What Happens at CompTIA ChannelCon ...
'Tis (more or less) the season for tech industry groups to start rounding up IT professionals and other industry insiders for conferences, conventions, trade shows, summits, and other annual gatherings. Some industry meet-and-greets have already happened, and others such grip-and-grins are currently in progress, but many of the biggest business casual conclaves unfold across the late spring, summer, and autumn months. In the middle of last week, registration kicked off for ChannelCon, the signature shindig hosted by tech industry association CompTIA. ChannelCon 2019 will be held Aug. 5-7 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. ChannelCon offers separate tracks for business attendees and IT professionals, and will feature the annual presentation of the CompTIA Awards, given in recognition of individuals who are "making a difference in the tech industry." The featured speaker at ChannelCon will be former FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence operative Eric O'Neill, with other participants to be announced in coming months. (There's an active call for speakers open to those with an interest in presenting.)
The Importance of Cybersecurity Wisdom
Speaking of CompTIA, a new post to that august assemblage's IT Career News blog highlights the importance of learning from – as opposed to merely living through – crippling cybersecurity incidents. Blogger Zeshan Sattar argues that individuals and organizations typically collect a wealth of information from breaches and attacks, but often fail to convert that valuable data into culture-changing and protection-and-prevention-enhancing wisdom. Citing data from Hackmageddon.com, Sattar said that more than half of all attacks typically target individuals users, but that companies and other employers largely pay the price of incidents that spawn from a single point of failure. Sattar says that top-down organizational change that moves employees into a cybersecurity-aware mindset is critically needed at most business and organizations. Organizations that haven't been damaged or embarrassed by a large-scale hack can be slow to embrace preventive change, but a proactive emphasis on protecting against attack, rather than a passive plan to clean up after them, will better serve both short-term business goals and long-term business viability.
Getting Employees on Board with Cybersecurity
Speaking of employees who are insufficiently concerned about helping to build a strong cybersecurity culture, blogger Larry Alton checked in this week at the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and governance association ISACA to offer tips about how to get workers in the habit of minding their cybersecurity Ps and Qs. Alton said that workers tend to be cybersecurity slackers because they don't fully grasp the problem, because preventive solutions are often inconvenient, and because of the general inertia that leads most people in most places to resist being shaken out of their accustomed routines. There's probably not a one-size-fits-all solution that addresses all of those complications, but Alton has a four-step plan that he recommends to help get individual employees invested and foster change.
Making Sense of These Newfangled 'Role-Based' Certifications
Since the dawn of the IT certification era, certification has largely focused on verifying that tech workers possess certain skill sets, or that they understand various technologies and tech products. That model, however, doesn't always precisely align certification holders with the actual hiring needs and IT job roles of employers both inside and outside of the information technology realm. You can have a deep knowledge of, say, networking technology and still not be an ideal fit for an actual networking job in the real world. That's why some in the IT certification realm are shifting toward so-called "role-based" certifications that are specifically designed to help the certification holder smoothly fit into this or that predefined job role. Microsoft Learning, in particular, is heavily emphasizing role-based certifications and it seems likely that other programs will soon follow. Certification Magazine writer and longtime technical trainer Tim Warner examines the shift in the aforelinked article, which first emerged in the April print edition of the magazine and has now migrated to CertMag.com.
TestOut Launches Two New Certifications
Training and certification provider TestOut is expanding its popular repertoire of web-based training courses to include two new courses, each with an affiliated addition to the company's lineup of "Pro"-branded certifications. At the end of July, TestOut will release IT Fundamentals Pro, a digital literacy training course that teaches foundational tech skills (and aligns with CompTIA's similar ITF+ credential). Two weeks after that, the company's Ethical Hacker Pro will make its debut. The Ethical Hacker Pro training course (which aligns with EC-Council's well known Certified Ethical Hacker credential) teaches the increasingly popular penetration testing skill set. Like all of TestOut's other courses, the two new offerings will each include TestOut's own certification exam which, if passed, confers the corresponding (and identically named) credential, in this case either IT Fundamentals Pro or Ethical Hacker Pro.
That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the GoCertify News Editor.