CompTIA announces new analytics-focused Cybersecurity Analyst certification

The new CSA+ certification is designed to fill the gap between CompTIA’s introductory and advanced security certifications, while emphasizing analytics.

James Stanger, CompTIA’s Senior Director for Products

IT trade association CompTIA has announced the availability of a new CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+) certification. Filling the gap between the introductory CompTIA Security+ certification and the advanced CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP), it is focused on using behavioral analytics in assessing cyber threats.

“You used to be able to put up vulnerability analysis, intrusion detection and AV at your perimeter, and that was good, but now hackers analyze networks and find ways to get in, often through social engineering,” said James Stanger, CompTIA’s Senior Director for Products. “That means you have to manage networks to make them more resilient. You do that by analyzing your network, the same way the hacker analyzes it, and that means taking a Big Data approach.”

The CompTIA CSA+ certification focuses on skills associated with the use of threat detection tools, data analysis and the interpretation of results to identify vulnerabilities, threats and risks. It is designed to bridge what CompTIA calls the skills gap between CompTIA Security+ and the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP), and create a vendor-neutral cybersecurity career pathway.

“CompTIA Security+ shows people entering the industry how you get started and work as an entry level security professional,” Stanger said. “CASP goes much deeper into targeting and identifying threats, and how to recover adequately from an attack. But we found a significant gap between them, and that the next step after Security + is to move on to analytics. So we have put together a cybersecurity pathway through the certificates, so you understand the entire infrastructure of the network. This comprehensive learning pathway reduces the skills gap.”

The CSA+ certification also responds to market demand.

“The demand for cybersecurity analysts is strong,” Stanger said. “It’s the highest growing security job that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever seen.” Its projected growth of 18 per cent from 2014 to 2024 is the fastest growing job roles in the U.S. workforce – across all categories, not just in technology.

“This is really a hockey stick for job growth,” Stanger said. “For the channel, getting this certification would very much in their interest from their own career perspective. It very much reinvents what the Blue Team IT worker does with analytics.”

The CompTIA CSA+ has received a Certificate of Accreditation from the American National Standards Institute, signifying that it meets ISO/IEC 17024:2012 general requirements for personnel certifications.