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CompTIA Launches New Intermediate-Level Cybersecurity Certification

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If there’s one topic in IT that remains subject to conversation, FUD, and fascination all together, that has to be cybersecurity. CompTIA once again jumps into the security certification space with the unleashing of its Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+) credential on Feb. 20, 2017. The idea behind the certification is to teach IT pros to use behavior analytics – that is, measurements of activity, access, interaction, visitation and so forth (an outstanding use of Big Data) – to help them recognize potential security threats on their systems and networks.

Here’s the blurb on this cert from the CompTIA CSA+ Press Release: “The CompTIA CSA+ certification will offer broad-spectrum validation of knowledge and skills required to configure and use cyber-threat detection tools, perform data analysis and interpret the results to identify vulnerabilities, threats and risks to an organization. It certifies knowledge of a data-driven approach to information security.”

The idea is to prepare IT pros to deal with the coming onslaught of activity, data and security threats that the widespread adoption of (and huge numbers of devices in) the Internet of Things will bring. With billions and billions of devices soon to be populating the world all around us and the networks that tie that world together, CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux is not wrong to say that “It’s an economic and societal imperative to train and certify hundreds of thousands of IT professionals with the analytical skills they need to address the complexity and diversity of threats as they multiply.” The press release goes on to quote U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts of 18 percent growth for cybersecurity analyst jobs in the period from 2014 to 2024. In case you wondered that makes it the fastest growing job role in all categories in the US workforce.

The exam code for CSA+ is currently CS0-001, and the exam is currently available. It will entail a maximum of 85 questions, and test-takers have 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam. A passing score of 750 on a scale of 100-900 earns this certification, and CompTIA recommends that candidates have earned Network+ and Security+ or possess equivalent knowledge and experience. They also recommend three to four years of hands-on experience with information security or some related field. The exam costs $320, though discounts are available to those who work for a CompTIA member company or organization. See the CSA+ home page for all the details.

Ed Tittel

Ed is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who has worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written and blogged for numerous publications, including Tom's Hardware, and is the author of over 140 computing books with a special emphasis on information security, Web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.