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DSST Fundamentals of Cybersecurity Study Guide

Updated: Feb 12

DSST Fundamentals of Cybersecurity

Welcome to our comprehensive DSST Fundamentals of Cybersecurity study guide!

Whether you're gearing up for your final DSST Cybersecurity exam or just beginning your preparation journey, we've got you covered.

In this guide, we'll provide a detailed preview of the topics you can expect to encounter on your exam, helping you study smart and maximize your chances of success.

So, let's dive in and prepare to conquer the DSST Fundamentals of Cybersecurity exam! Good luck!


Table of Contents


1. Application & Systems Security

Team of people working on computers.
Application & Systems Security – 15%

Application and Systems Security

In today's world, information security is paramount.

Application and systems security play crucial roles in a comprehensive security strategy, protecting software and underlying hardware and operating systems to maintain data confidentiality, integrity, and availability.


The Triad

The Triad framework comprises three security objectives: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Businesses implement controls against administrative, physical, and technical threats to uphold these objectives, ensuring trust in their data.


Accountability and Non-Repudiation

Accountability holds users responsible for their actions, while non-repudiation prevents them from denying those actions.

These concepts are fundamental to maintaining data trustworthiness.



Cryptography, the science of secret writing, safeguards information from unauthorized access, ensuring its confidentiality during transit and at rest.


The Security Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

The SDLC guides the secure development of software, involving security requirement identification, control design, and vulnerability testing to ensure software integrity.


Best Practices for Migration

Migrating from development to production environments requires verifying security controls, encrypting data, limiting access to authorized users, and safeguarding data throughout the software development process.


Anti-Virus Protection

Anti-virus software and malware detection tools are essential for preventing and removing malicious code and enhancing overall system security.


Software Development (Dev) and IT Operations (Ops)

DevOps and SecOps approaches emphasize collaboration between developers and operations staff, enhancing software development processes and minimizing security vulnerabilities.


DSST Fundamentals of Cybersecurity Trivia Question # 133


2. Authentication, Authorization, & Access Controls

Military soilder walking through computer network.
Authentication, Authorization, & Access Controls – 12%


Authentication verifies a user's identity through passwords or more advanced methods like two-factor authentication (2FA).


Authorization and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Authorization determines the resources a user can access and often relies on Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), assigning users specific roles with defined permissions.


Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are access controls that help protect resources from unauthorized access by monitoring and detecting potential threats.


Access Controls and Identity Management

Access controls, including firewalls and IDS, are essential for safeguarding resources.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions, such as Single Sign-On (SSO), streamline user management and permissions.


Balancing Security and Usability

Organizations must balance security and usability when implementing authentication, authorization, and access controls.

Too much security can hinder legitimate users, while too little can leave the organization vulnerable to attacks.

Achieving this balance requires understanding organizational threats and the importance of resources.


DSST Fundamentals of Cybersecurity Trivia Question # 758


3. Compliance & Governance

Two workers fixing compliance networks.
Compliance & Governance – 12%

Compliance and Governance

A company's compliance and governance procedures are fundamental to its operations and cybersecurity posture.


Security Architecture

A well-defined security architecture is crucial for protecting against data breaches and other cybersecurity threats.


Audits, Risk Assessments, and Outsourcing

Audits and risk assessments help identify security weaknesses, while outsourcing can provide access to specialized expertise.


Ethics and Legal Considerations

Ethics and legal considerations play a significant role in developing compliance and governance policies, ensuring a balance between security needs and individual rights.


Holistic Approach

Taking a holistic approach to compliance and governance enables companies to mitigate risks effectively while upholding the rights of employees and customers.


DSST Fundamentals of Cybersecurity Trivia Question # 313


4. Operational Security

Military members working on operational security.
Operational Security – 10%

Policies, Standards, and Procedures

A secure and well-monitored production environment is essential for organizational success.


Protection Measures

Policies, standards, and procedures are necessary to safeguard data and systems from unauthorized access or modifications.


Regular Monitoring

Regular monitoring of the production environment is crucial for identifying potential security breaches promptly.


Ensuring Success

By implementing these measures, organizations can safeguard their data and systems, ensuring the continuity and success of their operations.


5. Conclusion

Comuter cybersecruity network.

DSST Fundamentals of Cybersecurity

We trust that our Cybersecurity study guide has been beneficial to your preparations.

Take your studies to the next level, and try a free practice exam or take our Cybersecurity preparation course.

Our practice questions are designed to simulate real exam scenarios, ensuring you're well-prepared for the test.

Wishing you success in your studies and the upcoming exam!


6. Student Resources


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