Wednesday, April 02, 2014

How management IT expectations are taxing security pros

How management IT expectations are taxing security pros 
The drive to propel innovation by quickly adopting the latest IT solutions is pressuring enterprise security professionals to deploy software before it is properly secured, according to a poll of experts conducted by Trustwave. The survey of more than 800 top-level IT and cybersecurity specialists found that 80% of respondents had faced internal pressure, primarily from management, to roll out inadequately secured solutions, some of which were beyond the level of their immediate expertise.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

U.S., U.K. spy agencies gather data from mobile apps

U.S., U.K. spy agencies gather data from mobile apps 
Mobile game applications such as Angry Birds and other insecure apps are being tapped by U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies to glean data on users, such as their locations, ages and gender, according to British intelligence documents. Meanwhile, amid rising concern over who has access to consumer data, Verizon said in a blog post that U.S. intelligence cannot compel the company to hand over data stored overseas.

Friday, March 21, 2014

CompTIA: Amazon listed most IT job ads in 2013

CompTIA: Amazon listed most IT job ads in 2013 
Amazon held the top spot in listing IT jobs in 2013 -- posting more than 16,000, according to CompTIA's annual IT Industry Outlook report, based on data from Burning Glass Technologies. Also in the top five were Accenture, Deloitte, Microsoft and Best Buy

Monday, March 17, 2014

Report: App flaws, security are key vulnerability issues

Report: App flaws, security are key vulnerability issues 
A Hewlett-Packard cybersecurity report says 80% of applications are not configured correctly and 46% of mobile applications are not securely encrypted. "That's a really shocking number because there is such attention being paid today on keeping mobile data safe," said Jacob West of Hewlett-Packard's Enterprise Security Products.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Senate report: Federal agencies lack necessary cybersecurity skills

Senate report: Federal agencies lack necessary cybersecurity skills 
The federal government is failing to implement basic protocols to improve cybersecurity, according to a congressional report that says agency personnel have delayed vital software updates and followed inadequate password policies. The report, released by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, follows similar findings from the Government Accountability Office, and singles out the Department of Homeland Security for particular criticism

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Experts: Implementing the cloud has ups and downs

Experts: Implementing the cloud has ups and downs 
Shifting operations to the cloud can solve some problems but also creates new ones, especially for smaller firms, experts say. Consultant Chad Paalman says a business must ensure it has the bandwidth to sustain a cloud strategy, and that moving data offsite means potential privacy and security issues, so service agreements must be scrutinized.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

CompTIA targets veterans with IT-jobs program

CompTIA targets veterans with IT-jobs program 
CompTIA says it wants to help former military personnel move into the IT industry with its Armed for IT Careers program, which provides training and insight on opportunities. "Military professionals often have strong business, communication and technical skills and a good work ethic, which are all much in demand in the IT industry," said Graham Hunter, Western Europe director at CompTIA

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Report: Tablets, Chromebooks made headway among enterprises in 2013

Report: Tablets, Chromebooks made headway among enterprises in 2013
Tablets accounted for more than a fifth of all commercial computing devices sold through November, with Windows, Android and Apple devices all recording significant growth this year, according to a report from NPD, which also says Google's Chromebook made up a larger chunk of the enterprise notebook market. "New products like Chromebooks, and reimagined items like Windows tablets, are now supplementing the revitalization that iPads started in personal computing devices," said analyst Stephen Baker.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Research firm: U.S. losing status as global broadband leader

Research firm: U.S. losing status as global broadband leader
The U.S. is falling behind in the race to deploy high-speed Internet service, and ranks 35th out of 148 countries in Internet bandwidth, according to The World Economic Forum. Data show that major U.S. cities are being outpaced by emerging nations such as Latvia, which has Internet speeds about 2½ times faster than San Antonio. Officials say the lag could strain GDP growth.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Amazon exec: Cloud is replacing IT infrastructure globally

Amazon exec: Cloud is replacing IT infrastructure globally
The cloud is becoming the new IT infrastructure, especially in emerging markets, Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels says. "The cloud is eliminating the need for IT infrastructure and as a result we are starting to see cloud just catch up internationally, and how businesses are changing as a result," Vogels says. "... While cloud has brought a true revolution in the U.S. very early already, it is just catching on internationally and it is great to see how those businesses are changing."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Consumer privacy, wearables, 3D printing among predicted tech trends

Consumer privacy, wearables, 3D printing among predicted tech trends
This article highlights technology trends that are expected to continue to gain popularity this year. The list includes the Internet of Things, wearable products, 3-D printing, the continued adoption of smartphones, space tourism and the increased use of robots

Monday, January 13, 2014

Forrester predicts modest growth in IT spending this year

Forrester predicts modest growth in IT spending this year
Economic pressures will continue to weigh on IT in 2014, with growth rates expected to come in below averages from the past two decades, according to analysts, who expect stronger recovery in 2015. Forrester Research predicts global spending on IT to increase 6.2% this year, fueled largely by the U.S., with software and outsourcing seeing the strongest gains. "Beyond 2014, we are expecting a strengthening global economy in 2015 will propel global tech market growth higher across the board, but with software growing at double-digit growth rates for the first time in many years," Forrester's Andrew Bartels wrote in a blog post

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Find More Programmers!

