Differences between a CTO, CSO, CISO and CIO!

The ‘SYO 301/ 401’ bit of the ‘CompTIA Security+’ refers to the exam code, and – yup, you probably guessed it – the higher the number the more updated the version! Simple stuff really!

The Security+ updated exam and syllabus is expected to be launched in May 2014, this Spring – i.e. at the time of this post. The current exam SYO 301 will remain valid for at least six to eight months after the launch of SYO 401.

The last version SY0 301 was launched back in 2011 so it was starting to age somewhat.

Within the security space, IT certifications can age very quickly, not least because attack vectors and vulnerabilities tend to be created every minute of every day by hackers.

If we take a look at the official CompTIA Exam Objectives for the current version against the older version we notice that they are all the same.

The Current CompTIA Security+ SY0 401 Exam Objectives (Valid from May 2014)


Certification Exam Objectives: SY0-301 Certification Exam Objectives: SY0-401
% of Examination
% of Examination
1.0 Network Security 21 1.0 Network Security 20
2.0 Compliance and Operational Security 18 2.0 Compliance and Operational Security 18
3.0 Threats and Vulnerabilities 21 3.0 Threats and Vulnerabilities 20
4.0 Application, Data and Host Security 16 4.0 Application, Data and Host Security 15
5.0 Access Control and Identity Management 13 5.0 Access Control and Identity Management 15
6.0 Cryptography 11 6.0 Cryptography 12
Total SY0 301 100% Total SY0 401 100%


The difference is the ‘allocated percentage of importance’ that is now placed on the actual domain. Security+ SY0 401 has six domains: Network Security, Compliance and Operational Security, Threats and Vulnerabilities, Application – Data and Host Security, Access Control and Identity Management and Cryptography.

The CompTIA Security+ Certification is a vendor neutral IT Security credential. Passing the certification is an affirmation that you have understood foundation-level security skills and knowledge.

Of importance is the international recognition that CompTIA carries – meaning that when you pass this certification you will receive an internationally recognized professional cert that is used by organizations and security professionals around the world.

Can anyone apply to study Security+?

The answer is yes, but, it is advised that the candidate has a minimum of two years experience in IT administration with a focus on security applications, processes and networks. The more experience the candidate has, the more likely that he or she will understand key concepts and be able to implement them in their professional environment.

In Summary

Not really too much has changed in this updated version of the Security+ syllabus; with the key difference being the weighting of the six domains and the further implementation of the performance-based assessment questions.

Concise Courses offers Security+ as a self study option for only $395 and the course includes the following features:

(Click here for more information on our course).

(We also offer a 5 minute Security+ practice exam designed to test how good you are!)

  • Full access to our Mobile Responsive Learning Management System (i.e. learn on the move).
  • CompTIA Security+ Certification Book ‘Exam SY0 301 + U Certify’
  • Exam Voucher Valid For A Year
  • 4 Real Life Timed Exams (each one is virtually identical to the ‘real thing’
  • 1 Real Life Performance Based Exam (again, virtually identical to the ‘real thing’
  • 700+ course slides
  • Continuing Education Credits

Our price is not only low but it is value-packed and we dare you to contest that there is a better option out there!

Let us know your thoughts! We’d love to hear from you especially with regards to how Security+ may or may not have helped your career.

Leave a comment or reply below...thanks!