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Originally Posted On: certification.comptia.org

Why is it different?

CompTIA ITF+ helps professionals to decide if a career in IT is right for them or to develop a broader understanding of IT.

  • CompTIA ITF+ is the only pre-career certification that helps students or career changers determine if they have a competency for information technology and if it is the right career path for them.
  • ITF+ is the only single certification that covers all areas of IT foundations, creating a broader understanding of IT making it ideal for non-technical professionals.
  • CompTIA ITF+ establishes an IT education framework for students in middle school and high school.

Read more: CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (ITF+) is an introduction to basic IT knowledge and skills

Originally Posted on: comptia.org

People make a lot of excuses for avoiding cybersecurity assessments and getting third party help to build effective security teams. “My IT guy does that for me” and “It’s too expensive” are automatic, followed by “We’re just a small business, our data doesn’t matter.” 

As cybersecurity has become more complex, traditional methods do not account for the wide range of issues related to securing corporate data and handling privacy concerns, according to new research report from CompTIA.

In the association’s report titled 2018 Trends in Cybersecurity: Building Effective Cybersecurity Teams, barely a quarter of those surveyed are satisfied with their current security posture and only 26 percent have a dedicated security team. On one hand, companies complain that good cybersecurity is too time consuming and not in the budget. At the same time, decision makers are scared to death of developing and executing a good cybersecurity plan and make lots of excuses to avoid it. 

Read more: Cybersecurity Excuses You Hear All the Time — and the Best Ways to Respond

Originally Posted on: informationweek.com

Compare your salary to the median pay for 12 popular IT job titles, from the help desk to the C-suite.

Good news for IT professionals: Salaries are on the rise.

In the 2018 Interop ITX/Information Week Salary Survey, unveiled this week, median total compensation climbed 5% from $100,000 per year in 2017 to $105,000 in 2018.

The survey polled 1,900 technology professionals employed in the United States. Half of the respondents worked in management roles, and half held staff positions. Forty-five percent were from enterprises with more than 1,000 employees, and they represented a wide range of industries.

Both managers and IT staffers saw their pay rise by $5,000. For staff, median total compensation rose from $85,000 in last year to $90,000 this year. That’s a significant increase, but the end result still trails the all-time high of $92,000 set in 2014.

Read more: IT Salary Survey 2018: How Much Do IT Pros Earn?

Originally Posted on: informationweek.com

Blockchain, AI, facial recognition? Here are Gartner's top strategic predictions for 2019 and beyond, delivered during the Gartner Symposium/ITExpo.

Deciding which projects to invest in right away and what projects should wait a little longer is one of the big tasks corporate boards and CIOs are focused on right now during IT budget season. To help decision makers with the big task at hand, Gartner Distinguished VP and Analyst Daryl Plummer announced to a packed house Gartner's Top Strategic Predictions for 2019 and Beyond during Gartner Symposium/ITExpo yestereday in Orlando.

"When we look at predicting the future, we typically have an 80 to 85% accuracy rate across all our predictions, and one of the things that I always say is that that's not good," Plummer said. "I'd be happier if our accuracy rate was 60% because I say if you aren't wrong you're not trying hard enough. I just found out one of our reports dropped to a 30% accuracy rate. I wasn't as happy about that as I thought I might be."

Read more: 10 Top Strategic Predictions for 2019

Cyber Hero Kenneth SlaghtSan Diego is uniquely positioned to be a leader in cybersecurity — not only in California but in the United States and even the world. The city’s proximity to the U.S. military and some of the world’s biggest technology companies has created more than 7,500 cybersecurity jobs.

RADM (Ret.) Kenneth Slaght is at the forefront of growing them and establishing San Diego’s standing in the process. Slaght is Chair and President of the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE), an organization established in 2014 to address the region’s cybersecurity industry needs.

“Companies in the region like Qualcomm and FICO said workforce was the biggest issue they faced,” Slaght said. “There are more than 100 companies doing cyber work in this region and they can’t find the people to fill their open positions.”

Thanks to the efforts of Slaght and his team, and the partnerships they’ve made with education and industry, the CCOE is well on its way to tackling that problem and building a robust cybersecurity workforce. The organization maintains a job board of hundreds of open positions and created a career map that shows education and certification pathways to join this in-demand industry.

“On any given day, there are 80-100 job openings here in the region,” Slaght said. “The region’s colleges are just meeting or barely meeting that demand without accounting for the fact that we lose many of our graduates to places like Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.”

While the region’s universities and colleges graduate over 3,000 computer science and engineering students each year, the demand for qualified cyber workers continues to increase across all sectors.

Read more: Cyber Hero Kenneth Slaght: Making San Diego a Cyber Leader

Contact: Steve Wright
Information Communication Technologies-Digital Media Sector Navigator
California Community Colleges
[email protected]

ROCKLIN, Calif. — There’s never been a better time to enter the IT workforce, as thousands of high paying jobs remain unfilled across California. A new initiative at California’s Community College is making it easier than ever for people with little or no technical experience to find a pathway toward one of those jobs in just a few months.

