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.