Introduction: The merits of being certified as a Cyber Security Analyst (CSA)

Many organizations are placing a greater value on hiring employees who have IT security certifications, illustrating the increasing demand for professionals with advanced skills to fill cybersecurity roles. In particular, employees often need to prove their ability in detecting and preventing vulnerabilities and in analyzing the aftermath of a computer security incident by collecting and scrutinizing evidence within an IT infrastructure to understand how (and why) internet-related attacks occurred. 

Companies are looking for professionals who, using their insight, can ensure a more resilient and protected information systems structure against potential threats. These desirable traits and knowledge, typical of cybersecurity analysts, are what employers are looking for in a job applicant.

Businesses are seeking the perfect candidate who not only has years of hands-on information security or related experience but also can demonstrate their competency through certifications like the CompTIA CySA+ certification (named CSA+ until June 28, 2018).


Why earn the CySA+ credential?

Infosec provides this handy summary: “The CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) is an international, vendor-neutral cybersecurity certification that applies behavioral analytics to improve the overall state of IT security. CySA+ validates critical knowledge and skills that are required to prevent, detect and combat cybersecurity threats.” This credential is an internationally-recognized corroboration of one’s security skills and knowledge mastery.

IT practitioners looking to fill one of the many available entry-level CSA positions can use this credential to prove to potential employers that they not only have the education and possibly work experience to back up their application, but they are also up-to-date with the knowledge required to succeed in the field and have a general understanding of all topics that a professional should cover when employed in these roles. Skilled cybersecurity analysts are important assets of an organization, making significant contributions with their role in the delivery of designing security integration solutions with analytics tools that will detect and respond to internet-related incidents for resolution on networks. They are also capable of adapting their solutions to the peculiarity of their workplace.

The CySA+ covers topics like:

  • Threat management
    • Reconnaissance techniques
    • Analysis of gathered data
    • Network hardening
    • Pentesting
    • Reverse-engineering
  • Vulnerability management
    • Scanning practices and tools
    • Scan results analysis
    • Remediation
    • Where to look for vulnerabilities
  • Cyber-incident response
    • Incident impact
    • Forensic investigation
    • Communication with stakeholders
    • Containment and eradication techniques
  • Security architecture and tool sets
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Access management issues
    • Recommendations
    • Secure coding

Ways to prepare for the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+) exam

The test consists of 85 multiple-choice questions and performance-based answers with a technical, hands-on focus to test a candidate’s familiarity with security analytics, intrusion detection and response. (See: Exam Code CS0-001.) Preparing for this intermediate-level test requires the ability to translate theoretical knowledge in practical actions. 

If you are ready to start the path toward your well-recognized and respected CySA+ certification, then look for CompTIA’s learning tools so you will be much more confident when going in to take the exam. Tools include: eLearning with CertMaster, which includes a customizable learning plan and performance-based questions; Exam Prep with CertMaster Practice, which assesses your knowledge and exam readiness; Interactive Labs with CertMaster Labs permit the necessary hands-on skills for your exam; Video Training with ITPro TV that offers high-level cert training; and the official CompTIA books and study guides with accessible content that covers all exam objectives.

Note: The practical aspect of the certification (that mirrors the practical abilities required of any cybersecurity analysts) prompts the use of labs and virtual environments in which students can test their knowledge and skills with hands-on exercises that help them “learn by doing.”

To find study materials:

  • Go to the CySA+ page
  • Click on Preparation
  • Choose the CompTIA CertMaster Labs for CySA+ that “helps learners gain hands-on experience with real equipment and software to put their learning into practice.” As CompTIA stated: “You will develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and reinforce the practical aspects of the CySA+ certification exam objectives.” The CertMaster Labs enables learning by applying knowledge in virtual environments through an internet browser, where the professionals’ complete tasks and immediately see the impact of their actions

In order to pass CompTIA’s CySA+ certification test, test takers might want to consider also the following resources:

  • The CySA+ Certification Study Guide will prepare you to take the CompTIA CySA+ CS0-001 exam by providing 100% coverage of the objectives and content examples listed on the syllabus
  • The CertMaster for CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) is an assessment and certification training companion tool that helps you gain knowledge and prepare for your CompTIA exam
  • The CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) Cert Guide, Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test (published Jun 26, 2017, by Pearson IT Certification) is designed to help learners craft their final study plan
  • The comprehensive overview of the topic areas tested in your CySA+ certification exam gives a glimpse of the exam objectives
  • The free practice test questions for your CompTIA CySA+ certification exam to complete your prep plan

When you are fully prepared, all there’s left to do is to buy the exam voucher through the CompTIA Marketplace and then schedule for examination through Pearson VUE.

Conclusion

Analysts and cybersecurity experts agree that among the job skill sets that employers chiefly look for in new hires and staff are the ability to apply critical thinking, analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills to improve the overall state of IT security in a workplace environment. 

To prove proficiency and competence, professionals can turn to industry-recognized certifications like the CompTIA CySA+ credential to stand out in a competitive job market. To get sufficient training, always consider going beyond the guiding material offered by the certifying body to gain a broader overall knowledge base and to help fill possible gaps in preparation. Make sure to include hands-on lab experiences that will permit learners to practice their skills in a risk-free learning environment.

 

Sources

  1. CompTIA CySA+, CompTIA
  2. CompTIA CySA+ Certification Training, CompTIA
  3. CompTIA CySA+ CS0-001 Certification Study Guide, CompTIA
  4. CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+): Your Questions Answered, CompTIA
  5. CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) Cert Guide, Pearson IT Certification
  6. Gap in cybersecurity knowledge creates challenges for organizations, CSO
  7. Entry-Level Information Security Analyst with Cyber Security Skills Salary, PayScale
  8. Become a Security Analyst, cyberdegrees.org

Be Safe

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Daniel
Brecht

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Daniel
Brecht

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