to understand the basics of networking or even computers in general you are going to fail.

Build the foundation the right way

Your foundational knowledge is certainly not written in stone. At least we hope not. It is possible to go back and re-learn foundational concepts. But this is the hardest way to do it. It is much harder to go back and re-teach yourself beginner concepts. Take the time early on to learn the basics and it will save you time later on.

comptia A+ Network+ Security+ payscale

Do I need to take the CompTIA A+ before the Network+?

If you have a strong background in information technology and computer hardware, you do not need to take the CompTIA A+ before the Network+. The A+ teaches some great foundational material but it is more focused on IT Support. Your time will be better spent studying for the Network+ and Security+ instead.

If you are brand new to information technology and cyber security, we would recommend talking the A+ before the Network+ and the Security+. But, the A+ is the only one of the CompTIA exams that we would say is up to your discretion. Unlike the Security+ and the Network+ where 100% of the material is applicable to a career in cyber security, the A+ has a slightly different focus (IT and Help Desk). If you are brand new and have no experience with IT, we would still recommend the A+.

Do I need to take the network+ before security+?

Taking the CompTIA Network+ before the Security+ will help you build a strong foundation in networking and also will help you easily pass the networking questions on the Security+ exam. There is some overlap between these two certifications, but both of these exams have crucial foundational material for your career in cyber security.

Does the Security+ require a lot of networking knowledge?

Yes, the Security+ exam encompasses a lot of networking knowledge. Some of the networking questions can be very basic, like answering various network terminology while others will call upon both your networking and security knowledge. Being able to apply your networking knowledge to security scenarios is the most important skill for the security+ exam.

Can I take the Security+ without the Network+?

Yes, there are no prerequisites for the Security+ exam. Studying for the Security+ alone will give you all of the networking knowledge you need to pass the exam. If you have a very strong foundation in networking this is a good option.

Should I take the Security+ without the Network+?

While there are no prerequisites for the Security+, we recommend taking the Network+ first. Having a solid understanding of networking will make the Security+ a lot easier. If you already understand the networking concepts on the security+, this will allow you to devote more time to understanding how security is applied to these networking concepts.

Is the Network+ harder than the Security+?

The Security+ is more difficult than the Network+. In order to pass the Security+, you need to have a solid understanding of the information from the Network+ and you also need to be able to apply security concepts to the networking topics.

Which CompTIA certification should I get first?

If you are brand new to the field of information technology or cyber security, you should take the A+ first. After passing the A+ you should then move on to take the Network+ and then the Security+.

CompTIA provides a very in-depth Certification roadmap that shows not only the CompTIA exams you need for a certain path, but also certifications from other vendors.

 Can’t decide whether to take the Security+ 501 or the 601? Check out this post where I lay out the pros and the cons of each exam.

Conclusion

If it has not been evident so far, there is no set order or selection of the A+, Network+, and Security+ that you HAVE to take. All of these exams will provide you with valuable material that you can apply to your career in cyber security. Everyone has a different starting place, so their unique demands should be considered. The bottom line is that you need to evaluate your background and your current knowledge and choose which combination of exams are right for you. The most important thing is that you be honest with yourself and where your knowledge is at. Remember, do not neglect the foundation!

Linux For Cyber Security – Top 25 Beginner Commands

Linux For Cyber Security – Top 25 Beginner Commands

Why Should You Learn Linux For Cyber Security?

Learning Linux can be one of the best educational investments you can make to prepare yourself to excel in the field of cyber security. Linux is widely used in cyber security by both red and blue teams.

This course will provide you with 25 of the most commonly used Linux terminal commands. After completing his course, will be all set to get started in your Linux distribution of choice.

Beginner Linux Commands

Follow Along!

Follow Along:

1:40 – pwd

1:54 – ls

3:40 – man

4:35 – cd

7:18 – bash history

7:45 – su

8:08 – what is a root user in linux?

8:23 – whoami

8:52 – clear

8:58 – sudo

10:03 – useradd

10:08 – passwd

10:53 – echo part 2

11:52 – cp

13:25 – mv

14:10 – echo part 2

14:49 – cat

15:36 – touch

16:00 – mkdir

17:25 – rm

17:40 – rmdir

19:00 – less

20:05 – head

20:40 – tail

22:20 – grep

24:25 – nano

25:50 – vim

28:09 – writing your first bash script

30:30 – chmod

33:40 – zip

34:20 – how to make an encrypted zip

36:00 – creating file hashes with linux

36:30 – md5sum

37:00 – shasum

37:50 – wget

38:45 – curl

40:00 – ping