Just in Time for the Holidays: Security+ Certification

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Security+ Is Finally Here! 

CompTIA has been working on the vendor-neutral Security+ credential for
some time now, and it’s now ready for potential certificants. Security+
certification will help meet the increasing demand for IT professionals
who have information security knowledge and skills. While there are
several existing vendor-neutral as well as vendor-specific security
certifications, they are higher-level certifications that test more
intermediate and advanced knowledge of IT security. The Security+
differs in that it will test the competencies of foundation-level
security practitioners.



The Security+ certification exam was developed by subject matter experts
and is based on a worldwide job task analysis and survey that was used
to weight the test domains. The certification is designed for IT
professionals who have at least two years of networking experience and
knowledge of TCP/IP. CompTIA also recommends that Security+ candidates
have the knowledge and abilities tested by the A+ and Network+



Security+ certification requires a single exam covering the following



* General Security Concepts (30 percent of the exam) including
access control, authentication, non-essential services and
protocols, malicious code such as viruses and worms, social
engineering and auditing.


* Communication Security (20 percent of the exam) including remote
access, e-mail, Web, directory, file transfer and wireless.


* Infrastructure Security (20 percent of the exam) including devices
such as firewalls, routers and VPNs, media, security topologies,
intrusion detection and security baselines.


* Basics of Cryptography (15 percent of the exam) including
algorithms, PKI, standards and protocols, key
management/certificate life cycle and concepts of using


* Operational/Organizational Security (15 percent) including
physical security, disaster recovery, business continuity, policy
and procedures, privilege management, forensics, risk
identification, education (training end users, executives and HR
personnel) and documentation.



There are 100 questions on the Security+ exam, and candidates have 90
minutes to complete the exam. For a limited time, CompTIA is offering an
introductory exam price of $225 for non-members and $175 for members.
The exam is available in English only at VUE and Prometric testing



For more information on Security+, go to


Government-Private Sector IT Skill Gap Closing 

According to a recent report from Brainbench, the historic IT skills gap
between government workers and private-sector professionals is closing
in some key skill areas. The report is based on an analysis of more than
11,000 online skill assessments delivered by Brainbench.



According to Mike Russiello, CEO and president of Brainbench, government
IT workers are now stronger in important technology areas such as
UNIX/Linux. “The increased attention that has been paid to this
historical skills gap by such leading organizations as the federal
government’s Chief Information Officer’s Council and the National
Academy of Public Administration have played a role in helping to close
this historical skills gap,” he said.



The report, titled “Closing the Gap: Government and Private Sector IT
Skills,” is the first analysis in a series that is meant to compare the
skill levels of government and private sector IT services workers. The
report covered eight key areas: entry-level technology skills,
networking skills, database skills, Internet skills, UNIX/Linux skills,
programming language skills, Microsoft technology administration skills
and Microsoft applications skills.



The report compared the scores of 4,110 government online-test-takers
with the scores of 7,096 private sector test-takers from Brainbench’s
database of more than 5 million tests. Government IT workers scored
higher than private-sector workers in UNIX/Linux skills, Microsoft
technology administration and Microsoft application skills.



For a copy of the report in pdf format, see




IDC: Worst IT Year Ever 

IDC has reported that the IT industry worldwide suffered its worst
decline ever in 2002. The growth rate for the IT industry in 2002 is
negative 2.3 percent. But there is a silver lining to this particular
cloud—IDC predicts that the IT industry will recover from its low point
with a growth rate of more than 5 percent in 2003.



The “Worldwide Information Technology and Communications (ITC) Spending
Forecast” measures the impact of the global and economic climate on the
ITC market and its submarkets, including software, servers, PCs,
services and telecommunications. The latest forecast includes revised
assumptions taking into account macroeconomic and geopolitical
conditions (such as a potential war in Iraq) and provides conservative
forecasts as well as alternate “downside scenarios.”



So why has 2002 been so bad? The largest decline was seen in the storage
market, which fell 10.6 percent in 2002 and is not expected to make it
back to 2001 levels until after 2006. In addition, the worldwide systems
market—PCs, servers and workstations, saw a 9.3 percent reduction in
2002, and the network equipment market fell 7.6 percent. The services
market, which represents more than one-third of total IT revenues around <
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