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CompTIA Network+ / Security+
The CompTIA Network+ (Exam N10-007) certification ensures that the successful candidate has the important knowledge and skills necessary to manage, maintain, troubleshoot, install, operate and configure basic network infrastructure, describe networking technologies, basic design principles, and adhere to wiring standards and use testing tools.
CompTIA Security+ (Exam SY0-501) is the primary course you will need to take if your job responsibilities include securing network services, network devices, and network traffic. It is also the main course you will take to prepare for the CompTIA Security+ examination. In this course, you'll build on your knowledge and professional experience with computer hardware, operating systems, and networks as you acquire the specific skills required to implement basic security services on any type of computer network.
The CompTIA Network+ certification (Exam N10-007) is an internationally recognized validation of the technical knowledge required of foundation-level IT network practitioners.
This exam will certify the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to troubleshoot, configure, and manage common network devices; establish basic network connectivity; understand and maintain network documentation; identify network limitations and weaknesses; and implement network security, standards, and protocols. The candidate will have a basic understanding of enterprise technologies, including cloud and virtualization technologies.
CompTIA Network+ is accredited by ANSI to show compliance with the ISO 17024 Standard and, as such, undergoes regular reviews and updates to the exam objectives.
It is recommended for CompTIA Network+ candidates to have the following:
- CompTIA A+ certification or equivalent knowledge, though CompTIA A+ certification is not required.
- Have at least 9 to 12 months of work experience in IT networking.
1.0 Networking Concepts
Explain the purposes and uses of ports and protocols.
- Protocols and ports
- Protocol types
- Connection-oriented vs. connectionless
Explain devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI layers.
- Layer 1 - Physical
- Layer 2 - Data link
- Layer 3 - Network
- Layer 4 - Transport
- Layer 5 - Session
- Layer 6 - Presentation
- Layer 7 - Application
Explain the concepts and characteristics of routing and switching.
- Properties of network traffic
- Segmentation and interface properties
- IPv6 concepts
- Performance concepts
- Port forwarding
- Access control list
- Distributed switching
- Packet-switched vs. circuit-switched network
- Software-defined networking
Given a scenario, configure the appropriate IP addressing components.
- Private vs. public
- Loopback and reserved
- Default gateway
- Virtual IP
- Subnet mask
- Address assignments
Compare and contrast the characteristics of network topologies, types and technologies.
- Wired topologies
- Wireless topologies
- Technologies that facilitate the Internet of Things (IoT)
Given a scenario, implement the appropriate wireless technologies and configurations.
- 802.11 standards
- Speed and distance requirements
- Channel bandwidth
- Channel bonding
- Site surveys
Summarize cloud concepts and their purposes.
- Types of services
- Cloud delivery models
- Connectivity methods
- Security implications/considerations
- Relationship between local and cloud resources
Explain the functions of network services.
- DNS service
- DHCP service
Given a scenario, deploy the appropriate cabling solution.
- Media types
- Plenum vs. PVC
- Connector types
- Termination points
- Copper cable standards
- Copper termination standards
- Ethernet deployment standards
Given a scenario, determine the appropriate placement of networking devices on a network and install/configure them.
- Wireless access point
- Media converter
- Wireless range extender
- VoIP endpoint
Explain the purposes and use cases for advanced networking devices.
- Multilayer switch
- Wireless controller
- Load balancer
- Proxy server
- VPN concentrator
- AAA/RADIUS server
- UTM appliance
- NGFW/Layer 7 firewall
- VoIP PBX
- VoIP gateway
- Content filter
Explain the purposes of virtualization and network storage technologies.
- Virtual networking components
- Network storage types
- Connection type
- Jumbo frame
Compare and contrast WAN technologies.
- Service type
- Transmission mediums
- Characteristics of service
3.0 Network Operations
Given a scenario, use appropriate documentation and diagrams to manage the network.
- Diagram symbols
- Standard operating procedures / work instructions
- Logical vs. physical diagrams
- Rack diagrams
- Change management documentation
- Wiring and port locations
- IDF/MDF documentation
- Network configuration and performance baselines
- Inventory management
Compare and contrast business continuity and disaster recovery concepts.
- Availability concepts
- SLA requirements
Explain common scanning, monitoring and patching processes and summarize their expected outputs.
- Event management
- SNMP monitors
Given a scenario, use remote access methods.
- HTTPS/management URL
- Remote file access
- Out-of-band management
Identify policies and best practices.
- Privileged user agreement
- Password policy
- On-boarding/off-boarding procedures
- Licensing restrictions
- International export controls
- Data loss prevention
- Remote access policies
- Incident response policies
- System life cycle
- Safety procedures and policies
4.0 Network Security
Summarize the purposes of physical security devices.
Explain authentication and access controls.
- Authorization, authentication and accounting
- Multifactor authentication
- Access control
Given a scenario, secure a basic wireless network.
- Authentication and authorization
Summarize common networking attacks.
- Social engineering
- Insider threat
- Logic bomb
- Rogue access point
- Evil twin
- DNS poisoning
- ARP poisoning
- Brute force
- VLAN hopping
- Exploits vs. vulnerabilities
Given a scenario, implement network device hardening.
