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Let’s go over the year recent as 2023 which has been one of the busiest duration for hackers with an unprecedented 300% increase in attack traffic. Their latest fancy seems to be IoT devices that include the number of software, wireless sensors, actuators, computers, etc., which can be embedded into handheld devices, medical equipment, environmental sensors, industrial apparatus so on, and so forth.

Most of these major cyberattacks were successful in targeting the seemingly impenetrable systems of governments, hospitals, academic institutes, and businesses across the world. The alarming number of 7.9 billion data breach cases were reported in 2023 with an emphasized aim in several economic sectors.

Before we analyze the possible lessons we learned, let us review some of the biggest cyberattacks that the year unfortunately witnessed.

American Medical Collection Agency – May/2024 (25 million compromised records)

AMCA data breach of nearly 25 million patients’ information is one of the biggest cybersecurity incidents of 2023. Although the massive breach was revealed in May, the US Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed that the health debt collector AMCA’s records remained wide-open by hackers from August 2023 to March 2023.

Two of the most impacted clients of AMCA, LabCorp reported the breach of 7.7 million patients records, while Quest Diagnostics bore the compromising of 12 million records. Other affected parties included BioReference, Austin Pathology, Clinical Pathology Laboratories, CBLPath, Penobscot Community Health Center, etc.

Also read: 14 Best Webinar Software Tools in 2023 (Ultimate Guide for Free)

Capital One – July/2024 (106 million compromised records)

Capital One, a renowned giant in banking and credit card world made it to the news headlines in July 2023 for the worst possible reasons. Richard D. Fairbank, chairman, and CEO of Capital One admitted to the breach of 106 million customers’ information.

The Seattle-based hacker, Paige A. Thompson allegedly worked for Amazon, gained unauthorized access to the personal information of credit card customers. The data included people’ Social Security numbers, credit scores, banking transactions and balances, and residential addresses.

Following the cyberattack Capital One had federal law enforcement capture the hacker, who is now facing prison time and $250,000 fine. They also assured costumers of complete data recovery and made identity protection and credit monitoring available for all stakeholders.

First American – May/2024 (885 million compromised records)

First American – the U.S. based largest financial services company faced the second-biggest data breach in the history of cyberattacks.  Second only to Yahoo!’s 2013 hack that exposed nearly 3 billion accounts, First American suffered the breach of almost 900 million records.

The data leak involved hundreds of millions of files of bank account numbers and statements, wire transaction receipts, mortgage documents, tax records, driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers, and other personal information dating far back to 2003.

This massive data breach was unusually reported by a real estate developer, Ben Shoval instead of the usual likelihood of security expert. Upon realizing that by mere single-digit alteration in the URL, he could access the company’s highly sensitive data, Ben Shoval warned the relevant authorities within First American to no avail.

In the light of the graveness of the situation, he then went on to report it to Brian Krebs, an investigative journalist at KrebsOnSecurity who broke the story to the world.

Citrix Systems, Inc. – March/2024 (records compromised: unknown)

Although the number of people who suffered the data breach at Citrix is unknown, the size of its dealings points towards substantial amounts of compromised customer data. The American-based multinational software company, that provides services to 400,000 companies worldwide fell victim to one of the most lethal cyberattacks in its history.

Citrix believes that the hacker employed a technique called password spraying which obtains unauthorized access by scanning systems and infiltrating them through weak passwords. The hacker retained intermittent access for six months from October 2023 to March 2023.

The ongoing investigations by FBI and forensic examiners are still reluctant to disclose the true extent of the attack which has impacted the employees, dependents, and beneficiaries alike.

Facebook – April to May/2024, (419 to 540 million compromised records)

Facebook is always in the news for one data security incident or another. The major data breach came when the establishment was still reeling from the 2023 Cambridge Analytica scandal of misusing users’ personal data for political manipulation.

Facebook made it to the news in April 2023 when 540 million records were found on Amazon’s cloud computing servers. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, confirmed the data breach but claimed the plain-text publication to be accidental.

Despite multiple assurances and announcements of improved security measures from Facebook, in September 2023 419 million records including account information and phone numbers were found to be available in plain sight.

Also read: Top 10 IoT Mobile App Development Trends to Expect in 2023

Take Away

Every new cyberattack should not be a reminder to tighten the security regulations around the organization. The importance of reliable defense mechanisms, timely upgrades, and security reinforcements against malicious cybercriminals should remain the top priority at all times.

