CompTIA Adds Cyber Security Analytics Certification


(Image: Henrik5000/iStockphoto)

(Image: Henrik5000/iStockphoto)

Data analytics pros are some of the most sought after workers today, and forecasts show that demand will continue to outpace supply. If you are looking for a stable, high-growth career, analytics is a good way to go.

Another fast-growing technology career is cyber security, as organizations must continue to improve their defenses against threats and attacks in the wake of high-profile attacks against well-known brands.

Now IT industry association CompTIA is offering a technology certification that encompasses both of these specialties.

The CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+) certification marries behavioral analytics to threat assessment in cyber security. The vendor-neutral certification will offer broad-spectrum validation of knowledge and skills required to configure and use cyber threat detection tools, perform data analysis, and interpret the results to identify vulnerabilities, threats, and risks to an organization, according to CompTIA.

That's especially important as the Internet of Things (IoT) has added more devices, and vulnerabilities into the network mix, according to CompTIA.

CompTIA president and CEO Todd Thibodeaux told UBM Tech that the time has come for this certification.

"We've been monitoring the market for quite some time and reviewing the changes in job posting descriptions and felt the cyber analytics piece had reached a tipping point making now the right time," he said.

Behavioral analytics provide an important window into cyber security threats, according to Thibodeaux. Analysts can draw from the wealth of data logged by hardware infrastructure to look for patterns that could point to "corporate espionage, denials of service, mayhem, or just bots probing for points of vulnerability for later attacks," he said.

Thibodeaux said the training time and commitment would be similar to that of the Security+ certification, and that someone with 3 to 5 years of experience should expect to spend about an hour a week of training to get ready to take the exam.

Analytics brings an important component to the practice of cyber security, according to James Stanger, CompTIA's senior director for products.

"By placing greater emphasis on data analytics, we get a real-time, holistic view of the behavior of the network, its users, and their devices to identify potential vulnerabilities and strengthen the before an intrusion happens," he said in a statement. "Armed with this information, cybersecurity professionals can more precisely identify potential risks and vulnerabilities so that resources can be allocated where they're most needed."

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay for Information Security Analysts was $90,120 per year in 2015, and demand for these professionals is forecast to grow by 18% between 2014 and 2024, much faster than other professions.

CompTIA now offers three security certifications. The organization says this new one bridges the skills gap between its CompTIA Security+ certification and its CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) exam. The Security+ certification offers training in best practices for IT security, including principles for network security and risk management. The CASP certification certifies critical thinking and judgment across a broad spectrum of security disciplines, the organizations said.

This portfolio of three certifications create "a vendor-neutral cybersecurity career pathway," according to the organization.

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps, Informationweek

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, predictive analytics, and big data for smarter business and a better world. In her spare time she enjoys playing Minecraft and other video games with her sons. She's also a student and performer of improvisational comedy. Follow her on Twitter: @jessicadavis.

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Re: $ecurity $ells
  • 2/28/2017 8:15:14 PM
NO RATINGS

Seth, you're right that it's a catch 22 but it's nothing new. The process is more subjective than objective, it comes down to the applicant convincing the employer that he or she can perform. No matter how that's achieved. Selling yourself.

Re: $ecurity $ells
  • 2/28/2017 7:07:59 PM
NO RATINGS

@ rbaz, That is a catch 22 many people who obtain certifications experience.  They get the certification in hopes of getting a job while many employers want those with experience already. 

Re: $ecurity $ells
  • 2/28/2017 4:03:54 PM
NO RATINGS

Terry, to your point. I'd a conversation with a hiring manager about what he looks for mostly. He stated that certification though important were not persuasive, but he would ask for narrative of real projects that the applicant successfully brought to conclusion along with challenges overcomed. That's more telling and impressive.

Re: $ecurity $ells
  • 2/28/2017 3:38:08 PM
NO RATINGS

It is good to realize the differences between "vendor neutral" certifications and those ties in with a sponsor. The differences in the training may be of significance to those who are looking for a position where that particular sponsor is connected with the employer or conversely, a more broad training might be had with the vendor neutral group.

Re: $ecurity $ells
  • 2/27/2017 3:38:05 PM
NO RATINGS

IMO It really depends on the background of the hiring manager, if they can relate to earning certificates throughout their career, these managers are more apt to be enthused about seeing it on someone's resume.  

For those who have gained their knowledge through real-world experience, these certificates do show a level of commitment but also tend to make the applicant look like he or she is just full of book knowledge which is most often dated in real world operation.

Re: $ecurity $ells
  • 2/27/2017 12:34:34 PM
NO RATINGS

There certainly is a place for vendor-neutral training out there. But IT careerists follow the money too. If I wanted to get certified for workgroup apps, for example, it would be smart to get Msft/Office certs, not to mention absorbing all I could about how Azure deals with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.

Re: Security sells
  • 2/27/2017 12:31:48 PM
NO RATINGS

Hmmmm... yes, certs are valuable but employers and IT hiring managers are increasingly taking candidates and dropping them into live-action scenarios and watching how the applicants respond, both technically but with other team members. IT managers want to know before an offer goes out exactly what your skillsets are and how you behave when things hit the fan.

Re: $ecurity $ells
  • 2/27/2017 12:28:19 PM
NO RATINGS

Don't get me wrong, rbaz... I think professional certifications are great, especially for developing new or young talent. But most IT managers say their importance is overblown in the overall hiring process. Most want to see hard evidence of practical skills and problem solving, and are less worried at CISSP, etc. on the resumé.

Security analytics certification is a plus
  • 2/26/2017 4:21:55 PM
NO RATINGS

..

Jessica writes


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay for Information Security Analysts was $90,120 per year in 2015, and demand for these professionals is forecast to grow by 18% between 2014 and 2024, much faster than other professions.

CompTIA now offers three security certifications. The organization says this new one bridges the skills gap between its CompTIA Security+ certification and its CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) exam. The Security+ certification offers training in best practices for IT security, including principles for network security and risk management. The CASP certification certifies critical thinking thinking and judgment across a broad spectrum of security disciplines ....


Given the proliferation and exacerbation of cyber-security threats in today's world, this and the other certifications offered by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) seem very timely indeed.

 ..

Re: $ecurity $ells
  • 2/25/2017 6:38:17 PM
NO RATINGS

Terry, sadly these strictly for profit certification mills are quick to gear up and seize the moment while the truly viable ones are more deliberate in forming a program.

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