CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) Certification

CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) Certification


The CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) examination is designed for IT security analysts, vulnerability analysts, or threat intelligence analysts. The exam will certify that the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to configure and use threat detection tools, perform data analysis, and interpret the results to identify vulnerabilities, threats, and risks to an organization with the end goal of securing and protecting applications and systems within an organization.


While there is no required prerequisite, the CompTIA CySA+ certification is intended to follow CompTIA Security+ Certification or equivalent experience. It is recommended for CompTIA CySA+ candidates to have the following:


4 days plus optional exam on day 5, or take exam voucher away with you. Hands on.

Course Objectives

The CompTIA CySA+ certification is a vendor-neutral credential. The CompTIA CySA+ exam (Exam CS0-001) is an internationally targeted validation of intermediate-level security skills and knowledge. The course has a technical, “hands-on” focus on IT security analytics.

The CompTIA CySA+ exam is based on these objectives:

  • Threat Management
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Cyber Incident Response
  • Security Architecture and Tool Sets

Course Content

Threat Management

Given a scenario, apply environmental reconnaissance techniques using appropriate tools and processes
Procedures/common tasks:
• Topology discovery
• OS fingerprinting
• Service discovery
• Packet capture
• Log review
• Router/firewall ACLs review
• Email harvesting
• Social media profiling
• Social engineering
• DNS harvesting
• Phishing
• Wireless vs. wired
• Virtual vs. physical
• Internal vs. external
• On-premises vs. cloud
• Host scanning
• Network mapping
• Packet analyzer
• Firewall rule-based and logs
• Syslog
• Vulnerability scanner

Given a scenario, analyze the results of a network reconnaissance
Point-in-time data analysis:
• Packet analysis
• Protocol analysis
• Traffic analysis
• Netflow analysis
• Wireless analysis
Data correlation and analytics:
• Anomaly analysis
• Trend analysis
• Availability analysis
• Heuristic analysis
• Behavioral analysis
Data output:
• Firewall logs
• Packet captures
• NMAP scan results
• Event logs
• Syslogs
• IDS report
• Packet analyzer
• Resource monitoring tool
• Netflow analyzer

Given a network-based threat, implement or recommend the appropriate response and countermeasure
Network segmentation:
• System isolation
• Jump box
Endpoint security
Group policies
• Sinkhole
• Mandatory Access Control (MAC)
• Compensating controls
• Blocking unused ports/services
• Patching
Network Access Control (NAC):
• Time-based
• Rule-based
• Role-based
• Location-based

Explain the purpose of practices used to secure a corporate environment
Penetration testing:
• Rules of engagement
Reverse engineering:
• Isolation/sandboxing
• Hardware
• Software/malware
Training and exercises:
• Red team
• Blue team
• White team
Risk evaluation:
• Technical control review
• Operational control review
• Technical impact and likelihood

Vulnerability Management

Given a scenario, implement an information security vulnerability management process
Identification of requirements:
• Regulatory environments
• Corporate policy
• Data classification
• Asset inventory
Establish scanning frequency:
• Risk appetite
• Regulatory requirements
• Technical constraints
• Workflow
Configure tools to perform scans according to specification:
• Determine scanning criteria
• Tool updates/plug-ins
• Permissions and access
Execute scanning
Generate reports:
• Automated vs. manual distribution
• Prioritizing
• Communication/change control
• Sandboxing/testing
• Inhibitors to remediation
Ongoing scanning and continuous monitoring

Given a scenario, analyze the output resulting from a vulnerability scan
Analyze reports from a vulnerability scan:
• Review and interpret scan results
Validate results and correlate other data points
• Compare to best practices or compliance
• Reconcile results
• Review related logs and/or other data sources
• Determine trends

Compare and contrast common vulnerabilities found in the following targets within an organization
Network infrastructure
Network appliances
Virtual infrastructure:
• Virtual hosts
• Virtual networks
• Management interface
Mobile devices
Interconnected networks
Virtual private networks (VPNs)
Industrial Control Systems (ICSs)
SCADA devices

Cyber Incident Response

Given a scenario, distinguish threat data or behavior to determine the impact of an incident
Threat classification:
• Known threats vs. unknown threats
• Zero day
• Advanced persistent threat
Factors contributing to incident severity and prioritization:
• Scope of impact
• Types of data

