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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 28)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, job boards and social media are pressure points for hackers, Microsoft educators want STEM learning to engage students, and more!

ISACA Blogger Points Says Corporate 'Web Presence' a Potential Vulnerability


0712 CW social networkingIt's starting to seem like there's more or less nowhere that you can go, and nothing that you can do, on the internet and be entirely safe from the prying eyes of hackers. Many organizations are giving up valuable information, however, from sources that they may not yet be properly wary of. In a new post this week to the ISACA Now Blog, guest blogger Jesse Fernandez, a CISA-certified senior IS auditor, writes that employment listings often yield valuable intel to opportunistic bad actors. In other words, you may not simply be describing your firm's IT operations to potential employees. Company websites can in many cases yield key information to astute hackers, as is also true of Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, Twitter accounts, and the interaction of a firm's employees in all of these social networking spheres. In other words, your company may need to have a presence on the web — everyone is doing it — but you should exercise caution when determining what information is available to passersby, and who among your employees is authorized to post via various social media tools.


The Next Generation of Our Global IT Workforce Needs YOU


There's a fair amount of dispute about whether there's a clear and present shortage of qualified IT workers, but most people looking down the road tend to agree that an actual, inarguable IT employment crisis is brewing if more children and students don't immediately begin to gravitate to IT disciplines. On that front, there's an alarming post to Cisco Learning Network's Certifications and Labs Delivery Blog this week with numbers that suggest STEM employment demand will soon far outstrip the capacity of the present educational pipeline to supply STEM-trained workers. With an staggering amount of work to be done, Cisco suggests that some of the effort to encourage and foster STEM education ought to fall on the shoulders of current IT workers. Cisco, in particular, is encouraging skilled IT professionals to volunteer time and energy promoting STEM learning at schools in their communities. The rewards or mentoring are somewhat ephemeral, but if the promise of warm fuzzies can't stir you to action, then don't forget that most countries and governments either flourish or flounder depending on the strength of their tax base ... and highly compensated IT workers are strong tax base building blocks. Enlightened self-interest, ho!


Where Are My Home Office Hours?


IT workers of a certain age no doubt recall the days when, flush with the warm glow of the late 20th-century internet boom, sociologists predicted that many, if not most, working professionals would soon be able to work in their pajamas and eat breakfast cereal for lunch. There are a variety of reasons that working from home failed to become a thing, but if you look around at your certified professional coworkers and wonder whether any of them are luckier than you, well, a new salary survey dispatch at suggests that such is probably not the case. Perhaps the rapid growth of cloud-based IT infrastructure will eventually accomplish what the initial explosion of internet everything could not. For now, however, it would seem that few if any certified IT professionals work entirely from home, and not very many of them get in more than a few scattered hours per week.