7 Steps to Security+ (SY0-501) Certification

The CompTIA Security+ certification is a popular certification within the IT field. One IT hiring manager told me that if a résumé doesn’t include the Security+ certification, or a higher-level security certification, he simply sets it aside. He won’t even talk to applicants.

Get your Security+ Certification

Because of this many IT professionals have this certification and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

There isn’t any guaranteed path to pass the Security+ Certification. However, the following steps outline the path that thousands of people have used to add the Security+ certification to their resume.

Here are 7 steps that thousands of people have used to get the Security+ certification, and you can use them too. As an overview they are:

  1. Get a good study guide.
  2. Set a goal 45 days out from the day you receive your study guide.
  3. Start studying the book.
  4. Supplement your studies with online materials such as blog posts.
  5. Buy a voucher (assuming your employer doesn’t buy it for you).
  6. Schedule your exam for your target date.
  7. Use quality practice test questions with explanations.
Note that these steps assume you meet the prerequisites and have relevant networking knowledge. However, you don’t need to have any other certifications such as Network+ before getting the Security+ certification.

Security+ Certification Step 1 of 7

Get a good study guide.

One of the best ways you can identify a good study guide is by the reviews of others. The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This is an update to the  CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide, which has 933 customer reviews and about 700 of them are five star reviews.

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide hasn’t been out as long so it doesn’t have as many reviews yet, but it has all of the same elements that made the 401 study guide so popular.

When getting a study guide, ensure you get one for the exam you plan to take. Exams periodically change and using an old book to take a new exam isn’t the best path to success.

Security+ Certification Step 2 of 7

Set a goal 45 days out from the day you receive your study guide.

A target of 45 days allows you to master about one and a half chapters per week. It may be that some of the chapters take you less time and some of the chapters take you more time. No problem. If you want to modify your target date later or reschedule your exam, do so. However, a recipe for success in almost any endeavor includes setting a goal.

If you look at the reviews on Amazon, you’ll see that many people followed this advice and took the exam within 45 days. It’s achievable and you can do it too. First, get a study guide.

Security+ Certification Step 3 of 7

Start studying the book.

Set a time to read the study guide daily and stick to your schedule. Some people study best in the morning. Others study best in the evening. If you don’t know what works best for you, study throughout the day as your schedule allows.

However, you do need to study every day.

Most study guides include an objective map at the beginning of the book. For example, the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead SY0-501 Study Guide lists all of the objectives for the SY0-501 exam in the introduction. Next to each of the objectives, it lists the chapters where you can find the relevant content. Here’s a short snippet:

1.0 Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities 

1.1 Given a scenario, analyze indicators of compromise and determine the type of
malware. 
(Chapter 6)

  • Viruses (Chapter 6)
  • Crypto-malware (Chapter 6)
  • Ransomware (Chapter 6)
  • Worm (Chapter 6)
  • Trojan (Chapter 6)
  • Rootkit (Chapter 6)
  • Keylogger (Chapter 6)
  • Adware (Chapter 6)
  • Spyware (Chapter 6)
  • Bots (Chapter 6)
  • RAT (Chapter 6)
  • Logic bomb (Chapter 6)
  • Backdoor (Chapter 6)

Objective maps such as this allow you to easily review the exam objectives and see where they are covered.

Security+ Certification Step 4 of 7

Supplement your studies with online materials such as blog posts.

When a topic isn’t clear, look for more information on the topic online.

I regularly post blog articles about Security+ and other topics on the Get Certified Get Ahead blog site and this page is a good place to see if there are important changes to the certification before you take the exam. Readers often post their comments on the pages too so it’s worth reading their comments too.

Security+ Certification Step 5 of 7

Buy a voucher (assuming your employer doesn’t buy it for you).

Purchase a Security+ certification voucher for the exam. These typically are good for a year, and purchasing it early provides some motivation to you to keep you studying. You can get a code for a 10% discount on all CompTIA vouchers here.