The IT Technician Pathway, offered at 22 California community colleges, is a series of four sets of courses designed to take students from computer sales to help desk support to more specialized fields like networking and cybersecurity. Each group of courses in the pathway corresponds to industry certifications that are essential for employment in any IT job.

Read more: IT Technician Pathway Leads to High-Paying Jobs in California

Originally Posted On: thejournal.com

By the end of grade 2, a student should be able to explain the functions of common hardware and software components in a computer. By the end of grade 5, he or she should be able to determine potential solutions to solve simple hardware and software problems using common troubleshooting strategies. By the end of grade 8, the student should be able to explain potential security threats and security measures to mitigate threats. And by the end of high school, he or she should be prepared to create data visualizations that can help others better understand real-world phenomena. Those requirements are among the computer science standards recently approved by the California State Board of Education. The process for developing those standards began in 2014 when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill directing the state's Instructional Quality Commission to undertake development.

Read more: California CS Standards Designed to Increase Access to CS Instruction for All Students

Originally Posted On: informationweek.com

Women play an important role in building an innovative workforce, so it's critical to support to the next generation of women technologists and empower their careers. 

In my 20 years in the technology industry, I’ve often been the only woman in the room. That was especially true at the beginning of my career.

Nowadays, things are different. Research shows that young women today are 33% more likely to study computer science, compared with women born before 1983. I see many more of these women entering the technology workforce, including my daughter. When I look at her and other young women following this path, I see them entering a much different workplace than I did, one that has more awareness of the challenges women face in male-dominated industries.

Read more: 5 Tips for Success: Mother to Daughter, Engineer to Engineer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Washington, D.C. (September 26, 2018)— “5 of every 6 routers are inadequately updated for known security flaws, leaving connected devices open to cyberattacks that can compromise consumer privacy and lead to financial loss,” according to a new study released today by the American Consumer Institute. The study, “Securing IoT Devices: How Safe Is Your Wi-Fi Router?— finds that the majority of Wi-Fi router manufacturers are neglecting to update their firmware for known vulnerabilities leaving consumers at risk of having their data compromised and identity stolen.

The results show that this problem is pervasive among the most popular Wi-Fi routers in peoples’ homes:

Read more: New Study Warns of Inadequate Security Provisions in Home and Office Routers

Originally Posted On: wsj.com

As hackers get smarter and more determined, artificial intelligence is going to be an important part of the solution

As corporations struggle to fight off hackers and contain data breaches, some are looking to artificial intelligence for a solution.

They’re using machine learning to sort through millions of malware files, searching for common characteristics that will help them identify new attacks. They’re analyzing people’s voices, fingerprints and typing styles to make sure that only authorized users get into their systems. And they’re hunting for clues to figure out who launched cyberattacks—and make sure they can’t do it again.

“The problem we’re running into these days is the amount of data we see is overwhelming,” says Mathew Newfield, chief information-security officer at Unisys Corp. UIS 1.99% “Trying to analyze that information is impossible for a human, and that’s where machine learning can come into play.”

Read more: AI Is the New Weapon Against Cyberattacks

Originally Posted On: wsj.com

With ‘social engineering’ schemes, cybercriminals trick employees into handing over valuable information.


Often it begins with an innocuous-seeming email from an internet domain that closely resembles the victim’s. The message may appear to come from the company’s chief executive or another senior executive. “Are you at your desk?” it asks. “I need your help with something.”

Only after the conversation has begun will scammers ask for what they really want—a transfer of money. But by then it is often too late. The victim believes he’s emailing his boss and makes the payment.

Security pros call this social engineering, and it is replacing malicious software as the weapon of choice for cybercriminals. Social engineering is a bit of a catchall phrase, but it is happening anytime hackers trick employees into sharing intelligence that helps the hackers find vulnerabilities in company systems and carry out attacks. In addition to increasingly personalized phishing emails, it often involves phone calls in which the criminals trick employees into handing over private information or account passwords. Some employees have been tricked into wiring millions of dollars to offshore bank accounts controlled by the thieves.

Read more: How Hackers Talk Their Way Into Getting Company Secrets

Originally Posted On: edsource.org

Four years ago in May of 2014, the CEO of Code.org, Hadi Partovi, sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown asking for a meeting to talk about the importance of expanding student access to computer science education in California’s K-12 schools.


Gov. Brown asked State Board of Education President Michael Kirst to advise him. A colleague of mine for over twenty-five years, Mike asked me to look into it and to answer some basic questions: What is computer science education? Why should it be for all students? Why now?

With college degrees in English Literature and Public Policy, and accustomed to relying heavily on Apple’s Genius Bar to fix my iPhone and laptop, I had a very steep learning curve.

But with mentoring from Code.org, the national nonprofit expanding K-12 computer science across the country and support from California’s many computer science advocates, I dug in. And the more I learned and understood, the more passionate I became about the need for computer science to be brought into K-12 as a foundational subject and about the critical importance of ensuring that girls, students of color, low-income kids, EL students — all students have access.

Fast forward four years.

Read more: California Embraces Computer Science in Its Schools

It’s easy to talk about the need for more women in IT, but hearing stories from friends and family members drove the point home for Del Norte High School student Lily Hu.

