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.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CompTIA members benefit from large certification discount

CompTIA members benefit from certification discount
CompTIA solution provider members are eligible to receive a voucher good for an 80% discount on the first certification they purchase and a 15% discount on further certification purchases. Vendor and distributor members are also eligible for the 15% discount. To learn more, contact

Friday, November 08, 2013

Report: IT industry will be a boon to U.K. economy

Report: IT industry will be a boon to U.K. economy
Increasing demand for IT skills will play an integral part in helping the U.K. economy, as a reported 300,000 new workers will be needed to fill jobs in the next decade, a U.K. Commission for Employment and Skills report said. The report noted a dearth of tech skills is hindering digital companies. "To make sure the digital sector really thrives, there’s a clear need for employers to take ownership of the skills agenda and play an active role in training the next generation of IT specialists," said UKCES research manager Rachel Pinto.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Growth ahead for cloud-services industry

Growth ahead for India's cloud-services industryThe public-cloud-services industry in India alone is expected to be worth $434 million this year for a growth rate of 37.5%, said research firm Gartner, which credits increasing adoption of software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service as the main drivers. The firm predicts a 41.8% increase in IaaS services alone, hitting $62.5 million in 2013, and expects $4.2 billion will be spent on cloud services through 2017.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Businesses seek to fill gap in U.S. IT talent

Businesses seek to fill gap in U.S. STEM talent
The U.S. business community is increasingly collaborating with state agencies and colleges to increase the number of graduates with backgrounds in math, science and engineering in the hopes of staving off a looming shortage of skilled workers needed to fill jobs in the technology sector. Recruiters report a surge in the number of job openings requiring a STEM Science Technology Engineering and Math background, but the U.S. still ranks below its peers in producing talent. One program -- funded by the National Science Foundation -- is pairing middle schoolers with mentors in the field in an effort to woo more into IT, engineering and related careers.

Business Imaging Expo

Business Imaging Expo
The modern office is changing rapidly, as content is becoming part of a centralized workflow and sellers and consumers of related devices are looking for ways to streamline their processes. CompTIA partner 1105 Media's event, the Business Imaging Expo, scheduled Dec. 10 to 12 in Las Vegas, brings together the worlds of business process optimization, enterprise content management, document printing and managed IT, providing an educational event and show floor that addresses all the facets of the office technology industry.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Few young Americans consider cybersecurity as a career choice, poll finds

Few young Americans consider cybersecurity as a career choice, poll finds
Fewer than 1 in 4 young adults have expressed an interest in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, according to a study commissioned by Raytheon that finds millennials are beginning to implement basic security measures but lack a broader knowledge of the field. The researchers blame the shortfall on a lack of engagement from older adults, with less than 20% of respondents saying they had learned about opportunities in the cybersecurity sector from teachers or guidance counselors. Homeland Security Today

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

HP promises to find a security gap in 12 minutes

HP expands security services for business customers
Hewlett-Packard aims to boost enterprise security by providing customers several new tools, one of which promises to find a security gap in 12 minutes and resolve 92% of security incidents within two hours of being detected. The company is also introducing anti-hacker solutions, including SureStart, which is aimed at stopping subversion of the basic input/output system and can self-repair the system following a malware attack.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

10 employee conversations that managers hate to have

Sometimes, as a manager, you have to have difficult conversations with employees that are guaranteed to make them defensive, angry, and not want to hang out with you after work anymore. You may feel like a cad and want to apologize, but there’s really nothing to apologize for. You’re just doing your job.

That’s why managers get paid the big bucks. Because when there’s an issue with an employee, everyone expects the manager to “do something about it.” And if you don’t, they’ll think you’re a wimp and that nobody really gives a @#%$.

In no particular order, here are 10 employee conversations that managers would rather not have. But you may have to. So, I’ve included links from credible sources to some practical guidelines for each conversation.

In addition to hopefully being a helpful survival guide for current managers, this may also be a good link to share with anyone considering being a manager. If they can finish reading without running away screaming in terror, they just might have management potential.

