CompTIA CySA+ validates the skills to succeed as a cybersecurity analyst.
Information is the new currency, so it's no wonder that cybersecurity - the protection of digital information assets - has become a critical IT domain. The field of cybersecurity is continuously evolving, and it needs professionals to stay updated with the latest and greatest expertise to stay ahead of the curve. CompTIA’s Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) certification validates the necessary skills to excel in this role.
CySA+ certified pros have the expertise to protect data and information systems, detect threats, and respond to cyber attacks with the appropriate countermeasures. Additionally, CompTIA’s CySA+ certificate is vendor-neutral, meaning it’s not tied to a specific technology, so the skills it covers can be applied to numerous cybersecurity platforms - which can help boost your value in the job market.
This page will serve as your guide to CySA+ certification. We’ll outline the prerequisites, which skills it covers, exam details, potential career outcomes, CySA+ certification costs and more. We will also highlight some of today’s best CySA+ training programs.
Skills Measured by CySA+ Certification
The CySA+ certification exam covers relevant skills for cybersecurity analysts across 4 key domains. Here is an overview of topics in the CompTIA CySA+ certification along with the exam weight for each domain.
Security Operations - 33% of exam
- System and network architecture fundamentals
- Analyze indicators of potential security breaches
- Tools and techniques to identify malicious activity
- Threat-intelligence and threat-hunting concepts
- Efficiency and process improvement in Sec-Ops
Vulnerability Management - 30%
- Vulnerability scanning methods and concepts
- Interpret vulnerability assessment tool outputs
- Analyze data to prioritize security vulnerabilities
- Controls to mitigate software-based attacks
- Vulnerability response, handling & management
Incident Response and Management - 20%
- Attack method frameworks & testing
- Perform incident response activities
- Security incident management life cycle
Reporting and Communication - 17%
- Vulnerability reporting and communication
- Incident response reporting & communication
Visit CompTIA for a complete breakdown of CySA+ exam objectives.
CySA+ Certification Exam
- CySA+ (Exam # CS0-003) - View Exam Objectives
CySA+ Format: Multiple choice and Performance-based questions.
CySA+ Duration: 165 minutes
CySA+ Length: 85 questions max
CySA+ Cost: $392 (exam voucher only)
Passing Score: 750 (scale of 100 - 900)
- Required: There are no mandatory requirements for the CySA+ certification exam.
- Recommended: CompTIA recommends CySA+ candidates to have Network+ and Security+ certifications, as well as 4+ years of relevant experience in cyber security.
CySA+ Certification Salary
How much you can earn with a CySA+ certification will depend on numerous factors, including your employer, experience, geographic location, job responsibilities, and which additional IT certifications you hold. That said, here are some popular positions where you will benefit from having a CySA+ certification, and the average salary for each role.
- Cyber security analyst: $76,000
- Security operations center (SOC) analyst: $98,000
- IT security specialist: $104,000
- Vulnerability analyst: $110,000
- Threat intelligence analyst: $120,000
- Cyber security engineer: $127,000
Source: Analysis of online job boards.
CompTIA CySA+ Cost
The price of the CySA+ certification exam is $392. If you already possess the cyber-sec skills to pass the exam, you can buy a standalone test voucher directly from CompTIA on their website.
For those who require additional exam prep, attending a CySA+ bootcamp or other cybersecurity analyst training program will increase your costs. The cost of CySA+ certification training ranges from more affordable programs like these cybersecurity bootcamps to pricier information security degrees with a more thorough curriculum.
Tech insiders answer common questions from CySA+ certification candidates.
Is CySA+ certification worth it?
Whether or not CySA+ is worthwhile for you will depend on your individual goals and training budget, but the short answer is Yes. Benefits of CySA+ certification include global recognition, a salary premium over non-certified professionals, DoD 8570 compliance (for government cybersecurity roles), vendor-neutrality, and validation of in-demand security skills.
What experience is required for the CySA+ certification?
There are no mandatory prerequisites, however CompTIA recommends that CySA+ certification candidates have at least four years of hands-on experience in information security. It's also beneficial to have CompTIA’s Network+ and Security+ certifications or equivalent knowledge before taking the CySA+ exam.
What’s the format of the CySA+ exam?
The CySA+ certification exam is a combination of multiple-choice and performance-based questions. The performance-based questions require the candidate to solve problems in a simulated cybersecurity environment.
How long is CySA+ certification valid for?
CySA+ certification is valid for three years from the date of passing the exam. Your CySA+ certificate can be renewed through gaining Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by participating in qualifying activities, such as completing training or degree programs, publishing articles, or attending industry events. CySA+ CEUs can also be achieved by earning cybersecurity credentials from vendors like Cisco, EC-Council, ISACA, (ISC)2, or additional certs from CompTIA itself.
What’s a passing grade for the CySA+ exam?
The passing score for the CySA+ certification exam is 750 (on a scale of 100 - 900).
What jobs can I get with a CySA+ certification?
After becoming CySA+ certified, you can pursue career paths such as cybersecurity analyst, threat intelligence analyst, application security analyst, incident responder, Security Operations Center (SOC) analyst, security architect, and vulnerability analyst.
How does CySA+ compare to other cybersecurity certifications?
CySA+ is an intermediate-level certification that focuses on cybersecurity analytics. CySA+ is more advanced than CompTIA's Security+ certification which focuses on general cybersecurity topics, but less advanced than the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification which concentrates on enterprise security architecture. Compared to related intermediate credentials, like the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and PenTest+, CySA+ focuses more on cybersecurity analysis and less on penetration testing.