The attentive and informed approach requires comprehensive training programs. That can help people in general and employees in particular to recognize potential threats. By recognizing and halting the phishing scams, cybercriminal tactics, ransomware attacks, etc., at once can minimize the damage significantly.

Sitwat Maroof

Founder Futuristic Content, I’m a technical writer with a passion to write on the subjects of cybersecurity, futuristic technology, web/software development, cloud computing, and data science.

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A Quick Look At Siri Shortcuts

In iOS 12, Apple introduces Siri Shortcuts, which lets you pair your daily routines with third-party apps. Better still, Siri learns your habits and make suggestions based on that knowledge.

Though still in beta along with the rest of iOS 12, the Siri Shortcuts feature is already robust enough to get an idea what to expect when it’s released this Fall. Here’s a look at how to use Siri Shortcuts on your iOS device in iOS 12.

From Workflow to Siri Shortcuts

Unlike the Workflow automation app Apple purchased in 2023 (and is probably replacing), Siri Shortcuts isn’t an app at all. Instead, it’s a selection in the Settings app in iOS under Siri & Search.

Relegating Siri Shortcuts to this location was an odd choice given the popularity of Workflow. Luckily, its unusual placement doesn’t take away from the tool’s usefulness, even as a first release.

The Siri & Search page on iOS includes three main sections: Shortcuts, Ask Siri, and Siri Suggestions. These are followed by a listing of every app installed on your iPhone or iPad.

Shortcuts

As Apple explains, you “add Shortcuts for things you frequently do so you can get them done just by asking Siri.” On this screen, you’ll find links called My Shortcuts and More Shortcuts. Between these are links showing at least three recommended actions based on your most recent routines.

In the example above, you see the Shortcuts, “View photos,” “Send a message to Samantha,” “Start a video chat with Samantha,” and “Check Apple stock price.”

Therefore, in this example, all you have to say is “Check Apple stock price,” and Siri will open the Stocks app and take you to the Apple listing.

3) To change the Shortcut, select Edit and then use your voice to change the command. Hit Done at the top right when you’re done.

In the following example, instead of saying “Check Apple stock price,” the Shortcut has been changed to “Check the stock price for Apple.”

More Shortcuts

Under More Shortcuts, you’ll a running list of recommended Siri Shortcuts.

1) To get started, tap More Shortcuts.

Note: The three recommended actions mentioned above are also found under More Shortcuts.

2) On this screen, you’ll see various actions, sorted by the iOS app. These change often, depending on your routine.

4) Record your voice as you did before and then tap Done.

In the example above, I selected the recommended action, Show weather in my current location, and recorded my voice.  Now, every time I say, “Show weather in my location,” Siri will get to work and alert me to the current weather conditions.

Ask Siri and Siri Suggestions

The Ask Siri and Siri Suggestions sections on the Siri & Search page in iOS 12 is similar to the one in iOS 11. Using toggles, you can change how Siri reacts.  Some of the choices under Ask Siri include “Listen for “Hey Siri,” “Press Side Button for Siri,” and “Allow Siri When Locked.”

Choices under Siri Suggestions are “Suggestions in Search,” “Suggestions in Lock Up,” and “Suggestions on Lock Screen.”

Changes by app

The final section on the Siri & Search page is a listing of all the apps installed on your iOS device, sorted in alphabetical order.

1) Tapping on any of these brings up a page including whether the app should use “Search,  Suggestions . & Shortcuts,” and “Allow on Lock Screen.”

As Apple explains, “Allow information from (app name) to appear in Search, Look Up, Keyboard, and Lock Screen. Siri may learn from and make suggestions based on how you use the app.”

2) Toggle to make a change.

In the example above, I chose the Adidas app and changed its “Allow on Lock Screen” setting.

Learning Curve

Overall, I’ve been impressed with the Siri Shortcuts tool in iOS 12. Nevertheless, I hope Apple makes some design improvements on the Siri & Search page before iOS 12 is released to the public. Its current layout is a little bit messy. In particular, I don’t like seeing the three recommended actions sandwiched between the My Shortcuts and More Shortcuts links. This sloppy setup could prove confusing to many.

Changes made to Siri Shortcuts during the iOS 12 beta process will be reflected here.

Apple will release iOS 12 this Fall.

