CASP+ Certification: Overview and Career Path [2022 update]
The CASP+ certification is a vendor-neutral credential. It is an internationally targeted validation of the advanced-level technical skills and knowledge required to conceptualize, engineer, integrate and implement secure solutions across complex environments to support a resilient enterprise while considering the impact of governance, risk, and compliance requirements. The CASP+ exam domains relate to current job requirements for IT professionals asked to design, assess, mitigate and operate a secure enterprise network or lead the technical teams responsible for these tasks.
The CompTIA CASP+ is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to show compliance with the ISO 17024 standard. ANSI is a non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products. It ensures that the certification undergoes regular reviews and updates to address the latest technologies and meet the needs of the industry.
The certification also adheres to certain requirements about the Payment Card Industry — Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and NIST 800-53 Risk Management Framework (RMF), which require IT pros to identify and mitigate enterprise risk. In addition, the credential is a DoD Approved 8570 baseline certification for IAT Level III, IAM Level II, IASAE I and II.
The latest version of CASP+ (CAS-004) launched in October 2021 and covered four topics: Security Operations; Security Architecture; Security Engineering and Cryptography; Governance, Risk and Compliance. More on the specifics can be found in the CAS-004 Exam Objectives. The exam costs $480 and challenges candidates with a maximum of 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions. It Is pass/fail only and has no scaled score.
Who should earn the CASP+?
As the nature of cyber threats broadens, the number of security threats to organizations grows globally. Companies know that security cannot be an afterthought, nor something to be addressed after an attack has already wiped out the business. It must be developed at the foundational level to ensure the organization’s electronic health and safety. This has created a need for security professionals globally.
The CASP+ “is intended for those who wish to remain immersed in hands-on enterprise security, incident response and architecture, for example, as opposed to managing cybersecurity policy and frameworks.” Candidates will mostly be individuals attempting to attain a position in the IT security field to address the numerous security challenges facing organizations. In particular, it is a great option for security architects and senior security engineers tasked with improving an enterprise’s cybersecurity readiness.
What experience do you need?
CompTIA recommends that candidates have a minimum of 10 years of general hands-on IT experience, with at least five years of broad hands-on security experience, before facing the CASP+ exam.
How does the CASP+ compare to other security certs?
The CASP+ is a vendor-neutral certification and is not specific to any technology. It can be compared in terms of difficulty and qualification requirements with other sought-after cybersecurity credentials. The overall choice of certification to pursue depends on the preference of the candidate and the ability of the market to accommodate holders of a specific certification. Make sure you have an idea of where you’d like your career to be in the years to come before embarking on a high-level certification study. Next, we will list two alternative options.
ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
This vendor-neutral credential that requires a minimum of 5 years of professional information security management work experience is an advanced level certification that demonstrates expertise in information security governance, program development and management, incident management and risk management. It is for professionals with IT management experience with information security roles and responsibilities. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.
As one of the most popular and most pursued cybersecurity certifications globally, it’s one of the best credentials any work professional could earn in management.
(ISC) ²’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
This vendor-neutral credential requires a minimum of 5 years of professional work experience across a wide array of security practices and principles. It is for professionals with proven deep technical and managerial competence, skills, experience and credibility to design, engineer, implement and manage an organization’s overall security posture. The exam consists of multiple mixed choices and what the organization calls “advanced innovative” questions on security and risk management, asset security, security architecture and engineering, communication and network security, identity and access management (IAM), security assessment and testing, security operations, and software development security.
As one of the most esteemed cybersecurity certifications globally, it recognizes information security leaders who understand cybersecurity strategy and hands-on implementation. The CISSP certification is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge at an elite level. It shows the ability to design, engineer, implement, manage, and run an information security program within an organization. CISSP was the first information security credential to meet the strict conditions of ISO/IEC Standard 17024.
Is the CASP+ worth the investment?
