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CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst

Target Audience

The CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) examination is designed for IT security analysts, vulnerability analysts, or threat intelligence analysts. The exam will certify that the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to configure and use threat detection tools, perform data analysis, and interpret the results to identify vulnerabilities, threats, and risks to an organization with the end goal of securing and protecting applications and systems within an organization.


Learning Objectives

The CompTIA CySA+ certification is a vendor-neutral credential. The CompTIA CySA+ exam (Exam CS0-001) is an internationally targeted validation of intermediate-level security skills and knowledge. The course has a technical, “hands-on” focus on IT security analytics.

The CompTIA CySA+ exam is based on these objectives:

  • Threat Management Vulnerability Management
  • Cyber Incident Response
  • Security Architecture and Tool Sets


While there is no required prerequisite, the CompTIA CySA+ certification is intended to follow CompTIA Security+ or equivalent experience. It is recommended for CompTIA CySA+ certification candidates to have the following:

  • 3-4 years of hands-on information security or related experience
  • Network+, Security+, or equivalent knowledge

Course Content

1. Threat Management

  • Given a scenario, apply environmental reconnaissance techniques using appropriate tools and processes

Procedures/common tasks: 

  • Topology discovery 
  • OS fingerprinting 
  • Service discovery 
  • Packet capture 
  • Log review 
  • Router/firewall ACLs review 
  • Email harvesting 
  • Social media profiling 
  • Social engineering 
  • DNS harvesting 
  • Phishing


  • Wireless vs. wired 
  • Virtual vs. physical 
  • Internal vs. external 
  •  On-premises vs. cloud


  •  NMAP 
  •  Host scanning 
  •  Network mapping 
  •  Packet analyzer 
  •  IDS/IPS 
  •  Firewall rule-based and logs 
  •  Syslog 
  •  Vulnerability scanner
  • Given a scenario, analyze the results of a network reconnaissance

Point-in-time data analysis: 

  • Packet analysis 
  • Protocol analysis 
  • Traffic analysis 
  • Netflow analysis 
  • Wireless analysis

Data correlation and analytics: 

  • Anomaly analysis 
  • Trend analysis 
  • Availability analysis 
  • Heuristic analysis 
  • Behavioral analysis

Data output: 

  • Firewall logs 
  • Packet captures 
  • NMAP scan results 
  • Event logs 
  • Syslogs 
  • IDS report


  • SIEM 
  • Packet analyzer 
  • IDS 
  • Resource monitoring tool 
  • Netflow analyzer
  • Given a network-based threat, implement or recommend the appropriate response and countermeasure

Network segmentation: 

  • System isolation 
  • Jump box
  • Honeypot
  • Endpoint security

Group policies


  • Sinkhole


  • Mandatory Access Control (MAC) 
  • Compensating controls 
  • Blocking unused ports/services 
  • Patching

Network Access Control (NAC): 

  • Time-based 
  • Rule-based 
  • Role-based
  • Location-based
  • Explain the purpose of practices used to secure a corporate environment

Penetration testing: 

  • Rules of engagement

Reverse engineering: 

  • Isolation/sandboxing 
  • Hardware 
  • Software/malware

Training and exercises: 

  • Red team 
  • Blue team 
  • White team

Risk evaluation: 

  • Technical control review 
  • Operational control review 
  • Technical impact and likelihood

2. Vulnerability Management

  • Given a scenario, implement an information security vulnerability management process

Identification of requirements: 

  • Regulatory environments 
  • Corporate policy 
  • Data classification 
  • Asset inventory

Establish scanning frequency: 

  • Risk appetite 
  • Regulatory requirements 
  • Technical constraints 
  • Workflow

Configure tools to perform scans according to specification: 

  • Determine scanning criteria 
  • Tool updates/plug-ins 
  • Permissions and access
  • Execute scanning

Generate reports: 

  • Automated vs. manual distribution


  • Prioritizing
  • Communication/change control
  • Sandboxing/testing
  • Inhibitors to remediation
  • Ongoing scanning and continuous monitoring
  • Given a scenario, analyze the output resulting from a vulnerability scan

Analyze reports from a vulnerability scan: 

  • Review and interpret scan results
  • Validate results and correlate other data points 
  • Compare to best practices or compliance 
  • Reconcile results 
  • Review related logs and/or other data sources 
  • Determine trends
  • Compare and contrast common vulnerabilities found in the following targets within an organization
  • Servers
  • Endpoints
  • Network infrastructure
  • Network appliances

Virtual infrastructure:

  • Virtual hosts
  • Virtual networks
  • Management interface
  • Mobile devices
  • Interconnected networks
  • Virtual private networks (VPNs)
  • Industrial Control Systems (ICSs)
  • SCADA devices

3. Cyber Incident Response

  • Given a scenario, distinguish threat data or behavior to determine the impact of an incident

Threat classification: 

