Showing posts with label Cloud Security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cloud Security. Show all posts

Friday, 8 January 2016

Top 10 Cloud Certifications to target in 2016

 By Sarah Morgan


The mass adoption of cloud technologies continues to accelerate at an ever increasing rate. The past 12 months has seen an explosion in the XaaS market as leading cloud platforms - Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS - diversify their product portfolio to meet consumer demand.

This transition to cloud has created huge demand for IT Pros with the skills to make the most of these new technologies and services. At present, WANTED Analytics estimate the UK's cloud employment market at 446,000. Where demand for skills appears, training and certification follow suit. The end result, 2015 has seen the launch of many new cloud certifications from all the major players including Microsoft, Cisco and CompTIA.

So if you're looking to enter the industry, or adapt your skills alongside your companies cloud adoption, we've compiled a list of the top 10 Cloud Certifications to target in 2016. They cover the in-demand skills across development, security, virtualisation and beyond. In no particular order, they are:



1. (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)


One of the major concerns for businesses when migrating to the cloud is the potential security risks to their key data. This means there is new demand for cloud security skills, as businesses look to make the transition as safe and smooth as possible.

(ISC)2’s CCSP certification gives you these skills. It covers how to protect your data in areas like cloud infrastructure security, architectural concepts and design requirements. The CCSP is modern and outward-facing, meaning it includes all the latest cloud security trends and topics. This top-level cloud security certification will give you all the skills you need to manage the security of your chosen cloud platform in 2016.


Image courtesy of www.perspecsys.com / flickr.com / Perspecsys Photos

2. CompTIA Cloud Essentials


If 2016 is the year you’re looking to specialise in cloud technology, CompTIA’s Cloud Essentials is a great way to get started and learn the fundamentals of all its capacities. 

It’s a platform neutral qualification, meaning what you’ll learn will be highly transferable. This will include the basics of the cloud in a business environment and the value it can have. Plus, the technical aspects of cloud types, and the basics behind a successful adoption of cloud technology. 

3. Microsoft MCSE: Private Cloud


Microsoft’s MCSE: Private Cloud certification will teach you the skills to create and manage a private cloud using Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 R2. You must already be certified in either MCSA: Windows Server 2012 or 2008. 

You’ll develop critical skills like how to configure a private cloud environment, how to optimise your cloud infrastructure and maintaining your cloud infrastructure, as well as everything else in between. 


4. Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2012


Microsoft’s current offering of their omnipresent Windows Server certification prepares you to manage Windows Server 2012, regardless of whether the server is on premise or a virtual instance in a public or private cloud.  

The MCSA: Windows Server 2012 will give you the skills you need to develop and manage Windows Server 2012. You’ll cover topics like, managing active directory services, implementing advanced network services and implementing group policy. 



5. Microsoft MCSA: Linux on Azure


The highly anticipated MCSA: Linux on Azure certification arrived at the end of 2015 and is unique in giving Linux specialists the ability to operate on Azure, taking their skills into the cloud. With more than 25% of Microsoft’s 1 million Azure servers running on Linux, the credential will be highly sought after in 2016.

You’ll learn to deploy, configure host and manage Linux websites on Azure, taking advantage of Azure’s key features like Windows PowerShell and Xplat-CLI. You’ll also learn to implement Azure Active Directory, virtual machines and virtual networks, all incorporating Linux.


6. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect


Split into the AWS's Certified Solutions Architect – Associate and AWS's Certified Solutions Architect – Professional, this is the best path of certifications to get you the skills you need to operate on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. Amazon Web Services has established itself as an industry leader in cloud technology.

Get started with AWS in 2016 with the Associate certification, cover the fundamentals in designing efficient applications as well as deployment, security and troubleshooting.

Refine your AWS skills with the Professional certification and make your AWS operations more efficient for your business. You’ll learn about costing, scalability, cloud migration and managing complex, large scale cloud operations.


7. CompTIA Cloud+


The Cloud+ is another platform neutral certification from CompTIA that can set you apart by giving you skills useful in many different cloud environments. Whilst you couldn’t call it an introductory level certification, as it is recommended that you have 2 years IT industry experience, it does introduce you to the cloud industry.

