CompTIA CySA+ Certification: Your Way to Success

Cybersecurity is the area of Information Technology with the most acute personnel lacks right now, but that doesn’t mean that just anyone can acquire a cybersecurity job. These highly proficient positions require thorough knowledge and skills in the area of cybersecurity, and the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) Certification can give this knowledge and help to IT professionals to acquire the skills they require to get a job in the cybersecurity field.

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If you are presently working or trying to apply for a job in the cybersecurity field and want a highly revered professional certification to add to your resume, while at the same time advancing your existing cybersecurity expertise, the CompTIA CySA+ may be a great option for you.

While this answer may seem candid, you may think what makes the CompTIA CySA+ worth the time and effort. Let’s take a deeper look at a few of the reasons why the CompTIA CySA+ is acknowledged to be an extremely recommended professional certification.

Most of today’s technical certifications will have a recommended experience you should have before you sit for the exam. The CompTIA CySA+ is not an exception to this. Some of the other higher-level exams will expect you to apply to take the test, require your professional qualifications and work experience, and some even need you to have a certified sponsor who has already earned the certification. For the CompTIA+ CySA+, there are no prerequisites as earlier mentioned; anyone can take the exam, no matter what your present experience level is. However, CompTIA does advise that you have, at least, 3–4 years of relevant practical experience in the information security field or have successfully earned the CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certifications.

For someone just beginning a career in the Cybersecurity field, a big concern that you may have is the actual fees of the exam. The current price of the CompTIA CySA+ exam is $349, which is acknowledged more economical than other mid-level certifications, which can easily cost more than $600. In fact, the cost of the exam, in the long term, will be more than worth it if you want to pursue a job in the Cybersecurity career field, acknowledging the benefits that the certification can implement to your career.

The DoD developed the 8570 Directive which gives guidance for the training, certification and management of the DoD workforce. When the DoD approves a certification, it means that the DoD acknowledges its importance and validity. The DoD has approved the CompTIA CySA+ as a DoD 8570 baseline certification in 5 various profession categories. Four of these categories are for different Cybersecurity Service Provider (CSSP) jobs, and one is for a level two Information Assurance Technical (IAT) job.

The time requires to pass CySA+ exam depends on many factors, comprising how long you have been in the Cybersecurity field, if at all, how well-versed you already are with the subject matter, and how much time you can spend to prepare for the exam.

CySA+ is Becoming Popular

Whenever you look at IT certifications, you want to know if it is popular and respected in the field. The CompTIA CySA+ was released in 2017 but has since earned a lot of respect in the area. The CompTIA CySA+ is a vendor-neutral certification which gives it to hold more importance across a variety of job profiles. It is also one of the DoD 8570 baseline certifications, which further expands its respect and validity in the field. The CompTIA CySA+ is becoming very popular across the Cybersecurity domain.

You may be thinking about how the CySA+ compares to similar Cybersecurity certifications about the difficulty level and material. The CySA+ exam is designed to be composite with PenTest+ to fill the gap between the CompTIA Security+ exam, which is more comprehensive and a step-down, and the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+), which is the higher-level certification that CompTIA offers within the Cybersecurity pathway. The CySA+ cannot be linked to the PenTest+ because they are quite opposites. In other words, the CySA+ certification concentrates on defense or “blue team” techniques and skillsets, while the PenTest+ concentrates on the attack or “red team” techniques and expertise.

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If you compare the CompTIA CySA+ to the EC Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification, the CySA+ is both best and the worst than CEH. The CompTIA CySA+ is more economical, in-depth, and hands-on than the CEH. The CEH, however, is more popular and respected by organizations. While both exams share have exam objectives, the CySA+ has some practical simulations/problems where the CEH is multiple choice. The main distinction between the two is how the exams are observed as far as difficulty. The CEH is more popular and respected amongst organizations during the hiring process, while the CompTIA+ CySA+ is more respected among the technical community itself.

When preparing for an exam, you should take a detailed look at the exam objectives. These are effortless to find with a quick Google search. The CompTIA CySA+ certification exam objectives involve threat management, vulnerability, cyber incident response, and security architecture and toolsets. There are a few advised tools that you should familiarize yourself, before taking the exam, those essentially being Wireshark, Bro, and Snort, at the very minimum.

When going for an exam, you want to consider what the test covers and the difficulty level overall. The CompTIA CySA+ consists of several simulation-style questions and standard multiple-choice questions. This increases the difficulty of the exam. A sizeable portion of the exam is touching logging files and attack recognition techniques. With that has been said, the exam is not easy, but it is not entirely complicated either. Again, using study guides, taking CySA+ practice exams, and familiarizing yourself with the tools of the trade is the key to the successful completion of any technical exam.

When it comes to trying to understand how much a certification is worth, it is essential to look at how much it could raise your salary over the long-term. The average technical professional, with an active CompTIA CySA+ certification, can earn approximately between $80,000 to $90,000 salary per year. That figures will vary based on your level of experience, in that person just starting in the field tend to make a bit less than people with more years of experience in the same technical field. While having a CompTIA CySA+ certification will present you with more career path to choose from. Owning a CompTIA CySA+ certification will also make you more commercial to organizations and give you an edge over other individuals competing for the same position.

The CompTIA CySA+ retake policy is easy. After the first try, there is no required wait period between your next exam. Any efforts after that will need a 14-day wait period before your next attempt.

Like most CompTIA certifications, the CySA+ is valid for three years after the completion date of your first exam.

The CySA+ demands 60 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for recertification. These CEUs can be obtained through activities and training related to the certification. You will also have to give a fee for your continuing education. For the CompTIA CySA+, you will require to pay $50 each year to be ready to present your completed events/training for CEUs. You will have to pay that $50 fee on the basis of the time since your exam date, not the calendar year. You can also retake the latest release of the exam, pass a higher-level CompTIA certification, or take a CompTIA CertMaster course to meet the recertification conditions. While CompTIA does not presently have a CertMaster course for CySA+, they may offer one in the future. If you now have any lower-level CompTIA certifications, they will also be renewed once you renew your highest-level certification.

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