Be careful about buying vouchers from unknown sources. Many people have purchased vouchers through sites such as eBay only to learn that the voucher isn’t valid.

Security+ Certification Step 6 of 7

Schedule your exam for your target date.

Contact a Pearson Vue testing center and schedule your exam. Just as purchasing the voucher provides some motivation for you to keep studying, scheduling your exam helps keep you focused.

Even if a life event pops up and slows you down, you can still reschedule the exam for a later date.

Security+ Certification Step 7 of 7

Use quality practice test questions with explanations.

Practice test questions help you gauge your understanding and ability to pass the actual exam. These can be very useful, but beware of questions without explanations.

Many “braindumps” have questions and answers but the majority of the questions don’t have any explanations. Worse, many of the answers are incorrect. The result is that people using these memorize inaccurate information without understanding the content. When CompTIA modifies the questions just slightly, they fail the exam without understanding why.

In contrast, when you use questions with explanations, you’ll understand why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. When you soak up this knowledge, you’ll be able to answer the questions correctly no matter how CompTIA words the questions.

Some people use the practice test questions within their study guide. Other people, look for additional materials such as the materials available here. This site includes practice test questions, flashcards, and audio files.

After gauging your understanding with practice test questions, take the exam and celebrate.

Get Certified Get Ahead

 

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Practice Test Questions 

Over 300 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 75 random questions. View 75 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 75 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of SY0-501 Practice Test Questions Here

 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Three sets of performance-based questions including over 30 questions. These questions show you what you can expect in the live exam. They include drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions. See a demo here.

Bonus - Extra Practice Test Questions

New multiple-choice questions in the extra test bank. Questions are added occasionally. You can see what has been added recently here.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SY0-501 Full Study Package

Read More

Security+ and Subtle Phrases

If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you may run across questions with subtle word choices. For example, a question could have one answer correct. However, a subtle change in a phrase in a question would make that answer incorrect.

Consider this question that I recently added to the gcgapremium.com site:

Q. Your organization is planning to implement SELinux in enforcing mode as a mandatory access control (MAC) model. Which of the following roles will specify the subjects that can access certain data objects?

A. Administrator

B. System

C. Owner

D. User

The answer and explanation are available at the end of this post.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Practice Test Questions 

Over 300 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 75 random questions. View 75 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 75 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of SY0-501 Practice Test Questions Here

 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Three sets of performance-based questions including over 30 questions. These questions show you what you can expect in the live exam. They include drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions. See a demo here.

Bonus - Extra Practice Test Questions

New multiple-choice questions in the extra test bank. Questions are added occasionally. You can see what has been added recently here.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SY0-501 Full Study Package

Subjects and Objects

Within the context of access control models, you’ll often run across the terms subject and objects.

Subjects are typically users or groups that access an object. Occasionally, the subject may be a service that is using a service account to access an object.

Objects are items such as files, folders, shares, and printers that subjects access. For example, users access files and printers. The access control helps determine how a system grants authorization to objects. Or, said another way, the access control model determines how a system grants users access to files and other resources.

To simplify this you can think of subjects as users, and objects as files. Subjects access files. Subjects can be much more than users and files can be much more than files, but remembering that subjects (users) can access objects (files) it makes it easier to remember.

Security+ and Subtle Phrases

Mandatory Access Control

The mandatory access control (MAC) model uses labels (sometimes referred to as sensitivity labels or security labels) to determine access. Security administrators assign labels to both subjects (users) and objects (files or folders). When the labels match, the system can grant a subject access to an object. When the labels don’t match, the access model blocks access.

Security-enhanced Linux (SELinux) is one of the few operating systems using the mandatory access control model. If SELinux is in enforcing mode, it enforces the SELinux policy.