Stiff Neck: A Look At Possible Causes

A stiff neck could result from several reasons. Maybe you didn’t sleep right a few days back and you got a kink in your neck. Or maybe you’ve been working on the computer too long for a few months now.

In this article, we will explore the different causes behind a stiff neck both short-term and long-term.

Sprains, Strains, and Minor Injuries

The muscles in your neck could be stretched or there may be muscle tears – these are called strains. The levator scapulae muscle i.e., the muscle at the back of your neck (the transverse process C1-C4) connects with the superior scapula or shoulder blade and is very commonly injured in daily activities.

These include sudden impacts that twist your head/neck such as sports injuries, sleeping in uncomfortable or awkward positions, poor posture, or slouching while using the computer, phone, or books i.e., “text neck”. Stress can also cause your neck muscles to stiffen.

Alternatively, ligaments or tendons (soft tissue) that connect bones or muscles to bone respectively, could be sprained.

These ligaments and tendons could get twisted, torn, or stretched and cause stiffness alongside other symptoms like pain, swelling, and tenderness. This can happen during an accident that makes your head jerk back and forth, during contact injuries in sports, or if have a fall.

You may also have muscle spasms in which your muscles contract involuntarily causing pain. It usually occurs due to low electrolyte levels like potassium or magnesium, or too much muscular exertion such as when moving furniture or lifting weights.

Major Accidents

Major accidents can cause major trauma to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons through whiplash.

This is when your head jerks back and forth violently during a collision and results in dizziness, headaches, burning or pickling on the neck, pain in your back or shoulder, and difficulty concentrating or memory loss. This is more severe and may affect the nerves in the neck as well.

Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, can also damage the neck joints due to inflammation as can osteoarthritis which usually occurs with old age and is a consequence of wear and tear. It can also occur as post-traumatic arthritis, more common in younger people after an injury or accident where the bones have been broken, fractured, or dislocated.

Spinal Stenosis

This is a condition that causes a narrowing of the spinal canal which also places immense pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal cord nerves.

It usually occurs together with other degenerative conditions like cervical osteoarthritis in which the cervical spine becomes worn out, dehydrates, breaks down, and stiffens – usually with age.

Degenerative Disorders

Other than cervical osteoarthritis, other degenerative diseases like cervical degenerative disc disease can also contribute to stiffness in the neck. Cervical degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs in between the vertebrae of your spine begin to lose hydration and height, and their viscoelasticity which allows them to provide a cushioning effect deteriorates.

Osteophytes

These bone spurs usually do not cause any trouble. But if these extra lumps of bone that protrude from the spine or joints begin to impinge on the nerves or tendons, place pressure on ligaments, or rub against bones it can cause pain and stiffness. This may also occur if the bone spurs break away and get stuck in the joint linings.

Osteophytes occur post damage to the bones/joints after injuries, degenerative joint disease, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis. In such conditions, the body tries to affix more bone to the injured area to fix the injury, causing excess bony growths i.e., osteophytes.

Osteophytes can occur due to aging, overuse of joints such as through lifelong dancing or running, genetic or congenital bone problems, obesity, or spinal stenosis.

Fibromyalgia

This disorder is chronic and can affect any part of your body, although stiffness in the neck and neck pain are the most common symptoms. The causes of fibromyalgia remain multiple- there is no one specific cause for its development.

But fibromyalgia is a widespread pain that is also accompanied by symptoms like anxiety, depression, and heightened stress levels which can also contribute to a stiff neck.

Cervical Herniated Disc

Cervical discs are the elastic cushioning discs placed between the spinal bones. Sometimes the soft inner core of the disc breaks through the protective exterior layer and leaks out, compressing nerves and soft tissues and causing inflammation, numbness, and pain.

Meningitis

This is a potentially life-threatening infection (viral/bacterial/fungal) of the brain and spinal cord which can either resolve on its own or requires emergency treatment.

This causes the three membranes i.e., the meninges that shield the brain and spinal cord to become inflamed and also cause muscular rigidity leading to stiffness and restrained mobility in the neck.

Conclusion – Prevention and Treatment

Take good care of your neck by avoiding lugging heavy weights, and wear the appropriate protective gear while playing sports or driving vehicles.

The different causes of a stiff neck can be resolved using anything from physiotherapy, applying hot or cold compresses, taking stretch breaks between work, and using ergonomic chairs and pillows for your office and bedroom.