“Females are given fewer opportunities than their male colleagues,” Hu said. “If more young women become involved with IT and cybersecurity, we can change such stereotypes. Having more women would encourage support for one another.”

Hu is one of seven students from the CyberAegis team in San Diego to receive a National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Award. The award honors women in grades 9 through 12 who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions.

Read more: San Diego Students Receive National Center for Women in Technology Awards

Innovations in Cybersecurity Education:
We talked about it for months, but WOW what a mega success. The second annual Innovations in Cybersecurity Education awards program resulted in a glorious 73-page booklet chock full of innovations ready for you to integrate into your cybersecurity classrooms! They include tried and true techniques in areas of curriculum, faculty development, lab activity, local partnerships, and student-aided learning. This handy publication is available for free to National CyberWatch Center academic members.

Read more: In case you missed 3CS this year, here's the lowdown!

Originally Posted On: paymentsjournal.comaymentsjournal.com

127 million smart home units are expected to be sold in the US in 2018, with the global smart home market expected to be worth $53.45 billion by 2022. With 55% of smart device owners in the dark about how they actually work, could those who bought second-hand smart home devices be welcoming a threat to their families into their homes?

Internet security experts vpnMentor have utilised a team of ethical hackers to uncover the most hackable smart home devices including the first-generation Amazon Echo, a Samsung Smart Camera and the first-generation Ring Smart Doorbell.

Read more: The Unwanted Visitors You’re Letting Into Your Home: How Second-hand Smart Home Technology is...

Originally Posted On: zdnet.comdnet.com

California IoT security bill criticized by security researcher. Expert says bill "is based upon an obviously superficial understanding of the problem."

The first Internet of Things (IoT) security bill in the US has been approved in California at the end of August and has now reached the Governor's desk to be signed into law.

The bill, SB-327, was introduced in February 2017 and was the first legislation of its kind in the US.

It even predated by almost six months the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017, a bill introduced in the US Senate by Sen. Mark Warner [D-VA].

But while dust gathered on Sen. Warner's proposal to secure IoT devices across the US, the California bill saw active discussions and was approved on the California Assembly and Senate floors on August 28, and 29, respectively.

Read more: First IoT security bill reaches governor's desk in California

Originally Posted On: certmag.com

We’ve all heard of the Catch-22 phrase, “In order to get experience I need a job, and in order to get a job, I need experience.” Liz Ryan, noted author of Reinvention Roadmap, and a contributor to Forbes Magazine described this as a “membrane that seems to be thick and impenetrable, but once you get a foot inside you will see that it’s not(.)” Ryan identifies the importance of getting involved in “networking events whenever you get a chance … Start to form relationships with business people in your area.”[1]

For cybersecurity students with professional ambitions, the term “business people” can be substituted with IT and cybersecurity professionals. As both an educator and cybersecurity professional, I’ve been in a position of teaching and mentoring a large number of students over the years, with the express goal of creating great taxpayers. In order to achieve this goal, educators need to focus on key competencies that students need to succeed in these job roles. Those competencies are:

Read more: A pathway for cybersecurity students to become cybersecurity professionals

Dan MansonDan Manson saw for the vision of what cybersecurity education could become long before many people even knew what cybersecurity was. 

Over the past 20 years, he’s helped expand cyber competitions across California while serving as a professor and chair of the Computer Information Systems department at Cal Poly Pomona. After seeing so much success in California, he’s ready to do the same thing in Nevada, where he now lives.

“California has gone so far down the road that they don’t need me,” Manson said. “There are other places that aren’t very far down that road where I can still have an impact.”

Manson joined the cybersecurity world in 2001 after hearing about a Department of Education grant aimed at improving campus cybersecurity. He thought that there might be an opportunity for faculty to become involved and — as he’s done many times throughout his career — invited himself to the meetings to learn more about it.

That grant lead to two $900,000 NSF Advanced Technical Education grants, one in 2003 and one in 2007. Those funds were aimed at workforce development and allowed Manson to begin building partnerships with other colleges that have only grown stronger over time.

In addition, Manson led the effort for Cal Poly Pomona to be designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education in 2005, 2008 and 2014. 

Read more: Cyber Hero Dan Manson accepts a new challenge after decades as a leader in California

Original article posted on informationweek.com

2018's bullish economy is reflected in venture capital and private equity investments. Software drives the majority of deals since software powers just about everything now. Here's where the money is flowing and why.

2018 is a strong economic year, as reflected in venture capital and private equity investments. According to the 2Q Pitchbook-National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Venture Monitor, $57.5 billion was invested in U.S. VC-backed companies in the second quarter. Ninety-four of the financings involved at least $100 million and 42 unicorns closed deals with valuations of at least $1 billion.

"To say capital availability is high would be putting the true state of the US VC industry lightly," the report says.

In the first half of 2018, software represented 43% of venture capital deals and 11.9% of private equity (PE) buyouts, according to Pitchbook. It expects more PE to flow to VC-backed companies in the forms of buyouts and growth rounds.

Read more: VC Investments Confirm: It's a Software Kind of World

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