Cyber Security SOC Analyst

Preparing for the CompTIA CySA+ Exam: Clayton’s Story

Clayton is a recent college graduate that has been studying cybersecurity and offensive security for two years. He has always enjoyed playing around with technology and only recently realized he would revolve his career around cybersecurity and technology.

Why blue team certificate?

In the cybersecurity/IT field there are so many different pathways and careers that can be taken. Just to name a few in a broad way, there’s penetration testers, soc analyst, threat hunters and many more. I firstly started out studying offensive security (red team) later down the road I realized there are so many other exciting careers and roles on the blue team side too. After gaining a few red team certifications I then decided why not go for a blue team specific certification. So that’s what I did. In this field, I believe it’s important to be quite versatile. Learning a bit of everything has helped me advance in my studies quicker and more efficiently.

What was the most challenging part of studying?

Many people are different when it comes to the types of challenges they face when studying. The biggest issue I ran into while studying was burnout. At times I would study for 7/8+ hours a day and other days I’d just skip out on studying because it felt like I did enough the day prior. If I were to go back and do it over I would set a schedule and give myself a certain amount of hours to study daily.

How LetsDefend helped you pass the CySA+ Exam?

I am a big advocate when it comes to learning platforms like LetsDefend. If LetsDefend was not a thing I probably wouldn’t have gotten the score I did on the exam. I’ve learned so much with LetsDefend and it has allowed me to better identify different indicators of compromise and learn more about the blue team side of things. Having access to these different challenges and learning modules quite surprisingly covers a lot of the CySA+ exam objectives.

Is it important for training to be hands-on?

Hands-on training is probably the most important and most useful way to learn. Actually experimenting with these different type of activities that are discussed and talked about in the field of cybersecurity is very crucial in the learning process. Luckily there are many different places where we can achieve hands-on training.

What advice would you give to those taking the CySA+ exam?

For anyone that is planning to take the CySA+ exam, utilize resources that are available to you. There are so many out there that are very helpful when it comes to learning in general. The one I found most helpful for CySA+ specifically was LetsDefend. Do the challenges, read the modules given to you. They are topics you will come across on the exam. Other resources I used were a lot of practice tests, since the exam is mainly multiple choice it is also important to take many different practice tests. During the test, skip the performance-based questions and flag them for last. Doing this will allow you to save yourself plenty of time at the end to complete them.

You can follow his journey on LinkedIn.

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