Undertake stress relief activities such as exercise, yoga, meditation, massages, or relaxing baths. You may also need medication such as antibiotics to counter the infection, IV fluids for rehydration, and corticosteroids or NSAIDs for pain and inflammation.

You must rest your neck and refrain from heavy-duty activities that strain it further, for which purpose a cervical collar will keep your neck still.

Cyber Security Tips For Enterprises/Users

Cyber Security Tips for Enterprises/Users Think Before You Post About Yourself & Others

Never post many things about your business or others to be in the limelight. As it could cause you trouble and you will get unwanted attention from hackers. Always be careful and not let your personal or professional life get exposed.

Make Sure Your Data Stored Is Protected

Conducting an audit of data stored and categorize them according to the priority and importance. The data which will not affect your business can be kept public. The data which is most important and confidential for your business, should be kept under the wraps. Divide the data into a low, medium and high priority to decide which of all needs protection the most. You should also limit the number of people who can access your confidential files to minimize the risk further.

Utilize Multiple Authentication Ways Activate HTTPS On Website To Stay Secure

HTTPs website comes with SSL/TLS Certificate installed onto servers. The SSL/TLS Certificate encrypts data transferred from browser to server regardless of financial or personal information which is on site or content of the page or website. Therefore, protects the website and information from malicious threats and other infections. SSL certificates connect your brand identity to your web pages and help the user recognize you as a genuine company.

Keep Strong Password And Don’t Repeat The Password

Hackers sell the data to get monetary benefits. If you have information about thousands of people and their credentials then, you should generate a different password for every account. If you use the same password, the hacker can gain access to all of the accounts, if cracked one. So using a different, strong and longer passwords can make it hard to crack. If you are handling multiple passwords, then it is recommended to use a password manager, so you never forget your passwords.

Software Should Be Updated Timely

Let’s look at the key features of Advanced Driver Updater:

It seamlessly updates the outdated drivers to enhance the performance of your computer

It allows you to create an exclusion list to exclude the drivers that you don’t want to be added to scan.

It enables you to schedule regular scans for driver update.

Create Backup of All Data

Backing up your data helps to prevent data loss in case of theft or power failure. If you have backed up your files, then data loss is temporary, and files can be recovered easily. Backup should be kept in a different location and you should have multiple copies so that you don’t suffer any data loss in any scenario.  One of the best products, Right Backup, an online storage tool can help you secure your data online with ease. Let’s look what you will get when choosing Right Backup:

You can get access to data when you are not connected to Internet.

It provides you unlimited storage space.

You can upload the large files with ease and get multiple device support.

Must Read : How To Remove Malware and Viruses On Your Windows PC

Importance of Antimalware

Having an Antimalware software is vital, given the powerful malware attacks witnesses lately. Without antimalware software, your computer is vulnerable to all types of malicious infection. Therefore, it is mandated to have a security tool on your system so that our computer and data on it can stay safe all the time.

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Managerial Round Cyber Security Interview Questions

How will such skills, understanding, ability, and technical expertise be confirmed? Outwardly, the candidate should impress with soft skills like effective communication, harsh language, and clever words. Answers should be to the point unless it is an open-ended question like ‘What are your hobbies?’ The following are sample questions and answers that should provide a starting point for the interview preparation.

Why you think you can succeed as a Cyber Security Manager?

After my studies, I have ample experience working in three small companies. Though it was two years of work experience, I worked double duty most of the time in the organizations, which remained busy night and day. It was hectic, but I gained valuable practical experience. The stage has come to rise further and shoulder greater responsibility. I have obtained a bird’s eye view of the cyber security scenario in theory and practice and feel confident as a manager.

What were your Educational Experiences Like?

I started with online studies for a year and earned my first certification successfully. It was completely online, and practical hands-on experience was lacking. I enrolled in a day college, and the course was partly physical classes and partially online studies. This course convinced me and assured me I could cope with demanding professional needs.

Did you like the First Work Experience?

When I finally started working after some hesitation during my studies, work was like a dream. The duties seemed like life lessons from the textbooks. Along with books, I learned from many videos in studies along with dedicated teachers. Though I took a few months to adjust to the work timings and discipline, like wearing uniforms, I have happily reached the third satisfying year of service.

Have you Heard of SWOT?