1. Your performance sucks.
This one is the most common and obvious, but that doesn’t mean most managers don’t dread having to confront an employee about poor performance. Here’s my recommended approach: “How to confront an employee performance problem.”

2. Your co-workers can’t stand you.
This one is trickier than the first, because you may be responding to complaints about the employee that you have not observed or experienced. In fact, the issues may even be a surprise to you. It’s important to take the complaints seriously, without jumping to conclusions. In this case, you may need to conduct an employee investigation.

3. You smell terrible.
Ah, the classic of difficult employee conversations. I’ll leave this one to Ask a Manager’s Alison Green: “Telling an employee she has body odor.”

4. You didn’t get the raise or promotion.
It’s no fun delivering bad news that hits an employee in the pocketbook. Advice from Forbes: “The 10 commandments for delivering bad news.”

5. You’re fired!
With all due respect to Donald Trump, I think the HR Bartender, Sharlyn Lauby, offers some good advice with “Terminating employees: How to fire right.”

6. Are you on something?
Confronting an employee that you or others suspect may be loaded or high contains a minefield of potential issues. Tread carefully. From HR Morning: “You suspect an employee is using drugs: What now?”

7. You’re not yourself these days.
The employee’s acting a little weird, and you or others suspect that the employee is suffering from some type of mental condition. These days, workplace violence is a real concern, and so is your concern for your employee’s well-being. From Mental Health Works: “How can I approach an employee about their mental illness?”

8. You dress like it’s Halloween.
My last company had a strict dress code, so managers had to have a lot of conversations about dress code violations. Here’s Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations, with “Addressing inappropriate work attire.”

9. Are you pregnant?
In most cases, that’s a question you never ask a woman. I learned that the hard way when I once asked a co-worker early in my career. She wasn’t. However, Tim Sackett tackles this one straight on with “Knocked up: The conversation most managers don’t want to have.”

10. You’re a thief.
Yikes, your employee is selling company office supplies on eBay! What to do? Here’s a comprehensive guide from HR Morning: “Practical steps for addressing theft in the workplace.”

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Survey: Breach detection, reporting lacking at most firms

Only 6% of security professionals have an automated platform for detecting and reporting breach data in real time, according to a poll of 248 specialists conducted by data protection firm Varonis. The survey found that less than a third of polled companies have technology allowing them to detect when sensitive files have been accessed, revealing a lack of safeguards against unauthorized intrusion, according to the authors.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Analysis: Niche Big Data analytics are producing big returns

Some companies are discovering that niche Big Data solutions that solve a specific issue are paying off even bigger in terms of sales. One example is Dell's vertical marketing organization, which tapped software-as-a-service vendor Lattice Engines' technology and is seeing a $30 return on each dollar spent.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

China looks to become major player in global smartphone game

Chinese electronics companies are launching a frontal assault on global smartphone leaders such as Apple and Samsung Electronics as they seek to turn their country from the largest maker of mobile devices into one of the largest marketers with products geared toward emerging markets. While Huawei is making an aggressive push into international markets, some smaller players -- such as Goophone and Coolpad -- are combining successful designs from existing phones with low-cost features to tap a growing domestic market.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hackers hit South Korean targets for military secrets

An unknown group of hackers has been using sophisticated computer code to infiltrate computer networks in South Korea with the goal of uncovering the nation's military secrets, as well as those of its ally, the U.S. According to security researchers, the malware -- which has been in use since at least 2009 and is being blamed on North Korea -- is designed to scour secure networks for keywords such as the names of individuals, weapons systems and base locations and was used to infiltrate a social media site used by the South Korean military.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Battle over cloud systems and user privacy looms

The controversy involving the National Security Agency's PRISM program has prompted some European entities to warn companies to avoid U.S. service vendors. However, David Linthicum writes that the real battle of privacy in relation to the cloud hasn't even begun. "The reality is that people who [work] with cloud-based platforms won't stop using those platforms -- but they will get much better at security and privacy. With such improvements in security and privacy, law enforcement and government agencies won't have ready access to some data. That means legal battles will occur in many countries, with the use of remote data hosting services, such as cloud services, in the middle," he writes.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

