CompTIA A+: Security Fundamentals

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Module 10:

Security is a paramount concern in today’s digital landscape, and CompTIA A+ professionals play a pivotal role in safeguarding computer systems.

Let’s explore the key security fundamentals:

Types of Security:

  • Security in the IT world can be categorized into several types, including:
    • Physical Security: Protecting hardware from physical threats such as theft or damage.
    • Network Security: Safeguarding data during transmission and preventing unauthorized access.
    • Information Security: Ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.
    • Cybersecurity: Guarding against cyber threats like malware, phishing, and hacking.

Security Principles:

  • CompTIA A+ professionals must understand fundamental security principles, including:
    • Confidentiality: Ensuring that sensitive data is not disclosed to unauthorized individuals.
    • Integrity: Maintaining data accuracy and preventing unauthorized alterations.
    • Availability: Ensuring that data and services are accessible when needed.
    • Authentication: Verifying the identity of users and systems.
    • Authorization: Specifying what users or systems are allowed to do.
    • Non-repudiation: Ensuring that actions cannot be denied by the responsible party.

Access Control:

  • Implement access controls to manage who can access certain resources, and what actions they can perform. This includes user accounts, permissions, and role-based access control.

Password Security:

  • Strong password policies are crucial for security. CompTIA A+ professionals should advocate for complex passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to enhance login security.


  • Encryption transforms data into a secure format that can only be decrypted with the correct key. It’s vital for protecting data both in transit and at rest.

Security Policies:

  • Establish and enforce security policies to define acceptable behavior, procedures, and best practices. Policies guide users and organizations in maintaining a secure environment.

Threats and Vulnerabilities:

  • Understand common security threats, such as malware, social engineering, and unauthorized access. Recognize vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit.

Incident Response:

  • Develop and practice an incident response plan to address security breaches and mitigate their impact.

Security Awareness:

  • Promote security awareness among users, as human error is a common cause of security incidents.

Security Tools:

  • Familiarize yourself with security tools like antivirus software, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption tools.

Updates and Patch Management:

  • Regularly update operating systems and software to address security vulnerabilities.

Physical Security Measures:

  • Protect physical assets with measures such as locked doors, surveillance cameras, and access control systems.

Compliance and Regulations:

  • Be aware of industry-specific compliance requirements and government regulations that impact security practices.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning

  • Application development Security.
  • Access control.
  • Information security governance and risk management.
  • Operation security.
  • Physical security.
  • Network security.

Types of Attackers

  • Black Hat – Attempts to break into systems or networks for malicious reasons.

  • Gray Hat – Can be security professionals exploiting systems to identify weakness and vulnerabilities. Can also be hackers doing illegal actions for good reasons.

  • White Hat – The Good Guy’s. They hack systems to understand the environment, so they can better protect it from malicious hackers.

Types Of Attack

  • Denial of service – Cause a system to overload, shutdown or indicate to users its busy.
  • Social Engineering – Hackers exploit People’s vulnerability by tricking people on social media or social contact. They could impersonating a security engineer for example.
  • Eves dropping – Use’s a packet sniffer on a network to identify passwords and monitor user activity.
  • Spoofing – The hacker alters network addresses or IP addresses to make it look like a request came from someone other than the hacker.
  • Man in the middle – Hacker monitors network traffic and intercepts data which they modify and the original intended receiver never knows there data was altered.
  • Buffer overflow – The hacker sends more data than is possible for the system to handle causing a stack overflow.
  • SQL injection – Hacker sends SQL statements that manipulate databases and modifies or deletes data.
  • Session hijacking – Hacker intercepts a data session and impersonates one of the parties.

Physical Security

  • BIOS settings.
  • Passwords.
  • Intrusion detection.
  • Disable boot drives.
  • disable network ports.
  • Secure servers and lock workstations.


  • RFID badges.
  • One-time passwords.
  • ID badges.
  • Smart cards.
  • Strong passwords.
  • Single sign on.

Multi-factor Authentication

  • Something you know.
  • Something you have.
  • Something you are.

Data Protection

  • Paper destruction.
  • Data destruction.
  • Overwriting hardware.
  • Hard drive destruction and recycling.

Data backups

  • Differential backup.
  • Full backup.
  • Incremental backup.
  • RAID.

Data Classifications

  • Top Secret.
  • Secret.
  • Confidential.
  • Unclassified.
  • Official use only.
  • Public use.

Securing Routers

  • Password Management.
  • WPA (Wi-Fi protected access).
  • WEP (Wired equivalent privacy).
  • MAC (Media Access Control).

Security and Maintenance

Windows defender is a basic anti-virus and malware scanner. Check it’s up to date regularly. Create a power plan that suits you and the client. Manage storage to optimize capacity.

Settings are stored in the registry:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE – Windows settings.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER – User settings.

Remote Assistance allows an external user to log into the system to make changes.

Security is a dynamic field, and CompTIA A+ professionals must stay current with evolving threats and best practices. A strong foundation in security fundamentals is vital for protecting systems and data in an increasingly interconnected and digital world.

You can find all of our CompTIA A+ guides here:

We also have guides for the CompTIA Security+ here:


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Luke Barber

Hello, fellow tech enthusiasts! I'm Luke, a passionate learner and explorer in the vast realms of technology. Welcome to my digital space where I share the insights and adventures gained from my journey into the fascinating worlds of Arduino, Python, Linux, Ethical Hacking, and beyond. Armed with qualifications including CompTIA A+, Sec+, Cisco CCNA, Unix/Linux and Bash Shell Scripting, JavaScript Application Programming, Python Programming and Ethical Hacking, I thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of coding, computers, and networks. As a tech enthusiast, I'm on a mission to simplify the complexities of technology through my blogs, offering a glimpse into the marvels of Arduino, Python, Linux, and Ethical Hacking techniques. Whether you're a fellow coder or a curious mind, I invite you to join me on this journey of continuous learning and discovery.

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