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Trouble Spots

Trouble Spots

Many examinees find the following to be more difficult portions of the exam:

  • Encryption: Topics such as cryptography, hashing, and PKI prove to be difficult subjects. However, the exam only tests on the basics of encryption. It covers a wide variety of encryption subjects but only expects a basic understanding of each.
  • Malicious attacks: Due to the sheer volume of malicious attacks that can be perpetrated upon an individual computer or a network, it can be difficult to memorize them all. Extra time is necessary when studying all of the various attacks.
  • Access control models: Access control models such as discretionary access control (DAC), mandatory access control (MAC), and role-based access control (RBAC) can be confusing to some. It is important to differentiate between these and spend extra time studying these models.
  • Authentication models: There are many types of authentication, from physical to logical, and from local to remote. You should reserve a decent amount of time for studying authentication.

Preparation Hints

A person who wishes to take the Security+ exam should have prior work experience in the computer security field (as recommended by CompTIA). It is also recommended that the person have networking experience, and optimally the Network+ certification as well.

Every examinee should first look at the CompTIA objectives for the Security+ exam, which are listed later in this article. (They can also be downloaded from CompTIA’s website.) In a nutshell, the Security+ objectives are divided into 6 sections, known as domains. They include:


% of Examination

1.0 Systems Security


2.0 Network Infrastructure


3.0 Access Control


4.0 Assessments & Audits


5.0 Cryptography


6.0 Organizational Security


When preparing for the Security+ exam it is wise to use more than one study resource. Using just one study guide might provide you with a narrow view of security. By using various forms of study materials, including books, videos, and practice questions, you will become a much more well-rounded examinee, and increase your chances of passing the exam greatly.

Recommended Study Resources

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