Data Roles and Responsibilities

Many people within the organization handle data. However, an organization often assigns specific roles to some people. Each of these roles has specific responsibilities. The Security+ objectives outline list the following roles:

  • Owner. The data owner is the individual with overall responsibility for the data. It is often a high-level position such as the chief executive officer (CEO) or a department head. The data owner is responsible for specifying the classification of the data, ensuring the data is labeled to match the classification, and ensuring security controls are implemented to protect the data.
  • Steward/custodian. A data steward or data custodian handles the routine tasks to protect data. For example, a data custodian (often referred to as a system administrator) would ensure data is backed up in accordance with a backup policy. The custodian would also ensure that backup tapes are properly labeled to match the classification of the data and stored in a location that provides adequate protection for the classification of the data. Data owners typically delegate tasks to the data custodian.
  • Privacy.  A privacy officer is an executive position within an organization. This person is primarily responsible for ensuring that the organization is complying with relevant laws. For example, if the organization handles any PHI, the privacy officer ensures the organization complies with HIPAA. If SOX applies to the organization, the privacy officer ensures that the organization is complying with SOX.

Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • 75 question post-assessment exam
  • Glossary

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 75-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

3 sets Performance-based Questions

Three new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 30 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 494 Online Security+ Glossary Flashcards
  • 222 Online Security+ Acronyms Flashcards
  • 223 Online Security+ Remember This Slide from the popular CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over two hours hour and 53 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. Over one hour and 40 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Access to all of the online content that is available for free to anyone that purchases the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This includes labs, extra practice test questions, and supplementary materials

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

Subtle Phrase Changes

Consider the following three questions with subtle phrase changes.

Which of the following roles will specify the subjects that can access certain data objects? Specify indicates someone is stating a fact or requirement clearly and precisely. It would be the data owner.

Which of the following roles will implement the controls so that the subjects can access certain data objects? Administrators (referred to as stewards or custodians in the Security+ objectives) implement security controls specified by data owners.

Which of the following roles will enforce the controls so that subjects can access certain data objects? A system would enforce the settings implemented by administrators.

Remember this

Key data roles within an organization are responsible for protecting data. The owner has overall responsibility for the protection of the data and specifies the subjects that can access certain objects. A steward or custodian handles routine tasks to protect data. A privacy officer is an executive responsible for ensuring the organization complies with relevant laws.


CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

Q. Your organization is planning to implement SELinux in enforcing mode as a mandatory access control (MAC) model. Which of the following roles will specify the subjects that can access certain data objects?

A. Administrator

B. System

C. Owner

D. User

C is correct. The data owner will specify which subjects (such as users) can access certain data objects (such as files). A key word here is “specify” and specify indicates someone is stating a fact or requirement clearly and precisely.

Administrators will implement the model by assigning labels to both subjects and objects. If the question was “Which of the following roles will implement the controls so that the subjects can access certain data objects?”, Administrator would be the correct answer.

After the labels have been assigned, the system will enforce the model by ensuring that only authorized users can access data by ensuring labels match. If the question was “Which of the following roles will enforce the controls so that subjects can access certain data objects?”, than system would be the correct answer.

Users will not specify any permissions for access control in a MAC model.

Chapter 2 of the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide covers the MAC model and Chapter 11 covers different data roles

SY0-501 objective 5.8 Given a scenario, carry out data security and privacy practices.

Read More

Firmware/Hardware Security

If you’re planning to take the Security+SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of implementing secure systems design. This includes firmware/hardware security,  operating systems, and peripherals.

For example, can you answer this question?

Q. What functions does an HSM include?

A. Reduces the risk of employees emailing confidential information outside the organization

B. Provides webmail to clients

C. Provides full drive encryption

D. Generates and stores keys used with servers

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation is available at the end of this post.

Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • 75 question post-assessment exam
  • Glossary

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 75-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

3 sets Performance-based Questions

Three new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 30 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 494 Online Security+ Glossary Flashcards
  • 222 Online Security+ Acronyms Flashcards
  • 223 Online Security+ Remember This Slide from the popular CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over two hours hour and 53 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. Over one hour and 40 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Access to all of the online content that is available for free to anyone that purchases the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This includes labs, extra practice test questions, and supplementary materials

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

When implementing secure systems design, it’s also important to evaluate several hardware elements. Additionally, an organization should evaluate the supply chain. A supply chain includes all the elements required to produce a product. In secure systems design, the product is a secure system.