You do not need to have any previous cloud certifications behind you to sit the CompTIA Cloud+. It covers cloud concepts and models, virtualisation, network management, security and business continuity. With this wide variety of topics, you get a well-rounded set of cloud skills, meaning it’s a great way to get started with a career in cloud technology in 2016.


Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Sira Anamwong

8. VMware® vSphere: Fast Track [V6]


With VMware’s vSphere 6, you can convert underutilised physical servers into virtual servers that offer high availability, flexibility, reduced consumption and increased speed and efficiency. The VMware® vSphere: Fast Track [V6] certification gives you all the skills you need to manage a vSphere setup in your business.

It is recommended that you have at least 6 month’s experience of working with vSphere 6, as the curriculum is comprehensive and penetrative in its coverage of the vSphere’s areas. These include the creation of virtual machines and virtual networks, vCenter Server, managing virtual storage and installing vSphere components. This makes it much easier for you to link vSphere with your chosen cloud platform.


9. Microsoft MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect


Microsoft’s MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect course helps you develop the skills to migrate your existing servers to Azure. It’ll also give you the skills to design websites and other types of infrastructure in Microsoft Azure and to take full advantage of all Azure’s capabilities. 

It’ll introduce you to the capacities of Azure and then explain its full potential in topics like, hosting web applications, storing SQL data, designing cloud applications and implementing automation. These skills will be well-rounded, helping you get ahead with Azure in 2016.


10. Cisco CCNA Cloud


Cisco’s CCNA Cloud is brilliant at introducing you to networking, combined with specialisations in cloud technology. There are no strict prerequisites, although it is recommended you have at least a year’s experience working in a data centre or cloud network environment.

With a focus on preparing you for on-the-job situations, the certification covers Cisco Cloud fundamentals helping you to fully understand its structure and essentials. Plus, you’ll be able to perform invaluable administration and maintenance tasks. This includes management of software applications like Cisco UCS Director, Cisco Prime Service Catalog and Virtual Application Container Services. 

 About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Best Cloud Certifications for 2015


By Sarah Morgan


Certifications are a great way for IT professionals to prove that their knowledge and skills are up-to-date. They can be especially crucial in a fast moving industry like cloud computing, where importance is placed on keeping up with new technology or running the risk of becoming outdated.

Cloud now encompasses hybrid, public and private technologies as well as the software and dedicated hardware that enables these systems to work together. For businesses to reap the full benefits of cloud these systems must be built, maintained and secured by skilled IT professionals.


Taking cloud a bit too literally...
photo by George Thomas, licensed under Creative Commons














 
Industry experience combined with official certification can go a long way to getting you hired by businesses in need of cloud-skilled employees. So, if you need to advance your cloud knowledge or are looking for a career-changing technology in 2015, some of these certifications may be just what you need. Let's take a look at the best cloud certifications for 2015:

1. CompTIA Cloud+

The CompTIA Cloud+ will validate your cloud knowledge and prove you understand the best practices required to work within cloud environments. 

This certification has been designed by CompTIA to act as a career step toward cloud focused roles for experienced network, storage and data administrators. Because of this, it’s recommend you have at least 2-3 years’ experience with networking, storage or data centre administration as well as familiarity with hypervisor technologies. 

With the Cloud+ you’ll prove you can:

  • Understand the available cloud delivery models and services
  • Maintain, implement and provide cloud infrastructure 
  • Explain, identify and implement security techniques
  • Implement and use resource monitoring techniques

The Cloud+ is a well-rounded certification used in a wide range of jobs from cloud engineer to business analyst. 

If you’re more interested in cloud technology from a business and technical perspective, we recommend you take a look at CompTIA’s Cloud Essential certification. This alternative certification focuses on the business value of cloud, steps to successful adoption and the risks and consequences of the technology.


2. Microsoft Specialist: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions

Microsoft’s Public Cloud service, Microsoft Azure is gaining popularity worldwide with 1000s of new customers joining every day. Microsoft have made a clear commitment to Azure, investing over $15 billion in building and maintaining the datacentres that power the platform.

To complement their cloud portfolio and to encourage Azure uptake, Microsoft introduced two new specialist certifications in 2014.