False malware warning prompts agency to dump IT gear

An alleged malware warning promoted the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to trash $170,000 in IT equipment, wasting half -- $2.7 million -- of its IT budget, a Commerce Department report says. Another $3 million in equipment was slated to be destroyed, but the lack of funds prevented the EDA from continuing the eradication. The faulty warning resulted from miscommunication between the EDA and the Department of Commerce. "Unfortunately, both organizations continued to propagate the inaccurate information ... during the incident response activities," the report said.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why most companies are behind the learning curve on security awareness

Promoting security awareness in the workplace is one of the most critical steps a company can take to protect its networked assets, but experts say that by relying on a one-size-fits-all approach that equates "awareness" with "training," many firms continue to overlook important nuances to employee behavior. Smply providing information is not enough to ensure true awareness, which requires a more personalized approach.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Detailed list of changes in ICND1 and ICND2

As most of you are already aware, the CCNA is no longer a pre-requisite to other certifications within Cisco®’s certification paths. I am discouraged by the amount of people saying they will only take the minimum requirement of CCENT before moving onto other certification because ICND2/CCNA is too hard! 

Sure it is hard, but I believe that the foundation is key to success! I am disappointed in Cisco® for not making the CCNA a pre-requisite.

Take a look at the changes below. I think people will be surprised when they take the CCENT. The CCENT is no longer an entry level certification!

Topics Removed from the ICND1 Exam:
  • Securing the Network
  • Understanding the Challenges of Shared LANs
  • Solving Network Challenges with Switched LAN Technologies
  • Wireless LANs
  • Using Cisco® SDM
  • Configuring Serial Encapsulation
  • Enabling RIP
Topics Added to the ICND1 Exam:
  • Implementing VLSM
  • Scaling the Network with NAT and PAT
  • Managing Traffic Using ACLs
  • Implementing VLANs and Trunks
  • Routing Between VLANs
  • Implementing single area OSPF
  • Introducing Basic IPv6
  • Understanding IPv6
  • Configuring IPv6 Routing
Topics Removed from the ICND2 Exam:
  • Routing Between VLANs
  • Securing the Expanded Network
  • Implementing VLSM
  • Scaling the Network with NAT and PAT
Topics Added to the ICND2 Exam:
  • Troubleshooting VLAN Connectivity
  • Understand Spanning Tree Protocol
  • Understand and configure Etherchannel
  • Understand Layer 3 Redundancy Protocols
  • Troubleshooting IPv4 Network Connectivity

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Preparing for Upcoming HIPAA Changes and their Impact to Your Business

This is a must-attend webinar if you perform IT or other consulting services for or store information of customers who are healthcare providers, such as doctors, dentists, hospitals, retirement/rehab facilities, or other "Covered Entities" as defined in the HIPAA regulations. On January 17, 2013, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services issued final regulations that go into effect March 26, 2013. Failure to comply with the new regulations can incur penalties of up to $50,000 per violation and up to $1,500,000 per year. Join us for this webinar to arm yourself with the practical knowledge you need to avoid incurring substantial penalties and potentially losing important customers.

Learn how to best determine if you are a "Business Associate" covered under HIPAA. Hear a summary of changes impacting solution providers who are Business Associates and how to comply. Find out about required Notices of Privacy Practices, penalties for non-compliance, and the compliance date and transition timeline for the upcoming HIPAA changes.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Health care providers expanding use of mobile devices and apps

Health care providers expanding use of mobile devices and apps

Mobile technology is expanding its presence in the day-to-day delivery of patient care and practice management by health care providers, according to CompTIA's Fourth Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study. It reveals that many health care providers are on the cusp of greatly expanding their use of smart mobile devices from routine business activities, such as e-mail and scheduling to care-specific uses. One in five physicians with a mobile device already uses health- or medical-related applications on a daily basis.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hiring, retaining IT workers a big worry for health care vendors

Hiring, retaining IT workers a big worry for health care vendors

A survey of health care firms indicates hiring and retaining IT workers is an increasing concern, with 21% of those polled worried they won't have the expertise to build e-health systems. Tech skill hiring beat out concerns about cost, product availability and user buy-in, and more than half of respondents expect to boost IT staff in the upcoming year. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ethernet switch growth is forecast to continue