There have been many incidents where new computers were shipped with malware. As an example, Microsoft researchers purchased several new computers in China and found them infected with the Nitol virus. These computers were also running counterfeit versions of Windows. This helps illustrate the importance of purchasing computers from reputable sources.
Firmware and Hardware Security

EMI and EMP

When designing systems, it’s important to consider electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic pulse (EMP). EMI comes from sources such as motors, power lines, and fluorescent lights and it can interfere with signals transmitted over wires. Chapter 9 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide discusses shielding that helps prevent EMI from causing problems. It’s easier to include shielding during the design process rather than add shielding later.

EMP is a short burst of electromagnetic energy. EMP can come from a wide assortment of sources and some sources can cause damage to computing equipment. Some sources include:

  • Electrostatic discharge (ESD). Basic ESD prevention practices, such as using ESD wrist straps, help prevent ESD damage.
  • Lightning. Lightning pulses can go through electrical wires and damage unprotected systems. Surge protection methods, such as surge protection strips, protect electrical systems.
  • Military weapons. Nuclear explosions create a large EMP that can damage electronic equipment (including embedded systems) over a large area. Some non-nuclear weapons have been designed to mimic the nuclear EMP, but without the nuclear explosion. Non-nuclear EMP has a smaller range than nuclear EMP, but can still damage equipment. The best publicly known protection is to turn equipment off, but you’re unlikely to know when one of these explosions will occur.

Remember this

Secure systems design considers electromagnetic interference(EMI) and electromagnetic pulse (EMP). EMI comes from sources such as motors, power lines, and fluorescent lights and can be prevented with shielding. Systems can be protected from mild forms of EMP (a short burst of electromagnetic energy) such as electrostatic discharge and lightning.

FDE and SED

Full disk encryption (FDE) encrypts an entire disk. Several applications are available to do this. For example, VeraCrypt is an open source utility that can encrypt partitions or the entire storage device.

Many hardware vendors now manufacture hardware-based FDE drives. These are sometimes referred to as self-encrypting drives (SEDs). An SED includes the hardware and software to encrypt all data on the drive and securely store the encryption keys. These typically allow users to enter credentials when they set up the drive. When users power up the system, they enter their credentials again to decrypt the drive and boot the system.

UEFI and BIOS

The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) includes software that provides a computer with basic instructions on how to start. It runs some basic checks, locates the operating system, and starts. The BIOS is often referred to as firmware. It is a hardware chip that you can physically see and touch and it includes software that executes code on the computer. The combination of hardware and software is firmware.

Newer systems use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) instead of BIOS. UEFI performs many of the same functions as BIOS, but provides some enhancements. As an example, it can boot from larger disks and it is designed to be CPU-independent.

Both BIOS and UEFI can be upgraded using a process called flashing. Flashing overwrites the software within the chip with newer software.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

Hardware Security Module

A hardware security module (HSM) is a security device you can add to a system to manage, generate, and securely store cryptographic keys. High-performance HSMs are external devices connected to a network using TCP/IP. Smaller HSMs come as expansion cards you install within a server, or as devices you plug into computer ports.

HSMs support the security methods as a TPM. They provide a hardware root of trust, secure boot, and can be configured for remote attestation.

One of the noteworthy differences between an HSM and a TPM is that HSMs are removable or external devices. In comparison, a TPM is a chip embedded into the motherboard. You can easily add an HSM to a system or a network, but if a system didn’t ship with a TPM, it’s not feasible to add one later. Both HSMs and TPMs provide secure encryption capabilities by storing and using RSA keys. Many high-performance servers use HSMs to store and protect keys.