The first of these – Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions – is focused at IT developers with basic experience in implementing and monitoring Microsoft Azure solutions.
Achieve this certification and you’ll be able to establish your own Azure virtual network environment, construct Azure Virtual Machines, host azure websites and design your own resilient cloud applications.




If you already hold the MCSD: Web Application cert, this qualification is a brilliant way for you to achieve a rounded understanding of the Azure platform.

To achieve the certification you’ll have to pass Microsoft Exam: 70-532. Plus, both specialist certs do not require any pre-requisites as they are not part of Microsoft’s typical certification track.


3. Microsoft Specialist: Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions

The second of Microsoft’s new specialist Azure certifications is aimed at experienced IT professionals who administer on-premise infrastructure. As such, you’ll be expected to possess an understanding of virtualisation, network configuration, Active Directory, and database concepts.
Complete this certification and you’ll prove your ability to:

  • Implement and manage virtual networking within Azure
  • Plan and create Azure virtual machines
  • Deploy and configure websites in Azure
  • Manage and backup monitor storage solutions

To achieve the certification you’ll have to pass the Microsoft Exam: 70-533. Both specialist certs do not require any pre-requisites as they are not part of Microsoft’s typical certification track.


4. VMware® vSphere 5.5

When it comes to cloud, experience with virtualization technology is "very important, since that's essentially what makes cloud computing more flexible and increases utilization," argues Wendy Duarte, vice president of recruiting at Mondo.

As one of the fundamental technologies powering cloud computing, it’s no surprise that a virtualisation certification would feature on our top 5 list.

VMware’s Mike Adams states the relationship between virtualisation and cloud succinctly, - “Virtualization is a foundational element of cloud computing and helps deliver on the value of cloud computing…Cloud computing is the delivery of shared computing resources, software or data — as a service and on-demand through the Internet."

Products like VMware vSphere allow businesses to cut the cost of their server sprawl by running multiple operating systems and applications on a single computer, which can then be easily accessed remotely.

vSphere 5.5 eliminates the need to run several sub-optimal servers, but as always, it takes skilled IT professionals to implement and manage this powerful technology. So, to sharpen your virtualisation skills or to take the first steps towards bringing virtualisation to your organisation, we recommend you take a look at VMware’s vSphere 5.5 certification

Find out more about vSphere 5.5 here, but bear in mind, this certification may change with the release of vSphere 6 sometime in 2015.


5. Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

Security is a primary concern for businesses pre and post cloud migration. With the CCSK, you’ll prove you can handle cloud security vulnerabilities.

The CCSK is a web-based certification that tests for a broad knowledge of cloud security and includes topics from architecture, governance, compliance, operations, encryption and virtualisation.

To complete this cert you’ll need to pass the CCSK examination: a 60-question multiple choice exam, completed within 90 minutes. Don’t be fooled by the open-book nature of this assessment - you simply won’t have enough time to research every answer individually (and still pass).

It’s worth noting that the CCSK is not a substitute for other cloud certifications. Instead, the CCSK augments your other credentials by proving your knowledge and competency in cloud computing security.

The CCSK is a great supporting certification for IT professionals holding ISACA’s CISA qualification. CISAs emphasise that the CCSK provides the necessary context and focus to effectively audit cloud environments.
Plus, the CCSK can also be employed effectively aside (ISC)2’s CISSP due to the parallels between both certifications Bodies of Knowledge. Additionally, the CCSK builds upon the CISSP by providing context that is important to the cloud.

Since Cloud Security Alliance first released their Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) in 2010, thousands of IT and security professionals have utilised it as an effective way to upgrade their skills. 


Prove your knowledge

Cloud computing, one of Gartner’s top 10 technology trends for 2015, has already attracted 90% of businesses who now operate using the technology. Cloud’s flexible cost scaling and cost saving has resulted in a massive demand for cloud-ready IT professionals. 

In fact, 65% of IT departments can’t find enough qualified staff to support their cloud projects, report IDC. 

Now you just need the qualifications to prove you can support this in-demand technology.

