CompTIA Security+ Certification, Evolution and Innovation for Sustained Relevancy

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CompTIA Security+ Certification, Evolution and Innovation for Sustained Relevancy

Published: June 23, 2015 | By: ryan | Views: 1205

Many companies, throughout the years, have failed because they failed to innovate and change. Many great market leaders, like Kodak, even held in their hands the future of their industry, and still refused to embrace it. Change is always difficult for someone of something in a position where status quo is providing awesome returns. It takes courage to innovate, and that’s why it is so difficult.


The CompTIA Security+ certification is a fantastic example of a cyber-security certification that has stood the test of time, due to consistent change and innovation from its creating body, CompTIA. The Security+ certification is among the big three certifications by CompTIA. CompTIA created the certification to address a specific market segment of cyber security, as opposed to being an all-around cyber security certification. By targeting a market segment, CompTIA has had the ability to keep a clear focus on the certification’s objectives, and the decisions that they have made, in regards to serving that market segment, have always, therefore, been a little more focused. One could argue that because CompTIA chose to serve an entry level security market, of people transitioning from systems administration and network administration, over to security and information assurance, this is the reason the certification has done so well in maintaining presence, growing and keeping its credibility for so long.

Over the years the CompTIA Security+ certification has maintained its leadership position within its market segment because CompTIA made smart decisions and anticipated evolution within the market. From some of these changes, one could gather that CompTIA has kept its focus on market credibility, as opposed to, perhaps the more business attractive general adoption and growth. Whereas some other certifications changed over the years to seek to become the “overall best in a category”, CompTIA decided to hold and focus on its segment, and the results have paid off for those who have achieved and continue to achieve the certification.

Here are some of the changes that have played a role in the Security+ certification maintaining its credibility over the years.

  • Maintained entry level information security market segment focus
  • Shifted from lifetime certification to expiration model with re-cert
  • Added Continuing Education Units re-certification model
  • Continually updated the exam question pool to ensure accuracy
  • Shifted from terms and Q&A based to scenario and skills know-how based exam
  • Added scenario and skills simulation to ensure know-how
  • Increased the difficulty of the exam to keep it credible
  • De-restricted learning methods and training vendors ensuring that many sources of training were readily and easily available

As you can see, CompTIA’s focus was less on profit and reach, and more on the quality of their product. They also kept training restrictions very liberal, thus allowing an abundance of study guides, textbooks and of course, free online Security+ training. By keeping the focus on their product, they were able to maintain a great reputation with this entry level certification, since 2001. That is definitely an impressive run of success.

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  1. Comptia Security+ is a good start for cyber security… Almost done with my lectures hope to take my exam by early Feb. After which i will take ITIL tthen continue with Ethical hacking…. Thanks alot

  2. I actually held this certification until they decided to grandfather it out. At the time of my test (self studied and scored 895/900 W00T!) it was not supposed to be one that required retesting every so often.
    The one problem I always had with the Security+ and Network+, the only two I ever bothered to get, was while they were great for introductory or “entry-level” certifications, there literally was no next step. At least at the time. It went from Sec+ to things like CISSP (which despite what people say, is NOT as difficult as one may think) or a CEH. Both of which cost much more in terms of just preparation as well as testing and then maintenance. This is why I stopped looking at certifications after a while. There seems to be no real affordable intermediate level certification program. Besides, what’s the real value of a CEH if you have a methodology you are required to follow when conducting a test? Is it just me or doesn’t that defeat the purpose of testing because the framework makes assumptions about what can be done in a given environment? –Just my thoughts.

  3. I am new here and are planning to follow the Cyber Security path. Should I start with CompTIA Security+ or CompTIA Network+ ?

    • If you have little or no networking knowledge or experience do Network+ first. If you are going to go straight on to security + don’t even bother with the Network+ test(just learn the material), unless its required for a job. If you are comfortable with networking, go straight to Security +. Network+’s material will actually help you for your security+.

  4. Thx RY4N. I’ve decided to change my path from IT to Cyber Security and will start with CompTIA Security+.. I will study hard for sure.

  5. Thx RY4N. That’s exactly where I’m going next and you guys do a really great job.

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