About SY0-501 Exam
The CompTIA SY0-501 exam marks an entry into the field of cybersecurity. It is designed to open new job opportunities as it will enable you to attain the CompTIA Security+ certificate. In that regard, this is the first test that a candidate should focus on to acquire a first-rate understanding of security operations at the basic level.
CompTIA Security+ Certification
The CompTIA Security+ certification is a springboard towards mid-level job roles in the field of IT security. It addresses the best practices and skills related to assessing the security posture of enterprise environments, monitoring and securing operational hybrid environments such as IoT and the cloud, operating with the security awareness concepts in mind, and identifying, analyzing, and responding to security incidents. By obtaining the Security+ certificate, you will be demonstrating a total awareness of cybersecurity operations at the entry and intermediate stages as well as your desire to build an IT career around core security solutions.
CompTIA SY0-501 Exam Overview
Exam SY0-501 features 90 inquiries of different types, including MCQs and performance-based tasks. The time limit set for this exam is 1 hour 30 minutes. As for the price, exam-takers should pay $370 per attempt and candidates are graded out of 900 points, while only those who gain a score of 750 or above can expect to qualify for the Security+ certification. Also, CompTIA recommends the applicants to have at least 2 years of proven experience working with security solutions. Note that the test promotes flexibility through its Japanese, English, Simplified Chinese, and Portuguese versions.
Finally, it should be mentioned that the current exam version, SY0-501 will be retiring on July 31, 2021, and instead the only exam that will lead you to be Security+ certified will be SY0-601. Currently both versions are available, so the applicants are allowed to select any of them. Anyway, check if you have enough time to prepare if your choice is the SY0-501 exam.
SY0-501 Exam Objectives
In summary, the CompTIA SY0-501 exam will evaluate your knowledge of the following objectives and topics:
Domain 1: Cryptography and PKI (12%)
This domain will cover the knowledge of basic cryptography concepts, an explanation of cryptography algorithms and their features, the installation and configuration of settings for wireless security, and the implementation of public key infrastructure.
Domain 2: Risk Management (14%)
This domain is centered on the explanation of the plans, procedures, and policies available in organizational security, an explanation of the concepts and processes related to managing risks, and procedures for giving an adequate response to incidents. In addition, this knowledge area covers the basic concepts of continuity of operation, forensics, as well as disaster recovery, the assessment of different forms of controls, and performing data privacy and security practices using an experimental scenario.
Domain 3: Identity and Access Management (16%)
This section emphasizes the similarities and differences between the concepts for managing identity and access. Also, it covers the peculiarities of managing and installing identity and access services. Finally, it asks candidates to learn more about identity and access management controls, and the differentiation of the common practices for managing accounts.
Domain 4: Design and architecture (15%)
This objective can be further broken down into different subtopics, including the explanation of use cases and roles of frameworks, configuration guides, the implementation of the concepts of designing secure network architecture, the implementation of well-secured systems design, and an explanation of the concepts for creating secure staging deployments. In conclusion, this knowledge area will test one’s mastery of security implications associated with embedded systems, a summary of the concepts related to developing and deploying applications securely, cloud technologies and virtualization, the significance of physical security controls, and the role of resiliency and automation strategies for reducing risk.
Domain 5: Common tools and technologies (22%)
In this section, the students will be tested on deployment of secure mobile devices, the implementation of secure protocols from a case scenario, an analysis and interpretation of output using security technologies. Also, it covers setting up and installation of the components of the network for software and hardware solutions, using suitable software tools for assessing an organization’s security posture, and troubleshooting of common issues in security.
Domain 6: Attacks, vulnerabilities, and threats (21%)
Finally, the last domain covers an analysis of the pointers of compromise and the determination of malware types. Also, it involves tasks about the comparison of the attacks of various types, and the attributes and types of the threat actor. Also, it addresses the knowledge of the concepts such as penetration testing, scanning vulnerability, and the effects of different forms of vulnerabilities.
In the current employment market, plenty of organizations have contributed to the value of the CompTIA Security+ certificate by always looking out for professionals having it. This increases your chances of getting hired upon completing your accreditation path. Some of the technical roles that are suitable for the holders of this certification are covered below:
- Security Administrators
Security administrators install, administer, and troubleshoot the security solutions of their organizations. They ensure the protection of the existing network systems to ascertain that they are free from unauthorized access. A successful security administrator not only boasts top-notch technical expertise but is also detail-oriented with effective communication skills. According to PayScale.com, security administrators can earn an average salary of $68k per year.
- Security Engineer
The job scope of security engineers covers comprehensive risk assessment, detection of system vulnerabilities, creation of firewalls, and the configuration of systems to improve the existing security features. Also, these individuals are responsible for maintaining hardware and software solutions by paying keen attention to the security features. Accordingly, they earn an average salary of $94k per year according to PayScale.com.
- Software Developer
A software developer designs, tests, and develops software and apps. They oversee a wide range of programming tasks, monitor system performance, and implement the latest features and programs. PayScale states that individuals in this position earn an average compensation of $72k per annum in the USA.
The CompTIA Security+ certification is more of an intermediate-level validation of competence within the broader cybersecurity field. But, if you choose to follow the CompTIA’s professional certification ladder, you can gain and verify advanced skills due to higher-level accreditations. Thus, the next step for you can be getting one of the following certificates: PenTest+, CySA+, CASP+.