Tuesday, 21 June 2016

55 Microsoft exams and 29 certifications planned for retirement

Massive changes are inbound as Microsoft announce the latest plan for exam retirements amid a raft of new technology launches.

Following the arrival of new technologies including SharePoint 2016, SQL Server 2016 and the imminent arrival of Windows Server 2016, we are beginning to see the first of the new exams and aligned certifications emerge. 

This move sparks the end for exams and certifications aligned to technologies now rendered legacy. The release of so many new platforms sees a huge number of exams and associated certifications on the chopping block. 

Let’s take a closer look at those planned changes arriving in the coming months which could affect you.

Windows exams

With the arrival of a second Windows 10 exam, 70-698: Installing and Configuring Windows 10, there now exists a pure route to MCSA: Windows 10. This removes the exitising Windows 8 requirement finalises the retirement of exams 70-687 and 70-688.

Despite being planned for July 31, 2016, the exams have been given a retirement extension as interest lingers for the Window 8 platform among the enterprise.

Retiring on December 31, 2016
70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8

Certifications retiring:
MCSA: Windows 8

Windows Server exams

We recently saw Windows Server 2016 move to Technical Preview 5 and the arrival of three MOCs aligned to MCSA: Windows Server 2016.

With Windows Server 2008 now two versions out of date and 8 years old, its unsuprising we see the exams aligned to the technology marked for retirement. 

Extended retirement date to December 31, 2016
98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

Retiring on July 31, 2017
70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring

70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring

70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator

Certifications retiring:
MCSA: Windows Server 2008

SharePoint exams

Not much movememnt on the SharePoint front, especially considering the arrival of SharePoint 2016. The planned retirement for SharePoint 2010 MCTS and MCITP exams announced in January 2016 is going ahead as planned. 

Interestingly, we see the new inlcusion of a planned retirement for the MCSD: SharePoint Applications recertification exam. Are Microsoft removing the need for recertification or retiring the certification itself? Time will tell.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development
70-576: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications
70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring
70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-517: Recertification for MCSD: SharePoint Applications

Certifications retiring:
MCTS / MCITP SharePoint 2010 Configuring / Administrator
MCTS / MCPD SharePoint 2010 Developer

SQL Server exams

The arrival of SQL Server 2016 has made zero changes to planned retirements of SQL server certification upgrade exams from SQL Server 2008. Suprising, considerinf we have seen the first peak of three new MCSA SQL Server 2016 certifications:

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Administration
MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development
MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Business Intelligence Development

Announced in January 2016, we remain on course for the July 31, 2016 retirment dates. 

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-432: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
70-448: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
70-457: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1
70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2

Certifications retiring:
MCITP Database Administrator - SQL Server 2008
MCITP Business Intelligence Developer - SQL Server 2008
Upgrade to MCSA SQL Server

Visual Studio and .NET exams

There is big movement in the Visual Studio and .NET space. A whole raft of new plans for exam retirements have emerged. Again we see the inclusion of exams aligned to recertification marked for retirement. This adds weight to the possiblility of Microsoft removing recertification requirments across the board.

We also see the addition of new retirements affecting the Universal Windows Platform, Azure and SharePoint 2013. With a vast range of certifications affected.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-513: TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
98-379: Software Testing Fundamentals

Retiring on September 30, 2016
70-481: Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 and JavaScript
70-482: Advanced Windows Store App Development Using HTML5 and JavaScript
70-484: Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-485: Advanced Windows Store App Development Using C#
70-490: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5
70-491: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-492: Upgrade Your MCPD: Web Developer 4 to MCSD: Web Applications
70-499: Recertification for MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-354: Universal Windows Platform – App Architecture and UX/UI
70-355: Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns
70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
70-488: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
70-489: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions

Certifications affected/retiring:
MCSD: Universal Windows Platform 
MCSD: SharePoint 2013 Applications 
MCSD: Web Applications
MTA Software Testing Fundamentals
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Data Access

Microsoft Dynamics exams

Big changes are abound in the Microsoft Dynamics space as well. New versions of Dynamics CRM and AX have seen exam retirements planned across the board for the Dynamics AX 2012 and Dynamics CRM 2013 platforms. 