Ethernet switch growth is forecast to continue

The growth of the Ethernet switch market will continue even amid decreased public-sector IT spending and a weak European market, Infonetics predicts. The big drivers are 10G adoption, data-center growth, server virtualization, video demand and mobility, Infonetics and IDC say. "While growth in the Ethernet switch market will largely come from 10GbE and 40GbE in the coming years, it is encouraging to note that the market for Gigabit Ethernet is holding its own, largely in campus, aggregation and network edge deployments," IDC's Rohit Mehra said in a statement.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How the tech-skills shortage may hurt economic growth

How the tech-skills shortage may hurt economic growth

Several IT recruiting experts say the ongoing tech-skills shortage will hurt U.S. economic growth and is likely to get worse before it gets better. "Unlike the fiscal cliff, where we are still peering over the edge, we careened over the 'IT skills cliff' some years ago as our economy digitized, mobilized and further 'technologized' and our IT skilled labor supply failed to keep up," wrote Bob Miano, CEO of executive-search firm Harvey Nash, in a paper on the issue.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

CompTIA's IT Hall of Fame inducts three new members

CompTIA's IT Hall of Fame inducts three new members

Technology innovators who helped make wireless computing and database management possible and a pioneer in franchising for the computer reseller market are the newest members of CompTIA's IT Hall of Fame. This year's inductees are Victor Hayes, the "father of WiFi," dBase designer C. Wayne Ratliff and Jim Ciccarelli, who helped transform the IT reseller franchise model.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Cisco Changes CCNA Certification Program

Cisco Announces changes to the CCNA Program

This week Cisco announced major changes to their associate-level certifications aligning with the evolving job market and the latest Cisco technology. The changes are as follows: 

* The certification formerly known as CCNA is now CCNA Routing & Switching. The only prerequisite certification is CCENT.

* CCENT is also the only prerequisite certification for CCNA Voice, CCNA Wireless, CCNA Security and CCDA certifications.

* Updates include IOS v15, IPv6 Support, IOS Licensing, and a simplified 802.1x security implementation.

* Cisco also announced that the existing ICND1 (640-822), ICND2 (640-816) and CCNA (640-802) exams will have an end-of-life date of September 30, 2013. You can mix and match old and new exams until September 30th - ICND1 (640-822 or 100-101) INCD2 (640-816 or 200-101).

In answer to this, Cisco Press has announced new Official Cert Guides, which have been fully updated for the latest ICND1, INCD2, and CCNA exams. The guides include preparation hints and test-taking tips, which will help candidates identify areas of weakness and improve both conceptual knowledge and hands-on skills.

* Cisco CCENT / CCNA ICND1 100-101 Official Cert Guide Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test (9780133367881).

* Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching ICND2 200-101 Official Cert Guide Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test (9780133367713).

Exams and Recommended Training
Required Exam(s)
640-802 CCNA - Last day to test September 30, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Coming in June: New CCNA Requirements

Coming in June: New CCNA Requirements

Coming in June, Cisco® is set to announce new (and harder) CCNA requirements. If you’ve been putting off signing up for your CCNA Certification, it’s now time to enroll. Don’t delay taking your CCNA!

Cisco® has announced that their new CCNA 5.0 curriculum will continue to focus on routing and switching technologies to help students prepare for entry-level networking careers, and aligns with the Cisco® CCENT and CCNA certifications.
Cisco® is set to announce new, harder CCNA requirements. Don’t delay taking your CCNA!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Get certified in IT for Sales

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tech-skills shortage may hurt economic growth

Several IT recruiting experts say the ongoing tech-skills shortage will hurt U.S. economic growth and is likely to get worse before it gets better. "Unlike the fiscal cliff, where we are still peering over the edge, we careened over the 'IT skills cliff' some years ago as our economy digitized, mobilized and further 'technologized' and our IT skilled labor supply failed to keep up," 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How to make sure your next IT hire is a winner

  • How to make sure your next IT hire is a winner
    The hiring process is smoother when interviewers are well-prepared, candidates are closely vetted by phone before in-person interviews and technical employees have a chance to demonstrate their skills. It's also important to cast a wide net when recruiting, to craft an accurate job description and to give current employees incentives to make referrals

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Giants battle for cloud dominance

  • Industry giants battle for cloud dominance
    Cloud computing is the latest tech battleground, with Google and Microsoft taking aim at segment leader Amazon. "The great tech wars are expanding into nearly every area of business, and cloud services are the latest battlefield. Amazon has captured the hearts and minds of developers, but Google and Microsoft are gaining ground," says Bill Coughran of Sequoia Capital. 