Related articles:

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Big Data: A big security challenge



By Debra Littlejohn Shinder

Big Data – the collection of large and complex sets of data that include both structure and unstructured information – is widely touted as one of the most important current trends in computing, along with Bring Your Own Device/mobility and of course, the cloud. In fact, the convergence of these technologies is seen by many as the top IT challenges of this decade. 

Much has been said and written about the security implications of BYOD, mobile devices and cloud services, but the security aspects of big data don’t seem to get quite as much attention. This is true even though companies are accumulating and analyzing huge amounts of information – not just terabytes, but petabytes – and some of it could cause big problems if it fell into the wrong hands. 

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
After all, the real point of collecting such massive amounts of data is not just to be a data hoarder; the objective is to subject it to analytics that can provide the company’s decision-makers with insights into aspects of their business that can have an impact on the organization’s efficiency, reputation and bottom line. But we all know that information that can be used for good can also be used for nefarious purposes, and if those business insights became public and/or were revealed to competitors, the impact on the company could be very negative indeed.

The security challenge of big data is complicated by another of those hot trends we mentioned above; many companies don’t have the storage capacity on premises to handle the amounts of data involved, so they store all that data in the cloud. Some do so in the mistaken believe that turning their data over to a cloud storage provider means they also get to hand off all of the responsibility for securing that data. 

For some companies, this might even be a reason for the decision to store the data in the cloud in the first place. You could argue that large cloud providers have far more resources to put into securing the data than your organization does. Cloud data centers are heavily guarded fortresses that employ high dollar physical and technological security mechanisms. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This line of reasoning makes sense – but the cloud shouldn’t be an excuse to abdicate your ultimate responsibility for the protection of your sensitive information. If there is a breach, your customers will blame you, not the cloud provider, because you are the one to whom they entrusted their information. This does double if you’re doing business in a regulated industry – financial, healthcare, a publicly traded corporation, a retail business that processes payment cards, etc. You won’t be able to pass the buck if you’re found to be out of compliance or in violation of standards. 

As with information security in general, the key to securing big data is to take a multi-layered approach. One important element in protecting the huge quantity of data that often contains bits and pieces of personal information about many individuals is de-identification – the separation of identifying information from the rest of the information pertaining to a person. Unfortunately, the counterpart to de-identification is re-identification, the art and science of putting all those pieces back together to discern identities from the de-identified data. 

In a report last summer, Gartner concluded that over 80 percent of organizations don’t have a consolidated data security policy across silos, and that in order to prevent breaches, they need to take a more data-centric approach to security. 

Of course, many of the security concerns and solutions that apply to big data are the same ones that apply to protecting any sensitive data. However, one thing that makes big data especially challenging is that it often passes through many more different systems and applications in the process of turning all that unstructured mess into useful information. 

Companies may use applications and storage methods for which security was not a design priority, so that they have to tack on security solutions after the fact. Since much of big data is unstructured, it’s often stored in non-relational databases such as NoSQL, which were not built with security in mind. Traditional firewalls and other security solutions weren’t designed to handle distributed computing that is at the heart of big data. Automated moving of data between tiers in a multi-tiered storage system can make it difficult to keep track of where the data is physically located, which poses a security issue.

Close attention to “middleware” security mechanisms, extensive and accurate logging of data tracking, and real-time monitoring are essential components of a security strategy that encompasses the challenges of big data.

You can find more information about securing data in the cloud here.  

Author Profile

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP (Security) is a technology consultant, trainer and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security.

She is also a tech editor, developmental editor and contributor to over 20 additional books. Her articles are regularly published on TechRepublic's TechProGuild Web site and WindowSecurity.com, and has appeared in print magazines such as Windows IT Pro (formerly Windows & .NET) Magazine.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Safe cloud computing is great cloud computing – secure it with these certs


By 

Earlier this month Tech Times and Top Tech News published two articles regarding some newly surfacing concerns about security in the cloud. Do businesses have to be worried about storing their data in those remotely located servers? Is the cloud more risky than storing your data locally? This article will discover how cloud computing can be made safer with the help of the relevant certifications.

Data breach: could the cloud triple the odds?

