Ethical Hacking for Beginners: CompTIA Security+ or EC-Council CEH
August 23, 2016
If you are trying to decide between taking either EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or CompTIA’s Security+ course, welcome to the club. Many people carry both certifications only to find out that even though the certifications fall under an overarching cyber security umbrella, they belong to different discourse communities. Here is what you need to know about each exam and certification.
Similarities between CEH & CompTIA Security+
Even though these exams are meant for two different career paths, both EC-Council and CompTIA recommend that participants have similar experience within the field. Each vendor recommends that you have a minimum of two years of experience and knowledge of security concepts.
CompTIA Security+: For Novice Cyber Security Pros
Along with two years of recommended cyber security experience, CompTIA advises potential students hold a CompTIA Network+ certification, or equivalent experience and knowledge.
Even though CompTIA recommends that you have experience in the field before taking a Security+ exam, it is still an entry-level certification. This certification should be considered a stepping stone to get your foot in the door of a cyber security career.
If you’re interested in pursuing the Security+ certification take a look at this blog post – “How To Pass The Security+ (Plus) Exam”
EC-Council CEH: For Beginner Ethical Hackers and Pen Testers
Just like CompTIA, EC-Council recommends that you have two years of experience in IT security. What sets this exam apart from Security+ is the fact that EC-Council also recommends that potential students already have their Security+ certification along with a strong understanding of TCP/IP.
This alone should show you that the CEH certification is a higher level certification than Security+. Apart from a Security+ certification, our instructors urge potential test takers to have experience in snort, nmap and hping.
Before you decide learn about the course content
The best way to see if the certification, and the subject matter makes sense for you is to actually spend some time with the content. For Security+ check out these resources:
- CompTIA Security+ Practice Quiz
- Security+ (Plus) SY0-501 vs SY0-401: Learn What Has Changed
- Is CompTIA Security+ (Plus) Worth It?
- CompTIA Security+ Study Guide
For CEH check out these resources:
- How To Build A Virtual Lab to Hack Computers Legally
- Hacking Bluetooth Devices: Bluebugging, Bluesnarfing, and Bluejacking
- How to Become a Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT)
- How to Identify and Prevent PUPS and Portable Apps
- The Reality of Russian Hacking and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
Spending time examining the content for each certification enables you to see if you are familiar enough with the material and if you actually enjoy working with the tools, topics, and knowledge pertinent for each certification.
CompTIA’s Security+ exam is a certification for the novice IT security employee furthering their knowledge of cyber security principles and networking protocols. On the other hand, if you already maintain this certification and are looking to take on a career that is more along the lines of penetration testing or incident response, CEH is more suited for you.