Archive for August 2017

Top 5 IT Job Trends: Skills & Certifications

Today, end users have different expectations of their IT departments than they previously did. Large developments in networking capacity, media streaming, data processing, and the Internet, in general, have accounted for very different preferences.
These trends will most likely continue and IT administrators should prepare by having a well-rounded IT team. This is becoming the norm regardless of company size or type of organization. Highly skilled workers are a hot commodity, especially in this field. Here are the top 5 skills with certifications and jobs that match what every IT department is looking for in their team.

1. Network Administration
Any complex data center lives or dies on the efficiency and dependability of its data network. Failure of a physical server, connection, switch, or router can be costly when it disconnects end users, automated factory floors, or online retail operations from vital IT functions. All of this increases the need for strong network management to provide vital information for planning and testing healthy networks and the environments they serve. The amount and type of network traffic can provide important clues as to the kinds of hardware and software necessary to run an operation efficiently. The ability to knowledgeably choose the correct hardware, implement connections, and work with the software are highly specific skills.

Network administration covers a broad spectrum, but a solid understanding of TCP/IP, DNS, and related technologies (i.e., load balancing and NTP) are key. It seems that because of the volume and speed with which companies are adopting new technologies, such as virtualization and the cloud, hands-on practical networking experience is preferred by hiring managers, but certifications can’t hurt!

Certifications related to this skill:
Cisco Certified Network Associate Training (CCNA)
Cisco Certified Design Associate Training (CCDA)

Most common job titles:
Systems Administrator
Network Engineer
Network Administrator

2. Cybersecurity
Malicious software, Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), cyber attacks – these represent the reality of corporate computing today. Moreover, IT professionals must always be aware of internal security issues, from the mundane to the complex as well as understanding the vulnerabilities within their own networks, from operating systems and servers to basic hardware and cabling. While it’s good to specialize, it’s obvious from the breadth of these examples that having knowledge and capabilities across a broad security spectrum can make a difference in any IT department.

A few valuable security skills include expertise in identity and access management, threat/vulnerability assessment, encryption, data loss prevention, incident analysis, governance, compliance and auditing, biometrics, and Web content filtering. Today, it’s increasingly common to outsource the more technical and sensitive areas to security specialists, but it’s also important to pre-empt attacks and possible data loss with in-house capabilities. In terms of security, IT must have the necessary ability to make good decisions about the security portfolio, and this requires a certain level of security competency in some, or all, members of an IT team.

Certifications related to this skill:
CompTIA (A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+)
International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (CISSP)
EC-Council Training (CEH, ECSA, CHFI)

Most common job titles:
Security Analyst
Security Engineer
Systems Engineer
Security Systems Architect

3. Project Management
It’s interesting to note how this skill that might normally fall under production or administration responsibility is now considered essential for IT. For example, when you consider the number of advanced projects that IT has had to undertake, from virtualization implementation and cloud integration to storage increases, Disaster Recovery (DR), and Unified Communications (UC), the need for this skill is understandable. Every one of the new technologies IT is expected to implement consists of many complicated moving parts with hard deadlines and benchmark targets that have little room for compromise or failure.

When you consider that most if not all companies will expect normal business functioning during implementations, the need for precise, capable scheduling, prioritizing, and goal-setting is understandable. IT project managers, or IT team members who possess this skill must have an understanding of the business on a larger scale as well as thorough knowledge of the IT world. IT is the locus for technology development and the complex technical initiatives companies undertake. Having competency in this skill set will be in demand as companies continue to upgrade their technology environments to keep pace with new innovations as well as with their competitors.

Certifications related to this skill:
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Most common job titles:
Project Manager
Project Analyst

4. Virtualization
Virtualization means converting multiple physical servers to virtual machines (VM). This experience and the ability to convert non-virtualized environments into virtual ones is closely tied to networking abilities. When you partition one physical server into several VMs, you can deploy, operate, and manage multiple operating system instances at once on that single physical server and, consequently, save on a variety of costs. Some of the related skills that are important to have in this area are server maintenance, application development, storage allocation, and security.

