CySA+: Studying for the exam [Updated 2020]

July 14, 2020 by Daniel Brecht

Introduction: The merits of being certified as a cybersecurity analyst

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.

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 cybersecurity analyst positions can use this credential to prove their bona fides to potential employers. This way, they can show 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 and Vulnerability Management (22%)
    • The importance of threat data and intelligence
    • Utilize threat intelligence to support organizational security
    • Perform vulnerability management activities
    • Analyze the output from common vulnerability assessment tools
    • Explain the threats and vulnerabilities associated with specialized technology
    • Explain the threats and vulnerabilities associated with operating in the cloud
    • Implement controls to mitigate attacks and software vulnerabilities
  • Software and systems security (18%)
    • Apply security solutions for infrastructure management
    • Software assurance best practices
    • Hardware assurance best practices
  • Security Operations and Monitoring (25%)
    • Analyze data as part of security monitoring activities
    • Implement configuration changes to existing controls in order to improve security
    • The importance of proactive threat hunting
    • Compare and contrast automation concepts and technologies
  • Incident Response (22%)
    • The importance of the incident response process
    • Apply the appropriate incident response procedure
    • Analyze potential indicators of compromise
    • Utilize basic digital forensics techniques
  • Compliance and Assessment (13%)
    • The importance of data privacy and protection
    • Apply security concepts in support of organizational risk mitigation
    • The importance of frameworks, policies, procedures and controls


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. And 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.



  1. CompTIA CySA+, CompTIA
  2. CompTIA CySA+ Certification Training, CompTIA
  3. CompTIA CySA+ CS0-002 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,
Posted: July 14, 2020
Daniel Brecht
View Profile

Daniel Brecht has been writing for the Web since 2007. His interests include computers, mobile devices and cyber security standards. He has enjoyed writing on a variety of topics ranging from cloud computing to application development, web development and e-commerce. Brecht has several years of experience as an Information Technician in the military and as an education counselor. He holds a graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and a Master of Science in Information Technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.