Splunk New Certification Tracks

Splunk updated their entire product certification process for those who need to manage and administrate Splunk. Previously, to get certified in Splunk it was a game of collecting the Pokemon cards of each training course\’s certificate of completion. That had the major downside for those of us experienced in Splunk. We could never get our employers to fund taking classes for material we knew well.

The process now involves an actual online exam. It is FREE. The courses can give you a very good foundation in the topics and prepare you for the exam. As with most certification exams the training and self study will cover the skill sets much deeper than the exam material alone can cover. I always recommend training when you can swing it as you never know what you do not know about a topic.

Splunk Certified Knowledge Manager

This certification covers the operation and managing the various knowledge objects within the Splunk application. This is more about helping the users have a solid consistent experience in using Splunk. It is not about the back end administration of the servers themselves.

The courses behind this certification are:
* Using Splunk
* Searching and Reporting
* Creating Splunk Knowledge Objects

Splunk Certified Admin

This certification is all about the technical administration of all aspects of Splunk. Everything from licensing, deployment management, indexing etc. This is for you if you want to be the wizard behind the curtain.

There is just one course behind this certification. It is the combination of the old Admin and Advanced Admin courses. It does require you have passed the Certified Knowledge Manager as the pre-requisite.
* Splunk Administration

Taking the Exams

Most of the folks I know have some experience with Splunk. For those people, I recommend you take the outlines for the courses behind each track. Highlight the agendas for the areas that you know you are weak in. Setup a v6 Splunk instance to practice those areas. Watch the tutorial videos from the Splunk intro page when you log into Splunk. Last, be sure to read ALL the documentation at least once related to the course material.

Then you just email certification@splunk.com to request registration to take the exam. They will send you a personalized exam link in an email with details of the number of questions you have to pass for the particular exam. It will also tell you how long you have to take the exam once you start it. You can take the exam as many times as you need to pass it. But you have to wait two hours between attempts.

Good luck!

CPEs, PDF and your Apple iPad

I am thrilled that an increasing number of the magazines I read for continuing professional education are providing PDF versions.  This provides many benefits to the Information Security and IT professional.

  1. Less paper to handle, store or dispose of.
  2. iBooks and Good Reader save your place in the PDF.
  3. Easy to store back issues for future reference.
  4. Easy to search and make notes using your iPad.

The sources of the PDFs I read vary in their easy of access to the PDF and if you need to have an account to reach them. I download them from the source as they become available then I put them in my Dropbox.com account and open from my iPad using Good Reader a $0.99 application. Alternatively you can drop PDFs onto iTunes now and  they will sync to your iPad using the iBooks app.

Here are the magazine sources I am frequently reading.

Continue reading “CPEs, PDF and your Apple iPad”

Tutorial – Quartz Composer and Image Units in Xcode

I gave myself a crash course this weekend.  I mainly wanted to be able to make plugins for fun in Pixelmator.  But turns out you can use things in iChat and Photobooth live.  It was a bit of a fun uphill battle to actually figure out a repeatable process.  So I wrote one.  You can download my Image Units Tutorial in PDF.

I cover Prototyping in Quartz Composer, moving it to an Image Unit and compile it in Xcode.  I toss in how to add a user input and even found a blog post on the Internet on how to ensure your IU puts out an image with defined dimensions.


Teaching at the Library

Well I jumped into it.  After having filled in for a couple of classes down at the Murfreesboro library I have agreed to teach for the next three months.  I will be teaching the basic computer skills course for beginners.   Also I am going to write up a new course, part agenda and part freestyle workshop on computer security.  Pretty much it will be targeted for the home and small business types.  I setup a subdomain site for the class.  Nothing fancy but good enough to pass along links etc to the students.  http://linebaugh.georgestarcher.com/ 

CISSP – Earning CPEs on your own time

I wanted to update an older topic. These days to keep your CISSP, CCE and other credentials you may have to have keep up on educational material. Also known as continuing professional education. We like to call them CPE units or simply CPEs. Here are some great sources.

The SANS Institute offers many great webcasts every month. You can even subscribe to the schedule via RSS or in an iCal compatible client. Watch for topics that you need development in or that just interest you. You are able to actually print out a CPE certificate for your records.

If you are Cisco certified here a new one. Cisco just partnered with the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology). Check out the benefits. There is a ton of online educational material for IET members. Just get your Cisco ID handy and join for a fairly reasonable membership fee.

If you are an iTunes user. There is always iTunesU. The online area of the Apple iTunes store where there are tons of University courses online.  You can probably find something suitable for CPEs either type A or B.

Lastly for now. If you want some good personal development type B CPE credits for your CISSP? I love the Manager Tools podcast. These guys know what they are talking about when it comes to management skills, handling coworkers, ethics etc. I would probably hold onto the copy of the audio file and the show notes for your records in case you get a CPE audit from ISC2.

NTC’s 7th Annual Technology Nashville Conference on May 17th

NTC Conference URL: http://www.technologycouncil.com/news.php?viewStory=1108

When: May 17th
Where: Franklin Marriott Cool Springs
What: Gathering of some of the most influential minds in IT in Middle Tennessee. Target audience includes eBusiness CEOs, Chief Technology Officer/ Chief Information Officer, Website & Software Developers AND Chief Information Security Officers

$65 – NTC Members, $90 Non-NTC Members, $50 Gov/Academic
(continental breakfast and lunch included)

The Nashville ISSA President Mark Johnson and past President Mark Burnette will be featured along with Carl Herberger of Allied InfoSecurity and Nissan North America’s CSO Fred Scholl (also Mid TN ISSA member)as part of a CISO panel at the event.

See http://www.technologycouncil.com/news.php?viewStory=1114 for more panel bios/details

They will cover topics like:

  • Examples of how your customers and business partners are demanding security.
  • Examples on how you’ve noticed that threats are on the rise.
  • How has the Tennessee Data Breach Law and other regulatory pressures affected you.
  • Is business integration and outsourcing affecting your security?
  • Discuss your budgetary process and resources – what are your challenges in this space.
  • What are your biggest concerns and comments on security partners / vendors?

Jim Phillips from Luminetx Technologies will also be speaking. Jim’s company designed the Vein Viewer Imaging Technology which reads the vein patterns of individuals for security purposes and he is also the founder of IPix Technologies which is a 360 degree security camera system used at the White House.

Cisco Cert Recertification

Cool.  With the recent changes Cisco made renewing your certification much more practical.  If you have a CCNP now and it is set to expire in three years then you need only pass ANY professional level exam to reset the clock.  I think that is very cool in that it encourages you to diversify what exams you have taken and if you did it gradually you could add other certification tracks over time while getting the benefit of maintaining your primary credential.

Cisco Recertification Policy