Free KITT webinar on Cybersecurity Risks: How Secure Is Your Data?

September 13, 2018 at 11:25 am | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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Cybersecurity is inseparable from risks, according to government research and information technology authorities. Threat actors continue to reinvent themselves. These innovators and their ability to uninterruptedly evolve, leaving both business and personal information in extreme danger.

Our resident expert, trainer, content manager, and author Troy McMillan will describe the many risks and possible ways to be safe while using, sharing and storing data.

Please join us September 18th at 1 PM EST / 12 PM CST as we delve into the topic of data risks and cybersecurity. To register, just click this link.

Cisco Live: Forecast is (Google) cloudy with race cars

August 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Cisco, Conferences | Leave a comment
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Attendees of this year’s Cisco Live conference in Orlando Florida left with a big takeaway: Cisco and Google Cloud now work together.

The importance of this initiative to Cisco was obvious because of the time spent on the subject by Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins as he delivered the keynote address, and by the unmistakable signage everywhere at the conference announcing the new joint venture.

chuckrobbins

During the keynote, Robbins discussed how Cisco aims to change some network paradigms by making faster business decisions based on real time data.

What does this mean? Cisco customers can choose from either Google Cloud, Cisco cloud offerings, or a hybrid of the two. The new architecture uses open source solutions as part of the structure. This new partnership will assist organizations to become both more robust and flexible. The cloud enhancement will not only improve scalability, but will also help to enable an advanced level of security for enterprise systems.

Another unscientific observation made by this reporter is that tech companies really, really dig car racing. The World of Solutions exhibits featured many companies displaying the race cars that they sponsor. Below Troy McMillan poses with the #43 Bubba Wallace Nascar entry sponsored by World Wide Technologies:

troy cisco live

Until next time,

Troy McMillan

 

Free webinar explains CompTIA’s Continuing Education process

August 9, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Posted in CompTIA | Leave a comment
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Eight years ago, CompTIA introduced its three-year expiration policy for its flagship certifications. To keep their certifications current, students may register Continuing Education Units (CEU) to recertify instead of re-taking the relevant exam at the end of the three years.

If you’ve been curious about the CE program, the CompTIA Instructor Network and Continuing Education (CE) team will present a free, in-depth discussion of their Continuing Education (CE) Program at 9:30 am EST / 10:30 am CST on August 22nd, 2018.

While the webinar will be geared toward instructors, anyone who wants clarification on the whys and hows of the CE program is welcome to join.

You can register for the webinar by clicking here.

Windows 7 certifications to retire July 2018

June 22, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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As we announced nine months ago, Microsoft is retiring the Windows 7 client certifications. The last date to take any of these exams is July 31, 2018:

These exams were originally released in 2009, which makes them about 89 years old in certification years. Still, passing any one of them earns you an MCP certification, which is a baseline certification that grants you access to the MCP community and various member benefits from Microsoft. If you’ve been using Windows 7 for years but putting off taking the exam, you’ll still earn a valuable credential from it, especially if it’s your first Microsoft test.

There is still time to purchase Kaplan IT Training practice tests for Windows 7 exams, as well as e-learning, a practice lab, and an exam voucher. Don’t overlook our 180-day product; it has almost three times as many practice test questions as the 30-day product, so you’ll be buying extra study content.

Or, with Windows 7 certifications on their way out the door, you may want to turn your attention toward earning a MCSA in Windows 10 instead — because once you’ve passed the two exams required for that certification, you only need to pass one additional test to tuck the MCSE: Mobility into your virtual wallet.

Happy certifying,

Team Kaplan IT Training

New Kaplan IT Training Webinar: Career Change and Cybersecurity Certification

June 12, 2018 at 9:00 am | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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The recent boom in cybersecurity jobs is no secret — and neither is the lack of candidates to fill those jobs. According to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study prepared by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, both the United States and global economies face a critical shortage of skilled cybersecurity employees.  In the U.S. alone, the Department of Labor anticipates cybersecurity jobs will grow up to 28% by 2026, but according to a 2016 report, “there simply is not a sufficient supply of cybersecurity talent to meet the increasing demand.”

