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CompTIA Security+ Certification

Validate foundational IT security knowledge and skills

CompTIA Security+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification that demonstrates competency in:

  • Network security 
  • Compliance and operational security 
  • Threats and vulnerabilities 
  • Application, data, and host security 
  • Access control and identity management 
  • Cryptography 

Achieving CompTIA Security+ certification confirms that you not only can apply knowledge of security concepts, tools, and procedures to react to security incidents, but you also can anticipate security risks and guard against them.



Ideal candidates for CompTIA Security+ certification have:

  • At least two years of experience in IT administration with a focus on security
  • Day-to-day technical information security experience
  • CompTIA Network+ certification (recommended)

Required Exams

Security+ Certification Exam (SY0-401)

You will have 90 minutes to complete the 90-question Security+ certification exam (SY0-401). A passing score is 750 out of 900 possible points. 

As of January 5, 2013, to more accurately measure the skills required of IT security personnel, the Security+ exam includes performance-based questions that require you to perform a task or solve a problem within a simulated IT environment.





Recommended Courses


Exam Renewal 

As of January 1, 2011, CompTIA Security+ certification holders are required to renew their credential every three years. Renewal can be achieved two ways: 

  1. Take the most current version of the CompTIA Security+ certification exam. 
  2. Earn continuing education units (CEUs) by participating in qualified activities, such as publishing an article or white paper, obtaining another industry certification, or attending a relevant conference or event. The CompTIA Security+ certification renewal requires 50 CEUs per renewal period. 

Certifications earned in 2011 and beyond will contain the designation "CE" to indicate the certification is subject to the renewal policy. If you achieved certification prior to 2011 (the non-CE version), you will retain your certification for life. No renewal is required, although you may choose to or be required to enroll in the continuing education program.

Individuals Affected by the DoD Directive 8570.1 

As of January 1, 2013, the Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes only CompTIA certifications with the CE designation as approved DoD 8570 Information Assurance baseline certifications. If you earned your CompTIA certification on or after January 1, 2011, follow the standard renewal procedures outlined above. If you earned certification prior to 2011, you must enroll in the continuing education program to update your certification to the CE version. Please review our FAQs for details.