The latest study (Data Breach: The Cloud Multiplier Effect) by the Ponemon Institute revealed that IT security professionals expect that moving their data to the cloud will increase the chances of getting hit by a data breach. In fact, the 613 surveyed pros agreed that an increased use of cloud computing could potentially triple the risks of a data breach.

Rajat Bhargava, co-founder of JumpCloud, said "When you don't own the network, it's open to the rest of the world, and you don't control the layers of the stack, the cloud - by definition - is more insecure than storing data on premises." This surely sounds alarming coming from a cloud security professional, but don’t go switching that local server in your basement back on just yet, because Chris Wysopal begs to differ.

Secure the “third-party element”

Chris Wysopal, co-founder and CTO of Veracode thinks: “Risky software, regardless of deployment method, is what is adding unnecessary risk to organisations.”

“Enterprises are right to be wary of third-party cloud applications. However, this should have nothing to do with whether they are in the cloud or not. Instead it is because they are produced by third-parties, and thus enterprises have less insight into the security that went into the development. If an enterprise wants to reduce unnecessary risk at their company, avoiding the cloud isn’t going to protect them – but taking a hard look at their software procurement policies and processes will.”

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Get familiar with cloud security

As you can see, it is misleading to state and conclude that cloud computing – by default – brings greater risks to your business; you just need to thoroughly check your provider’s security standards and measures. But are you familiar with security in the cloud?

Learn all about security concepts, encryption technologies and access control methods on our cloud computing courses. Pick from the likes of CompTIA’s Cloud+ and Cloud Essentials or Microsoft’s MCSE: Private Cloud and you’ll learn everything you need to know about secure cloud computing. 

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Your supreme guide to cloud certifications


By 

A few years ago cloud computing was a popular buzzword, rather than a significant piece of the IT puzzle. However, times have changed and the cloud has become one of fastest growing, most versatile technologies.

Although its presence is growing rapidly, cloud computing is still in the relatively early stage of its adoption. There are still thousands of companies, who are only now considering moving to the cloud.


Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What’s the current state of play?

According to a survey by WANTED Analytics, over 2,400 organisations were seeking IT professionals with cloud computing skills in 2012. 

An IDC White Paper, commissioned by Microsoft, also revealed that “cloud-related skills represent virtually all the growth opportunities in IT employment worldwide and demand for cloud-related positions will grow by 26 per cent annually through 2015”

In EMEA, IDC forecasts that cloud-related IT jobs will grow by 24 percent per year to about 1.4 million by 2015.

What does this mean? This means that now is your time to get your head in the cloud, certify your skills and get a thick slice of technology’s tastiest cake. Here are nine cloud computing certifications that will help you make the most of technology's fastest growing field.

1. CompTIA Cloud Essentials

The CompTIA Cloud Essentials certification is your ideal entry level certification, as it covers the basic fundamentals of cloud computing such as:
  • Cloud types
  • Adoption and implementation of the cloud
  • The impact of cloud computing on IT service management
  • Cloud computing risks
With this cert under your belt, you demonstrate that you have an understanding of cloud computing from a business, as well as from a technical perspective. As part of this certification, you also learn how to migrate to the cloud and about the governance of cloud computing environments.



2. CompTIA Cloud+

Cloud+ is a newly developed certification by CompTIA, which puts great emphasis on IT security. It’s perfect if you already have some experience in working with cloud technology.

As a Cloud+ certified professional, you will have an understanding of cloud computing terms and methods, and the aspects of IT security. You’ll also be able to maintain and implement cloud infrastructures, including network and virtualisation technologies.
The Cloud+ certification also covers:
  • Resource management
  • Security
  • Systems management
  • Business continuity in the cloud
3. Rackspace: CloudU

CloudU by Rackspace is a vendor-neutral certification programme designed and developed for IT professionals and decision makers. CloudU teaches you the fundamentals of cloud computing, with the help of whitepapers, lectures, quizzes, video tutorials, e-books, webinars and live events.

CloudU’s content is available to anyone, however in order to obtain the certification, you must complete 10 CloudU lesson quizzes and a 50 question final exam.
The lessons of CloudU cover everything from cloud types, virtualisation and security to application programming interfaces (APIs) and hypervisors.