This will impact a significant number of Specialist certifications aligned to the Dynamics platforms. All are expected late 2016/early 2017.

Exams retiring on December 31, 2016
MB2-700: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications
MB2-701: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
MB2-702: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment
MB2-703: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration
MB5-705: Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations
MB6-700: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Project
MB6-702: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials
MB6-703: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade and Logistics
MB6-704: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Development Introduction
MB6-884: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Lean Manufacturing
MB6-885: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector
MB6-886: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Process Manufacturing Production and Logistics
MB6-889: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Service Management

Exams retiring on March 31, 2017
MB6-701: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Retail
MB6-705: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Installation and Configuration

Certifications retiring:
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications
Specialist: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customisation and Configuration
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Project
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Retail
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade and Logistics
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Development Introduction
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Installation and Configuration
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Lean Manufacturing
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Process Manufacturing Production and Logistics
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Service Management
Specialist: Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations

Other exams

Retiring on September 30, 2016
70-673: TS: Designing, Assessing, and Optimizing Software Asset Management (SAM)

Retiring on January 31, 2017
74-697: OEM Preinstallation

Monday, 20 June 2016

How Lord Hague’s talk at InfoSec 2016 affects you

 By Sarah Morgan

It is vitally important to be aware of what is changing in the cyber security industry so you and your business aren’t left vulnerable to cyber attacks. The keynote speaker at InfoSec 2016, the Right Honourable Lord Hague of Richmond, gave some valuable advice to UK businesses on how to ensure their IT security can be successful in the long term. Here, we break down what these comments mean for you, your business and the industry as a whole.

“Move with the times”

Lord Hague’s speech mainly focused on how industry leaders need to be particularly aware of the “critical economic importance” of cyber security. In 2015 it was reported that cyber attacks cost the UK economy £34 billion a year, affecting 1 in 4 UK businesses. Reinforcing that all businesses are at risk of an attack and cannot afford to become complacent with IT security.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong /
He went on to recognise that the speed of technological growth is having huge implications on the IT security measures businesses need to take. He warned, “being connected has a real price on security”. Alongside this, he cited the recent hacks of Mitsubishi and Jeep. By embracing new technologies and adding Wi-Fi connectivity, their vehicles have become hackable.

However, the former Conservative leader did present an encouraging solution to the industry. He asked business leaders to work together to create “a network of partnerships”. There was emphasis on the need for change, “moving with the times”, embracing technological advancement and strengthening cyber security together.

Hague then reinforced that creating partnerships can help us achieve this. Increasing and nurturing partnerships increases inter-business communication, shares skills and technology and grows opportunities to improve security. With the average cost of a cyber attack increasing by 14% year on year, this highlights the need to invest more time and money to protect our businesses.

Lord Hague’s InfoSec 2016 speech reinforces the industry wide need for more IT security skills to protect the data and finances of UK’s businesses. His focus on forming security partnerships as a long term solution, places the responsibility on the collective shoulders of business leaders to work together, improving security infrastructure. With these new partnerships in place, businesses will be able to develop the skills of security professionals, collectively strengthening the nation’s IT security.

How does this affect my business?

Businesses must make extra efforts to
protect their assets from cyber attacks -
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong /
The frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks is increasing. Just last week MySpace were the victim of what could be the largest attack ever, breaching 427 million passwords. The implications of these hacks could have financial costs of many millions to MySpace. The need for all businesses to increase their IT security efforts, ensuring they don’t lose vast amounts of sensitive data and enormous sums of money, has never been higher. 

However, tightening IT security is a complex task. This need could not have come at a worse time as currently, there aren’t enough skilled cyber security professionals to meet demand. (ISC)2’s 2015 Global Information Security Workforce Study projects there will be a shortfall of 1.5 million unfilled roles in five years time.  This will make it difficult for the industry to implement the changes Lord Hague is anticipating. Therefore, in order to protect your business and build IT security partnerships, it is vital to develop the skills of your IT security professionals.

How do I ensure my business is protected?