Friday, March 08, 2013

CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2013 slideshare

  • Check out the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2013 slideshare
    CompTIA's IT Industry Outlook 2013 provides an overview of the size, shape and growth factors of the information technology industry.
  • View 12 charts and graphs that highlight its findings.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Reports indicate strong growth for IT jobs in January

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

States consider taxing cloud-based services

  • States consider taxing cloud-based services
    Subscription software delivered via the cloud is considered a product and not a service and is subject to sales tax in Idaho. At least five other states have ruled similarly. However, tax authorities in Kansas and Nebraska, among other states, have come to the opposite conclusion.

Friday, February 22, 2013

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner exam

  • How agility is becoming part of project-management certification
  • The advent of the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner exam speaks volumes about how agility is becoming a standard within IT, Rick Freedman writes. PMI is increasingly applicable for IT organizations, developers and project managers that are moving toward agile approaches, he writes.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Study cites shortfall of agile software developers

Study cites shortfall of agile software developers

Agile software developers are in demand, according to a study based on CareerBuilder data that indicates there is one qualified candidate for every 4.6 jobs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Health-care sector vulnerable to hackers

As the health-care industry rushed onto the Internet in search of efficiencies and improved care in recent years, it has exposed a wide array of vulnerable hospital computers and medical devices to hacking, according to documents and interviews.

Security researchers warn that intruders could exploit known gaps to steal patients’ records for use in identity theft schemes and even launch disruptive attacks that could shut down critical hospital systems.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A forecast on health IT

A forecast on health IT

Software-as-a-service, bring-your-own device policies and telehealth applications are likely to drive health IT innovations and create headaches around data security and patient privacy, Brian Horowitz writes. "The tools available to manage those devices and ensure that they meet compliance and security requirements will become much better in 2013.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Microsoft MCSE Cloud Training and Certification

Microsoft MCSE Private Cloud 2008 Training and Certification

List Price: $1495.00 15 DVDs

This certification proves your expertise in managing and implementing Microsoft private cloud computing technologies. With Windows Server and System Center, you will build your Microsoft private cloud solution to optimize IT service delivery and gain the automation and flexibility you need for your IT infrastructure, now and in the future. Real LIVE Practice-Labs are also available.

To view this product on our website click here

Exam 70-246 Training: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

This course describes how to monitor and operate a private cloud with System Center 2012. Students will learn the basics of the cloud, cloud servies, monitoring and automating responses. Students will also learn about managing problems in the private cloud, service management, cloud protection and cleaning up system center databases.

To view this product on our website click here

Exam 70-247: Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

This course describes how to configure and deploy a private cloud with System Center 2012. Students will learn about understanding and working with the cloud, the cloud components, including infrastructure and service catalog, and virtual applications. Students will also learn about server management, automation and security for the cloud.

To view this product on our website click here

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Baby Steps Towards Cloud Computing

Baby Steps Towards Cloud Computing

Determine the Cost of Operating Applications

Teasing out all the hidden costs of running an application may take some work, but is absolutely critical in taking the first step toward cloud computing. Without an accurate picture of the cost, an internal application may appear less expensive to run than it actually is and conversely a cloud computing application more expensive. This is important because the more costly the application is to run, the better candidate it is for cloud computing. But again this is only the first step.

Determine the Cost of Moving the Application

 Current operating costs can not be the only criteria to use when identifying candidate applications to move to the cloud. Even if you identify an application that could be run much less expensively on the cloud, the one‑time costs of moving it may be prohibitive. Before you begin, there are many questions you need to answer about how the application is integrated with the rest of the infrastructure:
•How many sources of data does the application have?