  • Known threats vs. unknown threats 
  • Zero day 
  • Advanced persistent threat
  • Factors contributing to incident severity and prioritization: 
  • Scope of impact
  • Types of data
  • Given a scenario, prepare a toolkit and use appropriate forensics tools during an investigation

Forensics kit: 

  • Digital forensics workstation 
  • Write blockers 
  • Cables 
  • Drive adapters 
  • Wiped removable media 
  • Cameras 
  • Crime tape 
  • Tamper-proof seals 
  • Documentation/forms

Forensic investigation suite:

  • Imaging utilities 
  • Analysis utilities 
  • Chain of custody 
  • Hashing utilities 
  • OS and process analysis 
  • Mobile device forensics 
  • Password crackers 
  • Cryptography tools 
  • Log viewers
  • Explain the importance of communication during the incident response process


  • HR
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Management

Purpose of communication processes:

  • Limit communication to trusted parties
  • Disclosure based on regulatory/legislative requirements
  • Prevent inadvertent release of information
  • Secure method of communication

Role-based responsibilities:

  • Technical 
  • Management 
  • Law enforcement 
  • Retain incident response provider
  • Given a scenario, analyze common symptoms to select the best course of action to support incident response

Common network-related symptoms:

  • Bandwidth consumption
  • Beaconing
  • Irregular peer-to-peer communication
  • Rogue devices on the network
  • Scan sweeps
  • Unusual traffic spikes

Common host-related symptoms:

  • Processor consumption
  • Memory consumption
  • Drive capacity consumption
  • Unauthorized software
  • Malicious processes
  • Unauthorized changes
  • Unauthorized privileges
  • Data exfiltration

Common application-related symptoms:

  • Anomalous activity 
  • Introduction of new accounts 
  • Unexpected output 
  • Unexpected outbound communication 
  • Service interruption 
  • Memory overflows
  • Summarize the incident recovery and post-incident response process

Containment techniques:

  • Segmentation
  • Isolation
  • Removal
  • Reverse engineering

Eradication techniques:

  • Sanitization 
  • Reconstruction/reimage 
  • Secure disposal


  • Patching
  • Permissions
  • Scanning
  • Verify logging/communication to security monitoring

Corrective actions:

  • Lessons learned report
  • Change control process
  • Update incident response plan
  • Incident summary report

4. Security Architecture and Tool Sets

  • Explain the relationship between frameworks, common policies, controls, and procedures
  • Regulatory compliance


  • NIST
  • ISO
  • ITIL


  • Password policy
  • Acceptable use policy
  • Data ownership policy
  • Data retention policy
  • Account management policy
  • Data classification policy


  • Control selection based on criteria
  • Organizationally defined parameters
  • Physical controls
  • Logical controls
  • Administrative controls


  • Continuous monitoring 
  • Evidence production 
  • Patching 
  • Compensating control development 
  • Control testing procedures 
  • Manage exceptions 
  • Remediation plans

Verifications and quality control: 

  • Audits 
  • Evaluations
  • Assessments
  • Maturity model
  • Certification
  • Given a scenario, use data to recommend remediation of security issues related to identity and access management

Security issues associated with context-based authentication:

  • Time
  • Location
  • Frequency
  • Behavioral

Security issues associated with identities:

  • Personnel
  • Endpoints
  • Servers
  • Services
  • Roles
  • Applications

Security issues associated with identity repositories:

  • Directory services

Security issues associated with federation and single sign-on:

  • Manual vs. automatic provisioning/deprovisioning
  • Self-service password reset


  • Impersonation
  • Man-in-the-middle
  • Session hijack
  • Cross-site scripting
  • Privilege escalation
  • Rootkit
  • Given ascenario, review security architecture and make recommendations to implement compensating controls

Security data analytics:

  • Data aggregation and correlation
  • Trend analysis
  • Historical analysis

Manual review: 

  • Firewall log 
  • Syslogs 
  • Authentication logs 
  • Event logs

Defense in depth:

  • Personnel
  • Processes
  • Technologies
  • Other security concepts
  • Given a scenario, use application security best practices while participating in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Best practices during software development:

  • Security requirements definition
  • Security testing phases
  • Manual peer reviews
  • User acceptance testing
  • Stress test application
  • Security regression testing
  • Input validation
  • Secure coding best practices:
  • SANS
  • Center for Internet Security
  • Compare and contrast the general purpose and reasons for using various cybersecurity tools and technologies


  • IPS
  • HIPS
  • Firewall
  • Antivirus
  • Anti-malware
  • EMET
  • Web proxy
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)


  • SIEM
  • Network scanning
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Packet capture
  • Command line/IP utilities


  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Monitoring tools
  • Interception proxy


  • Interception proxy
  • Exploit framework
  • Fuzzers


  • Forensic suites
  • Hashing
  • Password cracking
  • Imaging


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