Symantec Releases Small-Business Security Cert

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Security solutions provider Symantec has announced the availability of its new Certified Technical Specialist, Small Business Security credential. The program, which is designed for professionals who implement and manage Symantec’s antivirus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and firewall products in small-business environments, came as a result of demand from customers and business partners, said Graeme Johnston, the company’s senior director of sales enablement services.


“Security is important to everybody, no matter what the size of your enterprise or home network—or for that matter, a single PC—is,” said Johnston, whose duties include controlling the strategic direction of Symantec’s certification program. “The customers we’ve been talking to have been looking to a variety of new and emerging partners. We saw the opportunity to make sure that they had that knowledge, and that we could prove those competencies to their customers.”


To obtain the Certified Technical Specialist, Small Business Security, candidates must pass the Symantec Certified Technical Specialist exam and consent to the online certification agreement. Symantec is offering online and print training materials to support certification candidates that cover test objectives, sample questions and product documentation.


Johnston said it was comparable to other Symantec certifications in terms of core elements like product types and techniques needed to understand how to protect the business. However, it’s far more focused in its customer-relations content. “One of the primary differences is that at the enterprise level, we see a much more heterogeneous environment, so our existing certifications are all based around that premise. We really want you to get a vendor-neutral certification to understand the big picture of the security world and where our products fit into that.


“We took the big picture out of this,” he said of the Small Business Security certification. “It’s more about understanding the specific needs of the smaller company. Some of the fundamental issues are the same, but it’s a market where there are more homogenous solutions. In the enterprise security program, we’re really making sure that someone can take our products and deploy them in whatever environment already exists, whereas in this situation, we’re really focusing on how someone can come in and solve your problems with securing your small business.”


The development process for the Certified Technical Specialist, Small Business Security credential lasted about nine months, during which Symantec representatives spoke to customers and business partners about the competencies and skills that would be appropriate, and then developed curricula around that. More than 250 participants went through the beta program for the certification, and those who passed were grandfathered in.


Demand for the new certification so far has been very strong, Johnston said. “I would certainly say it exceeded our expectations. Certainly, the levels of interest we’re seeing from the channel generally, and the feedback we’ve been getting through our channel account managers has been incredibly positive.”


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