On the surface, it might look like the SY0-401 differences in Application, Data and Host Security are minimal. CompTIA reduced the weighting of this domain from 16% in the SY0-301 exam to 15% in the SY0-401 exam. However, some of the changes were significant. As an example, they added a full new objective on mobile devices.
Also, some of the reworded objectives require a much deeper set of knowledge. For example, instead of just knowing about the importance of data security, you’re expected to know how to implement security controls to protect data security. You can expect to see as many as 15 questions on these 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 Application Security
CompTIA modified the first objective slightly to focus on specific controls used with application security.
|Explain the importance of application security||Explain the importance of application security controls and techniques.|
They also added the following two new topics within this objective:
- NoSQL databases vs. SQL databases
- Server-side vs. Client-side validation
SY0-401 Differences in Mobile Security
Mobile devices continue to be more and more popular. Similarly, mobile security has become more and more important to organizations. While the SY0-301 addressed some mobile device security in the context of host security, CompTIA dedicated a full objective to it in the SY0-401 exam.
|Carry out appropriate procedures to establish host security||Summarize mobile security concepts and technologies.|
The first topic in this section is Device Security and it includes many familiar objectives with some new ones. New concepts are bold to highlight them.
- Device security
- Full device encryption
- Remote wiping
- Application control
- Storage segmentation
- Asset tracking
- Inventory control
- Mobile device management
- Device access control
- Removable storage
- Disabling unused features
The Application security topic is new in that it focuses specifically on application security for mobile devices.
- Application security
- Key management
- Credential management
- Application whitelisting
- Transitive trust/authentication
Bring your own device (BYOD) has also become increasingly popular and the next section covers many security concerns related to BYOD.
- BYOD concerns
- Data ownership
- Support ownership
- Patch management
- Antivirus management
- Adherence to corporate policies
- User acceptance
- Architecture/infrastructure considerations
- Legal concerns
- Acceptable use policy
- On-board camera/video
Master Security+ Performance Based Questions Video
SY0-401 Differences in Host Security
The host security topic is slightly modified to include the phrase “Given a scenario.” This indicates it will include more questions starting with one or two sentences to identify the scenario before you choose the best option. Also, the mobile devices topic was moved to it’s own objective.
|Carry out appropriate procedures to establish host security||Given a scenario, select the appropriate solution to establish host security.|
Several topics are added in this section but they were included in the SY0-301 exam in other objectives. They are:
- OS hardening
- Trusted OS
- Host-based intrusion detection
Host-based firewalls was previously a sub-bullet under anti-malware but is now listed as its own bullet in this section. CompTIA added one new objective and several sub-topics under Virtualization:
- White listing vs. black listing applications
- Patch compatibility
- Host availability/elasticity
- Security control testing
SY0-401 Differences in Data Security
The Data Security has a significant change in the wording of the objective. Instead of just of knowledge of data security so that you could explain it, the new objective expects you to be able to implement appropriate controls.
|Explain the importance of data security||Implement the appropriate controls to ensure data security.|
While some topics are the same, there are several new topics, including:
- Cloud storage
- Handling Big Data
- Data in-transit, Data at-rest, Data in-use
- Data policies
SY0-401 Differences in Application, Data and Host Security Summary
While CompTIA is giving less weight to this topic by reducing it from 16% to 15%, it has some significant changes. You can expect to see a greater emphasis on mobile device security, and on the controls available to enforce data security. It also includes several new topics such as application security and BYOD.