Image courtesy of Jon Whiles /
Businesses need to take immediate action, starting with increasing their cyber security skills. Extra commitment is now coming from the government to support this. For example, an investment of £1.9 billion into cyber security was announced by the government back in November 2015. Much of the government money will be invested in the two new Cyber Security apprenticeships, Analyst and Technologist. This’ll give businesses funding to bring new professionals into IT security and boost their skills.  It will also give businesses opportunities to increase their investment in IT security training, improving the skills of established IT security professionals.

Improve the cyber security skills in your business

Outside of apprenticeships, there are certifications and training courses at every level of IT security, that can give your business the skills throughout every level of the organisation. For example, your team can get entry level courses like CompTIA’s Security+, which builds upon IT foundations. After five years of security experience, your team can progress onto courses like ISACA’s CISA or CISM courses, gaining the beginnings of specialisation into the technical or management areas of IT security. Once your team have developed their skills further and have more experience, they can get advanced skills with certifications like (ISC)2’s CISSP or CCSP. Alternatively, your team can specialise with EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker.

Plus, Firebrand have now added five new cyber security courses that teach you the latest cyber security skills to protect your business:

Firebrand’s accelerated cyber security courses are the fastest way to improve and validate your specific security skills, before you’re hacked and facing enormous costs.

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.

Monday, 13 June 2016

What is MCSA?

MCSA is an acronym for Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. It is applied to a series of certifications for Microsoft’s core platform technologies including Windows Server, Windows Desktop, SQL Server and Office 365.

Attaining the MCSA certification demonstrates you have the core technical skills to design and build solutions for your chosen Microsoft technology. The credential acts as a prerequisite for the expert level Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification.

Below is a video giving you a full overview of the Microsoft certification program:

Current Pathways to MCSA

There currently exist 8 certifications aligned to core Microsoft technologies at the MCSA level. They are as follows:

MCSA: Windows Server 2012 - this credential proves you have mastered the core skills for Windows Server 2012. Achieving the certification qualifies you to become a system admin or computer network specialist.

MCSA: Windows Server 2008 - validates your skills working with the legacy Windows Server 2008 platform. This certification is soon to be retired.

MCSA: Windows 10 - prove you have the skills to configure, manage and maintain a Windows 10 enterprise system with this credential. This certification qualifies you for the role of a computer support specialist.

MCSA: Windows 8 - this certification demonstrates your expertise in configuring, managing and maintaining a Windows 8 enterprise system. This certification will be retiring July 2016.

MCSA: SQL Server 2012/14 - updated to align to SQL Server 2012 and 2014, this certification demonstrates your skills to query, administer and implement a SQL database. The credential qualifies for the role of database developer or database analyst.

MCSA: Office 365 - this certification proves your ability to migrate and administer business applications in the cloud with Office 365. Attaining the credential qualifies you for positions such as cloud applications administrator focussing on Office 365 business productivity applications like Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business

MCSA: Linux on Azure - a first for Microsoft, this certification proves your skills in designing, architecting, implementing, administering and maintaining cloud-based Linux systems on the Azure platform.

Below is the latest graphic from Microsoft detailing the Microsoft certification pathways to which MCSA fits into. Click the image to exapnd:

Future pathways to MCSA

As Microsoft continue to launch new core technologies, the pathway to MCSA will evolve to align to the latest platform. With the launch of SQL Server 2016 and the imminent public release of Windows Server 2016, the following credentials are expected in the second half of Windows Server 2016:

MCSA: Windows Server 2016 - the latest version on the server operating system will promise greater integration and streamlining for a cloud world. Whilst the new credential continues to demonstrate you have the core skills to manage Window Server 2016, these skills will likely be evolving to become more focussed on cloud integration with the Azure platform. 

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - like the Window Server credential, the new SQL Server certification will demonstrate core skills to manage the new database platform. Though these skills will be evolving towards the cloud with a greater focus on individual disciplines including business intelligence, database administration and database development.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Discover 5 new accelerated IT security courses from Firebrand

 By Sarah Morgan

With over 700 million data records estimated to have been stolen in 2015, security is currently one of the most sought-after skills in IT. It is expected that the cyber security industry will be short of 1.5 million skilled professionals by 2019, as demand outstrips supply. For businesses, it is more important than ever to stay ahead of cyber criminals, implementing rigorous IT security infrastructure. Demand for skilled IT security professionals has never been higher. 
The costs of cyber crime to businesses are huge.
Photo courtesy of Flickr / SEOPlanter

This has fuelled demand for cyber security certifications alongside the development of brand new ones. Firebrand has released five new accelerated certification courses at the forefront of IT security. Below we breakdown the key information of these new certifications, highlighting what skills they’ll teach you and what makes each of them unique.