In terms of cloud computing, a primary goal is to reduce the cost of computing resources while increasing system flexibility and scaling. During and after cloud implementation, there are a number of skills that are invaluable. These include scaling expertise which requires a unique ability to design and implement cloud-scale applications. A master integrator skill enables one to build best-of-breed hybrid solutions that consume elements from many different sources, both public and private clouds. 

Another key cloud-based skill is Application Programming Interface (API) knowledge. Designing or implementing an API is part science and part art, and highly specialized. Anyone with this skill would be a solid addition to an IT team. Finally, skill as an automation wizard means having familiarity with the design and implementation of automated systems. 
To fulfill the ideal of fast access to cloud services, automation is crucial and so is the ability to work with these systems.

Certifications related to this skill:
Project Management Professional (PMP)
International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (CISSP)

Most common job titles:
Information Technology Auditor
Security Analyst
Information Security Analyst

5. Business Analysis
IT plays an extremely valuable role in business. As overall data levels rise, business intelligence and data warehousing skills that enable professionals to gather and effectively analyze increasing amounts of data from various streams are also in demand. Moreover, instead of just focusing on cost savings, companies are investing in technology that provides access to, and analysis of, real-time data, enabling better business decisions.

This move from process-centric to data- and memory-centric computing is already having an impact on current computing trends. IT is expected to adopt a completely new approach to understanding data sets. Team members will be expected to possess new capabilities to perform fast, efficient data analysis. It will also require new hardware and software implementation skills as well as the ability to run and maintain them.

Certifications related to this skill:
EC-Council Training (CEH, ECSA, CHFI)
CompTIA (CSA+)
Project Management Professional (PMP)

Most common job titles:
Business Analyst
Information Technology Manager
Business Systems Analyst

Today, business analysis, data mining, and modeling capabilities are worthwhile skills to possess in any IT department. For example, conceptual modeling of the business view of the solution is a critical tool to help bring business, technology, and delivery groups together in defining solution scope. 
In addition to an ability to communicate details and concepts, critical thinking and sometimes system thinking are also key. These mean taking something large, ambiguous, and abstract and breaking it down into smaller pieces, patterns, and views within a business context. 
Finally, focusing on risks to the business value of the solution and communicating that risk to shareholders is another vital skill that IT team members need to have in regards to performing an effective business analysis.

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Friday, 11 August 2017
Posted by Siva Priya

Cyber Security and Your Mobile Phone

With increasing numbers of us using our mobile devices in nearly every aspect of our busy lives, one of the most important things to do is stay safe and secure when online.

Mobile Malware like Viking Hoard that created a botnet and affected Android devices, or Pegasus that affected both iOS and Android devices masquerading and an app to harvest data are very real threats which were primarily used for adware purposes, now they have been seen rooting millions of devices with malware effectively opening the back door on infected devices.
The thought that your mobile could be used for any purpose, and that includes stealing sensitive data is very scary, and very real.

One simple way to help protect yourself via your phone is to regularly check the status of your mobile apps and the updates. Delete them if they are no longer supported in the Apple or Google stores.

Of course, it is also vital to have good security software installed on your mobile devices. User behavior and awareness need to evolve alongside the continued threat of malware and possible spyware.

For instance, if you were going to play at a mobile casino it would be bad practice to simply pick one randomly and then give your banking details over to the site, just like you would not give your details over to an insurance site easily. Luckily there are honest sites out there still, sites like mobile slots UK have to adhere to the rules and regulations set out by the Gambling Commission or they will get their operator’s license revoked.

Any site should be transparent and have all of its information set out in an easy to see, jargon-free way, especially if you are going to spend any money on it, and this goes for all sites, whether they are online casinos, car insurance sites, clothing stores or any of the millions of sites where you can spend your hard-earned cash.

Interestingly on online casinos, BOKU is becoming one of the most widely used forms of paying for games online. It works by either adding the cost of the games your play to your monthly contract or taking the cost of the games from your ‘pay as you go account.’

Using this form of payment method means you do not have to give any bank details or credit card details to the site at all, in fact, you don’t even have to have a bank account.

With increasing numbers of people becoming reticent about giving banking details, companies like BOKU provide an alternative that appeals to many.

Thursday, 10 August 2017
Posted by Siva Priya

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