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       Navigating Security Certifications

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CompTIA Security+ Certification

The Security+ certification is an entry level security certification from CompTIA, the "Computing Technology Industry Association," which has a number of certifications although only one pertaining to security. CompTIA's Web site also has extremely annoying videos which start automatically.

Numerically it's extremely popular, with 50,000 certified professionals, however as it's entry level and much easier than CISSP or GSEC, and not nearly as well regarded.

The test consists of 100 multiple choice questions with a 90 minute time limit.

Security+ was a “certification for life” if you took the exam prior to 2011– no renewal ever required. 2011 and after it is good for 3 years and you can recertify by taking the exam again or applying credits under the CompTIA Continuing Education program - 50 CEUs (Continuing Educations Units) are required for renewal.

So what activities count for CEUs? Many comment that it is unclear, but training, presenting teaching, listening to podcasts and more certainly qualify. Click here for the FAQ.

Note that to satisfy the US Department of Defense 8570 initiative (DoD 8570), the pre-2011 Security+ for life does not work. You can however enroll in the CompTIA Continuing Education program if you have the pre-2011 Security+ for life in order to satisfy DoD 8570. Personally this isn't a concern for me (although it is for many clients of mine) since, as a friend put it, I have "certs up the ying yang." No, I do not collect certs, but I teach classes on many of the popular certs including Security+

The Security+ exam can be taken at any Pearson Vue or Prometric testing centers, which range from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. I was surprised to find there were two within 15 minutes of my office, and I live in a rural area.

Ted Demopoulos at Caesars Palace
Ted Demopoulos,  Caesars Palace