Cyber Security Update

Cyber security risks are constantly evolving as bad actors adapt their tactics to improved corporate defenses. New reports arise almost daily of prominent companies becoming victims of malware attacks, not to mention the many unreported attacks on less prominent companies.

What are the emerging threats companies should be aware of? What successful approaches are companies taking to protect their infrastructure, their data, their very business? Are trends becoming more favorable or less favorable to small and mid-sized businesses?

Join us as Ronnie Munn, CISO from MCPc, answers these questions and others in our March webinar.

About the Speaker

Ronnie Munn is MCPc’s Chief Information Security Officer, where he is responsible for consultative cyber security efforts across MCPc’s customer base. He has developed and implemented the solution catalog specific to information security programs, which includes procedures and policies designed to protect enterprise communications, systems and assets (including protected financial information) from both internal and external threats.

Ronnie has an encompassing understanding of the IT landscape as it relates to security, business continuity, and disaster recovery. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Citrix Certified Professional-Networking (CCP-N), and Citrix Certified Professional-Virtualization (CCP-V).

MCPc has been supporting the IT needs of midwestern businesses for more than 20 years and has focused efforts in the cyber security space for more than 10 years. They’ll share insights to help businesses understand how best to protect themselves against evolving and emerging threats.

Certification Townhall: Event Recap

Our speakers for the January Meeting were Amy Carrado, Sr Director, Research & Market Intel at CompTIA; and Eric Younkin, CTO of Go Maverick Group. 

We had 24 attendees at the meeting, with many good questions and comments.

Some notes from the event:

  • Hot Certs from Burning Glass: ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library), CompTIA Security+
  • 80% of HR said Certs were valuable
  • Majority say they are valuable for training staff too.
  • Majority identify that they find certifications are valuable in general.
  • Can Job experience supplement a certification? Yes, per Amy recognized more and more as a way to validate skills.
  • Microsoft Certifications have gone way down the list, from a perspective of what employers are looking for. 
  • Are CompTIA Certs available online now? It depends, but most are offered online now due to the pandemic. 
  • Storage Certifications: Niche market, limited usefulness. Depends on the vendor and the client. 

Certs in Greatest Demand

Eric’s Comments

  • Go Maverick finds harder to find skill sets.
  • Their clients identify certifications they want or skills they want to see.
  • Certification supplementing experience?
  • Robert Half experience
    • Entry level roles: A+, Security+ Network+ were great ways to demonstrate some skills 
  • Certs are a great way to bridge the experience gap
  • Some that stick out to him:
    • CISSP – cross functional value
    • Cisco CCNP
    • ITIL is a very good one, almost regardless of role
  • Obscure Ones
    • AWS ones can get very granular
    • Same for Microsoft, very granular and specific
    • Amy: another example, software development: Salesforce Platform Developer Cert.
  • Observations:
    • Interesting to not see cloud anything near the top of the list, whether CompTIA or ther.
    • CompTIA Cloud+ is not very well represented
      • Newer?
  • Craig made an observation that Microsoft has retired most of it’s existing Certs and are pushing all Azure Certs.
  • CompTIA Certs:
    • Are they more entry-level? What’s better for more senior level?
    • Cyber Security
    • CASS+

Burning Glass Stats

  • Study and Prep?
    • Cert Master tool from CompTIA
    • Practice Tests available (Actual Test website)
    • Microsoft Study Guides Helpful
    • Craig: if you fail on an exam, jot down notes about as much as you can remember, as soon as you get out of the exam, then study the notes when prepping 2nd time.
    • Blake has taken some online study courses to prep.
      • He advises to tailor your study methods to what style best suits you.
    • Review Test Taking Strategies Powerpoint from George Squillace (former New Horizons instructor) 
  • Tony /Eric
    • Seeing a lot of MSP’s requiring tech staff to get one new certification per year. 
    • Positive trend in reimbursements, but some companies are ensuring it’s directly pertinent to your job, though.
    • One employer is pushing staff to get reimbursed through State of Ohio Programs.