So there are plenty of compelling reasons to retrain for a career in IT security. But for many people, it’s hard to figure out exactly which skills you should learn, or which sector to focus on (Internet-of-Things? Phishing and email security? Network intrusion? Big Data analysis?). Can you be self-taught, or do you need a specific kind of training on your resume to get a foot in the door? Which basic IT skills are required to start studying security? Is a certification really helpful, and if so, what are the best ones to start with?

With those questions in mind, our resident Cybersecurity training expert, Robin Abernathy, will talk about the overall job expectations and responsibilities, certification requirements, and specific career options for people who want to break into this critical and well-compensated field.

This FREE webinar will be presented on June 20, 2018, at 11 EST. To register for the webinar, use this link: KITT Webinar Registration

Thanks for joining us!

-the Kaplan IT Training Team

Administering User Security in Oracle Database 12c R2

May 25, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Oracle, study tips, Technical Tips | Leave a comment
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Let’s talk about administering user security. If you’ve been studying for your Oracle Database 12c R2 Administration Certified Associate exam, you’ll know there are several security sub-components to be aware of. You have to understand how to create users, grant privileges, create and grant roles, revoke, and create and assign profiles. You also have to know how to authenticate users and assign quotas to specific users as well.

These topics, and specifically the topic of managing complex passwords, remind me of a scene in one of my favorite movies, Ironman 3. Tony Stark (aka Ironman) is self-implanting an electronic device in his arm to prepare for what he describes as the “big brother” to the current Ironman suit, called the Mark 42. He describes this event as the “Autonomous freehand self-propulsion test,” which allows him to just move his arms and call out the different components of his Ironman suit with biometrics.

Just like the old Ironman suit was replaced by the Mark 42, the 11g VERIFY_FUNCTION and VERIFY_FUNCTION_11G password verify functions are deprecated in the 12c release. Those weaker password restrictions have been replaced with stronger authentication verification in 12c. Oracle 12c R2 provides a SQL file named CATPVF.SQL  under the standard $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin location. This SQL files holds three specific password verification functions. The purpose of these functions is to make sure that all the users within the database are modifying and creating passwords that are considered complex and meet critical requirements set by the Department of Defense Database Security Technical Implementation Guide, Department of Defense Database Security Technical Implementation Guide requirements and the Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIG) requirements.

The functions are:

ora12c_verify_function
  • No fewer than 8 characters
  • Must include one alphabetic character and one number
  • Excludes both the username and the reverse of the username
  • Excludes the name of database
  • Excludes oracle and oracle123
  • Must differ from the previous password by a minimum of 8 characters
  • Holds one special character
 ora12c_strong_verify_function
  • Must have two special characters, two numeric characters, and two upper-case characters
    • Special Character List (‘# ~ ! @ $ % ^ & * ( ) _ – + \ = { } [ ]\ / < > , . ; ? ‘ : | (space))
  • Must be different from the last password by four characters
ora12c_stig_verify_function
  • Must be 15 characters
  • Must include one upper-case and one lower-case character
  • Must have one digit
  • Requires one special character
  • Must differ from your last password by eight characters

Can you imagine using authentication that involves embedding a device under your skin? Maybe that’s just science fiction and maybe that’s going to be the norm at some point. Now, just maybe, Tony Stark’s “Autonomous freehand self propulsion test” is using a three-tier backend Oracle 12c R2 database architecture that is already using these advanced complexity functions. Only time will tell, but just know that security is a living, breathing entity that continues to advance into the future.

Regards,

John Brooks

 

Customer asks: now that 1Z0-051 is retired, what Oracle exam should I take?

April 30, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Oracle, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Today marked the retirement of a core OCA level exam: the 1Z0-051 exam, Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals I.

