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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+ is a global certification that validates the baseline skills necessary to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career.
Why is it different?
More choose Security+ - chosen by more corporations and defense organizations than any other certification on the market to validate baseline security skills and for fulfilling the DoD 8570 compliance.
Security+ proves hands-on skills - the only baseline cybersecurity certification emphasizing hands-on practical skills, ensuring the security professional is better prepared to problem solve a wider variety of today's complex issues.
More job roles turn to Security+ to supplement skills - baseline cybersecurity skills are applicable across more of today's job roles to secure systems, software and hardware.
Security+ is aligned to the latest trends and techniques - covering the most core technical skills in risk assessment and management, incident response, forensics, enterprise networks, hybrid/cloud operations, and security controls, ensuring high-performance on the job.
What Skills Will You Learn?Attacks, Threats and Vulnerabilities
Focusing on more threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities on the Internet from newer custom devices that must be mitigated, such as IoT and embedded devices, newer DDoS attacks, and social engineering attacks based on current events.Architecture and Design
Includes coverage of enterprise environments and reliance on the cloud, which is growing quickly as organizations transition to hybrid networks.Implementation
Expanded to focus on administering identity, access management, PKI, basic cryptography, wireless, and end-to-end security.Operations and Incident Response
Covering organizational security assessment and incident response procedures, such as basic threat detection, risk mitigation techniques, security controls, and basic digital forensics.Governance, Risk and Compliance
Expanded to support organizational risk management and compliance to regulations, such as PCI-DSS, SOX, HIPAA, GDPR, FISMA, NIST, and CCPA.
Jobs that use CompTIA Security+
- Security Administrator
- Systems Administrator
- Helpdesk Manager / Analyst
- Network / Cloud Engineer
- Security Engineer / Analyst
- DevOps / Software Developer
- IT Auditors
- IT Project Manager
CompTIA Security+ is the first security certification a candidate should earn. It establishes the core knowledge required of any cybersecurity role and provides a springboard to intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs. Security+ incorporates best practices in hands-on troubleshooting, ensuring candidates have practical security problem-solving skills required to:
- Assess the security posture of an enterprise environment and recommend and implement appropriate security solutions
- Monitor and secure hybrid environments, including cloud, mobile, and IoT
- Operate with an awareness of applicable laws and policies, including principles of governance, risk, and compliance
- Identify, analyze, and respond to security events and incidents
Security+ is compliant with ISO 17024 standards and approved by the US DoD to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements. Regulators and government rely on ANSI accreditation, because it provides confidence and trust in the outputs of an accredited program. Over 2.3 million CompTIA ISO/ANSI-accredited exams have been delivered since January 1, 2011.
1.0 Threats, Attacks, and Vulnerabilities
Compare and contrast different types of social engineering techniques.
- Spam over instant messaging (SPIM)
- Spear phishing
- Dumpster diving
- Shoulder surfing
- Eliciting information
- Identity fraud
- Invoice scams
- Credential harvesting
- Watering hole attack
- Influence campaigns
- Principles (reasons for effectiveness)
Given a scenario, analyze potential indicators to determine the type of attack.
- Password attacks
- Physical attacks
- Adversarial artificial intelligence (AI)
- Supply-chain attacks
- Cloud-based vs. on-premises attacks
- Cryptographic attacks
Given a scenario, analyze potential indicators associated with application attacks.
- Privilege escalation
- Cross-site scripting
- Pointer/object dereference
- Directory traversal
- Buffer overflows
- Race conditions
- Error handling
- Improper input handling
- Replay attack
- Integer overflow
- Request forgeries
- Application programming interface (API) attacks
- Resource exhaustion
- Memory leak
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) stripping
- Driver manipulation
- Pass the hash
Given a scenario, analyze potential indicators associated with network attacks.
- On-path attack
- Layer 2 attacks
- Domain name system (DNS)
- Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS)
- Malicious code or script execution
Explain different threat actors, vectors, and intelligence sources.
- Actors and threats
- Attributes of actors
- Threat intelligence sources
- Research sources
Explain the security concerns associated with various types of vulnerabilities.
- Cloud-based vs. on-premises vulnerabilities
- Weak configurations
- Third-party risks
- Improper or weak patch management
- Legacy platforms
Summarize the techniques used in security assessments.
- Threat hunting
- Vulnerability scans
- Syslog/Security information and event management (SIEM
- Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR)
Explain the techniques used in penetration testing.
- Penetration testing
- Passive and active reconnaissance
- Exercise types
2.0 Architecture and Design
Explain the importance of security concepts in an enterprise environment.
- Configuration management
- Data sovereignty
- Data protection
- Geographical considerations
- Response and recovery controls
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) inspection
- API considerations
- Site resiliency
- Deception and disruption
Summarize virtualization and cloud computing concepts.