This event was recorded and is available for viewing by Members of the Akron Chapter of AITP. If you are not a member, Join Today

Event: Tech Trends for 2021

Technology trends are always an interesting subject. What’s fading away? What’s gaining traction? Where will company’s invest in the next few years and where is innovation likely to take hold.

Joining us on February 18th are a pair of local IT leaders whose job is to keep an eye on important trends and help their organization or clients make wise decisions.

Our presenters are Carmen Fontana, National Practice Lead – Centric Consulting and Brian Kelley, CTO – the Ohio Turnpike Commission. Carmen’s focus area is Modern Software Delivery / Emerging Technology and she’ll share her perspective on tech trends she’s following as well as what Centric clients are considering. Brian leads the Commission’s evaluation, proof, and deployment of new technologies. Brian will share their progress on autonomous vehicles, turnpike automation and other technologies under evaluation.

2021 Events Schedule

Akron AITP is proud to announce its lineup of events planned for 2021.  In December, the organization surveyed members, event attendees, and technology practitioners from the region to identify those topics with the greatest interest to the community. After analyzing survey results, AITP has established the following schedule:
  • January: Tech Certifications Town Hall
  • February: Tech Trends for 2021
  • March:  Cyber Security Update
  • April:  What’s New and Coming with Microsoft Teams
  • May:  Tech Career Development Workshop
  • June:  Professional Development for Career Growth
  • July:  5G Wireless Technology
  • August:  Best Practices in DevOps
  • September:  Cognitive Services in Azure
  • October:  NASA Mission to Mars Update
  • November: Past Presidents Dinner and Annual Meeting
“We’re very excited about this year’s program series,” said Craig Purnell, Chapter President, “we had a great response rate to our survey and people identified some really interesting topics they’re interested in. We’re all looking forward to a slate of engaging, interesting speakers to present on these topics.”

Program Survey Results

Last month, we posted our Annual Survey over on SurveyMonkey. Thanks to everyone who responded. We really value the results and try hard to build our yearly program based on the feedback.  This year we had 46 responses which is very good. There was a great slew of topics to choose from.

The results heavily favored Tech Trends in 2021 and Cyber Security Updates, which we tend to do every year. Another topic that you want to see is Career Development and Professional Networking – which we intend to include this year.

Regarding the time of day, many of the responses indicated they would like to move the time to 6PM, which we will be doing for this year.

A last question, “We’re hoping to get back to in-person events in 2021, when do you think you’d be willing to meet up again next year?” – many responses were divided between June , September and “Not Before Q4”. The Board has taken a wait and see attitude to this. We do not anticipate meeting in person before September at this time.

Thanks to everyone who responded! We are really excited about the Program for 2021.

Program Survey Results

We recently posted a survey over on SurveyMonkey asking you what you wanted to see this year for subjects of presentations at our meetings. Below please find the results:

Topic  Weighted Average
Enterprise Architecture in the Cloud 2.35
AI and Machine Learning 2.32
Trends in Cyber Security 2.12
Data Analytics and You 1.91
Advancing your IT Career 1.74
Cloud Computing Trends: From Hyperscale to Regional 1.50
Implementing DevOps 1.32

The number of respondents was 34. Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey! We will also be participating in Tech Week again this year, which is the 1st week of April! Stay tuned for more details!

Scholarship Presentation

On November 15th 2018, Clara Friend, a Senior in Computer Science at Malone University in Canton, OH received a $500 scholarship presented by Board Member Dr. James Glasgow. The scholarship was awarded in the name of Akron Canton Chapter from CompTIA AITP. The selection of the scholarship award was the prize of the recently held Chapter Challenge contest, which Akron Chapter of AITP placed 9th overall out of 31 chapters.

Clara Friend, scholarship recipient, and Dr. James Glasgow, Board Member