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The CompTIA Security+ Certification (Exam SY0-401) is a vendor neutral credential. The CompTIA Security+
exam is an internationally recognized validation of foundation-level security skills and knowledge,
and is used by organizations and security professionals around the globe.
The CompTIA Security+ exam will certify that the successful candidate has the knowledge and
skills required to identify risk, to participate in risk mitigation activities, and to provide
infrastructure, application, information, and operational security. In addition, the successful
candidate will apply security controls to maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability, identify
appropriate technologies and products, troubleshoot security events and incidents, and operate
with an awareness of applicable policies, laws, and regulations.
The CompTIA Security+ Certification is aimed at an IT security professional who has:
- A minimum of 2 years experience in IT administration with a focus on security
- Day to day technical information security experience
- Broad knowledge of security concerns and implementation
1.0 Network Security
1.1 Implement security configuration parameters on network devices and other technologies.
- Load Balancers
- Web security gateways
- VPN concentrators
- NIDS and NIPS
- Protocol analyzers
- Spam filter
- UTM security appliances
- Web application firewall vs. network firewall
- Application aware devices
1.2 Given a scenario, use secure network administration principles.
- Rule-based management
- Firewall rules
- VLAN management
- Secure router configuration
- Access control lists
- Port Security
- Flood guards
- Loop protection
- Implicit deny
- Network separation
- Log analysis
- Unified Threat Management
1.3 Explain network design elements and components.
- Remote Access
- Cloud Computing
- Layered security / Defense in depth
1.4 Given a scenario, implement common protocols and services.
- OSI relevance
1.5 Given a scenario, troubleshoot security issues related to wireless networking.
- MAC filter
- Disable SSID broadcast
- Antenna Placement
- Power level controls
- Captive portals
- Antenna types
- Site surveys
- VPN (over open wireless)
2.0 Compliance and Operational Security
2.1 Explain the importance of risk related concepts.
- Control types
- False positives
- False negatives
- Importance of policies in reducing risk
- Risk calculation
- Quantitative vs. qualitative
- Threat vectors
- Probability / threat likelihood
- Risk-avoidance, transference, acceptance, mitigation, deterrence
- Risks associated with Cloud Computing and Virtualization
- Recovery time objective and recovery point objective
2.2 Summarize the security implications of integrating systems and data with third parties.
- On-boarding/off-boarding business partners
- Social media networks and/or applications
- Interoperability agreements
- Privacy considerations
- Risk awareness
- Unauthorized data sharing
- Data ownership
- Data backups
- Follow security policy and procedures
- Review agreement requirements to verify compliance and performance standards
2.3 Given a scenario, implement appropriate risk mitigation strategies.
- Change management
- Incident management
- User rights and permissions reviews
- Perform routine audits
- Enforce policies and procedures to prevent data loss or theft
- Enforce technology controls
2.4 Given a scenario, implement basic forensic procedures.
- Order of volatility
- Capture system image
- Network traffic and logs
- Capture video
- Record time offset
- Take hashes
- Track man hours and expense
- Chain of custody
- Big Data analysis
2.5 Summarize common incident response procedures.
- Incident identification
- Escalation and notification
- Mitigation steps
- Lessons learned
- Recovery/reconstitution procedures
- First responder
- Incident isolation
- Data breach
- Damage and loss control
2.6 Explain the importance of security related awareness and training.
- Security policy training and procedures
- Role-based training
- Personally identifiable information
- Information classification
- Data labeling, handling and disposal
- Compliance with laws, best practices and standards
- User habits
- New threats and new security trends/alerts
- Use of social networking and P2P
- Follow up and gather training metrics to validate compliance and security posture