- Changing default credentials
- Avoiding common passwords
- Upgrading firmware
- Patching and updates
- File hashing
- Disabling unnecessary services
- Using secure protocols
- Generating new keys
- Disabling unused ports
Explain common mitigation techniques and their purposes.
- Signature management
- Device hardening
- Change native VLAN
- Switch port protection
- Network segmentation
- Privileged user account
- File integrity monitoring
- Role separation
- Restricting access via ACLs
- Penetration testing
5.0 Network Troubleshooting and Tools
Explain the network troubleshooting methodology.
- Identify the problem
- Establish a theory of probable cause
- Test the theory to determine the cause
- Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and identify potential effects
- Implement the solution or escalate as necessary
- Verify full system functionality and, if applicable, implement preventive measures
- Document findings, actions, and outcomes
Given a scenario, use the appropriate tool.
- Hardware tools
- Software tools
Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wired connectivity and performance issues.
- Incorrect pin-out
- Incorrect cable type
- Bad port
- Transceiver mismatch
- TX/RX reverse
- Duplex/speed mismatch
- Damaged cables
- Bent pins
- VLAN mismatch
- Network connection LED status indicators
Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wireless connectivity and performance issues.
- Incorrect antenna type
- Incorrect antenna placement
- Channel overlap
- Distance limitations
- Frequency mismatch
- Wrong SSID
- Wrong passphrase
- Security type mismatch
- Power levels
- Signal-to-noise ratio
Given a scenario, troubleshoot common network service issues.
- Names not resolving
- Incorrect gateway
- Incorrect netmask
- Duplicate IP addresses
- Duplicate MAC addresses
- Expired IP address
- Rogue DHCP server
- Untrusted SSL certificate
- Incorrect time
- Exhausted DHCP scope
- Blocked TCP/UDP ports
- Incorrect host-based firewall settings
- Incorrect ACL settings
- Unresponsive service
- Hardware failure
CompTIA Security+ (Exam SY0-501) is the certification globally trusted to validate foundational, vendor-neutral IT security knowledge and skills. As a benchmark for best practices in IT security, this certification covers the essential principles for network security and risk management - making it an important stepping stone of an IT security career.
IT security is paramount to organizations as cloud computing and mobile devices have changed the way we do business. With the massive amounts of data transmitted and stored on networks throughout the world, it's essential to have effective security practices in place. That's where CompTIA Security+ comes in. Get the Security+ certification to show that you have the skills to secure a network and deter hackers and you're ready for the job.
Security+ is government approved
CompTIA Security+ meets the ISO 17024 standard and is approved by U.S. Department of Defense to fulfill Directive 8570.01-M requirements. Once you obtain your Security+ you automatically have the CE designation required in the DoD Directive 8570.01 manual and going forward must comply with the CE program requirement of completing 50 CEUs in three years to maintain the credential. Security+ is also compliant with government regulations under Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
Security+ is globally recognized
CompTIA Security+ is a globally recognized credential with certified professionals working in over 147 countries throughout the world.
Security+ provides substantial earnings potential
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Security Specialists, Administrators and Managers earn over $86,000 per year.
The CompTIA Security+ certification is aimed at an IT security professional who has:
- A minimum of two years' experience in IT administration with a focus on security
- Day-to-day technical information security experience
- Broad knowledge of security concerns and implementation, including the topics in the domain list
1.0 Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities
1.1 Given a scenario, analyze indicators of compromise and determine the type of malware.
- Logic bomb
1.2 Compare and contrast types of attacks
- Social engineering
- Application/service attacks
- Wireless attacks
- Cryptographic attacks
1.3 Explain threat actor types and attributes.
- Types of actors
- Attributes of actors
- Use of open-source intelligence
1.4 Explain penetration testing concepts.
- Active reconnaissance
- Passive reconnaissance
- Initial exploitation
- Escalation of privilege
- Black box
- White box
- Gray box
- Penetration testing vs. vulnerability scanning
1.5 Explain vulnerability scanning concepts.
- Passively test security controls
- Identify vulnerability
- Identify lack of security controls
- Identify common misconfigurations
- Intrusive vs. non-intrusive
- Credentialed vs. non-credentialed
- False positive
1.6 Explain the impact associated with types of vulnerabilities.
- Race conditions
- Improper input handling
- Improper error handling
- Misconfiguration/weak configuration
- Default configuration
- Resource exhaustion
- Untrained users
- Improperly configured accounts
- Vulnerable business processes
- Weak cipher suites and implementations
- Memory/buffer vulnerability
- System sprawl/undocumented assets
- Architecture/design weaknesses
- New threats/zero day
- Improper certificate and key management
2.0 Technologies and Tools
2.1 Install and configure network components, both hardware- and software-based, to support organizational security.
- VPN concentrator
- Load balancer
- Access point
- Mail gateway
- SSL/TLS accelerators
- SSL decryptors
- Media gateway
- Hardware security module
2.2 Given a scenario, use appropriate software tools to assess the security posture of an organization.
- Protocol analyzer
- Network scanners
- Wireless scanners/cracker
- Password cracker
- Vulnerability scanner
- Configuration compliance scanner
- Exploitation frameworks
- Data sanitization tools
- Steganography tools
- Backup utilities
- Banner grabbing
- Passive vs. active
- Command line tools
2.3 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common security issues.
