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Entry-Level Cybersecurity Certification Exam Outline

Last edited October 26, 2021

This exam outline enables pilot program candidates to familiarize themselves with the subject matter on which they will be evaluated during the pilot exam. The pilot exam outline is subject to change based on analysis of pilot exam administration results and ongoing evaluation of the entry-level certification pilot program. To learn more about the pilot certification, view our FAQs.

Entry-Level Certification Examination Weights

DomainsAverage Weight# of Items
1. Security Principles26%20
2. Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) & Incident Response Concepts10%7
3. Access Controls Concepts22%17
4. Network Security24%18
5. Security Operations18%13
Total100%75*

*Each exam also contains 25 pre-test items for a total of 100 items during the pilot exam. They’re included for research purposes only. The pre-test items aren’t identified, so answer every item to the best of your ability.

Domains

  • Domain 1 - Security Principles Domain 1 - Security Principles

    Domain 1:
    Security Principles (26%, 20 items)

    1.1

    Understand the security concepts of information assurance

    • Confidentiality
    • Integrity
    • Availability
    • Authentication (e.g., methods of authentication, multi-factor authentication (MFA))
    • Non-repudiation
    • Privacy

    1.2

    Understand the risk management process

    • Risk management (e.g., risk priorities, risk tolerance)
    • Risk identification, assessment and treatment

    1.3

    Understand security controls

    • Technical controls
    • Administrative controls
    • Physical controls

    1.4

    Understand (ISC)² Code of Ethics

    • Professional code of conduct

    1.5

    Understand governance processes

    • Policies
    • Procedures
    • Standards
    • Regulations and laws
  • Domain 2 – Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) & Incident Response Concepts Domain 2 – Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) & Incident Response Concepts

    Domain 2:
    Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) & Incident Response Concepts (10%, 7 items)

    2.1

    Understand business continuity (BC)

    • Purpose
    • Importance
    • Components

    2.2

    Understand disaster recovery (DR)

    • Purpose
    • Importance
    • Components

    2.3

    Understand incident response

    • Purpose
    • Importance
    • Components
  • Domain 3 – Access Controls Concepts Domain 3 – Access Controls Concepts

    Domain 3:
    Access Controls Concepts (22%, 17 items)

    3.1

    Understand physical access controls

    • Physical security controls (e.g., badge systems, gate entry, environmental design)
    • Monitoring (e.g., security guards, closed-circuit television (CCTV), alarm systems, logs)
    • Authorized versus unauthorized personnel

    3.2

    Understand logical access controls

    • Principle of least privilege
    • Segregation of duties
    • Discretionary access control (DAC)
    • Mandatory access control (MAC)
    • Role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Domain 4 - Network Security Domain 4 - Network Security

    Domain 4:
    Access Controls Concepts (22%, 17 items)

    4.1

    Understand computer networking

    • Networks (e.g., Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) model, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), WiFi)
    • Ports
    • Applications

    4.2

    Understand network threats and attacks

    • Types of threats (e.g., distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), virus, worm, Trojan, on-path attack, side-channel)
    • Identification (e.g., intrusion detection system (IDS), host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS), network intrusion detection system (NIDS))
    • Prevention (e.g., antivirus, scans, firewalls, intrusion prevention system (IPS))

    4.3

    Understand network security infrastructure

    • On-premises (e.g., power, data center/closets, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), environmental, fire suppression, redundancy, memorandum of understanding (MOU)/memorandum of agreement (MOA))
    • Design (e.g., network segmentation (demilitarized zone (DMZ), virtual local area network (VLAN), virtual private network (VPN), micro-segmentation), defense in depth, Network Access Control (NAC) (segmentation for embedded systems, Internet of Things (IoT))
    • Cloud (e.g., service-level agreement (SLA), managed service provider (MSP), Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), hybrid)
  • Domain 5 - Security Operations Domain 5 - Security Operations

    Domain 5:
    Security Operations (18%, 13 items)

    5.1

    Understand data security

    • Encryption (e.g., symmetric, asymmetric, hashing)
    • Data handling (e.g., destruction, retention, classification, labeling)
    • Logging and monitoring security events

    5.2

    Understand system hardening

    • Configuration management (e.g., baselines, updates, patches)

    5.3

    Understand best practice security policies

    • Data handling policy
    • Password policy
    • Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
    • Bring your own device (BYOD) policy
    • Change management policy (e.g., documentation, approval, rollback)
    • Privacy policy

    5.4

    Understand security awareness training

    • Purpose/concepts (e.g., social engineering, password protection)
    • Importance
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