•Where is this data coming from? User entry? Database? Other applications?

•How many integration points does the application have with other applications?

•To how many other applications does this application feed data?

•Are the interfaces standardized using middleware or API’s or custom?

•How well documented are the interfaces?

•Are the people who developed them still available to answer questions?

All these factors determine the next step in estimating how expensive it will be to move applications to the cloud.

Determine Compatibility Issues

 The third step in analyzing which applications to move to the cloud is to determine compatibility issues. Cloud computing depends on virtualization. Virtualization software comes from vendors like VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, Novell, and Oracle. Not all applications are certified to run on top of all brands of virtualization software. Determining what virtualization software your application can be run on can make choosing Cloud computing vendors much easier since not all vendors support all platforms.

Determine Latency Issues

 One of the biggest complaints people will have when working with computers is response time. Delays in the real and perceived time between a request for data and its delivery have driven data center spending for years. The assumption that most people seem to make is that data should be instantly transmitted between one point and another, which is impossible. But keeping the wait within acceptable bounds should be the goal of any good IT organization. So any time the physical location of an application server changes, latency issues will need be considered and occasionally addressed. 

This can be complicated. Some of these issues include:
•Application performance ‑ although it is not strictly a part of the cloud, poor application performance can impact response time and acceptance of the cloud solution. A poorly written data base request can have a measurable impact on response time, even though it has nothing to do with the cloud. 

•Application chattiness ‑ some applications may communicate back and forth as much as a 1,000 times between client and server before completing a cycle. This may not have much impact on response time in a local area network, but in a wide area network it can be significant.

•Network performance ‑ again the connection between the end user and the provider’s data center is technically not part of the cloud but should be addressed. Among the factors that influence network performance are:
◦Transport medium ‑ The physical connection between points, whether it be twisted pair, coaxial cable, microwave, or optical fiber (and the myriad of possible combinations), introduces different levels of delay.

◦Packet size ‑ Larger packets can take longer to send and receive than smaller ones

◦Propagation delay ‑ The amount of time it takes for data to travel from one point to another.

◦Router overhead ‑ The time it takes routers to examine and update packets can add to delay. 

•Cloud performance ‑ the devices in the cloud provider’s data center and virtualization software can also effect latency.

Cloud Pricing Reflects Utilization

 Looking again at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition for cloud computing, one idea that stands out is that customers should only pay for what they use. In an additional part of the definition (yes! there is more) NIST goes on to suggest true cloud computing be metered to encourage optimal use of resources. The only problem with this is that there is no agreement in the marketplace about what exactly to meter.
Until this sorts itself out there will be almost as many methods of pricing as there are vendors. For example, to effectively know how much you will spend with every month it is helpful to know the duration of your VPN connection, the amount of data you expect to transfer in, the amount of data you expect to transfer out, how many Gigabytes of storage you expect to use, the operating system, that database or file system, how many applications you are going to run and how much CPU and Memory they will use. on the other hand bases its pricing primarily on the number of users, with some limits on applications and storage. Other vendors such my company, ACS Business Application Solutions, simplify things for our users by asking fixed monthly fee for specific periods of use time.
After determining what applications cost to run on your terms you need to begin to analyze what your applications will cost to run under someone else’s terms. This means starting to collect and analyze lots of system data. This can be done while you take the next step and consider what your infrastructure architecture looks like today and what it will eventually look like.

Performance Monitoring

 Closely related to latency issues is performance monitoring. How performance is measured across the cloud is an important consideration since most relationships between cloud user and cloud provider will be governed by a service level agreement (SLA). Most typically this agreement will have a performance clause. Measurement is intrinsically complex because the user’s data transfer path is likely to involve multiple layers of the network and application stack and to cross multiple network domains that are independently administered. Determining the right tools to perform network monitoring and what is being measured ‑ end‑to‑end, point to point, bandwidth, throughput, or absolute capacity ‑ is worth considering up front. 

