CompTIA Security+ is a global certification that validates the baseline skills you need to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career.

Why is it different?

  • No other certification that assesses baseline cybersecurity skills has performance-based questions on the exam. Security+ emphasizes hands-on practical skills, ensuring the security professional is better prepared to problem solve a wider variety of issues.
  • More choose Security+ for DoD 8570 compliance than any other certification.
  • Security+ focuses on the latest trends and techniques in risk management, risk mitigation, threat management and intrusion detection.
  • The new Security+ certification covers the Junior IT Auditor/Penetration Tester job role, in addition to the previous job roles for Systems Administrator, Network Administrator, and Security Administrator.

About the exam

New CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601) exam launching in November, 2020!

CompTIA Security+ is the first security certification IT professionals should earn. It establishes the core knowledge required of any cybersecurity role and provides a springboard to intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs. Security+ incorporates best practices in hands-on trouble-shooting to ensure security professionals have practical security problem-solving skills. Cybersecurity professionals with Security+ know how to address security incidents – not just identify them.

Security+ is compliant with ISO 17024 standards and approved by the US DoD to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements. Regulators and government rely on ANSI accreditation, because it provides confidence and trust in the outputs of an accredited program. Over 2.3 million CompTIA ISO/ANSI-accredited exams have been delivered since January 1, 2011.

Two people looking at many monitors.

What Skills Will You Learn?



Detect various types of compromise and have an understanding of penetration testing and vulnerability scanning concepts



Install, configure, and deploy network components while assessing and troubleshooting issues to support organizational security



Implement secure network architecture concepts and systems design



Install and configure identity and access services, as well as management controls



Implement and summarize risk management best practices and the business impact



Install and configure wireless security settings and implement public key infrastructure

Organizations that have contributed to the development of Security+


Jobs that use CompTIA Security+

Systems Administrator

Network Administrator

Security Administrator

Junior IT Auditor/ Penetration Tester

Security Specialist

Security Consultant

Security Engineer

Exam Details

Exam Codes  SY0-501 SY0-601 
Launch Date  October 4, 2017 November, 2020 
Exam Description The CompTIA Security+ exam will certify the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to install and configure systems to secure applications, networks, and devices; perform threat analysis and respond with appropriate mitigation techniques; participate in risk mitigation activities; and operate with an awareness of applicable policies, laws, and regulations. The successful candidate will perform these tasks to support the principles of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The CompTIA Security+ certification exam will verify the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to assess the security posture of an enterprise environment and recommend and implement appropriate security solutions; monitor and secure hybrid environments, including cloud, mobile, and IoT; operate with an awareness of applicable laws and policies, including principles of governance, risk, and compliance; identify, analyze, and respond to security events and incidents 
Number of Questions Maximum of 90 questions
Type of Questions Multiple choice and performance-based
Length of Test 90 minutes
Passing Score 750 (on a scale of 100-900)
Recommended Experience CompTIA Network+ and two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus
Languages English, Japanese, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese English, Japanese
Retirement  July 2021
Usually three years after launch 
Testing Provider  Pearson VUE
Price $349 USD (See all pricing)
Get Practice Questions and Exam Objectives
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CompTIA Security+ SY0-501:
What’s in this version

The exam has been updated to better reflect today’s best practices for risk management and risk mitigation including the following:

  • More emphasis on the practical and hands-on ability to both identify and address security threats, attacks and vulnerabilities.
  • Skills covered in Security+ have become a baseline for all cybersecurity jobs and the new version has been updated to reflect how cybersecurity jobs are becoming more specialized, like security analytics. Because of this, the importance of and demand for Security+ has increased for a broader variety of job roles.

    How does CompTIA Security+ Compare?


     CCNA Security EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)
    Performance Based Questions
    Experience LevelEntry-level cybersecurityIntermediateIntermediateEntry-level cybersecurity
    Exam FocusCore cybersecurity skills required by security and network administrators Operating Cisco technology devices such as routing and switching devicesPenetration TestingFundamental cybersecurity skills 
    Vendor NeutralYes NoYes Yes

    Exam Preparation

    CompTIA offers a wealth of certification training that is designed for exam success. Find out more and explore all training options.

    eLearning with CompTIA CertMaster Learn for Security+

    Train anywhere, anytime. Master all exam objectives through learning content that is enhanced with videos, flash cards and performance-based questions. Confirm your learning progress with an included practice test.


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    Interactive Labs with CompTIA Labs for Security+

    Supercharge your certification training with hands-on, browser-based virtual lab environments. Jump into the role of an administrator, complete basic to advanced tasks and quickly understand the impact of the system changes you make.


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    Exam Prep with CompTIA CertMaster Practice for Security+

    Go into your Security+ certification exam with confidence. Adaptive exam preparation in this intelligent online training companion will reinforce what you already know and fill the gaps in areas you need to improve.


    Learn More

    Study Guides for Security+

    Developed by CompTIA for the CompTIA certification candidate, Study Guides are available in print or eBook format and packed with informative and engaging content tied to exam objectives.



    Video Training with ITProTV for Security+

    Together with our partner ITProTV, CompTIA offers videos moderated by Security+ experts who explain the exam objectives of A+ in a talk show format that is easy to follow.


    Learn More

    Instructor-Led Training

    Whether you’re looking for in-classroom or live online training, CompTIA offers best-in-class instructor-led training for both individuals and teams. You can also find training among CompTIA’s vast network of Authorized Training Partners.


    Training for You   Training for Your Groups   CompTIA Training Partners 


    Keep your certification up to date with CompTIA’s Continuing Education (CE) program. It’s designed to be a continued validation of your expertise and a tool to expand your skillset. It’s also the ace up your sleeve when you’re ready to take the next step in your career.

    Get the most out of your certification
    Information technology is an incredibly dynamic field, creating new opportunities and challenges every day. Participating in our Continuing Education program will enable you to stay current with new and evolving technologies and remain a sought-after IT and security expert.

    The CompTIA Continuing Education program
    Your CompTIA Security+ certification is good for three years from the day of your exam. The CE program allows you to extend your certification in three-year intervals through activities and training that relate to the content of your certification. Like Security+ itself, CompTIA Security+ ce also carries globally-recognized ISO/ANSI accreditation status.

    It’s easy to renew
    You can participate in a number of activities and training programs, including higher certifications, to renew your CompTIA Security+ certification. Complete CertMaster CE, an online, self-paced CE course, or collect at least 50 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in three years, upload them to your certification account, and Security+ will automatically renew.

    Want more details? Learn more about the CompTIA Continuing Education program.

    iconHowToRenew Security+ can be renewed.


    CEUs needed for renewal

    Renew Now

    CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501) Purchase Options

    CompTIA Security+ Exam Voucher
    CompTIA Security+ Exam Retake
    eBook – The Official CompTIA Security+ Study Guide (SY0-501)
    CompTIA CertMaster Practice for Security+ (SY0-501)
    CompTIA CertMaster Learn for Security+ (SY0-501)



    Basic Bundle



    Exam Prep Bundle



    eLearning Bundle




    Earning the Security+ certification was the ace to set me apart from my peers. I wouldn't be where I am today without it.

    N. Peter Caro,
    Senior Information Assurance Architect, KEYW Corporation

    Security+ is proof to employers you can get the job done.

    Craig Pearce,
    Security Assurance Manager, e-Secure - Australia & International