- Unencrypted credentials/clear text
- Logs and events anomalies
- Permission issues
- Access violations
- Certificate issues
- Data exfiltration
- Misconfigured devices
- Weak security configurations
- Personnel issues
- Unauthorized software
- Baseline deviation
- License compliance violation (availability/integrity)
- Asset management
- Authentication issues
2.4 Given a scenario, analyze and interpret output from security technologies.
- File integrity check
- Host-based firewall
- Application whitelisting
- Removable media control
- Advanced malware tools
- Patch management tools
- Data execution prevention
- Web application firewall
2.5 Given a scenario, deploy mobile devices securely.
- Connection methods
- Mobile device management concepts
- Enforcement and monitoring
- Deployment models
2.6 Given a scenario, implement secure protocols.
- Use cases
3.0 Architecture and Design
3.1 Explain use cases and purpose for frameworks, best practices and secure configuration guides.
- Industry-standard frameworks and reference architectures
- Benchmarks/secure configuration guides
- Defense-in-depth/layered security
3.2 Given a scenario, implement secure network architecture concepts.
- Security device/technology placement
3.3 Given a scenario, implement secure systems design.
- Hardware/firmware security
- Operating systems
3.4 Explain the importance of secure staging deployment concepts.
- Secure baseline
- Integrity measurement
3.5 Explain the security implications of embedded systems.
- Smart devices/IoT
- Camera systems
- Special purpose
3.6 Summarize secure application development and deployment concepts.
- Development life-cycle models
- Secure DevOps
- Version control and change management
- Provisioning and deprovisioning
- Secure coding techniques
- Code quality and testing
- Compiled vs. runtime code
3.7 Summarize cloud and virtualization concepts.
- VM sprawl avoidance
- VM escape protection
- Cloud storage
- Cloud deployment models
- On-premise vs. hosted vs. cloud
- Cloud access security broker
- Security as a Service
3.8 Explain how resiliency and automation strategies reduce risk.
- Master image
- Distributive allocation
- Fault tolerance
- High availability
3.9 Explain the importance of physical security controls.
- Security guards
- Secure cabinets/enclosures
- Protected distribution/Protected cabling
- Faraday cage
- Lock types
- Environmental controls
- Cable locks
- Screen filters
- Motion detection
- Infrared detection
- Key management
4.0 Identity and Access Management
4.1 Compare and contrast identity and access management concepts
- Identification, authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA)
- Multifactor authentication
- Single sign-on
- Transitive trust
4.2 Given a scenario, install and configure identity and access services.
- OpenID Connect
- Secure token
4.3 Given a scenario, implement identity and access management controls.
- Access control models
- Physical access control
- Biometric factors
- Certificate-based authentication
- File system security
- Database security
4.4 Given a scenario, differentiate common account management practices.
- Account types
- General Concepts
- Account policy enforcement
5.0 Risk Management
5.1 Explain the importance of policies, plans and procedures related to organizational security.
- Standard operating procedure
- Agreement types
- Personnel management
- General security policies
5.2 Summarize business impact analysis concepts.
- Mission-essential functions
- Identification of critical systems
- Single point of failure
- Privacy impact assessment
- Privacy threshold assessment
5.3 Explain risk management processes and concepts.
- Threat assessment
- Risk assessment
- Change management
5.4 Given a scenario, follow incident response procedures.
- Incident response plan
- Incident response process
5.5 Summarize basic concepts of forensics.
- Order of volatility
- Chain of custody
- Legal hold
- Data acquisition
- Strategic intelligence/counterintelligence gathering
- Track man-hours
5.6 Explain disaster recovery and continuity of operation concepts.
- Recovery sites
- Order of restoration
- Backup concepts
- Geographic considerations
- Continuity of operation planning
5.7 Compare and contrast various types of controls.
5.8 Given a scenario, carry out data security and privacy practices.
- Data destruction and media sanitization
- Data sensitivity labeling and handling
- Data roles
- Data retention
- Legal and compliance
6.0 Cryptography and PKI
6.1 Compare and contrast basic concepts of cryptography.
- Symmetric algorithms
- Modes of operation
- Asymmetric algorithms
- Salt, IV, nonce
- Elliptic curve
- Weak/deprecated algorithms
- Key exchange
- Digital signatures
- Stream vs. block
- Key strength
- Session keys
- Ephemeral key
- Secret algorithm
- Random/pseudo-random number generation
- Key stretching
- Implementation vs. algorithm selection
- Perfect forward secrecy
- Security through obscurity
- Common use cases
6.2 Explain cryptography algorithms and their basic characteristics.
- Symmetric algorithms
- Cipher modes
- Asymmetric algorithms
- Hashing algorithms
- Key stretching algorithms
6.3 Given a scenario, install and configure wireless security settings.
- Cryptographic protocols
- Authentication protocols
6.4 Given a scenario, implement public key infrastructure.
- Types of certificates
- Certificate formats
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