- Cloud models
- Cloud service providers
- Managed service provider (MSP)/ managed security service provider (MSSP)
- On-premises vs. off-premises
- Fog computing
- Edge computing
- Thin client
- Infrastructure as code
- Serverless architecture
- Services integration
- Resource policies
- Transit gateway
Summarize secure application development, deployment, and automation concepts.
- Provisioning and deprovisioning
- Integrity measurement
- Secure coding techniques
- Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)
- Software diversity
- Version control
Summarize authentication and authorization design concepts.
- Authentication methods
- Multifactor authentication (MFA) factors and attributes
- Authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA)
- Cloud vs. on-premises requirements
Given a scenario, implement cybersecurity resilience.
- On-premises vs. cloud
- Backup types
- High availability
- Restoration order
Explain the security implications of embedded and specialized systems.
- Embedded systems
- Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)/industrial control system (ICS)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Voice over IP (VoIP)
- Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC)
- Multifunction printer (MFP)
- Real-time operating system (RTOS)
- Surveillance systems
- System on chip (SoC)
- Communication considerations
Explain the importance of physical security controls.
- Access control vestibules
- Closed-circuit television (CCTV)
- Industrial camouflage
- USB data blocker
- Fire suppression
- Visitor logs
- Faraday cages
- Air gap
- Screened subnet (previously known as demilitarized zone)
- Protected cable distribution
- Secure areas
- Secure data destruction
Summarize the basics of cryptographic concepts.
- Digital signatures
- Key length
- Key stretching
- Key exchange
- Elliptic-curve cryptography
- Perfect forward secrecy
- Modes of operation
- Cipher suites
- Symmetric vs. asymmetric
- Lightweight cryptography
- Homomorphic encryption
- Common use cases
Given a scenario, implement secure protocols.
- Use cases
Given a scenario, implement host or application security solutions.
- Endpoint protection
- Boot integrity
- Application security
- Self-encrypting drive (SED)/ full-disk encryption (FDE)
- Hardware root of trust
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Given a scenario, implement secure network designs.
- Load balancing
- Network segmentation
- Virtual private network (VPN)
- Network access control (NAC)
- Out-of-band management
- Port security
- Network appliances
- Access control list (ACL)
- Route security
- Quality of service (QoS)
- Implications of IPv6
- Port spanning/port mirroring
- Monitoring services
- File integrity monitors
Given a scenario, install and configure wireless security settings.
- Cryptographic protocols
- Authentication protocols
- Installation considerations
Given a scenario, implement secure mobile solutions
- Connection methods and receivers
- Mobile device management (MDM)
- Mobile devices
- Enforcement and monitoring
- Deployment models
Given a scenario, apply cybersecurity solutions to the cloud.
- Cloud security controls
- Cloud native controls vs. third-party solutions
Given a scenario, implement identity and account management controls.
- Account types
- Account policies
Given a scenario, implement authentication and authorization solutions.
- Authentication management
- Access control schemes
Given a scenario, implement public key infrastructure.
- Public key infrastructure (PKI)
- Types of certificates
- Certificate formats
4.0 Operations and Incident Response
Given a scenario, use the appropriate tool to assess organizational security.
- Network reconnaissance and discovery
- File manipulation
- Shell and script environments
- Packet capture and replay
- Exploitation frameworks
- Password crackers
- Data sanitization
Summarize the importance of policies, processes, and procedures for incident response.
- Incident response plans
- Incident response process
- Attack frameworks
- Stakeholder management
- Communication plan
- Disaster recovery plan
- Business continuity plan
- Continuity of operations planning (COOP)
- Incident response team
- Retention policies
Given an incident, utilize appropriate data sources to support an investigation.
- Vulnerability scan output
- SIEM dashboards
- Log files
- Bandwidth monitors
- Protocol analyzer output
Given an incident, apply mitigation techniques or controls to secure an environment
- Reconfigure endpoint security solutions
- Configuration changes
Explain the key aspects of digital forensics.
- On-premises vs. cloud
- Data recovery
- Strategic intelligence/ counterintelligence
5.0 Governance, Risk, and Compliance
Compare and contrast various types of controls.
- Control type
Explain the importance of applicable regulations, standards, or frameworks that impact organizational security posture.
- Regulations, standards, and legislation
- Key frameworks
- Benchmarks /secure configuration guides
Explain the importance of policies to organizational security.
- Diversity of training techniques
- Third-party risk management
- Credential policies
- Organizational policies
Summarize risk management processes and concepts.
- Risk types
- Risk management strategies
- Risk analysis
- Business impact analysis
Explain privacy and sensitive data concepts in relation to security
- Organizational consequences of privacy and data breaches
- Notifications of breaches
- Data types
- Privacy enhancing technologies
- Roles and responsibilities
- Information life cycle
- Impact assessment
- Terms of agreement
- Privacy notice
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