Remember this

A hardware security module (HSM) is a removable or external device that can generate, store, and manage RSA keys used in asymmetric encryption. Many server-based applications use an HSM to protect keys.


Security+ Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Practice Test Questions 

Over 300 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 75 random questions. View 75 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 75 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of SY0-501 Practice Test Questions Here

 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Three sets of performance-based questions including over 30 questions. These questions show you what you can expect in the live exam. They include drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions. See a demo here.

Bonus - Extra Practice Test Questions

New multiple-choice questions in the extra test bank. Questions are added occasionally. You can see what has been added recently here.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SY0-501 Full Study Package

Q. What functions does an HSM include?

A. Reduces the risk of employees emailing confidential information outside the organization

B. Provides webmail to clients

C. Provides full drive encryption

D. Generates and stores keys used with servers

Answer is D. A hardware security module (HSM) is a removable device that can generate and store RSA keys used with servers for data encryption.

A data loss prevention (DLP) device is a device that can reduce the risk of employees emailing confidential information outside the organization.

Software as a Service (SaaS) provides software or applications, such as webmail, via the cloud.

A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) provides full drive encryption and is included in many laptops.

See Chapter 5 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on securing hosts and data.

Read More

Using Command-Line Tools

Command-line tools can be invaluable when troubleshooting or analyzing systems. If you know how to use them, they can make many tasks easier.  More, if you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of many commands you can use to assess the security posture of an organization.

For example, can you answer this question?

Q. You have configured a firewall in your network to block ICMP traffic. You want to verify that it is blocking this traffic. Which of the following commands would you use?

A. arp

B. ipconfig

C. netstat

D. ping

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation are available at the end of this post.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Practice Test Questions 

Over 300 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 75 random questions. View 75 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 75 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of SY0-501 Practice Test Questions Here

 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Three sets of performance-based questions including over 30 questions. These questions show you what you can expect in the live exam. They include drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions. See a demo here.

Bonus - Extra Practice Test Questions

New multiple-choice questions in the extra test bank. Questions are added occasionally. You can see what has been added recently here.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SY0-501 Full Study Package

Additionally, the CompTIA Security+ objectives list several command-line tools that you should know to help you assess the security posture of an organization. Some are specific to Windows systems and run through the Windows Command Prompt window. Others are specific to Linux systems and run through the Linux terminal (sometimes called the shell).

A challenge many test takers have is that they don’t have a Linux system to play around with these commands. If you can’t enter them and see what they do, you might have trouble with even the easy questions.

Linux Terminal

The terminal is where you run commands in a Linux system. There are different ways to access the terminal depending on the distribution you’re using. If you’re running Kali Linux, you can start it by simply clicking the terminal icon on  the Kali menu.

The figure shows an instance of Kali with the menu on the left. If you hover over the second icon, you’ll see “Terminal” appear. Click it and it starts the terminal.

Using Command-Line Tools

Launching the terminal in Kali Linux

For simplicity, instead of stating “Linux or Unix,” I’m just stating it as Linux. Note that Linux is a version of Unix and commands that can be run in a Unix terminal can also be run in a Linux terminal.

If you purchased the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide, you have access to free online labs including labs to install Kali Linux as a virtual machine on a Windows computer.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

Ping

Ping is a basic command used to test connectivity for remote systems. You can also use it to verify a system can resolve valid host names to IP addresses, test the NIC, and check the security posture of a network.

The ping command checks connectivity by sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request packets. Remote systems answer with ICMP echo reply packets and if you receive echo replies, you know that the remote system is operational. As a simple example, the following command verifies that your computer can connect with another computer on your network:

ping 192.168.1.1

On Windows systems, ping sends out four ICMP echo requests. Systems that receive the ICMP echo requests respond with ICMP echo replies. On Linux-based systems, ping continues until you press the Ctrl + C keys to stop it. You can mimic this behavior on Windows systems by using the -t switch like this:

ping -t 192.168.1.1

Similarly, you can mimic the behavior of a Windows ping on a Linux system using the -c switch (for count) like this:

ping c 4 192.168.1.1

This example tested connectivity with an IP address in a local network, but you can just as easily test connectivity with any system. For example, if you knew the IP address of a system hosting a web site on the Internet, you could ping its IP address.

