Press Pass: Hot certs, security trends and more

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Welcome to the latest installment of Press Pass, where CertMag blows through as many industry press releases, blogs, dispatches, messages in a bottle, etc., as we can fit in one post. We’ve got the highlights and you can click thru straight to the horse’s mouth for more information.

It’s getting hot in here: Everyone wants to know which certifications are foremost on the minds of the nation’s employers. Or put more forthrightly, which set of letters after my name on a resume is going to put the most cash in my wallet? Using information provided by the cert salary gurus at Foote Partners, CIO’s Rich Hein has compiled a list of the 18 certs that have the best hiring and salary outlook for 2014. Which is good news if a cert than interests you is on the list, and even better news if a cert that’s already in your back pocket is on the list. Hein’s list doesn’t appear to be ranked, but he leads it off with ISACA’s Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control, or CRISC. (Really, ISACA? Would it have killed you to make it “Systems Control and Oversight,” or even just give a little extra recognition to the second letter in the world “control?” I crave the small pleasures in life, like cracking endless jokes about the valuable new CRISCO credential.)

A literally false sense of security: Locking down your enterprise’s data and other confidential information has been a hot topic in IT circles for years. As with most ideas, on the other hand, people get tired of endlessly discussing the same thing — even when it’s something that does, in fact, require ongoing discussion. The thinking among some tech organizations that they have “done enough” to adress security issues is part of the concern expressed in a new EC Council blog post by security expert Dinesh Pillai. In particular, Pillai is on the warpath against the notion of using periodic security audits to verify that policies and practices are up to snuff. Instead of clearing self-chosen benchmarks, patting everyone on the back and calling it a day, Pillai argues that tech firms need to start to think differently about implementing and managing security.

A literally false sense of security, Part II: While we’re on the subject, the new Eleventh Annual Information Security Trends study released by CompTIA provides some key support for Pillai’s contentions about complacency. As described in the new study, 80 percent of enterprises surveyed think that their current levels of protection are either completely satisfactory or mostly satisfactory. The study also found that concerns about “human error among general staff” and “human error among IT staff” are at the bottom of the list of areas considered to be of “serious” concern when ranking potential problems (the more glamorous dilemmas posed by malware, hacking, phishing, etc., got all of the top-prioirty attention). Which might compute, except that more than half of the companies surveyed blame past security breaches on — wait for it — human error.

Come on, get certified: Given the steady stream of newcomers to the IT certification industry, people who write about certification frequently take a dip in the Reasons to Get Certified pool. A recent post at Cisco Learning Network’s Certifications for Success offers a fresh perspective on a few familiar questions that may be on the mind of first-time cert seekers. Guest blogger Errol Hayward address four common questions, including the usual queries about whether a certification will bump up earning potential, and how much it will help in landing a job.

TESTING, TESTING — Exam opportunities

  • Microsoft is offering beta versions of two Office 365 exams (for MCSA certification) through Feb. 14  MORE DETAILS 
  • Beginning in February, Cisco will expand the global availability of its Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) exam  MORE DETAILS 
  • Oracle is winding down the beta period for its Oracle Linux 5 and 6 System Administration exams  MORE DETAILS 
  • Also wrapping up is the beta period for Oracle’s MySQL 5.6 Developer and 5.6 Database Administrator exams  MORE DETAILS 
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Fida Reeder


FIDA REEDER is a journalist and writer with experience in both print and web publications. E-mail her at fidareeder (at) gmail (dot) com.

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