In our globalized world, IT security has utmost importance for businesses operating on any scale, from local to those covering several continents. The purpose of the Security+ certification from CompTIA is to produce high-quality IT security professionals who can protect enterprises in the face of nefarious cybersecurity threats.

In this article, we will discuss Security+ certification relevancy, the role of its objectives/material in the real world, whether employers filter candidates based on this certification, and whether it is or isn’t a good entry-level certification for you.

Is the Security+ Certification Still Relevant?

The relevance of the CompTIA Security+ certification has been vigorously argued back and forth across discussion forums all over the Internet. Many people still believe that the Security+ cert is still relevant and even becoming more relevant as times change and security issues grow more complex, and enterprises recognize the value of Security+ professionals. Currently, several prestigious organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), Inter, Apple, and Dell in particular offer special job roles for Security+ IT experts.

If the candidate has already built up his or her IT resume, then the Security+ certification might not be relevant. IT professionals with more real-world experience should look into intermediate or advanced-level credentials such as the CASP certification. However, the Security+ certification is absolutely relevant, even crucial, for beginners.

How Relevant Are the Security+ Objectives/Material in the Real World?

Today, the world is a global village and digital literacy has paramount importance in the realm of IT security. Cybersecurity threats are growing exponentially as the attackers develop sophisticated cyber-attacks every day to compromise sensitive and confidential data and information. Over the past several years, many counties, including the United States, Russia, North Korea, China, and Iran, have leveled allegations at one another regarding severe cyberattacks on their governmental or non-governmental agencies. Therefore, CompTIA has specifically designed the objectives/material of its Security+ exam so that Sec+ certified professionals can meet the most recent IT security needs of the organizations. As a result of studying Security+ objectives/material and then getting certified, the candidate will be able to rigorously and exactingly perform certain IT security tasks in the organization in order to protect them from internal and external cyber security threats.

Organizations worldwide hire Security+ professionals for the following job roles:

  • Network administrator
  • Security or systems administrator
  • Security consultant
  • Security specialist/administrator

A Security+ professional having any of the above roles will have the deep knowledge required to perform certain IT tasks in the enterprises worldwide. These tasks include:

  • Identify risks
  • Collaborate in risk mitigation strategies
  • Provide application, infrastructure, information, and operational security
  • Deploy security controls to maintain CIA triad
  • Identify appropriate products and technologies
  • Troubleshoot security incidents and events
  • Work with an awareness of applicable laws, regulations, and policies

Cyberattacks can be detrimental in terms of cost, reputation, and revelation of corporate secrets. For example, Mark Ray (2017) discovered that unknown malicious parties exploited the vulnerability and instigated a massive cyberattack on the web application of Equifax Inc., one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the United States. Capitalizing on this bad practice, the cyberattackers compromised personally identifiable information (PII) of around 143 million customers across Canada, UK, and the US. In addition, Ewen MacAskill (2017) reported that fraudsters had compromised approximately 90 email accounts of the UK’s MPs (members of parliament) through brute-force attacks in June 2017. Moreover, Reuters (2017) reported another incident in which radio stations in Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, South Carolina, and Indiana were hacked to broadcast the Nipsey Hussle and Bompton-based rapper YG’s anti-Trump profanity-laced song that contained obscene language. So far in 2017, brute force attacks affected not only these organizations but also various other corporates, websites, and tools, including WordPress, Microsoft Office 365 Accounts, and others.

Security professionals responded to all the aforementioned attacks immediately to mitigate the impact and they rushed to implement best practices to prevent future attacks. This explicitly indicates the need and importance of IT security for organizations across the globe. The security+ material/objectives are clearly extremely relevant today in the field of IT security of the enterprises.

Do Employers Filter Candidates Based on This Certification?

Enterprises increasingly view IT certifications such as Security+ as an indicator of applicants’ qualifications when looking for the right candidate for a position. According to a report published by Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights (a global benchmark for operational and network security), nearly 27,000 job postings in 2016 specifically required applicants have CompTIA Security+ certification. The employers demand Security+ professionals to ensure network security, compliance and operational security, and performing cryptography functions to protect their businesses across the globe. According to a recently published CompTIA’s statistics report, 91% of employers believe that the IT certifications, including Security+, play a vital role in the hiring process and those certifications are a reliable predictor of successful employees. In addition, CompTIA’s HR perception of IT training and certification study, conducted in 2015, spelled out that 93% of HR professionals say they appreciate IT credentials, as this type of certification would really stand out to your future employer. The study also revealed that 72% of employers demand IT certifications for particular job openings. The table below demonstrates some more statistics about employers, published in CompTIA’s HR perception of IT training and certification study.

Percentage Employers Remarks
90% Say that IT certifications (including Security+) allow IT employees to learn faster in the wake of beginning a job.
91% Consider IT certifications (including Security+) save resources and time in evaluating a prospective IT job candidate.
92% Say that IT certified professionals (including Security+-certified) receive higher starting salaries than those deprived of IT certifications.
92% Believe that IT certification (including Security+) assist in ensuring the credibility of the IT employees.
95% Agree that IT certification (including Security+) provide baseline knowledge for certain IT jobs.

In addition, the employers of the following organizations require Security+-certified professionals.

  • S. Department of Defense
  • Intel
  • IBM
  • HP
  • Dell
  • Apple

Is Security+ a Good Entry-Level Certification for Security Professionals?

Yes, Security+ is a leading entry-level certification for security professionals. The objectives of this certification include essential principles for risk management and network security of enterprises, making it a prominent stepping stone for cybersecurity career paths. As cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities are increasing by leaps and bounds, Security+-certified professionals are highly desired by enterprises such as the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), Intel, IBM, HP, Dell, Apple, and more.

Salary Benefit: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently showed that Security+ professionals earn over $86,000 per year.

Industry Support: The leading IT specialist and subject matter experts develop and maintain the Security+ exam. They also consider the industry-wide survey feedback.

Global Recognition: The Security+ credential is tremendously popular around the globe. Certified security professionals are working in over 147 countries.

The Security+ credential is good for the IT newcomers due to its compliance with Directive 8570 of the U.S. Department of Defense. Directive 8570 provides procedures and guidance for the certification, training, and management of all the government’s employees who carry out information assurance functions in assigned duties.

Sec+ Training – Resources (InfoSec)

InfoSec Security+ Boot Camp

InfoSec offers a Security+ Boot Camp that teaches you the information theory and reinforces that theory with hands-on exercises that help you learn by doing.

Moreover, InfoSec has been one of the most awarded (42 industry awards) and trusted information security training vendors for 17 years.

InfoSec also offers thousands of articles on all manner of security topics.

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