1. AXELOS Cyber Resilience: Foundation & Practitioner (RESILIA™)

The AXELOS RESILIA course gives you the knowledge and skills to prevent, detect and respond to organisational cyber attacks. It teaches you to manage the components of Cyber Resilience and blends the techniques with your existing managerial systems. It covers topics like risk management, cyber security resilience operations and continual improvement. It is the perfect certification to give you a managerial overview of implementing cyber security best practice.

Firebrand’s accelerated 3 day course, which is 50% faster than traditional training, covers both the Foundation and Practitioner curriculums and includes both exams at our training centre. This certification is from AXELOS, the creators of the world famous PRINCE2.

2. ISACA Certified Cybersecurity Practitioner (CSX)

ISACA, the creators of the CISA and CISM certifications, have recently released the CSX Practitioner. It is one of the most hands-on cyber security courses available, teaching you real-world skills you can implement immediately. It does this through five domains: Identify, Detect, Protect, Respond and Recover. These cover every stage of a potential cyber attack, giving you the complete range of knowledge and skills. Specific skills you’ll learn include implementing cybersecurity controls, analysing and monitoring network output and escalating incidents and attacks. 

Our accelerated 9 day course is 44% faster than traditional training and includes learning half of your skills through practical lab exercises in a virtual cyber environment. You’ll sit a practical performance based exam, demonstrating your skills as a cyber security first responder.

3. EC-Council Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO)

The CCISO teaches you to master the technical aspects of security management through the five domains of EC-Council's CCISO Body of Knowledge. These are Governance, Information Security Management Controls and Auditing Management, Management – Projects and Operations, Information Security Core Competencies and Strategic Planning & Finance. You’ll learn knowledge and skills in areas like information security laws, regulations and guidelines, the Audit Management Process and security strategic planning.

Firebrand is the exclusive launch partner for the CCISO in England. Our 3 day course is 25% faster than traditional training and includes the exam. It’s creators, EC-Council, are the force behind the popular Certified Ethical Hacker certification.

4. GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

Photo courtesy of Flickr / Yuri Samoilov

The GSEC course from GIAC is among the most popular entry-level security certifications on the market. It is designed to build the strong foundations of your cyber security knowledge or bridging any gaps in your existing knowledge of IT security fundamentals. The GSEC covers a huge range of security topics like firewalls, DNS, common types of attacks, authentication and password management and vulnerability scanning.

Firebrand’s GSEC course is only 5 days (28% faster than traditional training) and is ideal for developing the knowledge of security professionals as well as managers. GIAC are also the providers of the GICSP certification in IT security. 

5. GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)

Learn specialist penetration testing skills with GIAC’s GPEN course. It teaches you to assess networks and find vulnerabilities that could be maliciously exploited. Penetration testing skills are rare and valuable to employers. The GPEN certification proves you have diversified your security skills into a unique and technical area .These skills increase your worth to employers. The GPEN covers areas like reconnaissance, web application probing and advanced password attacks.

On our accelerated 5 day course (28% faster than traditional training), you’ll conduct a real penetration test, giving you practical skills that are relevant and can make an immediate impact in the real-world. Plus, GIAC are the official certification body of The SANS Institute. 

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.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Pass your Windows 10 exam 70-697 with these top tips

 By Sarah Morgan

In January 2016, just six months after its release, it was estimated that Windows 10 was active on 200 million devices. This means Microsoft’s latest operating system is currently growing faster than any version of Windows ever. It is at the forefront of Microsoft’s cross-platform vision aimed at improving usability and reliability. Windows 10 runs on PCs, mobiles, tablets, servers and games consoles.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

The growing popularity of Windows 10 means businesses need people with the skills to install, configure, manage and troubleshoot the new operating system. This gives you a huge opportunity to get ahead of the curve and learn Windows 10 skills before the majority of other IT professionals. By passing the Windows 10 70-697 exam: Configuring Windows Devices, you'll achieve both the MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10 certifications. These will prove to employers that you have advanced skills on the latest version of Windows. If you’re acting quickly to make the most of this opportunity, below are our five top tips to get you the necessary Windows 10 skills to pass your Windows 10 70-697 exam.