Beware of Firewalls

If you receive replies from a system, it verifies the other system is operational and reachable. However, if the ping command fails, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the remote system is operational or not reachable. Ping might show a “Reply Timed Out” error even if the remote system is functioning properly.

Many denial-of-service (DoS) attacks use ICMP to disrupt services on Internet-based systems. To protect systems, firewalls commonly block ICMP traffic to prevent these attacks from succeeding. In other words, a remote system might be operational, but a ping will fail because the firewall is blocking ICMP traffic.

As an example, you might be able to connect to the https://blogs.getcertifiedgetahead.com web site using a web browser, but ping might fail. This indicates that the web site is operational with Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), but a firewall is blocking ICMP traffic.

Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • 75 question post-assessment exam
  • Glossary

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 75-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

3 sets Performance-based Questions

Three new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 30 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 494 Online Security+ Glossary Flashcards
  • 222 Online Security+ Acronyms Flashcards
  • 223 Online Security+ Remember This Slide from the popular CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over two hours hour and 53 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. Over one hour and 40 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Access to all of the online content that is available for free to anyone that purchases the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This includes labs, extra practice test questions, and supplementary materials

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

Using Ping to Check Security Posture

You can also use ping to check the security posture of a network. For example, if you’ve configured firewalls and routers to block ping traffic, you can verify the firewalls and routers are blocking the traffic by using ping to check it.

Chapter 4 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide covers intrusion prevention systems (IPSs) in more depth, but as an introduction, they can often detect attacks and block them automatically. For example, a simple distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack can send thousands of pings to a server and overload it. An IPS can detect the attack and automatically block ICMP traffic, effectively preventing any impact from the attack.

You can use ping to simulate an attack from a couple of computers to repeatedly send ping requests. If the IPS is working, it will block these attacks and the pings will stop receiving replies.

Remember this

Administrators use ping to check connectivity of remote systems and verify name resolution is working. They also use ping to check the security posture of systems and networks by verifying that routers, firewalls, and IPSs block ICMP traffic when configured to do so.


 

Q. You have configured a firewall in your network to block ICMP traffic. You want to verify that it is blocking this traffic. Which of the following commands would you use?

A. arp

B. ipconfig

C. netstat

D. ping

Answer is D. The ping command sends Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo requests and checks for ICMP echo replies.

Arp resolves IP addresses to media access control (MAC) addresses and does not use echo Ipconfig checks the configuration of a NIC.

Netstat shows active connections and network statistics.

See Chapter 1 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on using command line tools.

Check out the Linux and Security+ blog post for more information about Linux commands.

Read More

Memory Management Techniques

Many application attacks take advantage of vulnerabilities in a system’s memory. Because of this, it’s important for developers to use secure memory management techniques within their code.  If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a good understanding of application vulnerabilities, including some common memory issues related to applications.

For example, can you answer this practice test question?

Q. An attacker is attempting to write more data into a web application’s memory than it can handle. Which type of attack is this?

A. XSRF

B. DLL injection

C. Pass the hash

D. Buffer overflow

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation are available at the end of this post.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Practice Test Questions 

Over 300 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 75 random questions. View 75 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 75 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of SY0-501 Practice Test Questions Here

 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Three sets of performance-based questions including over 30 questions. These questions show you what you can expect in the live exam. They include drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions. See a demo here.

Bonus - Extra Practice Test Questions

New multiple-choice questions in the extra test bank. Questions are added occasionally. You can see what has been added recently here.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SY0-501 Full Study Package

Memory Leak

A memory leak is a bug in a computer application that causes the application to consume more and more memory the longer it runs. In extreme cases, the application can consume so much memory that the operating system crashes.

