Certifiably Secure: Security+

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As a regular writer on information security certifications, candidates and wannabes regularly ask me which entry-level credential represents the best launching platform for those interested in working in this fascinating area in information technology. Although there are numerous potential candidates for the position of “best entry-level infosec cert” I recommend the CompTIA Security+ certifications as a good launch pad.


This recommendation stems not only from CompTIA’s international name recognition and its vigorous and thorough research into the subject matters for which they offer certification; it also stems from availability and access to the exam. Rightly or wrongly, many other equally good programs—the SANS GSEC and ISC-Squared’s SSCP both come into mind in this context—don’t offer exams through an international testing center relationship like those CompTIA has with Prometric Testing and with VUE. Other potential contenders—like TruSecure’s TICSA, the SCP’s SCNP, and so forth—may have the testing center relationships, but for some reason they haven’t captured the level of attention or participation that’s necessary to build a great launch pad.


Although the Security+ exam’s been available only since December 2003, it already seems to meet all of the criteria necessary for a successful program. At $250, it’s fairly expensive for an entry-level certification, but it’s actually on par with or cheaper than other such credentials within the information security topic area.


The jury’s still out as to whether Security+ will indeed become THE entry level information security certification, but all initial signs are both encouraging and positive. For more information about this program, which covers basic information security theory, concepts, practices and procedures across a broad range of subject matter, please visit http://www.comptia.org/certification/security/.

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