1. Use Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy has a huge amount and variety of resources aimed at helping you get the knowledge and skills to pass Microsoft exams and achieve Microsoft certifications. There are videos, articles and more to help you learn about Microsoft technologies. Plus many are aligned to Microsoft exams.

The new release of Windows 10 means there aren’t a great amount of resources. However there are a couple of videos and presentations that are extremely useful for helping you study for the Windows 10 70-697 exam. The first, “Getting started with Windows 10 for IT professionals” has 9 different sections all dedicated to teach you more about Windows 10. Titles include, “What’s new in Windows 10 deployment”, “Runtime provisioning in Windows 10” and “Windows as a service: What does it mean for you business?”. There’s also “Accelerate deployment of Windows 10 at scale”. This includes an hour long video that covers some of the key topics in the 70-967 exam.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

The Microsoft Virtual Academy is ideal for giving you information that can help with your preliminary exam preparation. It’ll familiarise you with the new features of Windows 10 and how it differs from previous operating systems.

2. Take a course

Learning from a course is the best way to make sure you cover all the content you need to be prepared for the exam. Courses are dedicated to giving you all the skills and knowledge you need, not only to pass the exam, but to be able to use them in your workplace.

Firebrand offers accelerated 6 day MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10 courses that both prepare you to sit the 70-697 exam. Remember, you’ll achieve both certifications after you pass. As with all Firebrand courses, you’ll spend 6 days in an immersive classroom environment. You’ll learn from an official Microsoft instructor and bounce ideas off other students in the classroom. 

3. Take Practice tests

Practice tests are the best way to replicate the types of questions you’ll face in the real exam. They’ll also cover the full range of topics the exam could include. This’ll give you a better idea of what topics you’ll need to study. What is unique about practice tests is the immediate feedback they give you. This highlights any weaknesses you may have and gives you the chance to focus your studies in those areas.

MeasureUp is the official provider of Microsoft practice exams. It is one of the most extensive resources for IT certification practice tests, offering packages for a large range of exams.  You can find the Microsoft exam 70-697 practice exam here. This includes 119 questions to help you refine your knowledge on subjects like Windows desktop administration, maintenance and troubleshooting, Active Directory and Microsoft Intune. It then gives you thorough explanations about where you went wrong and how to improve.

MeasureUp’s 70-697 exam practice test costs £79 to buy. Alternatively, 60 and 30 day online versions are available for £72 and £66.

Firebrand also offer free and comprehensive practice tests for the 70-697 exam. You can access these on pages for MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10. You can also find practice tests for all of Firebrand’s other 200+ accelerated courses.

4. Use a revision guide

Getting a revision guide is crucial to studying successfully. They give you integral information about the exam topics. They’ll dissect complex technologies or theories giving you in-depth detail. Plus they’ll often indicate which sections require more focus than others. Here are our top recommendations for the 70-697 exam.

Microsoft’s official revision guides are often a great place to start and are closely aligned to the exam content. The revision guide for the 70-697 exam, “Exam Ref 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices” is no different. Written by Microsoft MVP, Andrew Bettany, it covers exam objectives including, plan desktop and device deployment, configure networking and storage and manage data access and protection. It also pushes you further with varied real-world scenarios that show you how your new knowledge can be used.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-1509303014.

A reliable alternative to Microsoft’s study guide is the “MCSA Microsoft Windows 10 Study Guide: Exam 70-697” by William Panek. This is also closely aligned to the latest version of the exam to make sure the information you get is as useful as possible. As well as including plenty of content on all of the exam topics, it also gives you access to the Sybex interactive online learning environment. This gives you extra online content and flashcards to expand and vary your studies. This book covers the exam content in a slightly different way that may suit your leaning style, with the possibility to learn online at times when you may not have the book with you.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is  978-1119252306.