Memory leaks are typically caused by an application that reserves memory for short-term use, but never releases it. As an example, imagine a web application collects user profile data to personalize the browsing experience for users. However, it collects this data every time a user accesses a web page and it never releases the memory used to store the data. Over time, the web server will run slower and slower and eventually need to be rebooted.

Memory Management Techniques

 

Integer Overflow

An integer overflow attack attempts to use or create a numeric value that is too big for an application to handle. The result is that the application gives inaccurate results. As an example, if an application reserves 8 bits to store a number, it can store any value between 0 and 255. If the application attempts to multiply two values such as 95 × 59, the result is 5,605. This number cannot be stored in the 8 bits, so it causes an integer overflow error. It’s a good practice to double- check the size of buffers to ensure they can handle any data generated by the applications.

In some situations, an integer overflow error occurs if an application expects a positive number, but receives a negative number instead. If the application doesn’t have adequate error- and exception-handling routines, this might cause a buffer overflow error.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

Buffer Overflows

A buffer overflow occurs when an application receives more input, or different input, than it expects. The result is an error that exposes system memory that would otherwise be protected and inaccessible. Normally, an application will have access only to a specific area of memory, called a buffer. The buffer overflow allows access to memory locations beyond the application’s buffer, enabling an attacker to write malicious code into this area of memory.

The buffer overflow exposes a vulnerability, but it doesn’t necessarily cause damage by itself. However, once attackers discover the vulnerability, they exploit it and overwrite memory locations with their own code. If the attacker uses the buffer overflow to crash the system or disrupt its services, it is a DoS attack.

More often, the attacker’s goal is to insert malicious code in a memory location that the system will execute. It’s not easy for an attacker to know the exact memory location where the malicious code is stored, making it difficult to get the computer to execute it. However, an attacker can make educated guesses to get close.

The malicious code varies. In some instances, the attackers write code to spread a worm through the web server’s network. In other cases, the code modifies the web application so that the web application tries to infect every user who visits the web site with other malware. The attack possibilities are almost endless.

Buffer Overflow Attacks

A buffer overflow attack includes several different elements, but they happen all at once. The attacker sends a single string of data to the application. The first part of the string causes the buffer overflow. The next part of the string is a long string of NOPs followed by the attacker’s malicious code, stored in the attacked system’s memory. Last, the malicious code goes to work.

In some cases, an attacker writes a malicious script to discover buffer overflow vulnerabilities. For example, the attacker could use JavaScript to send random data to another service on the same system.

Although error-handling routines and input validation go a long way to prevent buffer overflows, they don’t prevent them all. Attackers occasionally discover a bug allowing them to send a specific string of data to an application, causing a buffer overflow. When vendors discover buffer overflow vulnerabilities, they are usually quick to release a patch or hotfix. From an administrator’s perspective, the solution is easy: Keep the systems up to date with current patches.

DLL Injection

Applications commonly use a Dynamic Link Library (DLL) or multiple DLLs. A DLL is a compiled set of code that an application can use without re-creating the code. As an example, most programming languages include math-based DLLs. Instead of writing the code to discover the square root of a number, a developer can include the appropriate DLL and access the square root function within it.

DLL injection is an attack that injects a DLL into a system’s memory and causes it to run. For example, imagine an attacker creates a DLL named malware.dll that includes several malicious functions. In a successful DLL injection attack, the attacker attaches to a running process, allocates memory within the running process, connects the malicious DLL within the allocated memory, and then executes functions within the DLL.


Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • 75 question post-assessment exam
  • Glossary

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 75-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

3 sets Performance-based Questions

Three new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 30 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 494 Online Security+ Glossary Flashcards
  • 222 Online Security+ Acronyms Flashcards
  • 223 Online Security+ Remember This Slide from the popular CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over two hours hour and 53 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. Over one hour and 40 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Access to all of the online content that is available for free to anyone that purchases the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This includes labs, extra practice test questions, and supplementary materials

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

Q. An attacker is attempting to write more data into a web application’s memory than it can handle. Which type of attack is this?

