Meet Louis, specialist content developer at Practice Labs, and collector of professional certifications.
Having previously worked at a higher educational institute in his native country South Africa, Louis was responsible for the content development and the creation of our CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 virtual lab. It comes as no surprise that Louis has made a name for himself as our favourite ‘go-to’ CREW member at Practice Labs.
He took a few minutes out of his busy day to talk all things Security+.
Natalie: So first things first, are you certified in 601?
Louis: That’s correct yes. I’ve already earned the Security+ 501 certification. My 601 certification is valid for four years, and then after that I will either recertify or I'll also have the option to sit the exam, so it all depends. But yes I am now 601 certified.
Natalie: Brilliant! So does that mean the 701 will come out in four years?
Louis: There is a lifecycle that runs normally between three and four years for CompTIA certification, and that’s to keep up with the trends as technology evolves.
Natalie: We know that this certification is particularly popular in the US, how well recognized is Security+ in the rest of the world?
Louis: Security+ is widely available to the global market because it relates to all security aspects on the network.
Natalie: I see. So, employers’ worldwide will recognize CompTIA Security+ experience?
Louis: Yes it's recognized worldwide. It's not restricted to the US and it will be recognized in the UK, South Africa, anywhere really. I know in South Africa it's one of the certifications that are very much sought after.
Natalie: Let’s talk about the virtual lab itself. How does the 501 and 601 virtual lab compare?
Louis: When I was lecturing, I used to train 501 and it was certainly one of the fun titles to train because you get more application, it’s highly practical, and it keeps you more engaged. Both 501 and 601 are very practical titles. It’s fun to practice because you can interact more and see more real-life scenarios.
601 and 501 cover very similar domains and objectives, our new title has been developed according to all the new objectives that CompTIA have added. They've added a section on cloud security which wasn't covered much on the 501, so 601 is a lot more relevant to the industry.
Natalie: I understand the new objectives are slightly different but are there any upgrades in the 601 in terms of the lab? Obviously, the content has changed and is up to date but what about how learners carry out their tasks?
Louis: In terms of devices, we’ve used one of the latest versions of Kali. The Kali machine is more up to date and more relevant. The lab uses Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10, therefore the relevancy for the operating setup system being used is up to date with 601.
Natalie: How does this improve the experience in the lab for learners?
Louis: The experience is enhanced because they can be confident in the knowledge that they're working on the latest version of the software. It's going to give them more hands-on experience using the latest software, using the latest operating systems instead of thinking that these operating systems might be deprecated at some stage or might not be relevant to the industry at all, so it definitely makes a difference.
Natalie: Completing this lab on the certification pathway is clearly good for employability. What do you think users will enjoy the most in the lab? Do you have any personal favourite modules?
Louis: Penetration testing is always my favourite bit, scanning for vulnerabilities on the network, finding ways to get rid of exploiting the vulnerabilities. I really enjoy getting to know the vulnerabilities of a network and then finding out how to prevent and eliminate those vulnerabilities.
Natalie: Please tell me a bit about the content and learning objectives.
Louis: There are 33 modules in total so in every module there are between two and three exercises in each. Which is dependant on the modules and objectives that need to be covered.
Natalie: Talk to me about the order of the modules. In what order do you put them in?
Louis: Depending on the expertise of the person doing the lab there is a flow of modules taken, so if you look at the CompTIA certification pathway this title is referred to as a ‘core certification’. People that started with Security+ might have already completed A+ or Network+. In Security+ plus we plan out the modules so that they give you a good introduction and direction to get your security up. The exercises throughout allow you to progress to more difficult ones. We've moved the exam objectives accordingly so you don't jump into the first module and feel overwhelmed. Just to add, learners might progress into CyberSecurity Analyst or Pentesting which is where you split into your specialist pathways in the CompTIA pathway.
Natalie: Thanks Louis. How much of the 601 is made up of practical learning content?
Louis: 65% practical to 35% theory. We tried to have a nice split which we do to break the theory into practice as well, so you don't have to sit with all theory module the whole time.
Natalie: Thinking about someone that’s certified in 501 and wants to do 601, could they just rely on the labs to pass their exam?
Louis: Yeah, they could because we’ve aligned all the modules to all the exam objectives to be met to make sure they’ve all been met either through practical or through theory.
Natalie: Ok brilliant, thanks so much Louis. Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about this virtual lab?
Louis: I think we have covered everything!
Natalie: How many certifications do you have to your name now Louis?
Louis: Over 50 I think now.
Natalie: Wow, that’s incredible. So what's next for you in terms of professional development?
Louis: I'm waiting for my Cloud Plus Beta exam results as they haven't been released yet.
Thank you Louis for sharing an insider view of our CompTIA Security+ Practice Lab. If you want to learn more about this title, you can view our product details here.