Advice to IT Managers: Find More Programmers

As the line between programming and other IT disciplines blur, IT managers must hire or train employees to get the right skill sets.
When I started in technology, there was a clear line between programmers and other IT roles, such as hardware engineers. They were distinct disciplines with their own requirements, and they had separate career paths. Today that’s changing; you can still be a hardware engineer, but more and more IT functions require some familiarity with programming.
 
Whether it’s writing scripts or batch files, IT professionals find it necessary to get familiar with Perl, Java and other software languages. Programming skills are essential as systems become more integrated and automated.
 
While the need for programming is a challenge to IT professionals, it’s also a challenge to management. IT leaders have to find employees with the right mix of skills—and the mindset to continue their education and develop new proficiencies.
 
If the right skill sets aren’t available on the job market (or come at too high a price), organizations can train their existing workforce. Of course, you may be reluctant to train up your staff for fear that these employees will go elsewhere. It’s a legitimate concern, but I always think of this quote whenever I hear such an objection: What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us? What happens if we don’t and they stay?
 
There are plenty of training options available, including online (Code.org is a good place to start) and classroom instruction. Tech conferences can also be valuable. I encourage my own staff to learn new skills by letting them take equipment home so they can build and explore. They seem to enjoy this aspect of training, because they come back to work asking questions and looking for answers on their own.
 
However, one drawback of staff training is that some individuals don’t really know what role they see for themselves in the future in the organization. Do they want to be an engineer? A manager? It’s hard to direct them to training if they don’t have clear path for themselves.
On the hiring side, the best places where I find individuals are job fairs at local colleges, community colleges or other technology organizations. I have hired several individuals from DeVry Institute and highly recommend them—they’ve turned out to be great investments.
In addition to finding (or training) the right staff, IT leaders and managers also have to create a collaborative environment for these employees to work within. Collaboration is a must to manage and maintain all the disparate systems that are required to run the business. We also see trends such as software-defined networking and hybrid clouds where scripting and the ability to integrate different platforms via software are essential.
 
We need more non-programmers to become more familiar with writing software. We also need programmers to get more involved with systems and network management. IT managers should start now to find and develop programming talent. Are you looking for employees with more programming skills? If so, are you hiring, training or both?
 

CompTIA PDI+ Certification Retirement

CompTIA PDI+: January 31, 2014
CompTIA PDI+ Certification Retirement

The CompTIA PDI+ certification (PD0-001) will be retiring  on January 31, 2014. CompTIA will not replace this exam. Anyone studying for the exam is encouraged to complete his/her studies and seek  certification. Any exam vouchers previously purchased for exams not yet  taken will be valid until January 31, 2014. CompTIA PDI+ certifications  will not expire.

Monday, December 30, 2013

China loses status as leading source of cyberattacks

China loses status as leading source of cyberattacks
China is no longer the world's leading source of cyberattacks, according to a new report from Akamai Technologies that estimates that nearly 40% of malicious activity now originates in Indonesia. While Indonesia barely registered on the cyberthreat landscape last year, analysts attribute the nation's ascendance as the world hacking capital to a triple-digit increase in average broadband speeds.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New CompTIA Certification Addresses Mobile App Development Security

New CompTIA Certification Addresses Mobile App Development Security
 CompTIA has introduced a new skills certification designed to raise security awareness and preparedness in the mobile app development universe. CompTIA Mobile App Security+ is a vendor-neutral certification that validates the skills required to securely create a mobile application, while also ensuring secure network communications and backend Web services. CompTIA launched two unique editions of the certification exam for both native Android and iOS mobile applications

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Experts: Higher compensation, perks needed to fill security talent shortage

Experts: Higher compensation, perks needed to fill security talent shortage
Finding IT security experts is only going to get tougher, given increasing attacks and a push in the private and public sectors to shore up defenses, F-Secure's Christian Fredrikson says. That likely means earmarking more spending on compensation and providing more attractive perks to lure needed talent. "As with anything, it really comes down to human capital, and there simply isn't enough of it," says Chris Finan, former White House director for cybersecurity. "They will choose where they work based on salary, lifestyle and the lack of an interfering bureaucracy, and that makes it particularly hard to get them into government."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ranks of contractors swell across IT sector

