Press Pass: Online security training, tax incentives 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.

Certification not included: Back to school season is still a few months away — cue enraged shouts of “We aren’t even out of class yet!” — but here’s some incentive to start thinking about classrooms and textbooks again. The University of South Florida has taking up the cause of swelling the ranks of the global IT workforce. In carrying out its Cybersecurity Initiative, the university has struck a partnership with respected IT security association (ISC)2 to offer several instructor-led security certification classes. You don’t even have to live in Florida to participate: Courses are being offered both in person and online. Beginning next month, the program will train and certify candidates who wish to purse the CISSP, SSCP, CAP, or CSSLP security certifications offered by (ISC)2. The cost to participate is a not negligible $2,395 per course, but that price tag includes official (ISC)2 training materials and an exam voucher.

SDN and Network Programmability go together like peanut butter and jelly.

But is it chunky or smooth?: Who’s hungry? Hungry for some knowledge, that is. The only thing better than a good sandwich is a metaphor about a good sandwich, right? (Not right? You’d rather have the good sandwich, huh?)  Software Defined Networking (SDN) has been a hot topic for a while now, and a recent post at Cisco Learning Network’s Certifications for Success blog makes it even sexier by mingling SDN and peanut butter. Not literally. You can’t actually dip SDN in peanut butter. Instead, guest blogger Andy Gremett is discussing the benefits of a harmonious marriage between SDN and Network Programmability.  Gremett’s contention is that, like a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich, integrating SDN and Network Programmability takes good and desirable ingredients and combines them to make something that’s even better than any of its individual components. Now we just need to figure out how to bring at tall, cold glass of whole milk into this picture.

Give them a break: Some IT entrepreneurs are Mark Zuckerberg, but you can’t expect every good idea to blow up into a record-setting IPO overnight. The incubation period for a lot of innovative tech concepts requires considerably more patience. IT industry association CompTIA sees potential in small business tech, and wants to be sure that IT entrepreneurs don’t get lost in the tall grass of burdensome government regulation. Instead, CompTIA is pushing a new white paper that endorses a program of tax reform and tax credits to encourage IT growth and innovation at the mom-and-pop level. The white paper argues that SMB IT firms — SMB is small or medium-sized business — are important breeding grounds for new technology and hopes to encourage U.S. legislators to make it easier for them to do good work.

The hits just keep coming: It’s a time of milestones for IT governance group ISACA, which celebrated both 45 years and 115,000 members in April. Now the gang has a whole new reason to break out the champagne and streamers.  On May 6, ISACA announced a landmark achievement for its Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) credential, which was bestowed for the 25,000th time. It’s an even more impressive belt notch when you consider that the CISM has only been in existence since 2002. No word as to who the lucky No. 25,000 is, or whether he or she gets a year’s worth of free groceries, or maybe a nice red velvet smoking jacket.

IT for all: Last week, we mentioned in this space that the British Computer Society is making a concerted effort to bring attention to the need for more women in the global IT workforce. The drumbeat continued this week, with the Chartered Institute for IT announcing its commitment to the British-government backed Your Life campaign to increase the number of women pursuing STEM skills and careers. The BCS, which is already running its own Women in IT campaign, also called attention to recent trends that suggest women are frequently undercompensated because they hesitate to demand higher pay and better benefits when taking part in hiring negotiations and rarely ask for raises.

Works like a charm: On a parting note this week, every so often we at CertMag are reminded of this or that goofy thing that made us laugh. This week, we happened to be reminded of a pointed and pithy Dilbert strip that reminds us all not to take certification too seriously. It’s a little hard to believe this joke’s been around for almost 14 years, but it’s still as funny as the first time we read it.

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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.