CompTIA Security Plus (S+) SY-601 and SY-701- What are the Differences?

Same training class, better alignment to today’s cybersecurity needs!

CompTIA updated its flagship cybersecurity training program, the Security Plus (S+) program, to the SY-701 on July 31st, 2023. This is a welcomed update to the retiring SY-601; however, the 601 exam won’t be retired until July 2024. What are the differences between the classes?

I’m glad you asked!

The CompTIA Security+ SY0-701 exam significantly evolved from the SY0-601, aligning more closely with the latest cybersecurity needs and technological trends. Here are the primary differences between the two:

Updated Exam Domains and Objectives: While both the SY0-601 and SY0-701 have the same number of exam domains, the SY0-701 exam has fewer objectives (28 compared to 35) and introduces updated and newly organized domains:

  • General Security Concepts
  • Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Mitigations
  • Security Architecture
  • Security Operations
  • Security Program Management and Oversight

This restructuring allows for a more practical and applicable approach to current security threats. It also encourages the practical application of security measures in various environments​​, ensuring that candidates are well-prepared to handle real-world scenarios.

Emphasis on Emerging Technologies and Hybrid Environments: The SY0-701 exam significantly focuses on securing hybrid environments that include cloud, mobile, IoT, and operational technology. This focus on emerging technologies equips candidates to address new threats, attack vectors, and the integration of zero-trust frameworks, preparing them for the future of cybersecurity.

Advanced and Analytical Skills: Compared to the SY0-601, the SY0-701 emphasizes advanced security skills such as risk assessment, incident response, and forensics. It also prioritizes a deeper analytical understanding of security topics, encouraging candidates to explain, compare, and contrast various security elements.

Practical and Performance-Based Questions: The SY0-701 exam includes more performance-based questions to test candidates’ ability to apply knowledge in practical, real-world scenarios. For example, a question might ask you to identify and mitigate a specific type of cyber threat in a simulated network environment. This change aims to ensure that professionals are equipped to handle the dynamic challenges of today’s cybersecurity landscape​. These updates make the SY0-701 exam a more rigorous and comprehensive test of a cybersecurity professional’s ability to effectively navigate and address modern security challenges.

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