Ranks of contractors swell across IT sector
A rise in demand for application developers combined with a reluctance among many firms to invest in workforce expansion has led to a rise in the number of IT specialists who are employed on a contract basis, according to new data from Computer Economics. An analysis by the group found there are now more IT contract workers than at any time since the period leading up to Y2K at the end of the 1990s, and while about 1 in 5 companies are expanding hiring in the fourth quarter, more than 15% of IT departments at large firms currently consist of contractors.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Firms in 8 states to benefit from federal cybersecurity grants

Firms in 8 states to benefit from federal cybersecurity grants
The Energy Department took a step toward protecting the nation's critical infrastructure with the distribution of about $30 million in grants to companies working to bolster cybersecurity in the energy sector. The funding, part of a broad strategy to enhance the security of the nation's power grid, is going to projects in eight states, including California, where the company Viasat will get $3.3 million to develop technology to improve utilities' ability to respond to cyberattacks

Friday, December 06, 2013

Reports: Cloud skills are in big demand

Reports: Cloud skills are in big demand
Companies are having a tough time finding needed skill sets for cloud projects, which may bode well for IT professionals looking for a new career focus, according to reports. A CompTIA study says hiring managers are scrambling to find skills tied to building migration plans and risk assessment. "We're seeing cloud technology move beyond the realm of curiosity, beyond early experimentation, and into a second- or third-stage technology evolution," says CompTIA's Carolyn April.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Federal court rejects Google definition of Wi-Fi data as "radio communication"

Federal court rejects Google definition of Wi-Fi data as "radio communication"
A federal appeals court has rejected a bid by Google to dismiss a group of lawsuits that accuse it of violating the Federal Wiretap Act, turning aside Google's claim that unencrypted wireless data it collected with its Street View cars counted as "radio communication." The decision means security researchers will need to think twice before capturing data from unencrypted Wi-Fi signals, Hanni Fakhoury writes, and it also means law enforcement agencies will have to obtain a wiretap order to do so.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Study: Computer science offers healthy job compensation

Study: Computer science offers healthy job compensation
A PayScale report says tech majors are among the top 30 when it comes to career pay potential, with computer engineering ranking sixth, computer science landing in eighth place and software engineering listed 12th. The other computer-related majors in the top 30 are management information systems, electrical engineering technology, computer information systems, information systems and information technology. The survey also ranks colleges by resulting midcareer pay of computer science graduates. The top five spots belong to California universities, with alumni of the University of California taking the top spot.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The majority of data breaches happen to companies with fewer than 100 employees.

A troubling trend: The majority of data breaches happen to companies with fewer than 100 employees.
 
Small-business owners rely on technology to run their businesses more than ever before, from smartphone apps to websites to cloud computing. All of this technology use, however, dramatically raises the odds that a business will get hit by a cyber attack—and face potentially big losses and downtime because of it.
The National Small Business Association's 2013 Small Business Technology Survey looks at how business owners’ technology use and IT security concerns have changed over the past three years. Survey respondents included 845 business owners with fewer than 500 employees who took an online survey in August.
The survey found that business owners are increasingly using all sorts of technology to serve customers, accept payments and manage a remote workforce. For example, 74 percent of business owners surveyed now use a smartphone to run their business, compared with 57 percent in 2010. Far more (45 percent) now conduct meetings using online meeting tools such as WebEx, compared to just 18 percent in 2010. Fifty-nine percent now conduct calls and teleconferences using online technologies like Skype or Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, compared to just 28 percent in 2010.
Interestingly, despite all this technology reliance, more business owners (27 percent, up from 9 percent in 2010) now handle IT and web site management themselves, rather than hire outside consultants, the survey found.
This boost in self-reliance and use of technology has led to greater fears over cyber security and the ability to prevent costly attacks by hackers or downloads of malware and other spyware programs that steal sensitive business information. NSBA found that 44 percent of respondents have been victims of a cyber attack, while 94 percent are “somewhat” or “very” concerned about them.
The average cost of an attack was about $8,700 and most were resolved within three days. However, 12 percent of victims said it took their business more than a week to recover.
The new survey’s findings mirror those of other recent reports that also show a marked increase in the number of cyber attacks targeted at small firms. Verizon's 2012 and 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report also found that the majority of data breaches on businesses occur at companies with fewer than 100 employees.
A recent Forbes article featuring IT security expert Vikas Bhatia looks at how small businesses can better protect their data and prevent cyber attacks. Among the tips: Use a password management program, such as LastPass to create stronger passwords; regularly backup data and store it off site; keep antivirus software up-to-date; and find out where and how your cloud-based data is stored to ensure it’s safe.