News & Notes for IT Professionals Jan 23, 2008

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Training Camp Goes Mac, Prometric Goes Global

Nowadays, an idle business is a dying business. Companies need to constantly try to broaden their customer base, especially in the tech industry, to stay ahead of the curve. Sometimes this means drastic changes, but more often it’s something right under an organization’s nose that can provide it with a growth burst.

Training Camp, a provider of accelerated IT training programs, has introduced an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist (ACHDS) camp. The program lasts three days and helps professionals deepen their knowledge of Mac OS X and develop their ability to service and troubleshoot the operating system for end users.

The ACHDS is the first Apple software course for Training Camp. Executives were initially skeptical of the demand for business-related Apple training courses but were swayed by a corporate client’s suggestion.

The course will cover networking basics, such as wireless, Ethernet, FireWire and VPN, as well as service and troubleshooting, managing the user environment, login options and printer management. The course is taught through a blended learning method of mentoring, lab manuals and practice tests.

The announcement reflects the PC-to-Mac shift more businesses are making, which Joe Barnes, a director of enterprise technology, product management at Training Camp, has noticed over the past few years.

“I just took that and ran with it, through finding out more corporate and business operating systems were on Macs than we originally thought,” Barnes said. “That gave us a boost that said, ‘Let’s go ahead and do this.’ My views of Apple have completely changed from a business perspective.”

While Training Camp might be gaining a whole new demographic in Mac users, a buyout may be what brings new global market share to Prometric.

A technology-enabled testing and assessment service, Prometric recently announced its acquisition by Educational Testing Services (ETS). Previously a subsidiary of The Thompson Corporation, a multi-business information conglomerate, the change in ownership to ETS signifies a more subject-specific parent in the world of testing.

The change won’t disrupt any current or future testing or yield any major personnel changes, according to Ray Kelly, senior vice president of client services for Prometric.

“Candidates will not be affected in any way,” Kelly said. “All exams, registration and scheduling processes will be handled just as they are now. Our business, customer focus, company structure, services and solutions will remain the same, as will our management team. ETS supports our existing direction, focus and corporate strategy.”

That support will lend itself to Prometric reaching beyond its traditional boundaries and looking for opportunities in previously untapped areas, especially in global markets. Since ETS shares similar values and strategies with Prometric, this strong market concentration supports the expansion of its business.

Prometric’s new ownership allows clients to grow their certification programs beyond their current capacity. By providing candidates with easier access to certification and licensing paths, Prometric will be able to expand from its 450 current clients in the academic, government, IT and corporate realms.

Deloitte’s Latest Privacy Study Shows Concerns, Progress

A recent security study by Deloitte found 85 percent of survey participants reporting numerous information security breaches that compromised the personal information of employees and customers.

The 2007 Deloitte Privacy Study reported that high instances of privacy breaches occurring throughout the year were often the result of negligent employees and lost equipment. Rena Mears, global and U.S. privacy and data protection leader for Deloitte, said these lapses create a reactionary, ineffective response that’s not hands-on enough.

“Not surprisingly, given the number of reported breaches, organizations continue to respond primarily with the ‘firefighting’-type method that we reported in last year’s privacy survey,” Mears said. “Both privacy and security professionals indicated that incident response continues to be their primary privacy activity, and relatively little time is spent on potentially more proactive activities, such as strategy, gap analysis and training.”

The respondents were divided into two different groups — privacy management and security — then asked a series of questions about activities, function, roles and resource allocation. Key findings of the study were in the areas of employee training, program implementation and resource allocation.

According to the survey, just 7 percent of privacy and security professionals’ time is spent training employees. Yet, survey respondents overwhelmingly stated that more time expended on this would make privacy breaches scarcer. Also, risk assessment frameworks and training-based programs have a much lower adoption rate than governance-related ones. Finally, both privacy management and security professionals agreed that more than 60 percent of their time should be spent on incident response, strategy development and other proactive activities.

Program Updates

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has introduced new certifications within its Implementer and Storage Manager tracks. The two new exams cover specialist-level curricula on business continuity and data center solutions. Hitachi Data Systems Certified Implementation Specialist – Business Continuity (HH0-270) is a 60-minute, 57-question exam. The Hitachi Data Systems Certified Implementer credential is a prerequisite credential and a building block to Hitachi’s definition of business continuity. The other new exam, Hitachi Data Systems Certified Storage Manager – Storage Management (HH0-380), consists of 58 questions and also lasts 60 minutes. It tests the validity of a candidate’s knowledge of tools and practices in their storage environments.

– Ben Warden, bwarden@certmag.com

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Ben Warden

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