Yes, as a part of my professional training within the company. The letters stand for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT applies in every field. Every individual and company has strengths and weaknesses that we need to know. Options are everywhere and need to be taken to achieve success. In the field of cyber security, threats play a significant role. Advanced actions like restricting access and user authentication could prevent damage from threats.

Can you mention a few Professional Achievements?

faced a company crisis two times. The first was when the cyber security manager was on extended leave. Numerous computers suddenly got infected, and everybody was shocked. Work halted for a week, and a significant financial loss happened. I had to take responsibility and work with the experts to disinfect the computers. Maintenance work had been neglected for a long time, so the antivirus software licenses had yet to be renewed. We worked 24 hours to get everything in order and in good working condition.

On another occasion, I was sent officially as part of the procurement committee for IT purchases in the wholesale market along with a senior colleague. Though I hesitated, that shopping experience helped me understand how IT works. I developed many contacts and am happy that I got such an opportunity.

Do you think that Cyber Security Managers are Essential?

With increasing populations and mighty online industries after the pandemic, Cyber Security Managers have significant responsibilities. Like a family head, every company, whatever its size, requires a dedicated cybersecurity manager. Two decades ago, they were not so much needed. We live today in a world of substantial cyber threats, and cybercrime is at its peak. We don’t see them, but it is a fact. Ransomware is a reality and happens even in mighty corporations in America. The manager should be updated with the latest software tools and techniques to fight cybercrime. If drastic action is not taken, data systems and databases break down, and business hours are lost. With rising mega digital worlds, the future belongs to dynamic cyber managers.

Have you any idea about OWASP?

It is the name of an organization that deals with web security. The letter OWASP stands for open web application security project. They deal with security risks online. Some dangers are injection, broken authentication, data exposure, and broken access control.

Can you define Traceroute?

Also called tracert, it shows where a break in communication has happened. Along the way that data travels during transmission are several routers and servers. If connections are disrupted, it helps to know where the break took place. Remedial measures can then be followed up.

Know the difference between TLS, HTTPS, and SSL?

TLS means transport layer security, and it succeeded SSL or secure sockets layer. HTTPS is a hypertext transfer protocol secure. All of them help to fight security risks.

What are the weak points that lead to Security Risks?

Personal devices are insecure

Weak passwords are the problem

Not investing in security software

Not installing patches fast

Imagine your professional life after five years.

I am looking forward to determining hard work during the next five years. I have already spent about five years in combined study and jobs. I am confident of satisfying my employers and hope to rise on the corporate ladder to a senior manager if I am lucky. Since many facilities for study exist online, I plan to improve my knowledge and skills further.

Conclusion

Interviewing boards are very particular and must be entirely convinced before hiring a manager with incredible responsibility. Make strong positive statements and avoid hesitation. Get mentally prepared with technically updated information and put forth the best answers. If something is to be clarified, don’t worry and just ask.

Certification Watch: Year In Review, A Look Ahead

Few people had heard of computer certification when Novell created the Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) in 1989, but what started as a simple sales tool for Novell triggered widespread recognition of the power of certification to make a resume stand out.

Now, there are so many computer certifications it can be hard to choose which one is best, and to human resource departments, the technical resume that doesn’t have any certifications near the top looks like its missing something.

Going into 2004, computer certification is in somewhat of a critical, delicate stage. Will it retain value and continue to play an important role in our field? Or is it going to stumble and fall victim to the hurdles its own success has raised?

Right now the value of certification in the IT industry is clouded by the confusion that results from the sudden abundance of titles. It’s a challenge for IT professionals and employers to identify which certifications are worthwhile to pursue, while noting which are undoubtedly of high quality but will not personally benefit them, and discarding those which offer little value to anyone.

And then there is the legion of cheaters, who would help those who are not deserving or skilled pass certification exams through illegitimate means. When individuals who gain certification by these methods enter the workplace and can’t perform as expected, everyone else who is certified is harmed.

But neither of those hurdles is insurmountable. For the first, Certification vendors are beginning to recognize the problem and attempt to reorganize their certifications into a consistent structure with identifiable levels. Plus, there are Web sites like chúng tôi and others that organize the hundreds of certifications into manageable groups and help people choose among them.

For the cheaters, members of the computer industry have reached out and slapped them with the long arm of the law. In 2003 industry members brought successful lawsuits against several distributors of so-called braindumps. And a special consulting group, named Caveon , formed by industry experts will make their lives even more miserable.

