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Expert preparation covering 100% of Security+ exam SY0-501 objectives
CompTIA Security+ Study Guide, Seventh Edition offers invaluable preparation for Exam SY0-501. Written by an expert author team, this book covers 100% of the exam objectives with clear, concise explanation. You´ll learn how to handle threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities using industry-standard tools and technologies, while understanding the role of architecture and design. From everyday tasks like identity and access management to complex topics like risk management and cryptography, this study guide helps you consolidate your knowledge base in preparation for the Security+ exam. Practical examples illustrate how these processes play out in real-world scenarios, allowing you to immediately translate essential concepts to on-the-job application. You also gain access to the Sybex online learning environment, which features a robust toolkit for more thorough prep: flashcards, glossary of key terms, practice questions, and a pre-assessment exam equip you with everything you need to enter the exam confident in your skill set.

This study guide is approved and endorsed by CompTIA, and has been fully updated to align with the latest version of the exam.

Master essential security technologies, tools, and tasks
Understand how Security+ concepts are applied in the real world
Study on the go with electronic flashcards and more
Test your knowledge along the way with hundreds of practice questions
To an employer, the CompTIA Security+ certification proves that you have the knowledge base and skill set to secure applications, devices, and networks; analyze and respond to threats; participate in risk mitigation, and so much more. As data threats loom larger every day, the demand for qualified security professionals will only continue to grow. If you´re ready to take the first step toward a rewarding career, CompTIA Security+ Study Guide, Seventh Edition is the ideal companion for thorough exam preparation.

Introduction xxiv

Assessment Test xli

Chapter 1 Managing Risk 1

Risk Terminology 3

Threat Assessment 6

Risk Assessment 6

Computing Risk Assessment 7

Assessing Privacy 12

Acting on Your Risk Assessment 12

Risks Associated with Cloud Computing 15

Risks Associated with Virtualization 16

Developing Policies, Standards, and Guidelines 17

Implementing Policies 17

Understanding Control Types and False Positives/Negatives 26

Risk Management Best Practices 28

Change Management 38

Summary 38

Exam Essentials 38

Review Questions 40

Chapter 2 Monitoring and Diagnosing Networks 45

Monitoring and Diagnosing Networks Terminology 47

Frameworks, Best Practices, and Configuration Guides 48

Industry-Standard Frameworks and Reference

Architectures 48

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 51

Benchmarks/Secure Configuration Guides 54

Secure Network Architecture Concepts 57

Zones 57

Tunneling/VPN 63

Placing Security Devices 64

SDN 67

IDS vs. IPS 67

Secure Systems Design 68

Hardware and Firmware Security 68

Operating Systems 69

Peripherals 73

Secure Staging Deployment Concepts 73

Summary 74

Exam Essentials 74

Review Questions 76

Chapter 3 Understanding Devices and Infrastructure 79

Infrastructure Terminology 81

Designing with Security in Mind 84

Firewalls 84

VPNs and VPN Concentrators 89

Intrusion Detection Systems 91

Router 104

Switch 106

Proxy 107

Load Balancer 108

Access Point 108

SIEM 111

DLP 111

Network Access Control (NAC) 112

Mail Gateway 112

Bridge 113

SSL/TLS Accelerators 113

SSL Decryptors 113

Media Gateway 114

Hardware Security Module 114

Summary 115

Exam Essentials 115

Review Questions 116

Chapter 4 Identity and Access Management 121

Using Tools to Assess Your Network 125

Protocol Analyzer 125

Network Scanners 127

Password Cracker 130

Vulnerability Scanners 131

Command-Line Tools 135

Additional Tools 142

Troubleshooting Common Security Issues 143

Access Issues 144

Configuration Issues 145

Security Technologies 147

Intrusion Detection Systems 147

Antimalware 148

Firewalls and Related Devices 149

Other Systems 150

Contents xv

Identity and Access Management Concepts 151

Identification vs. Authentication 151

Authentication (Single Factor) and Authorization 152

Multifactor Authentication 153

Biometrics 153

Federations 154

Potential Authentication and Access Problems 154

LDAP 155

PAP, SPAP, and CHAP 155

Kerberos 156

Working with RADIUS 157


OATH 158

One-Time Passwords 158

SAML 159

Install and Configure Identity and Access Services 159

Mandatory Access Control 159

Discretionary Access Control 160

Role-Based Access Control 160

Rule-Based Access Control 160

ABAC 161

Smartcards 161

Tokens 162

File and Database Security 163

Summary 163

Exam Essentials 164

Review Questions 165

Chapter 5 Wireless Network Threats 169

Wireless Threat Terminology 170

Wireless Vulnerabilities to Know 171

Replay 172

Rogue APs and Evil Twins 174

Jamming 174

WPS 175

Bluejacking 175

Bluesnarfing 175

NFC and RFID 176

Disassociation 176

Wireless Commonsense 176

Wireless Attack Analogy 176

Summary 177

Exam Essentials 178

Review Questions 179

Chapter 6 Securing the Cloud 183

Cloud-Related Terminology 184

Working with Cloud Computing 186

Software as a Service (SaaS) 186

Platform as a Service (PaaS) 186

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) 188

Private Cloud 189

Public Cloud 189

Community Cloud 189

Hybrid Cloud 190

Working with Virtualization 190

Understanding Hypervisors 190

Understanding Containers and Application Cells 192


On-Premise vs. Hosted vs. Cloud 192

VM Escape Protection 193

VM Sprawl Avoidance 193

Security and the Cloud 194

Cloud Access Security Brokers 195

Cloud Storage 195

Security as a Service 195

Summary 196

Exam Essentials 196

Review Questions 197

Chapter 7 Host, Data, and Application Security 201

Threat Actors and Attributes 204

Script Kiddies 205

Hacktivist 206

Organized Crime 207

Nation-States/APT 207

Insiders 207

Competitors 207

Use of Open Source Intelligence 208

Types of Vulnerabilities 211

Configuration Issues 211

User Issues 212

Zero-Day Exploits 212

Other Issues 214

Embedded Systems Security 214

Application Vulnerabilities 216

Input Vulnerabilities 216

Memory Vulnerabilities 217

Secure Programming 217

Programming Models 218

Software Testing 218

Specific Types of Testing 219

Secure Coding Standards 220

Application Configuration Baselining 221

Operating System Patch Management 221

Application Patch Management 222

Other Application Security Issues 222

Databases an