CompTIA Security+ Certification (SY0-401)

  1. Security+ Information
  2. Free Security+ Study Resources

What is the CompTIA Security+ Certification?
The Security+ certification from CompTIA is a foundation-level security certification suitable for those wishing to start out on an I.T. security career path. The Security+ exam is vendor-neutral which means general security concepts are tested rather than vendor-specific topics. Domains tested by the exam include general security concepts such as communication, vulnerabilities, cryptology and infrastructure along with newer technologies such as cloud computing and virtualisation.
Who is the CompTIA Security+ certification for?
For those with little-to-no professional Information Security experience, the Security+ certification offers an ideal entry point into the world of I.S. security. The exam covers many of the most important foundational I.S. security principles and therefore offers candidates the ability to demonstrate to employers a fundamental knowledge of I.S security concepts and practices.
Are there any prerequisites required to take the Security+?
Although there are no mandatory prerequisites for taking the exam, it is suggested by CompTIA that before candidates attempt the Security+ certification they should have at least two years of on-the-job networking experience with, preferably, some exposure to network security. Again, that is a suggestion only therefore anyone may take the exam when they feel they are ready.
How do I earn the Security+ Certification?
To gain the Security+ certification a candidate needs to pass just one exam:
  • SY0-401 - Security+
The exam consists of a maximum of 90 multiple-choice and performance-based (simulation) questions with a total of 90 minutes allowed. Up-to-date objectives for the exam can be downloaded from the CompTIA website, here.

Upon successful completion of the exam the candidate will be awarded the Security+ certification credential.
What is the passing scores for the Security+ exam?
The passing score for the Security+ exam is 750 on a scale of 100-900.
How much do the Security+ exams cost?
Depending on your location and currency fluctuations, you can expect to pay US$311 for the Security+ exam. As always, check with your local testing center for the exact exam cost.
Where to take the Security+ exams
All CompTIA exams can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing facility. Candidates should check well in advance with their local testing station with regards to the facility’s location, exam availability, exam costs etc. Candidates are responsible for all costs associated with travel to and from the testing facility.
CompTIA exam retake policy
If a candidate fails the exam on the first attempt, he or she may retake the exam at any time, even immediately (upon payment of the appropriate fee). If, however, a candidate fails for a second time, he or she must wait at least 14 calendar days before attempting the exam again.
CompTIA Continuing Education Program
The CompTIA Security+ credential has a life span of three years after which recertification is required in order to remain ‘Security+ qualified’. Candidates may renew their certification by participation in CompTIA’s Continuing Education (CE) Program – in addition to the payment of the applicable annual fee (US$50).

Candidates must earn a total of 50 CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) in order to meet the CE program requirements. The two main ways candidates can earn those units and renew their Security+ certification is by either passing a higher-level certification in a related field (either one of CompTIA’s own offerings or selected third-party credentials), or by earning units through participation in any number of qualifying activities (such as training courses, conferences, work experience etc.), or a mixture of both.

Candidates who do not renew their Security+ credential in this manner will have their credential expire three years from the date of passing the exam.