A. XSRF

B. DLL injection

C. Pass the hash

D. Buffer overflow

Answer is D. One type of buffer overflow attack attempts to write more data into an application’s memory than it can handle.

None of the other answers are directly related to overloading the application’s memory.

A cross-site request forgery (XSRF) attack attempts to launch attacks with HTML code.

A Dynamic Link Library (DLL) injection attack injects a DLL into memory and causes it to run.

A pass the hash attack attempts to discover a password.

See Chapter 7 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on advanced attacks.

Read More

Free Cyber Security Tips

Did you know that you can get free cyber security tips and alerts from US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team)?

These pop into my inbox regularly, and many are very informative. Here are a few, copied and pasted from the emails I’ve received.

North Korean Malicious Cyber Activity

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have identified a Trojan malware variant—referred to as KEYMARBLE—used by the North Korean government. The U.S. Government refers to malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government as HIDDEN COBRA.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review Malware Analysis Report (MAR) MAR-10135536-17 and the US-CERT page on HIDDEN COBRA – North Korean Malicious Cyber Activity for more information.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

Cyber Security Tips on Facebook Messenger

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released an article on building a digital defense against a fraud that uses Facebook’s texting app—Facebook Messenger. Scammers send messages that appear to be from trusted sources or trick users into clicking on malicious links or sharing personal information. Before clicking on links, users should verify the validity of the message with the sender outside of the app.

NCCIC encourages users to review the FBI Article and NCCIC Tip on Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information. If you believe you have been a victim of these scams, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • 75 question post-assessment exam
  • Glossary

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Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 75-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

3 sets Performance-based Questions

Three new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 30 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 494 Online Security+ Glossary Flashcards
  • 222 Online Security+ Acronyms Flashcards
  • 223 Online Security+ Remember This Slide from the popular CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over two hours hour and 53 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. Over one hour and 40 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Access to all of the online content that is available for free to anyone that purchases the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This includes labs, extra practice test questions, and supplementary materials

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

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Cyber Security Tips on the Internet of Things

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released an article on the risks associated with internet-connected devices, commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). FBI warns that cyber threat actors can use unsecured IoT devices as proxies to anonymously pursue malicious cyber activities.

As our reliance on IoT becomes an important part of everyday life, being aware of the associated risks is a key part of keeping your information and devices secure. NCCIC encourages users and administrators to review the FBI article for more information and refer to the NCCIC Tip Securing the Internet of Things.

Cyber Security Tips on Travel Scams

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released an article on building a digital defense against travel scams. The FBI explains how scammers trick consumers with “free” vacation ploys. These offers may be fake or involve hidden fees. Legitimate companies will not ask prize winners to pay to claim their reward.

NCCIC encourages consumers to review the FBI Article, the Federal Trade Commission’s Travel Tips, and NCCIC’s Tip on Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information.

Cyber Security Tips on Back-to-School

As summer break ends, many students will return to school with mobile devices, such as smart phones, tablets, and laptops. Although these devices can help students with their schoolwork and stay in touch with family and friends, there are risks associated with using them. However, there are simple steps that can help keep students stay safe while using their mobile devices and getting online.

NCCIC suggests reviewing the following tips and resources for information to keep students cyber safe:

Get Cyber Security Tips to Your Inbox

You can sign up for free cyber security tips, by subscribing to them here. The site includes the following mailing lists and you can sign up for one or all of them.

  • Alerts — timely information about current security issues, vulnerabilities, and exploits
  • Analysis Reports — in-depth analysis on new or evolving cyber threats
  • Bulletins — weekly summaries of new vulnerabilities. Patch information is provided when available
  • Tips — advice about common security issues for the general public
  • Current Activity — up-to-date information about high-impact types of security activity affecting the community at large
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CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

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