Symantec Offers Security Certification

Monday Oct 10th 2005 by Dan Muse
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Whether you want to ensure that your tech guy knows his stuff or you want to make sure your reseller knows security threats inside and out, a new Symantec certification program looks to label those who have passed the test.

Sure, you know that threats to your security abound, but what are you doing about it? Things won't be getting any less complex in the future, and small business need to plan accordingly.

Whether you need to develop your own security knowledge or locate resellers that you know have proven expertise, Symantec Corp. today announced a new program designed to quantify expertise.

The Symantec Certified Technical Specialist, Small Business Security program is a certification process designed for those responsible for planning, installing, configuring and managing Symantec anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and firewall products. The program, according to Graeme Johnston, senior director for sales enablement at Symantec, provides online and print training materials as well as testing to either Symantec resellers or small businesses that have technical staffs.

Small businesses "can't do it alone. They need channel help," Johnston said. He added that the certification goes beyond specific products and services and focuses on best practices. It's "somewhat abstract," he said, as it focuses on the theory of strong security.

Whether the focus comes from Symantec partners or from within your own company, small business need to intensify their efforts, according to the July 2005 Small Business Information Security Readiness study. Sponsored by Symantec and conducted by the Small Business Technology Institute, the study concluded small business are vulnerable to security threats as they adopt increasingly complex IT infrastructures and processes that expose information security gaps.

Despite years of virus horror stories, 20 percent of the more than 1,000 small businesses surveyed surprisingly have yet to implement virus scanning on their e-mail systems. And three-quarters of respondents have not developed any form of security planning. The study found that small businesses require education and resources to help them understand information security issues, assess threats, and implement adequate protection.

Symantec's goal, according to Johnston, is that by offering the Symantec Certified Technical Specialist, Small Business Security designation small businesses can more easily tap a network of resources with the expertise to help them understand information security issues, assess threats and implement protection — using Symantec products, of course.

To achieve the new certification, which is valid for two years, candidates must pass the Symantec Certified Technical Specialist exam and accept the online certification agreement. Exams are available here now, according to Symantec.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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