4. MCSE: Private Cloud

This certification is the crown jewel of Microsoft’s cloud portfolio. The MCSE: Private Cloud certification proves your skills in managing and implementing Microsoft private cloud computing technologies. Combined with Windows Server and System Center, you’ll be able to build your Microsoft private cloud to provide flexibility for your IT infrastructure.
As part of this certification you’ll cover topics such as:
  • Deploying cloud services
  • Monitoring private cloud services
  • Problem management in the cloud
  • Private cloud protection and recovery
Prior to getting this certification, you need to already have your MCSA: Windows Server 2012, which includes passing Exams 410-411-412.

5. VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (VCA-Cloud)

VMware’s full portfolio of cloud computing certifications is currently made up of six different cloud-specific certs, from beginner to advanced levels. The first level of this hierarchy is VCA-Cloud, which can be obtained by completing a free, self-paced eLearning course.

To prepare for your VCA-Cloud exam you may take the VMware Cloud Fundamentals course, which will teach you to define and describe the different types of clouds and also provide an overview of VMware vCloud Suite.



6. HP ATA – Cloud

HP’s Accredited Technical Associate – Cloud certification teaches you industry-standard virtualisation technologies, including the planning and designing of common virtualised services and their implications for customer needs.

As part of this certification, you learn how to design, implement, and support end-to-end IT systems. Furthermore, you also learn about the following:
  • Installing, configuring, and upgrading servers, storage, data networks and applications in business environments
  • Differences between hosted, co-located and cloud networks, and a traditional on-premises network
  • Business implications and selection criteria of appropriate responses to a given business scenario
7. CloudSchool.com – Certified Cloud Professional (CCP)

Certified Cloud Professional (CCP) by CloudSchool.com is a vendor-neutral cloud certification, focusing on fundamental topics of cloud computing. With this certification under your belt, you’ll be familiar with cloud computing terminology and concepts, as well as the benefits, challenges and risks of using the cloud. 

You’ll also learn about SaaS, Paas and Iaas models and the different types of clouds. To get your CCP certification, you must pass two exams:
  • C90-01 Fundamental Cloud Computing – standard prerequisite of CloudSchool.com certs
  • One additional exam from this list
CloudSchool.com offers self-study resources, study sessions as well as instructor-led workshops to help your prepare for the exams. 

8. Cloud Security Alliance: The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) certification is another vendor-neutral qualification, which proves your expertise in key areas of cloud security such as:
  • Architecture
  • Compliance
  • Governance
  • Virtualisation
  • Operations
  • Encryption
According to Gavin Hill, Venafi’s Director of Product Marketing: "With data being the new currency, the control of trust in the cloud is ever more significant. The CSA updated Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) brings practical guidance to security professionals deploying workloads in the cloud. It delivers the necessary controls that enable security professionals to deploy cloud applications with security and trust mind."

9. (+1) IBM Certified Cloud Solution Architect v1 and v3

Last but not least, let’s take a look at both versions of IBM’s Certified Cloud Solution Architect. v1 and v3 certify your skills to design, plan and manage IBM's cloud computing infrastructure. As an IBM Certified Cloud Solution Architect you are also able to provide a detailed overview of the benefits and underlying concepts of cloud computing.

To obtain these certs, you should have a working knowledge of cloud fundamentals as well as a basic knowledge of IBM cloud computing essentials.

There you have it nine (+1) cloud computing certs that will definitely get you ahead of the curve and help you make the most of what the cloud has to offer. And if you are interested in even more cloud certs, check out our full cloud portfolio.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Shall we drop our data into the box?


By 


With the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy becoming widely popular among some organisations, employees are feeling more comfortable, working on their own laptops, tablets or even smartphones. But should employers feel comfortable too? Should they trust the protection offered by file-sharing and cloud services? Think of the recent Dropbox security breach resulting in a massive spam attack, and your response will surely be no.

Most people tend to use similar, if not the exact same, passwords to their online accounts, be it social media, email, banking or cloud services. To a hacker, this is almost like offering up all your sensitive information, and most importantly that of your company, on a silver platter. Sounds scary, but we tend to do it, don’t we? 