As is often the case when a still-active certification path loses a core exam, customers wanted to know what to take instead. In this case, three active certification paths were affected by the retirements:

  • Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Associate
  • Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate
  • Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Associate
Fast answer: what’s the immediate substitute for 1Z0-061 and 1Z0-051?

For all three certification tracks, you can substitute exam 1Z0-071. This exam was previously referred to as Oracle Database 12c SQL , leading to some confusion among those still pursuing an 11g certification path. However, with the retirement of 051, this exam is now simply called the Oracle Database SQL exam. This is the general associate-level Oracle Database SQL exam, and the training is the same.

What’s retiring next?

On October 31, 2018, Oracle will retire the 1Z0-061, Oracle Database 12c: SQL Fundamentals. Once again, this exam will be replaced in the relevant certification tracks with exam 1Z0-071.

What’s the best way to prepare?

As the authorized practice test provider for Oracle, Kaplan IT Training offers practice tests for Oracle database and Java developer exams. Just choose Oracle as the vendor to browse our complete lineup of exam prep materials.

Happy certifying!

 

Transcender, SelfTest Software, and Kaplan IT Training: What’s in a Name?

April 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet…

You may have noticed the changes afoot on our new website, but as the immortal words of Shakespeare suggest, despite our new appearance, we are still your friendly neighborhood test preparation provider.

We have a new name—Kaplan IT Training—but to clarify, this was merely a name change and not an acquisition. While we’ve officially (and finally) rebranded to the Kaplan name, we’ve actually been a part of Kaplan for over fifteen years, and the same in-house content experts have been developing our products for more than a decade.

In short, the new logo is nothing to worry about. What has changed for the better is our website, test engine, and customer experience (as we’ll explain in a future post).

Early beginnings: SelfTest Software and Transcender

The team now known as Kaplan IT Training began over 25 years ago as two separate companies: SelfTest Software and Transcender. In 1992, SelfTest Software (STS, informally known as Big Red Self Test) launched a completely new product for the digital age: practice test content presented in an engine that emulated the live exam experience. STS focused on exams for Oracle, IBM, and Novell (remember them?).

Shortly thereafter, a company called Transcender also jumped on the test prep bandwagon. Their flagship products were for a new certification program named the Microsoft Certified Professional program (remember when it was small, intimate group of candidates?), first released in 1993.

Old STS Logo

STS Logo Circa 1996

Old Transcender Logo

Transcender Dude
Circa 1997

The Kaplan acquisition, 1999-2003

From the time Stanley Kaplan founded Kaplan Test Prep, the company’s mission was to help students pass standardized tests in a then-novel way: by teaching exam strategies that showed how questions would be asked as much by tutoring the content.

Realizing that IT certifications complemented their line of test preparation products, which were then geared towards the SAT and CFA certifications, Kaplan purchased SelfTest Software in 1999 and rebranded it as Kaplan SelfTest. They later expanded the product line when Kaplan SelfTest bought Transcender in 2003. Continue Reading Transcender, SelfTest Software, and Kaplan IT Training: What’s in a Name?…

Women In Cybersecurity introduces KITT content expert Robin Abernathy

March 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Careers, Certification Paths, CISSP, CompTIA, cybersecurity, Knowledge | Leave a comment
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Women In Cybersecurity is a quarterly IT blog feature that addresses news and information for women who wish to find out more about careers in cybersecurity.

If you were asked to picture a noted cybersecurity educator and author, you might not imagine a tiny woman with bright red hair and a thick Alabama drawl—that is, until you saw one of her CISSP instructional videos or tried to fit into her standing-room only panel at the recent (ISC)2 conference. And if you were interested in earning one of those security certifications that routinely make top ten lists—certifications like CISA, CISM, and CISSP—you’d find that she wrote not only the practice test, but frequently wrote or co-wrote the textbook as well.

