What do I need to know before studying for Security+?

HanzosbmHanzosbm Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all,

I was informed today that as a condition of my employment, I need to become Security+ certified. I have very little (bordering on zero) computer skills and/or knowledge. I can turn one on and use it, but that's about as far as it goes. I need to have my certification by March of this year. I consider myself a reasonably smart man, but I know this isn't a lot of time to learn a significant amount of information. I ordered Darril Gibson's book today and will be using that to study with, but my concern is that I'm guessing the expectation is that I already have some knowledge in the field, which I do not. Thankfully, my job has told me this is my #1 priority so I will have almost 40 hours a week, not counting studying at home, to learn this material.
My question is, is there any particular source you can point me towards as a primer for this material?

Comments

  • anuragaks10anuragaks10 Member Posts: 60 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Not gonna lie, it's gonna be a challenge. It's almost Feb now anyway so you better commit to it HARD.
    You should watch Professor Messer's videos on youtube on Security+ exam.
    Read Darril Gibson's book (the on you ordered) cover-to-cover.
    Take practice tests some of which are online and free and some are paid from MeasureUp, Transcender
    Watch CBT nuggets videos lectures on SYO-401 exam (if you can get/buy access to cbt)
    And most of all

    Believe in yourself

    Good luck!
    A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
  • Arod95Arod95 A+, Net+, Security+, CCENT Member Posts: 216 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Along with what anuragaks said, also check out Darril's website he has a bunch of practice questions to help with the performance based questions its $30 for 30 days. I'm trying to get security+ by the end of march as well best of luck to you!
  • HanzosbmHanzosbm Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you both for the advice. Yes, I'm excited for the opportunity, but not so much for the schedule. Thankfully, studying will basically be my full time job for the next month.
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, Microsoft USAMember Posts: 884 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Studying 40+ hours per week? You can probably get it done. A lot of the test will be rote memorization. But the more important prerequisites you will need to understand for this test that you probably won't be taught in Security+ training, are the basic TCP/IP networking and hardware concepts covered in the CompTIA Network+ material. If you don't already know what a subnet mask is used for, what a default gateway is, the difference between a switch and a router, and how ports matter to a firewall, you might want to try to get an extension.

    It all depends on how fast you learn and how long you can retain it.
  • fuz1onfuz1on Member Posts: 961 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's going to be pretty hard with no hardware or networking background. You need to know how TCP/IP works with the OSI model - layer by layer; encapsulation/decapsulation. The performance-based questions assume you have worked in real-life situations (all domains are game) and are worth quite a bit.
    timku.com(puter) | ProHacker.Co(nsultant) | ITaaS.Co(nstultant) | ThePenTester.net | @fuz1on
    Transmosis | http://transmosis.com | LinkedIn | https://linkedin.com/in/t1mku
    If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it. - Epictetus
    The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. - Buddha
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. - Unknown
  • JamesKurtovichJamesKurtovich Member Posts: 195
    Hanzosbm wrote: »
    Hello all,

    I was informed today that as a condition of my employment, I need to become Security+ certified. I have very little (bordering on zero) computer skills and/or knowledge. I can turn one on and use it, but that's about as far as it goes. I need to have my certification by March of this year. I consider myself a reasonably smart man, but I know this isn't a lot of time to learn a significant amount of information. I ordered Darril Gibson's book today and will be using that to study with, but my concern is that I'm guessing the expectation is that I already have some knowledge in the field, which I do not. Thankfully, my job has told me this is my #1 priority so I will have almost 40 hours a week, not counting studying at home, to learn this material.
    My question is, is there any particular source you can point me towards as a primer for this material?

    New hires at my organization achieve their Security+ in 3-4 weeks after their first day as it's also a condition of their employment. Read through Gibson's book as many times as possible, do as many practice tests as you can, and seek out some videos online (Professor Messer). It can be done.
  • orlandoflorlandofl Member Posts: 216 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I was informed today that as a condition of my employment, I need to become Security+ certified. I have very little (bordering on zero) computer skills and/or knowledge. I can turn one on and use it, but that's about as far as it goes. I need to have my certification by March of this year.

    That is insane. Why and how could a company (or in your case i'm assuming the Fed Govt?) expect someone with very little knowledge to sit for something like Security+? I realize this is an entry level security cert, but as others have stated having at least Net+ (or at least Net+ training/knowledge screw the cert) is the foundation of the Security+ exam. I passed Net+ last week and am sitting for Security+ in three weeks. I too study 40+ hours a week (i'm laid off). I had some experience in IT (mostly telecommunications) but used Net+ to fill in the gaps of well known ports, TCP/IP and the OSI model. I'm not saying it can't be done...i'm just saying it's going to be very difficult. The entire time your studying for Security+ you will inadvertently be studying Net+ and filling in those gaps as well. Is this 'straight to Security+' a normality for some companies/govt entities? The obvious better alternative might be to on-board new hires with the expectation of A+, Net+, and Security+ within 90 days-6 months. Is cost the driving factor why a model like this isn't implemented? Didn't mean to hijack your thread, it just seems odd to me that employers could potentially <and quite purposefully> be setting up their employees for failure.

