CySA+ vs. Security+
No doubt, the continuous evolution of technology has brought about a lot of changes in the e-commerce space over the past years. According to Statista, global retail e-commerce sales amounted to 4.28 trillion US dollars in 2020; this figure is expected to increase to 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022. While this trend shows a positive result for the industry, the bad side, however, is that it has also brought about a continuous rise of cybercrimes.
Today, most e-commerce companies are now looking to hire cybersecurity experts, who are capable of helping them secure their digital businesses and users’ data. As a professional, if you’re looking to take advantage of the current trend and switch to a new career in cybersecurity – especially the technical and analysis-intensive aspect of it, the best option is for you to enroll in and earn relevant certifications.
In the information security industry, two of the most talked-about certifications are CySA+ and Security+.
CySA+ and Security+ are two different credentials offered by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). For professionals looking to become cybersecurity analysts, CySA+ is better. On the other hand, Security+ will be a good move if you’re new to the field and looking to achieve your first certification.
There’s no denying that both CompTIA CySA+ and CompTIA Security+ are valuable credentials in the cybersecurity space. However, it’s worth noting that both credentials are specifically designed for different purposes. In the rest of this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about CompTIA CySA+ and CompTIA Security+. With that, you should be able to make the right decision on the better option for your career path.
Why CompTIA Certifications?
I’m sure you know that the Computing Technology Industry Association isn’t the only certification company in the information security industry. So, my question is – why CompTIA?
To answer the question, I’ll say CompTIA has been able to build a good reputation over the years. It offers several different industry-leading certifications, some of which include the A+, CySA+, Network+, and Security+.
CompTIA certifications, especially those that fall in the entry-level category, are highly respected, recognized, and preferred by many top-rated organizations in the IT industry. That’s so because they help to validate people’s skills in the different areas of information security.
What You Need to Know About CompTIA Security+ Certification?
CompTIA Security+ is an entry-level global certification specifically designed for people interested in pursuing a career in the cybersecurity industry. Furthermore, the credential helps to validate the baseline skills needed to perform key security functions adeptly.
According to CompTIA, Security+ is the first security certification a new candidate in the information security space should earn. That’s so because it includes best practices in hands-on troubleshooting. Furthermore, the security+ exam mainly focuses on six different domains of cybersecurity; they include:
- Threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities – this domain covers 21% of the entire Security+ exam.
- Technologies and tools – this covers 22% of the Security+ examination.
- Architecture and design – it covers only 15% of the entire exam
- Access control and identity management – this only covers 16% of the whole Security+ examination.
- Risk management – it covers 14% of the exam.
- Cryptography and PKI – this covers only 12% of the entire Security+ examination.
Furthermore, the CompTIA Security+ exam includes a mix of multiple-choice, drag and drop, and performance-based questions.
What You Need to Know About CompTIA CySA+ Certification?
CompTIA CySA+, which means CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst, is a standard certification designed specifically for professionals looking to kick start a new career as cybersecurity analysts. This credential is more advanced than Security+ in the sense that you need to have prior experience – at least a couple of years working in the Cybersecurity space.
Furthermore, the CompTIA CySA+ certification tends to prepare professions, allowing them to perform several different analysis-related job functions. For instance, the credential will validate that you have all it takes to perform data analysis. That’s not all; it also proves that you’re capable of assessing the results necessary to understand and identify potential vulnerabilities and threats.
What does CySA+ exam include?
Like many credentials in the information security industry, the CompTIA CySA+ certification covers several different areas. The exam will test your knowledge and skills in the following analytical areas:
- Configuration and use threat detection tools
- Data analysis
- How to identify and address different vulnerabilities
- Interpretation of various results needed to identify vulnerabilities, threats and risks to an organization
The exam will focus on four different domains of cybersecurity; threat management, vulnerability management, cyber incident response, and security architecture & tool sets. Furthermore, the CompTIA CySA+ exam lasts for 165 minutes and includes a mix of multiple choice and performance-based questions.
CompTIA CySA+ vs. CompTIA Security+: The Key Differences
With all that has been said so far, you’ll agree with me that both CompTIA CySA+ and Security+ certifications are different. Let’s have a quick look at some of the differences between the two credentials below:
Let’s start this face-off by looking at the difference between both certifications from the career path angle.
CompTIA CySA credential is specifically created for professionals looking to start a new career as a cybersecurity analyst or engineer. On the other hand, CompTIA Security+ certification is designed for people looking to have a breakthrough into the cybersecurity industry.
The bottom line is, a CySA+-certified professional can work as a cybersecurity analyst or engineer.
On the other hand, a CompTIA Security+ certified individual can only work in the following areas:
- Security Administrator
- DevOps / Software Developer
- IT Auditors
- Systems Administrator
- Helpdesk Manager / Analyst
- Network / Cloud Engineer
- IT Project Manager
Another key difference between the two certifications is the amount of money you’ll likely earn. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of a cybersecurity analyst is $99,815. This is slightly different from that of a Security+ certified professional, who is likely to earn an average annual salary of $81,734 as Systems Admin.