The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) addresses the growing demand for advanced IT security in the enterprise. It is recommended for IT professionals that have a minimum of 5 years’ worth of experience in an IT Administrative role. CASP seeks to show that the candidate is capable of rational thought and good judgment across many different security disciplines, and it does this by testing if candidates are able to come up with innovative solutions to complicated IT issues within environments that have stringent security requirements.
The current cyber-security environment needs specific skills to diagnose and fault find through the use customized tools and applications, meaning that the CASP professional must be able to build their own solutions to many problems. Each workaround that is developed is usually a unique approach to a specific problem, which is why these candidates are top tier security experts with the knowledge and abilities to prove it. CASP-certified IT professionals, are able to show off their skills by providing protection and knowledge to businesses, both private and government.
What Kind of Jobs Can I Get with the CASP Certification?
Because of the high level of technical ability that is required by candidates to successfully certify as a CASP, the types of jobs that are available are generally upper-level to senior level, depending on the candidate’s work history and work experience. The need for cyber-security professionals is growing globally, meaning that companies want to hire certified candidates with high levels of cyber-security expertise. The CASP certification verifies these skills and show employers that you are the right person for the job.
Individuals with hacking capabilities are in high demand, which means that a CASP based career could see you finding your dream job almost anywhere in the world hacking. CASP is also government approved, making it possible for candidates to find work within these structures. CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner is compliant with ISO 17024 standards, and is also approved by the U.S. Department of Defense, which meets Directive 8570.01-M. It is also compliant with Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
What are the Most Common CASP Job Titles and Descriptions?
The CASP is different to other mastery-level certifications in that it offers a more hands on approach, teaching real world skills that can be used in the field. Other certifications such as the CISM or CISSP are seen more as management track courses and offer more managerial and oversight skills than the deeper topics like hacking. This makes the course highly technical and is highly comprehensive in all of the security subject matter that it encompasses.
Cyber Security Analyst
The main job function of a Cyber Security Analyst is to develop and implement security plans to protect IT systems, network infrastructure and data within an organization. Information security analysts need to keep their knowledge of cybercriminal activities current and up to date if they are to protect their organizations against the latest threats. This is a good way to create counter measures to thwart any attempts that are made against the company in an attempt to breach the security policies that are in place.
Some key job responsibilities are:
Developing disaster recovery plans
Conducting risk assessments and making recommendations
Maintaining security systems like firewalls and security appliances
Staff training and IT policy design and implementation
Security Engineers are responsible for data systems within a company, and have a similar role to that of the Cyber Security Analyst, but with more of a focus on implementation than on reporting and policy creation, although these roles overlap. System Engineers perform pentesting and simulated attacks so that they can harden the organizations defenses and lower the possibility of there being a serious breach.
Some key job responsibilities are:
Enforcing Security Plans and Policies
Creating and Implementing Protective Measures
Monitoring Network for Security Incidents
Investigating and Reporting Security Incidents
The role of Network Engineer is a varied one as it encompasses many responsibilities and functions. Network Engineers have intimate knowledge of how communications systems work on a software and hardware level, and are able to design, install and maintain networks. Network Engineers will need to know about network security best practice, and be able to create a stable and secure communications environment within an organization, although their primary focus will be on network operation and functionality.
Some key job responsibilities are:
Network Design and Implementation
Network Performance Monitoring
Troubleshooting and Repairing Network Faults
Administering Network Devices
Maintaining Network Infrastructure
What Kind of Salary Bump Can I Expect After Getting Certified?
Candidates that have a CASP certification can expect a good income. The salary expectation should range from $75,000 USD and $130,000 USD per year, depending on experience and job role. This is a highly technical career path that usually requires that candidates already have 10 years of work experience in IT Administration prior to writing the exam, with 5 years of focused Information Security exposure.
CompTIA offers a Continued Education program (CE) that must be renewed every 3 years. This ensures qualified candidates that their certifications remain valid and that they can keep up with all of the latest developments in IT security. The fee to remain registered is $50 USD every year or $150 USD once every 3 years.
Professionals that wish to become CASP certified should look at CompTIA’s recommended certification progression order. The courses build up in difficulty and prepare candidates incrementally as they build upon each successive certification. Below is a brief description of each course and what you can hope to learn from them.
The CompTIA Security+ certification is an internationally recognized exam that meets ISO 17024 standards, and is approved by the US DoD as a valid fulfillment of Directive 8570.01-M. This means that successful candidates automatically get a CE designation as well. The certification is recognized in 147 countries worldwide and is an excellent starting point for IT professionals that want to pursue a career in cyber-security.
Salary expectations for Security Specialists, Administrators and Managers with the Security+ certification can expect to earn over $86,000 USD per year.
CompTIA CSA (CySA+ as of June 29th 2018)
An increasingly savvy cybercriminal has led to the need for security experts to up their game in the fight against attacks. The CSA has traditionally sought to teach behavioral analytics skills to identify and combat malware, while also teaching candidates about advanced persistent threats (APTs). This all comes together to provide learners with a greatly enhanced ability to view threats across a wide range of attack vectors.
The main security analyst skills that it teaches are:
Configuring and using threat detection tools
Performing Data Analysis
Results interpretation and vulnerability assessments and reporting
Certified candidates can expect to earn $90,120 USD per annum, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The CASP is an excellent way to validate your advanced IT Security skills, and will provide you with skills and knowledge that employers are increasingly looking for. Be sure to look at Infosec Institute’s fantastic CASP Bootcamp offerings to give yourself the best chance of passing your CASP.