Security Watch

Educational Opportunities

Security training, free for the asking.

I get a lot of e-mail and snail mail about security education. Some of it's from companies that want me to attend a course or conference on some aspect of information security. Some I want to go to, and some I have gone to. There's more I want to do, but it just never seems there's enough money in the budget. Then there are the "free" seminars on this product or that. I've gone to some of them, and have learned to sniff out when it's a marketing ploy with no real value, and when it's really going to give me the facts I need.

Sound familiar? We all do the best we can with what we have; but there's so much to learn. That's why I want to make sure you're aware of, and sign up for, a free one-day seminar on security being put on by Microsoft. For 20 cities from April through June, Microsoft is bringing a combination of its own people, along with other experts, to present three different security sessions. There are two for IT pros and one for developers. Each is a full day of security education. And they're free. Sign up for one in a city near you at http://www.microsoft.com/seminar/securitysummit/default.mspx. Then answer the following challenge:

I challenge you to ask those companies that market software and hardware to offer similar security information about their products. Every company that makes or sells products used by IT has an obligation to educate potential or current customers on how to secure them. Every company also has the responsibility to participate in promoting a culture of security. One way to do this is to educate the people responsible for installing, maintaining, programming and using their products.

Imagine the good that could be done if more security education was available; if half- and full-day courses were put on by vendors in various cities. Imagine being able to attend courses in securing Red Hat, Oracle, DB2, AIX and Solaris, as well as Windows and SQL Server. Imagine learning how to secure the applications you run, as well as the operating system. Imagine stretching your education budget, since employees would only need to miss a single day at the office.

This can happen. But first you have to ask.

About the Author

Roberta Bragg, MCSE: Security, CISSP, Security+, and Microsoft MVP is a Redmond contributing editor and the owner of Have Computer Will Travel Inc., an independent firm specializing in information security and operating systems. She's series editor for Osborne/McGraw-Hill's Hardening series, books that instruct you on how to secure your networks before you are hacked, and author of the first book in the series, Hardening Windows Systems.

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