Mathew Schwartz says if you are using Dropbox, on an organisational level, you should bear the following points in mind:

  • Monitoring Use
If you decide to allow the use of file-sharing services and/or storing your data in the cloud, you might as well keep an eye on it. Continuous monitoring is the first step towards noticing all potential threats.

  • Comparing Cloud Service Security
Although, many business users have little trust in cloud security, the numbers of accounts keep on rising, but only a few have done their research. Long story short, before uploading your data to the cloud, you must evaluate, whether that particular service provider has the measures to protect your information.

  • Treat Dropbox As A Public Repository
Employees should be informed that until Dropbox steps up its security game, they should consider all their uploaded information public. Almost as if, it was published to the likes of Google+ or Facebook.

  • The risks of insider theft
Insider attacks are listed among the most feared threats, simply because they are hard to detect. Imagine malicious insiders uploading sensitive data to Dropbox, and taking it all with them, when they get themselves fired. You must always have access to your data; therefore, using a centrally managed file-sharing service should be a no-brainer.

From the above points it seems obvious, that cloud security should be absolutely essential to every user. Luckily, many well-secured cloud providers are available. However, their services can be expensive. But, then again, consider the costs of a secure cloud, as opposed to the potential costs caused by a breach. You know it's money well spent. 

About the Author:       
Peter writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Three in Four companies embracing the cloud


Many are suggesting that cloud will take over as the new platform for storage, and many studies are now supporting it. A recent study shows that over three in four are going to embrace the cloud.
Cloud Technology
Source: www.cloudcomputingpath.com

In a recent study by RHT (Robert Half Technology) it was found that only 23% of CIOs and IT directors around the UK have said that they are not planning to migrate their IT systems to the cloud.

Medium & Large companies leading the charge
In addition, although many previous surveys suggested that smaller companies were among the first to migrate, RHT’s research shows that 38% of them are not likely to migrate. 92% of medium companies and 88% of large companies are embracing cloud.

Why?
The research also shows that the main barrier to migrate is still security. 45% of the respondents not embracing the cloud said that it was their key concern. Other concerns included Data integrity, costs, speed of service and continuity of service.

RHT senior Manager Neil Hedges stated “It’s surprising that so many heads of IT appear to have not embraced the value of cloud technology, although this may be partly due to the lack of understanding of the benefits and how it can be applied to their organisation”.

What concerns do companies have when migrating to the cloud?
  

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

WikiLeaks back online & Assange granted Asylum in Ecuador

The whistleblowing website had been down for almost two weeks after a huge 10GBps DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attack. WikiLeaks tweeted that the attack was over 10GBps with a bandwidth so huge; it was only possible to filter out with specialised hardware. 

They added :“Whoever is running it controls thousands of machines or is able to simulate them”. The attack happened moments after WikiLeaks published its Global Intelligence Files, which mentioned the use of the TrapWire surveillance software in the US public sectors. 
Julian Assange - WikiLeaks Leader
The site was able to come back online after signing up for the CloudFlare services. The attack also hit its donations infrastructure; Fund for Network Neutrality. 

The WikiLeaks leader, Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa. He officially requested political asylum in June 19 and is currently staying in Ecuador's London embassy. He faces arrest as soon as he leaves the embassy making it complicated to leave the country. 

Mr Patiño stated that "For Mr Assange to leave England, he should have a safe pass from the British (government). Will that be possible? That's an issue we have to take into account"

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Four ways cloud will change business and IT

The cloud system saw a lot of attention at the Global Summit on ICT in London this year with many talks on how it will change business and the IT world. Autonomy one of the leading specialist on cloud computing and well known for its 50 petabyte (1 million gigabytes) private cloud, had its founder Mike Lynch hold a conference in which he had much to say on cloud computing. Here is a summary of his four key points:

Power and control over IT
Power has shifted from the IT department to the business personnel due to the cloud giving anyone the ability to access or buy services.

Security
Despite many saying that cloud security is not a major issue, in terms of PR, it can be serious. Private information can get out.

Ownership of data
One of the key resources in cloud computing is owning data. Data is what will make money and is an important asset to any company. Customer data and many other kinds of information are being constantly looked for by large enterprises that are willing to pay a lot to get a hold of it.