Cloud Architecture Options

 With all the hype in the marketplace it is easy to think of cloud computing as an all‑or‑nothing proposition but it is not. Like real clouds, computing clouds come in many sizes, and shapes..
•Public Cloud ‑ The public cloud is the least traditional but most publicized kind, in which a service provider makes computing resources, such as servers, storage, and applications, available to anyone from the general public over the Internet. Typical public cloud providers are very large companies who want to deal with a large numbers of customers using standardized service level agreements and offerings. This offering is usually has the lowest cost and most potential for scalability. In transportation terms, a public cloud is like a passenger train, commercial airliner, or a bus.

•Private Cloud - An organization that needs or wants more control over its computing or wants a more specialized service can build a private cloud, which provides hosted services to authorized users behind a firewall. This can be done internally as well as externally, although some of potential cost savings are lost in this approach. In transportation terms, a private cloud is like a limo, taxi, or fractional plane ownership.

•Community Cloud - The cost of the cloud is shared by several organizations with similar needs, such as HIPAA compliance, that can not be found on a public cloud. A community cloud can be internal to one of the organizations or hosted by a third party such as ACS. In transportation terms, a community cloud is like car pooling.

•Hybrid Cloud - A fourth model, the hybrid cloud, is maintained by both internal and external providers and is some mix of public cloud, private cloud, and community cloud. Continuing the transportation metaphor, the hybrid cloud is like taking a car to the airport, a bus to the terminal, an airplane to another city, and a taxi to the hotel.

Whether consciously or not, most IT shops today have an architecture that includes some form of a hybrid cloud. The vast bulk of the infrastructure may involve internal applications but some parts of the organization may also use for sales, Gmail for email, Linked In for recruiting, Double Click for advertising, etc. In other words, many organizations are already moving towards cloud computing, though in some cases in a piecemeal way. It is worth considering how a more deliberate and thorough analysis of the fit between existing applications and cloud resources might serve your organization.

The Cloud is Freedom

 Most organizations are headed for the cloud, because besides cost savings, cloud computing offers freedom. The cloud offers the freedom to streamline expenses and increase profits. A cloud can be up and running in a few days, and with the right provider can be more scalable and secure than an internal environment. The cloud also offers freedom from having to justify capital expenditures and unpredictable expenses. It can free the IT organization from maintenance upgrades, security updates, capacity planning, disaster recovery, and release management to concentrate on more valuable work.
With the advantages of cloud computing so clear, if you decide to move forward again you are in good company. IDC announced IT spending on cloud computing will reach $42 billion by 2012.(5) By that time they estimate cloud computing will capture 25% of IT spending growth and amount to 33% of spending growth in 2013.
Getting started is straightforward and using the approach outlined in this article is low risk. There is no reason not learn more about the benefits of cloud computing‑‑the sky’s the limit.

Microsoft MCSE Private Cloud 2008 Training and Certification

Friday, February 01, 2013

Cloud jobs to increase by 26% annually through 2015

Cloud jobs to increase by 26% annually through 2015

The number of cloud-related jobs is expected to increase by 26% every year through 2015, IDC says, with up to 7 million jobs created. The employment opportunities in emerging markets are expected to be even more robust, with a 34% growth rate predicted.

Microsoft MCSE Private Cloud 2008 Training and Certification

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

State alliance adopts cloud approach to save on storage

State alliance adopts cloud approach to save on storage

The Western States Contracting Alliance says it will use cloud systems to house data, with the goal of reducing storage and support costs and improving energy efficiency.

Microsoft MCSE Private Cloud 2008 Training and Certification

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gartner revises 2013 IT forecast as confidence returns to the market

Gartner revises 2013 IT forecast as confidence returns to the market

Shifting economic trends, including increased market confidence, will propel IT spending higher than expected in 2013, according to a revised forecast from Gartner. The research firm projects that demand for enterprise software will experience the sharpest increase, while device growth is expected to slow in part because of an influx of lower-cost Android tablets.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Feds commit money, manpower to boosting cybersecurity