Given a scenario, prepare a toolkit and use appropriate forensics tools during an investigation
Forensics kit:
• Digital forensics workstation
• Write blockers
• Cables
• Drive adapters
• Wiped removable media
• Cameras
• Crime tape
• Tamper-proof seals
• Documentation/forms
Forensic investigation suite:
• Imaging utilities
• Analysis utilities
• Chain of custody
• Hashing utilities
• OS and process analysis
• Mobile device forensics
• Password crackers
• Cryptography tools
• Log viewers

Explain the importance of communication during the incident response process
• HR
• Legal
• Marketing
• Management
Purpose of communication processes:
• Limit communication to trusted parties
• Disclosure based on regulatory/legislative requirements
• Prevent inadvertent release of information
• Secure method of communication
Role-based responsibilities:
• Technical
• Management
• Law enforcement
• Retain incident response provider

Given a scenario, analyze common symptoms to select the best course of action to support incident response
Common network-related symptoms:
• Bandwidth consumption
• Beaconing
• Irregular peer-to-peer communication
• Rogue devices on the network
• Scan sweeps
• Unusual traffic spikes
Common host-related symptoms:
• Processor consumption
• Memory consumption
• Drive capacity consumption
• Unauthorized software
• Malicious processes
• Unauthorized changes
• Unauthorized privileges
• Data exfiltration
Common application-related symptoms:
• Anomalous activity
• Introduction of new accounts
• Unexpected output
• Unexpected outbound communication
• Service interruption
• Memory overflows

Summarize the incident recovery and post-incident response process
Containment techniques:
• Segmentation
• Isolation
• Removal
• Reverse engineering
Eradication techniques:
• Sanitization
• Reconstruction/reimage
• Secure disposal
• Patching
• Permissions
• Scanning
• Verify logging/communication to security monitoring
Corrective actions:
• Lessons learned report
• Change control process
• Update incident response plan
Incident summary report

Security Architecture and Tool Sets

Explain the relationship between frameworks, common policies, controls, and procedures
Regulatory compliance
• Password policy
• Acceptable use policy
• Data ownership policy
• Data retention policy
• Account management policy
• Data classification policy
• Control selection based on criteria
• Organizationally defined parameters
• Physical controls
• Logical controls
• Administrative controls
• Continuous monitoring
• Evidence production
• Patching
• Compensating control development
• Control testing procedures
• Manage exceptions
• Remediation plans
Verifications and quality control:
• Audits
• Evaluations
• Assessments
• Maturity model
• Certification

Given a scenario, use data to recommend remediation of security issues related to identity and access management
Security issues associated with context-based authentication:
• Time
• Location
• Frequency
• Behavioral
Security issues associated with identities:
• Personnel
• Endpoints
• Servers
• Services
• Roles
• Applications
Security issues associated with identity repositories:
• Directory services
Security issues associated with federation and single sign-on:
• Manual vs. automatic provisioning/deprovisioning
• Self-service password reset
• Impersonation
• Man-in-the-middle
• Session hijack
• Cross-site scripting
• Privilege escalation
• Rootkit

Given a scenario, review security architecture and make recommendations to implement compensating controls
Security data analytics:
• Data aggregation and correlation
• Trend analysis
• Historical analysis
Manual review:
• Firewall log
• Syslogs
• Authentication logs
• Event logs
Defense in depth:
• Personnel
• Processes
• Technologies
• Other security concepts

Given a scenario, use application security best practices while participating in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
Best practices during software development:
• Security requirements definition
• Security testing phases
• Manual peer reviews
• User acceptance testing
• Stress test application
• Security regression testing
• Input validation
Secure coding best practices:
• Center for Internet Security

Compare and contrast the general purpose and reasons for using various cybersecurity tools and technologies
• Firewall
• Antivirus
• Anti-malware
• Web proxy
• Web Application Firewall (WAF)
• Network scanning
• Vulnerability scanning
• Packet capture
• Command line/IP utilities
• Vulnerability scanning
• Monitoring tools
• Interception proxy
• Interception proxy
• Exploit framework
• Fuzzers
• Forensic suites
• Hashing
• Password cracking
• Imaging

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