CompTIA Security+ All-in-One Exam Guide, Fourth Edition (Exam SY0-401), 4th Edition
Information and computer security has moved from the confines of academia to mainstreamAmerica in the last decade. From the CodeRed, Nimda, and Slammer attacks to data disclosures to today’s Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) that were heavily covered in the media and broadcast into the average American’s home, information security has become a common topic. It has become increasingly obvious to everybody that something needs to be done in order to secure not only our nation’s critical infrastructure, but also the businesses we deal with on a daily basis. The question is, “Where do we begin?” What can the average information technology professional do to secure the systems that he or she is hired to maintain? One immediate answer is education and training. If we want to secure our computer systems and networks, we need to know how to do this and what security entails.
Complacency is not an option in today’s hostile network environment. While we once considered the insider to be the major threat to corporate networks, and the “script kiddie” to be the standard external threat (often thought of as only a nuisance), the highly interconnected networked world of today is a much different place. The U.S. government identified eight critical infrastructures a few years ago that were thought to be so crucial to the nation’s daily operation that if one were to be lost, it would have a catastrophic impact on the nation. To this original set of eight sectors, more have been added, and they now total 17. Furthermore, analysis shows that in the United States, over 85 percent of this infrastructure is owned and operated by companies, not the government. A common thread throughout all of these critical infrastructures, however, is technology—especially technology related to computers and communication. Thus, if an individual, organization, or nation wanted to cause damage to this nation, it could attack not just with traditional weapons, but also with computers through the Internet. It is not surprising to hear that among the other information seized in raids on terrorist organizations, computers and Internet information are usually seized as well. While the insider can certainly still do tremendous damage to an organization, the external threat is again becoming the chief concern among many.
So, where do you, the IT professional seeking more knowledge on security, start your studies? The IT world is overflowing with certifications that can be obtained by those attempting to learn more about their chosen profession. The security sector is no different, and the CompTIA Security+ exam offers a basic level of certification for security. CompTIA Security+ is an ideal starting point for one interested in a career in security. In the pages of this exam guide, you will find not only material that can help you prepare for taking the CompTIA Security+ examination, but also the basic information that you will need in order to understand the issues involved in securing your computer systems and networks today. In no way is this exam guide the final source for learning all about protecting your organization’s systems, but it serves as a point from which to launch your security studies and career.
One thing is certainly true about this field of study—it never gets boring. It constantly changes as technology itself advances. Something else you will find as you progress in your security studies is that no matter how much technology advances and no matter how many new security devices are developed, at its most basic level, the human is still the weak link in the security chain. If you are looking for an exciting area to delve into, then you have certainly chosen wisely. Security offers a challenging blend of technology and people issues. We, the authors of this exam guide, wish you luck as you embark on an exciting and challenging career path.
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