Feds commit money, manpower to boosting cybersecurity

The Defense Department is getting more money -- and specific marching orders -- to bolster cybersecurity efforts as part of a $633 billion spending bill that includes provisions for developing new cyberdefenses. The Pentagon is focused on building and buying tools that can combat new and emerging threats, investigating the use of Big Data technologies and planning to better consolidate its IT infrastructure.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Employment figures show IT job gains in 2012

Employment figures show IT job gains in 2012

The U.S. workforce netted 155,000 new jobs in December, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The IT industry saw a 2.2% increase in the number of jobs during the year, according to a report from Janco Associates. That doesn't sound very good, but if one takes out nontechnical professions that are included in the IT category -- such as nurses and welders -- the growth rate improves. Many companies are cautiously optimistic that hiring will fare better this year.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cisco, NXP invest in car-safety communications

Cisco, NXP invest in car-safety communications

Cisco Systems and NXP Semiconductors are getting into advanced car-communications technology that could enhance motor-vehicle safety. Both are investing in Australia-based Cohda Wireless, which makes hardware for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications systems and software that improves radio reception, making it easier for vehicles to communicate with one another.

Friday, January 11, 2013

CDIA+ Certification and PDI+ Certification Exams for Document Imaging Skills

CompTIA and Leading Manufacturers Extend Program Aimed at Enhancing Printing and Document Imaging Skills among IT Workforce

Special pricing and training options available for CompTIA PDI+, industry’s top vendor-neutral printing and document imaging certification

 CompTIA, the non-profit trade association for the information technology (IT) industry, in cooperation with seven leading manufacturers of technology products, said today it is extending a special program aimed at helping IT professionals build their skills in printing and document imaging technology solutions.

Printing and document imaging solutions manufacturers Brother, Canon U.S.A. Consumer Imaging Group, HP, Lexmark, Sharp, Panasonic and Xerox are encouraging their technicians, authorized service providers and sub-contractors throughout the Americas to certify in CompTIA Printing and Document Imaging+ (CompTIA PDI+).

CompTIA PDI+ is the only vendor-neutral certification that measures an IT worker or field service technician’s ability to support printing and document imaging devices, including printers, copiers, scanners, multi-function devices and fax machines.

The PDIA+ interactive e-Learning offers a comprehensive, interactive, online course specifically designed to help individuals prepare for the CompTIA PDI+ certification exam as well as to learn tips to help in day-to-day troubleshooting.

A 2010 CompTIA study  found that nearly three-quarters of employers believe their organization gains business by promoting to customers and potential customers that its IT staff is certified. A like percentage of employers also said CompTIA PDI+ certification saves them valuable time and resources in evaluating potential IT job candidates by providing a baseline set of knowledge for IT positions. (Source: Printing and Document Imaging Certification and Training Insights, CompTIA, July 2010)

From the IT professional’s perspective, the same study revealed that achieving CompTIA PDI+ certification contributes to career advancement, getting a foot in the door for interviews, receiving higher pay, and changing fields or industries.

CompTIA PDI+ covers the skills associated with a technician's understanding of basic electromechanical components and tools, print engine and scan processes and components, color theory, connectivity, networking and general troubleshooting. The certification exam also covers “soft” skills such as customer service, professionalism, safety and environment.

Visit CompTIA PDI+ Certification Training for more information on the certification.

Visit CompTIA CDIA+ Certification Training for more information on the CDIA + certification.  

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

CDIA+ PDI+ Certification Training

The CompTIA Printing and Document Imaging (PDI+™) certification is a vendor neutral credential that certifies that an individual has the required knowledge and skills necessary to understand the principal operations of digital print and document imaging devices. These devices include printers, copiers, scanners, multi-functional devices (MFDs) and fax machines.

CompTIA PDI+™ serves as a solid foundation for entry into a career involving the service and support of printing and document imaging devices. It also provides a stepping stone for Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) training for authorization on specific devices.
PDI+ is for entry level service and support technicians involved in the installation, connectivity, maintenance, repair, and support of devices in printing and document imaging technologies.

CompTIA's CDIA (Certified Document Imaging Architech) certification is a nationally recognized credential acknowledging competency and professionalism in the document imaging industry. CDIA Certification candidates must possess critical knowledge of all major areas and technologies used to plan, design and specify an imaging system.