Showing posts with label cloud essentials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cloud essentials. Show all posts

Monday, 23 June 2014

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


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/

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, 1 May 2014

The hottest IT certifications to advance your career with the latest technology


The Information Technology market offers thousands of great opportunities with some uniquely varied roles. However, as most industries, IT has also got its hottest areas. This post discusses those popular areas, including the must-have certifications and how they can make your CV stand out from the rest.


Hackers continuously develop their tricks and techniques to access and misuse privileged data. And because information will always be precious to its owners; its protection will never go out of fashion. As a result of this, skilled IT security professionals are still in extremely high demand.

How would you decide whether someone is qualified enough to defend your data? Employers often refer to certifications when recruiting, because they very clearly demonstrate the skills and knowledge their holders possess.

If IT security is the field you (want to) work in, the CISSP by (ISC)2 is a must-have. This certification is designed for security pros, who are actively involved in critical decision making. CISSP holders have the knowledge, understanding and expert skills in order to manage security standards, policies and procedures within their organisation.

The cert demonstrates your competence in various security topics, including cloud computing, app development security, mobile security and risk management. In order to obtain the CISSP credential, you must tick a bunch of boxes, including a minimum of five years’ experience in at least two CISSP domains. (ISC)2 offers great resources to help you prepare for getting your certification. You can download the exam outline and also watch informative webcasts about the CISSP domains for free.

Cloud Computing

A recent research by Dworin Consulting shows that 39% of respondents expect an increasing need for cloud computing training by the end of 2014. This should not come as a surprise to any IT pro, because cloud computing is currently one of the hottest areas in the industry.

Silicon Angle compiled a comprehensive list of cloud stats published by the likes of Gartner, Cisco and Forbes.  According to this list end-user spending on cloud services could exceed £100 billion by 2015. The list also shows that 82% of companies reported savings by moving to the cloud and more than 60% of businesses use the cloud for performing IT-related operations.

There are more and more certifications available in the field of cloud computing, thus it’s hard to name the undisputed champ of cloud certs.

CompTIA’s Cloud Essentials is a great cert to start with because it teaches you the fundamental concepts of cloud computing. This certification demonstrates your knowledge of the different cloud types, their impact on IT service management as well as the risks of cloud computing.

If you’re looking to take your cloud competency even further, Cloud+ by CompTIA could be your next step. With the Cloud+ under your belt you’ll have knowledge of virtualisation in the cloud, network management, storage provisioning and other key topics.

Big Data

Big Data has been one of the top IT buzzwords in the last few years and it’s likely to stay that way. Big Data is oftentimes described with the 3V model, i.e. it is high volume, high velocity and high variety. However, there’s a lot more to defining Big Data according to Timo Elliott, who shares seven definitions in his article.

Regardless of which definition you decide to side with, one thing’s certain: Big Data is a big deal. Gartner’s research revealed that the number of companies investing in Big Data tech increased by 6% (from 58 to 64 per cent) since 2012. The findings also indicated that 19% intends to make an investment in the next 12 months, while a further 15% considers investing in the next two years.

To succeed in Big Data you must master the skills and techniques of Apache Hadoop. Cloudera offers the following two Hadoop related certifications:
These certifications prove your knowledge and skills in writing, maintaining, optimising (CCDH) as well as configuring, deploying, maintaining and securing (CCAH) an Apache Hadoop cluster. 

Software-Defined Networking (SDN)

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a relatively new concept in the designing, building and management of networks. In SDN the network’s control and forwarding planes are separated in order to allow easier optimisation for each.

Due to SDN’s relatively recent inception, there is a lack of available training; however the Cisco Learning Network (CLN) is working on the solution. CLN believes that SDN can be defined and referred to as programmability. Therefore, training must augment the understanding of networking with programming skills.

The Cisco Learning Network provides a detailed breakdown of how traditional IT roles will evolve following the SDN paradigm-shift. Although the complete certification for Network Programmability is not yet available, CLN offers a six-module introductory course on their website. 

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. 

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

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.

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?

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.

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 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 ‘’, 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.

Monday, 6 August 2012, Microsoft’s solution to the outdated Hotmail

Microsoft released its new email client last week in a solution to “an embarrassingly outdated domain address,” Hotmail. It offers users a much needed improved email experience with a metro style for integration with the cloud.

As you can see in the screenshot below, offers a fresh and clean design without all the cluster experienced before. Microsoft also made sure that the functionality lives up to the level of the design. One example of this is that if someone sends a group of photos or videos, displays them in a slideshow over the page. But it doesn’t stop there…

Outlook Screenshot

If that someone sends you a link to a photo-sharing site like Photobucket or Flickr, is able to take those photos and show them to you in that same slideshow. Microsoft also goes far enough to compete with Gmail and its documents tab, by allowing you to open, edit and share Office documents within the browser.

One of the best features of is that it recognises and cleans all your graymail. These are social media updates, newsletters, daily deals, etc… which you are signed up for but never end up opening and reading. It addresses these problems by filtering them into their own categories, making it much easier to view and clean. And to top it off, they added a built in messaging system with Facebook chat and Skype video chat.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

CompTIA announces new certifications at Breakaway 2012

The leading non-profit association for the IT industry CompTIA, had its annual Breakaway 2012 event this week at ARIA Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. In the span of three days, it got to see some of the latest releases in IT training, certification and showed how to steer through the channels of education, training and networking to gain new partnerships.
Among the highlights of the event, CompTIA announced its latest training programs on cloud computing, mobility and emerging technologies and trends.

CompTIA Senior vice president stated that “Each Executive Certificate course is designed to help IT solution providers enhance their current businesses with successful niche practices,” Kelly Ricker added that “attendees will learn best practices from an expert instructor and experience ample opportunities for interacting with and learning from their peers.
They announced the release of the following certifications and courses:

 Cloud Computing Essentials
• Advanced Cloud Computing
• Data Recovery and Business Continuity
• Healthcare IT
• IT Security
• Mobility
• Social Strategies
• Unified Communications

The certification courses were developed by members of CompTIA and experts in the IT industry. It has been the latest addition to the association’s portfolio in IT education and training.

Breakaway 2012 had more than 1,000 IT industry executives attend, all gaining new insights into the education and certification market, and emerging technologies, which are all having an effect on the IT world today.

Did you attend CompTIA? What did you think of it?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

New Course: CompTIA Cloud Essentials

Firebrand launches the CompTIA Cloud Essentials course. We are the first to market this Cloud course, with the exam officially being launched by CompTIA today.

The CompTIA Cloud Essentials certification proves that an individual knows what cloud computing means from a business and technical point of view. The course teaches you how to move their business to the Cloud.

Some of the topics covered in this course are:

Cloud services from a business perspective
  • The business value of Cloud computing
  • Types of Cloud
  • Steps to successful adoption and implementation
  • Impact and changes on IT service management
  • Risks and consequences