2.7 Compare and contrast physical security and environmental controls.
- Environmental controls
- Physical security
- Control types
2.8 Summarize risk management best practices.
- Business continuity concepts
- Fault tolerance
- Disaster recovery concepts
2.9 Given a scenario, select the appropriate control to meet the goals of security.
3.0 Threats and Vulnerabilities
3.1 Explain types of malware.
- Logic bomb
- Polymorphic malware
- Armored virus
3.2 Summarize various types of attacks.
- Smurf attack
- Spear phishing
- Xmas attack
- Privilege escalation
- Malicious insider threat
- DNS poisoning and ARP poisoning
- Transitive access
- Client-side attacks
- Password attacks
- Typo squatting/URL hijacking
- Watering hole attack
3.3 Summarize social engineering attacks and the associated effectiveness with each attack.
- Shoulder surfing
- Dumpster diving
- Principles (reasons for effectiveness)
3.4 Explain types of wireless attacks.
- Rogue access points
- Evil twin
- War driving
- War chalking
- IV attack
- Packet sniffing
- Near field communication
- Replay attacks
- WEP/WPA attacks
- WPS attacks
3.5 Explain types of application attacks.
- Cross-site scripting
- SQL injection
- LDAP injection
- XML injection
- Directory traversal/command injection
- Buffer overflow
- Integer overflow
- Cookies and attachments
- LSO (Locally Shared Objects)
- Flash Cookies
- Malicious add-ons
- Session hijacking
- Header manipulation
- Arbitrary code execution / remote code execution
3.6 Analyze a scenario and select the appropriate type of mitigation and deterrent techniques.
- Monitoring system logs
- Network security
- Security posture
- Detection controls vs. prevention controls
3.7 Given a scenario, use appropriate tools and techniques to discover security threats and vulnerabilities.
- Interpret results of security assessment tools
- Risk calculations
- Assessment types
- Assessment technique
3.8 Explain the proper use of penetration testing versus vulnerability scanning.
- Penetration testing
- Vulnerability scanning
- Black box
- White box
- Gray box
4.0 Application, Data and Host Security
4.1 Explain the importance of application security controls and techniques.
- Secure coding concepts
- Cross-site scripting prevention
- Cross-site Request Forgery (XSRF) prevention
- Application configuration baseline (proper settings)
- Application hardening
- Application patch management
- NoSQL databases vs. SQL databases
- Server-side vs. Client-side validation
4.2 Summarize mobile security concepts and technologies.
- Device security
- Application security
- BYOD concerns
4.3 Given a scenario, select the appropriate solution to establish host security.
- Operating system security and settings
- OS hardening
- Patch management
- White listing vs. black listing applications
- Trusted OS
- Host-based firewalls
- Host-based intrusion detection
- Hardware security
- Host software baselining
4.4 Implement the appropriate controls to ensure data security.
- Cloud storage
- Handling Big Data
- Data encryption
- Hardware based encryption devices
- Data in-transit, Data at-rest, Data in-use
- Data policies
4.5 Compare and contrast alternative methods to mitigate security risks in static environments.
5.0 Access Control and Identity Management
5.1 Compare and contrast the function and purpose of authentication services.
- Secure LDAP
5.2 Given a scenario, select the appropriate authentication, authorization or access control.
- Identification vs. authentication vs. authorization
- Authentication factors
- Transitive trust/authentication
5.3 Install and configure security controls when performing account management, based on best practices.
- Mitigate issues associated with users with multiple account/roles and/or shared accounts
- Account policy enforcement
- Group based privileges
- User assigned privileges
- User access reviews
- Continuous monitoring
6.1 Given a scenario, utilize general cryptography concepts.
- Symmetric vs. asymmetric
- Session keys
- In-band vs. out-of-band key exchange
- Fundamental differences and encryption methods
- Transport encryption
- Key escrow
- Digital signatures
- Use of proven technologies
- Elliptic curve and quantum cryptography
- Ephemeral key
- Perfect forward secrecy
6.2 Given a scenario, use appropriate cryptographic methods.
- WEP vs. WPA/WPA2 and preshared key
- One-time pads
- Comparative strengths and performance of algorithms
- Use of algorithms/protocols with transport encryption
- Cipher suites
- Key stretching
6.3 Given a scenario, use appropriate PKI, certificate management and associated components.
- Certificate authorities and digital certificates
- Recovery agent
- Public key
- Private key
- Key escrow
- Trust models
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