To be sure, there are additional, smaller barriers to surmount. For example, quality continues to be of concern. Most certification programs are well-run operations that pay careful attention to the definition of objectives and the creation and maintenance of exams that measure them. But there is no watchdog to assure that. Accreditation of certification programs, just as colleges are accredited, is likely to appear in the not too distant future, perhaps within the next few years.

In case you missed any of the certification happenings of 2003 (and who can keep track of it all?) here’s a review of computer certification program developments:

Security is the Word

As with 2002, the word for 2003 was security – lots of it. Quite a few designations aimed at credentialing those who can help us secure our data were launched or expanded, including:

Microsoft added security specialties to the MCSA and MCSE

Sun Certified Solaris Security Administrator was launched.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and ISC2 (International Information Systems Security Consortium Inc) created the ISSEP, a new computer security certification for the National Security Agency (NSA).

ISC2 also expanded its well respected CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) program by adding “concentrations” and an associate program.

Planet3Wireless released the Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP) title.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) was created.

Continued Integration

CompTIA’s Security+ is a requirement for the IBM Certified Advanced Deployment Professional — Tivoli Security Management Solutions title.

Citrix Certified Integration Achitect (CCIA) requires completion of a Microsoft design exam.

Novell requires CompTIA IT Project+ for MCNE (Master Certified Novell Engineer) certification, and CompTIA CTT+ (Certified Technical Trainer+) for the CNI (Certified Novell Instructor).

Microsoft accepts CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+ or Server+ certifications as alternatives to passing elective exams in the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) on Microsoft Windows 2000 certification.

Novell suggests the vendor neutral Linux Professional Institute Certification Level 1 (LPIC1) as a prerequisite to its new Novell Certified Linux Engineer (CLE) title.

and Upgrades

As you would hope, the major certification programs (and by those I mean programs from very big vendors and/or with lots of certified individuals) continued to be updated and in some cases expanded throughout the year.

Microsoft added a soft skill credential – the MSF Practitioner, as well as a Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) title, specialist tracks for Messaging, and of course, the Windows Server 2003 tracks. They also returned to detailed score reports, so candidates can once again tell which areas they fell short on if they don’t pass an exam.

Cisco Systems launched a spate of new specialist titles, and redesigned the Cisco Certified Internet Professional (CCIP) to follow the structure as the CCNP and CCDP titles.

CompTIA, which works diligently to make sure its certifications reflect current technology, updated its A+, IT Project+, e-Biz+ titles. As a side note, it’s kind of interesting that CompTIA takes such care to keep its certifications up to date, but doesn’t require its certified individuals to update or complete any continuing requirements to retain certification. Don’t be surprised if that changes in the future.

Apple computer appeared to work more actively on its certification program than ever before, adding an end-user certification program, a help desk specialist title, and updating its Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) and Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) titles to the latest version of Mac OS X.

Major Mergers and Re-Orgs

The big merger of the Hewlett-Packard and Compaq certification programs is proceeding smoothly. All of the Compaq ASE certifications have been integrated into a unified HP certification program. Anyone who was certified under Compaq and doesn’t yet know how this affects them can check the HP certification Web site.

IBM is in the midst of a large reorganization of its certification program as well. As one of the most prolific vendors of certifications, IBM has quite a bit to organize. The new structure organizes certifications around job roles, creating a three skill level hierarchy (sound familiar?). All of the IBM product lines are incorporated, including Lotus and Tivoli.

Certification and Salaries

One of the primary questions that IT professionals always want answered about certification, is – will it help me increase my earnings? At least one research study completed this year indicates the answer is yes. Certification Magazine’s annual salary survey for 2003 queried more than 19,000 IT professionals. The average survey respondent held 3.2 certifications. According to the study, on average, certification brought a 15.1% salary increase to IT professionals in 2003. In the same survey in 2002, that number was just 7%.

Overall, 2003 was a pretty good year for computer certification. Many positive changes took place, and it’s looking a lot like certification in the information technology industry will make it through its somewhat turbulent teen years and mature into a lasting force for computer professionals and their employers.

Anne Martinez is the author of Cheap Web Tricks: Build and Promote a Successful Web Site Without Spending A Dime and Get Certified and Get Ahead. She also is the founder of chúng tôi

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