    -Travis
    • Education: B.A. Criminal Justice - Thomas Edison State University
    • Education: Undergraduate Certificate in Microsoft Server Administration - St. Petersburg College
    • Currently Working On: MCSA - Windows 10
    • Planned Certifications for 2017: MCSE - Mobility
    • Connect With Me On LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/travisebyrd
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, Microsoft USAMember Posts: 884 ■■■■■■□□□□
    orlandofl wrote: »
    employers could potentially <and quite purposefully> be setting up their employees for failure.
    That could very well be the case.
  • orlandoflorlandofl Member Posts: 216 ■■■□□□□□□□
    That could very well be the case.

    Touché.....
    • Education: B.A. Criminal Justice - Thomas Edison State University
    • Education: Undergraduate Certificate in Microsoft Server Administration - St. Petersburg College
    • Currently Working On: MCSA - Windows 10
    • Planned Certifications for 2017: MCSE - Mobility
    • Connect With Me On LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/travisebyrd
  • fuz1onfuz1on Member Posts: 961 ■■■■□□□□□□
    That could very well be the case.
    orlandofl wrote: »
    Touché.....

    that's so terrible...
    timku.com(puter) | ProHacker.Co(nsultant) | ITaaS.Co(nstultant) | ThePenTester.net | @fuz1on
    Transmosis | http://transmosis.com | LinkedIn | https://linkedin.com/in/t1mku
    If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it. - Epictetus
    The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. - Buddha
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. - Unknown
  • HanzosbmHanzosbm Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well, I wanted to check back in, answer a few questions, and document this a bit in case someone else comes across this later looking for the same advice.

    Well, my timeframe was somewhat changed, but overall with the same effect. I was later told I needed to have the certificate in hand no later than March 21st. Only tricky thing is, they wanted me to have time to take it multiple times in case I didn't pass. I wasn't sure how I felt about this (lots of time to study but only one shot to pass vs. cram the info and have multiple shots at the test) but at the end of the day, it is what it is and I take the test tomorrow. (for those of you keeping score, from the time I got my book to the time I'm taking the test is 3 weeks)

    It has been challenging. I feel like I am beyond the saturation point of information. Everytime I take a practice test I think 'I need to study that more' and once I do, I find that something else has slipped away. I simply do not have the time to really let everything sink in and retain it. As of yesterday, I took 12 practice tests at got scores ranging from 75.86% to one where I got 100% with an average of 87.96%. In my mind, this puts me in the zone of not guaranteed to fail, but not guaranteed to pass. I would prefer to be scoring in the 90's every time, but...

    At least I have today and tomorrow to practice (test is tomorrow night) and while 2 days may not seem like much, when you consider that I've only had 14 business days of studying so far, 2 days is a significant percentage.

    I'll let you all know how it goes. Please keep your fingers crossed and if you're the prayin' sort, I wouldn't turn down the offer.
  • jimdandy1jimdandy1 Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    That Practice test scoring is about where I am also.
    There is a lot of information it seems- the Acronyms alone are exhaustive.
    I am beginning to think I may have to take this exam twice-
    at this point, I keep altering my exam date...
  • HanzosbmHanzosbm Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well, with no prior knowledge or experience in anything computer related and 16 days of studying, I managed to pass with an 833 last night.

    I think somebody upstairs was looking out for me because that test was HARD and I would've sworn I failed as I hit the complete button, but, nevertheless, it's done. Now, on to whatever certification my boss says is next and keep chugging away at this pesky bachelor degree.
  • fuz1onfuz1on Member Posts: 961 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hanzosbm wrote: »
    I think somebody upstairs was looking out for me because that test was HARD and I would've sworn I failed as I hit the complete button, but, nevertheless, it's done. Now, on to whatever certification my boss says is next and keep chugging away at this pesky bachelor degree.

    Congrats man!!! Big ups to that big 'cloud' in the sky for watching out for you! icon_thumright.gif
    timku.com(puter) | ProHacker.Co(nsultant) | ITaaS.Co(nstultant) | ThePenTester.net | @fuz1on
    Transmosis | http://transmosis.com | LinkedIn | https://linkedin.com/in/t1mku
    If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it. - Epictetus
    The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. - Buddha
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. - Unknown
  • TalonizeTalonize Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 56 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Good job man, congrats. Now get that big IT job lol
  • ThePawofRizzoThePawofRizzo SSCP, A+, N+, Sec+, CySA+, Cloud+, CWTS Member Posts: 389 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Great news! And good score to boot.
  • MDCaseyMDCasey Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Great score!

    I was attracted to this thread by it's capacity to have advice, so I'll throw mine in as well. I tend to think of preparing for an exam as doing two things in particular: 1. Find a community, and 2. Practice, practice, practice. Finding a community is the best part, probably. As this thread demonstrates, you'll save yourself hours of googling for resources, discounts, sample questions, and best practices. But maybe just as important, you'll get the support, advice, and first-hand perspectives that are just priceless for anyone taking on a large project like this.

    As for practice, it's just my mantra. Take practice tests, find sample questions, and don't just stop at the first 10-question quiz you find. Take them all! No amount of reading or even in-person tutoring prepares you like a prep test will.

    Good luck to all!
  • HanzosbmHanzosbm Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I completely agree with you MDCasey. When I first purchased my study supplies I only got the book. While it obviously worked out, I also looked for every practice test I could get my hands on. If I had it to do over again (which thankfully I don't) I would've sprung for the extra package that had the practice exams.
  • jesscole76jesscole76 Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Welcome to the federal gov... overworked and underpaid
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