CompTIA has updated objectives and this post covers the SY0-401 differences in Access Control and Identity Management. They changed the weighting of this domain increasing it from 13% in the SY0-301 exam to 15% in the SY0-401 exam. You can expect to see as many as 15 questions on these topics. The changes aren’t significant and are often just organized differently. However, this section does include several new topics.
This post is a part of a series showing all the SYO-401 differences compared to the SY0-301 exam. Here are links to all the pages in the series:
- SY0-401 Differences in Domains
- SY0-401 Differences in Network Security
- SY0-401 Differences in Compliance and Operational Security
- SY0-401 Differences in Threats and Vulnerabilities
- SY0-401 Differences in Application, Data and Host Security
- SY0-401 Differences in Access Control and Identity Management
- SY0-401 Differences in Cryptography
- SY0-401 Differences in Acronyms
SY0-301 Available Until December 31, 2014
Remember, you can still take the SY0-301 exam up until December 31, 2014.
Hiring managers rarely care what version of Security+ you have. They only want to know you are Security+ certified. Unless you want to be on the bleeding edge of this certification, you don’t need to pursue the 401 version.
At this writing, there is a limited amount of material available for the 401 version. However, there is plenty of study material available for the 301 version. Many people tell me they take and pass the Security+ exam within 30 days after getting this book: CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide. Even if it takes you a little longer, you’ll still have plenty of time to get the certification before December 31, 2014.
CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide is now available.
SY0-401 Differences in Authentication Services
This objective has minor wording changes which indicate that CompTIA expects you to be able to differentiate them from each other.
|Explain the function and purpose of authentication services||Compare and contrast the function and purpose of authentication services.|
They removed one item (TACACS) and added two new ones:
- Secure LDAP
Master Security+ Performance Based Questions Video
SY0-401 Differences in Authentication, Authorization, Access Controls
This objective has been changed, indicating CompTIA will do scenario based questions. These typically use one or two sentences to describe a situation and ask you to select the best solution.
|Explain the fundamental concepts and best practices related to authentication, authorization and access control||Given a scenario, select the appropriate authentication, authorization or access control.|
Within the objective, CompTIA has taken the time organize topics making them a little clearer about what they expect you to know. The first bullet adds in authorization.
- Identification vs. authentication vs. authorization
Next, the Authorization bullet groups several bullets directly related to authorization. These aren’t new concepts compared to the older objectives, but instead just reorganized.
- Least privilege
- Separation of duties
- Mandatory access
- Discretionary access
- Rule-based access control
- Role-based access control
- Time of day restrictions
Next, the Authentication bullet organizes common authentication topics and also adds some new ones. I bolded the new ones to help them stand out.
- Common access card
- Smart card
- Multifactor authentication
- Single sign-on
- Access control
- Implicit deny
- Trusted OS
While CHAP and PAP were in the previous objectives, they were only in the cryptography section, not with the authentication section. Next the authentication factors are spelled out to indicate exactly what you’re expected to know. Also, they have added somewhere you are and something you do,which are new concepts for the Security+ exam.
- Authentication factors
- Something you are
- Something you have
- Something you know
- Somewhere you are
- Something you do
In the Identification bullet, they broke out some specific methods of identification. While username is an addition in this section, it isn’t a new topic. It’s the most common method of identification and was implied in the previous exam objectives.
- Personal identification verification card
Last, two new topics were added into this section.
- Transitive trust/authentication
SY0-401 Differences in Account Management
The account management objective changes the wording from “implement” to “install and configure” but this change isn’t significant. The new phrase “best practices” might cause some challenges, because there isn’t a definitive source that is reliable for all best practices, and they are often a moving target.
|Implement appropriate security controls when performing account management||Install and configure security controls when performing account management, based on best practices.|
Within the “Account policy enforcement” bullet, CompTIA added some new topics. Some of these topics were already implied in the previous objectives but I highlighted items that are new:
- Credential management
- Group policy
- Password history
- Password reuse
- Password length
- Generic account prohibition
Also within this objective CompTIA added two new bullets. They aren’t really new topics because they are mentioned in other objectives, but they do show CompTIAs desire to include a focus on these topics within the context of account management.
- User access reviews
- Continuous monitoring
SY0-401 Differences in Access Control and Identity Management Summary
CompTIA is giving more weight to this topic by upping it 2% to 15%. As with other objectives, they have slightly modified the wording but these modifications are not significant. Of more importance is the addition of several new items such as TOTP, HOTP, Somewhere you are, Something you do, Federation, Transitive trust/authentication, Credential management, Group policy, and Generic account prohibition.