Price of infrastructure
http://www.autonomy.com/Infrastructure price is very likely to go down due to the drastic increase of company buying power. In the past, companies would have to buy large and powerful servers, but cloud technology doesn’t need these servers. Cloud can actually run on a group of smaller and cheaper servers, this means that if a company like Flickr buys a big amount of servers, vendors cannot afford to lose an order of that size therefore not being able to set the price.

For more information on Autonomy, click here.

How else do you think the cloud will change the business and IT world?

Monday, 13 August 2012

NASA uses cloud computing in Curiosity

In its latest mission, NASA has taken to the internet giant Amazon for their cloud Amazon Web Services (AWS) to capture and store images collected from the Mars rover ‘Curiosity’ and their Mars Science Laboratory missions. 
NASA’s JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) has fully embraced the cloud for all its large scale data processing. Khawaja Shams, manager for data services at JPL stated that “at this point, JPL's data centers are filled to capacity, so we're looking for ways to cost effectively expand the computational horsepower that we have at our disposal,” he added that “Cloud computing is giving us that opportunity”
Mars Rover Curiosity
NASA uses the AWS cloud to run the website ‘mars.jpl.nasa.gov’, enabling JPL to rapidly send developments, videos and images to the public.
Amazon started to offer cloud services to organisations back in 2006 and has been one of the key players in cloud computing. It now powers thousands of organisations such as Netflix and Pinterest.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Protect your Business, Become a Cloud Auditor

Cloud Computing is starting to play a significant role in business and if it hasn't already, the company you work for should be expecting to move to the cloud in the near future. But what are the vulnerabilities? What are the risks?

Security, privacy and legality are the main concerns for organisations moving to cloud computing according to Gartner. Cloud Auditors are able to recognise these threats, they know the risks, and ensure that their company is secure. Having the skills to perform your own tasks with a solid understanding of how the cloud works is a powerful and recognised asset to any organisation embracing the cloud. Two thirds of companies said that their IT staff had taken training to build new cloud skills.

Why keep up with the cloud?
Depending on a job role, there are new skills that need to be brought to an IT team using the cloud:

IT Auditors should learn how to create audit projects for virtual environments.

IT risk, compliance, security or governance experts should learn how to assess virtual infrastructures and cloud architectures against requirements.

IT Architects should learn what auditors look for and how to design, develop & implement necessary controls.

Find out more on how to obtain these skills here: VMware®Virtualization & amp; Cloud Audit Professional course.

Toughening the Cloud


Cloud security has been a main concern for many people deciding whether to switch to cloud or not. We are going to show you some of the ways in which to improve cloud security.

Cryptography and network protection

When talking about cloud security, two things come to mind. The first is cryptography. You think about your data being stored somewhere out of your control, and to be comfortable doing this you need at least some assurance no one will be able to access it. The best way to ensure this is by having it encrypted. The second is network protection. When you’re connected in a public cloud, you need to be sure that no one is accessing your servers.

Unfortunately, these points are very hard to solve, so the majority of cloud vendors do not offer data encryption on their servers. This means that all responsibility for cloud data protection is of the user. Fortunately, several cloud-ready data encryption tools have been released to help.

Vendors are now coming out with solutions like Trend Micro, Porticor and Ciphercloud. All these tools encrypt the data, making all applications go through them in order to access anything. Even if data is stolen from the cloud, it will be extremely hard to access it after.

As for networking, an interesting tool is CloudPassage’s Halo. It uses one small software component that goes on the cloud servers which automatically adds networking security rules. It then monitors server activities to check for unauthorized access. The tool also has a back-end service which stores data centrally, meaning that every new server that comes up will all have the rules already configured.

Responsibility is very important when it comes to security: we need to lower the risk of not being responsible for the computing world, particularly in public cloud situations. This is where insurance comes in. A number of companies have started up such as CloudInsure, who offer insurance for incidents that are cloud related. These are going to be complex and costly insurance policies, but are an important asset for organisations associated with the cloud.

By using these different solutions and services, it is now possible for public cloud to be more secure. Although a cloud environment is not as secure as an internal data center, if the tools mentioned above are used cloud security is good enough.