The CASP+ requires a strong commitment by a candidate in terms of preparation time and effort given the diverse technologies that candidates must master. There are, however, apparent benefits in acquiring this certification. It is a way to set yourself apart from other candidates or position you better for internal promotion and career advancement. It also offers a positive outlook for job prospects in terms of salary.
The following cybersecurity roles would greatly benefit from the expertise of the CASP+ credential:
- Security operations center (SOC) manager
- Security analyst
- IT cybersecurity specialist/InfoSec specialist
- Cyber risk analyst
- Security architect
- Technical lead analyst
- Senior security engineer
- Applications Security Engineer
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
You’ll find the following companies among those who often look for CASP-accredited professionals:
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Network Solutions
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Military
- Lockheed Martin Corp
What is the best way to train for the CASP+?
There are a couple of ways that prospective CASPs can prepare for the certification, depending on the candidate’s preferences and level of understanding. Some preferences are discussed below in a brief overview for candidates to pick their best suit according to how much they already know, the time at their disposal, and their learning style.
The good thing about in-person boot camps is that they are well structured, with skilled instructors leading sessions. This setup allows candidates to be accountable for their study progress while at the same time building their motivation to remain focused on mastering the four domain areas and the objectives of the study.
Live Online Training
Candidates who prefer classroom-based study in the comfort of their home or workspace might be best suited by this study mode. The candidate is logged online to an active and live session where an instructor takes charge. This study mode has various advantages. The candidate can, for example, enjoy session re-sits, interact in real-time with the instructor, ask questions whenever necessary, save on travel expenses by being able to study online, and, in some cases, gain access to video recordings, depending on the terms agreed upon with the facilitator of the training.
The self-study mode of training requires discipline to cover the content in the required time. Candidates choosing this mode might want to obtain study materials online and use them to prep for the examination. Below are a few options offered by CompTIA:
The CompTIA CASP+ CAS-004 Certification Study Guide is helpful to learn and master the material covered in the exam. The text is great for individual learners looking to study at their own pace, as it gives a good understanding of what is covered in all domains on which the exam is based.
CompTIA CertMaster Learn for CASP+ (CAS-004) is a comprehensive interactive and self-paced learning tool that combines instructional lessons with assessments, videos, and hours of content that prepare learners for their CompTIA certification exam. It includes an overview of the tested topic areas, which can help assess your readiness.
CompTIA CertMaster Labs for CASP+ (CAS-004) makes it easy for learners to apply their skills in real workplace scenarios via browser-based virtual environments that use real equipment and software to put learning into practice.
CompTIA CertMaster Practice for CASP+ (CAS-004) is an online knowledge assessment and training companion tool with performance-based questions to find knowledge gaps and help learners fill them quickly. What’s more, it includes personalized remediation and feedback to help them be more confident when they go into their certification exam.
Is the CASP+ certification for you?
In a field like cybersecurity, which is continually evolving, it’s no surprise that demand for the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner certification has increased. The CASP+ certification equips candidates with the necessary skills to fit into the ever-growing computer security industry. Professionals awarded the certification can showcase their hands-on ability to work with the latest technologies within an organizational security environment. Because of this, globally recognized corporations and security firms are much more likely to hire professionals with this difficult but highly-desired certification. Start down the path today if you think you have what it takes!
- CASP+ vs. CISSP: 4 Advantages of CompTIA’s Advanced Cybersecurity Cert., CompTIA
- Cybersecurity Jobs: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, CompTIA
- 5 Cybersecurity Jobs You Could Get With CASP+, CompTIA
- CASP Certification Approved for DoD Technicians, CompTIA
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- The New CASP+: Your Questions Answered, CompTIA
- CASP+ 003 vs. 004: What’s the Difference?, CompTIA
- How Do I Get My CASP+ Certification?, CompTIA
- CASP+ Certification Training, CompTIA
- Salary for Certification: CASP, PayScale
- CAS-004 Exam Objectives, CompTIA