5. Use a trial version

Downloading a trial version of Windows 10 Enterprise is the best way to practice and implement your Windows 10 knowledge. Combine this with a revision guide and you’ll be able to walkthrough each 70-697 exam topic, learning to manage each Windows 10 feature as you go. This’ll help make your learning more real, giving you an edge in the exam room. 

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.

Monday, 16 May 2016

5 reasons to get ISACA CSX Practitioner certified

 By Sarah Morgan

The current shortage of cyber security skills is a massive employment opportunity. According to government research, two-thirds of big UK businesses have been targeted by a cyber attack in the last 12 months. This means businesses are searching desperately for people with the skills to make sure they’re not the victim of the next high-profile cyber attack.

The CSX Practitioner is one of the newest cyber security certifications on the market. It can be the perfect way to get the cyber security skills to take advantage of this massive opportunity. Below are the five best reasons why you should be looking to get CSX Practitioner certified.

1. Opportunity for employment

There are more cyber attacks happening than ever before, with over 700 million data records estimated to have been stolen in 2015. These include companies like TalkTalk
(157,000 records stolen, costing £60 million), EBay (145 million records stolen, costing an estimated £18 million), Target (70 million records stolen, costing £100 million) and T-Mobile (15 million records stolen, costing £13.2 million).

Cyber security job growth, at 74%, has increased at twice the rate of the overall IT jobs market since 2007. It is expected that by 2019, the industry will be short of 2 million cyber security professionals. This means there isn’t enough properly trained protection for businesses, creating a huge demand for professionals with high-level cyber security skills. The CSX Practitioner course will develop the cyber security skills that businesses are seeking. Whilst achieving the certification is the proof you have these skills.
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong

2. Potential future career earnings

The CSX Practitioner course develops the technical security skills required in job roles like Cyber Security Analyst or Cyber Security Engineer. These roles command competitive salaries averaging around £50,000+  (all average salaries according to itjobswatch.co.uk).

The CSX Practitioner certification is the starting point for a journey towards many high-level cyber security roles. After you’ve progressed your career with experience in the cyber security industry, you’ll be able to aim for roles like Cyber Security Consultant (£62,500), Cyber Security Architect (£70,000), Cyber Security Manager (£70,000) and Head of Cyber Security (£97,500). You can also follow the CSX pathway, progressing onto the Specialist, then the Expert certifications. These will help you grow your cyber security skills throughout your career. This means starting your cyber security career with a CSX Practitioner certification gives you the potential to eventually reach a six figure salary at the top level.

3. Develop hands on skills

A key feature of the new CSX, is the hands-on nature of the skills covered. You’ll learn practical skills in all stages of the cyber security process simulating real-world scenarios. These include analysing network output, executing incident response plans, detecting incidents and performing disaster recovery plans. These are skills you’ll be able to directly implement in your IT security role. You’ll learn to identify, detect, respond to and recover from cyber attacks. Its practical nature and broad curriculum set it aside from most other IT security certifications currently on the market.

4. Learn the latest skills

As one of the newest certifications in the cyber security industry, the skills in the CSX Practitioner course are the hottest available. Getting CSX Practitioner certified guarantees you’ll have skills that can protect your business from the latest techniques threatening your business, identifying threats before they occur, implementing precautions to minimise threats and recovering from attacks. The Cybersecurity Nexus program has been developed to provide you with skills in five cyber security areas. These are:
Image courtesy of jscreationzs/freedigitalphotos.net

1. Identify
2. Detect
3. Protect
4. Respond
5. Recover

These are designed to cover the whole cyber security process, ensuring you have skills to deal with cyber attacks through every stage.

5. World renowned

ISACA have a 45 year history in which they’ve produced some of IT’s most respected certifications. Their CISA and CISM certifications are two of the most sought-after in the industry and these are supported by their CRISC and CGEIT certifications. This means you know you’re getting your cyber security skills from an industry trusted and globally recognised source. On top of this, the reputations of ISACA and the CSX extend worldwide. This means you can benefit from your certification wherever your career should take you.

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.