In the world of network administration and security, few credentials are more valued on the job than the CompTIA Security+ certification. Offered by the leading organization overseeing licensure and certification of network administrators, the CompTIA Security+ certification program is designed to assess skills related to network security management, risk management, and administrative policies like those that govern employee BYOD programs and more. Though it was once considered only an optional certification by many network security employers, today the CompTIA Security+ program represents a nearly universal requirement for those professionals who wish to put their IT or computer science skills to work maintaining or securing company servers, data centers, and other types of connected facilities.
Three Primary Skill Sets: A Look at the CompTIA Security+ Core Competences
The CompTIA Security+ examination has three main areas of focus. These areas are considered by the CompTIA organization to be the most important when securing a network and protecting the data stored on servers within a corporate office, data center or cloud facility. The three areas include:
This is perhaps the most significant area of focus for the CompTIA Security+ certification exam. In this case, access control simply means limiting access to server and company data only to those who are authorized to view, modify, or transmit that data. Access control involves keeping hackers out, which requires knowledge of how to set up a software firewall, create a hardware firewall or buffer zone, and implement security policies that require secure passwords and other limitations. Access control takes up a larger number of questions on the exam than the other two parts, and those who wish to earn the certification should make sure that they have fully studied access control policies involving hardware, software, institutional policies, and other areas.
The best way to safeguard information is certainly limiting access to it in the first place, but every good security policy has a backup plan that can still keep company data safe during a worst-case scenario. In almost all cases, that backup plan is encryption. Encrypted data requires a very sophisticated key in order to be unlocked and removed from its encrypted form. The typical hacker does not have this key, and this means they will be unable to read company files even if they get past access control measures. The CompTIA Security+ tests professionals on their knowledge of encryption technologies, codes, access keys, and other policies, to ensure that thy can properly implement this backup plan for their employer.
Access control and encryption are important, and they depend on proper identity management in order to work properly. Simply put, identity management focuses on the creation and identification of user accounts that can access data. Test-takers will be asked questions about creating access policies, differentiating the levels of user permissions required to access servers and data, and managing unauthorized access from user accounts based on company policies.
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A Comprehensive Examination for Network Security Professionals
Few exams in the network security world are more advanced and widely accepted as this one from CompTIA. Those network management professionals who wish to take on a role managing server and data security almost always must pass this test in order to be considered for the job. By studying the three areas of focus required by the CompTIA Security+ certification exam, those professionals will be better prepared to properly manage network security and policy administration in the long-term.