Robin is no stranger to challenge. Her career journey has been a noteworthy progression, as IT in general and cybersecurity in particular are still fields primarily populated with males. Like many IT specialists, she followed a non-traditional career path, starting behind the counter in a strip-mall PC shop in the 80s. She taught herself PC repair, moved from sales to desktop administration, and then took a variety of jobs in network administration and database administration. Robin honed her skills at the primary IT support specialist at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, where she was responsible for many of the institution’s computer security initiatives, including software updates and documentation, culminating in a coordinated response to the Y2K crisis.

Robin’s strength as a writer and her ability to organize information enabled her to move forward in her career, and eventually led her to a job at a training provider called SelfTest Software. She’s now the shortest and the most senior member (four foot ten and 18 years, respectively) of the content development team at Kaplan IT Training (formerly Transcender and SelfTest Software).  Her twin specialties are project management and cybersecurity, particularly information security and auditing. Her many certifications include CISSP, CASP, Security+, Network+, Project+, A+, PMI’s PMP and CAPM, and ITIL Foundations. Her latest textbook is the CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) published by Pearson IT Certification. Two forthcoming titles are the 2nd Edition CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) CAS-003 Cert Guide (with coauthor Troy McMillan) and the 3rd Edition CISSP Cert Guide (with coauthors Sari Greene and Troy McMillan), also from Pearson IT Certification.

Robin was willing to share her experience with me for this blog post, which we hope will help students who are curious about cybersecurity careers.

Shahara: What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

Robin: I have an affinity for constant change. I thrive on it. And the world of cybersecurity has real-world direct connections. What I like are the real-world stories. There’s always something new. There are new attacks, so I have to stay abreast of the here-and-now versus the used-to-be. The knowledge you need to know is always building and changing. It’s never static.

Shahara: What do you think about certification as an enhancement to the traditional college path?

Robin: I facilitated a recent discussion at a conference where I explained why the certification route is necessary. Attendees asked me the same question, and as I told them, 15 different colleges may have 15 different curricula. I cannot truly measure your job skillset because the requirements and class emphasis will probably be different for each college. Certification standardizes what the industry expects. For instance, CISSP has a blueprint. Employers can see that you have mastered what companies are looking for once you have passed the certification. With a certification, I can assess your knowledge.

Shahara: What would you suggest that colleges and universities do to help their students?

Robin: In the future, colleges and universities might want to consider adding a practicum component to their requirements along with basic certifications.

Shahara: So what are your thoughts on the roles and possibilities for women who want to go into cybersecurity?

Robin: When I was presenting at a recent conference, I noticed that there weren’t many women in attendance, and most of the ones I did see were in support and administrative roles. I presented to about seventy participants, out of which about five were women. Let me tell you: women are needed. I want to see more women in the field. We don’t have enough people in cybersecurity in general, and we’ll only be adding more jobs as more advanced persistent threats. Everyone doesn’t have to be a programmer. There are many other opportunities that require different abilities. I say, investigate and find out where you fit best.

 

If you have questions, she can be reached by email: robin.abernathy@kaplan.com.

See you soon with more great stories about women in cybersecurity!

–Shahara Ruth

 

 

 

Free Kaplan IT Training Webinar: The Ins and Outs of Digital Currency

March 14, 2018 at 11:41 am | Posted in cybersecurity, Kaplan IT Training news, Knowledge | Leave a comment
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Digital currency, also known as cryptocurrency, is one of the most controversial monetary innovations to hit the market in this century. As the financial sector changes and new technologies are developed that incorporate cryptocurrency, more questions arise regarding its legalities and security risks. In response, Facebook recently announced it will no longer allow Bitcoin advertisements. Why all the fuss? Is it or isn’t it real currency?

Our webinar will discuss cryptocurrency, specifically the Bitcoin, including an overview of its security risks, its uses, and the major players in the Bitcoin market. The webinar will be hosted on March 21, 2018 by our resident digital currency guru and Microsoft content developer, George Monsalvatge.

To register for this free and informative webinar, please click the link:

Digital Currency Webinar registration link

Webinar time:

March 21, 2018, at 10:00 am CST

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