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Intersecting Project Management and Business Analysis

White Paper | April 15, 2014

Effective requirements collection at the outset of the project is the key step that will ensure that the project manager can deliver what is actually expected. In this respect, the business analyst must become a key ally and advisor to the project manager. Most project managers are not trained business analysts, so taking advantage of the skill set that a business analyst can offer can greatly enhance the possibility of project success.

What DMVPN Is and Why We Should Care

Article | April 03, 2014

According to Cisco marketing, Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN) “will lower capital and operation expenses, simplifies branch communications, reduces deployment complexity, and improves business resiliency.” Okay. But what is it, really, and why should we care?

Prioritization: Start Working Strategically

Webinar – Recorded | April 02, 2014

Today, every project comes with limited resources and an impossible timeline. You have to prioritize, but how do you determine what's most important? The answer is to do more than just prioritize. You have to fully understand your company's strategic direction and make every action align with that strategy. In this hour-long webinar, project management expert Yvan Bastien will show you how to reach that full understanding and make the kinds of informed decisions that lead to success.

Business Requirements Scoping Techniques

Webinar – Recorded | March 01, 2014

Organizations launch projects with the assumption that the new or improved solution will provide worthwhile benefits for stakeholders and a suitable return on investment. By understanding your business requirements you ensure that your teams actually deliver those benefits. Keeping user and functional requirements aligned with the business requirements is a key to successful solution delivery.

List of IT Skills

Special Report | Jan. 01, 2014

Organizations are moving strongly toward Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) access, bringing outsourced activities back in-house, and finding ways to make use of the growing amounts of data flowing in from many new sources such as social media. These factors create an increasing shift in required and desired skills showing up in IT departments. Hiring and salary surveys, such as the 2014 IT Skills and Salary Survey from Global Knowledge and Windows IP Pro, TEKsystems' 2014 Annual IT Forecast, Foote Research Group's 2014 IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index, Computerworld's annual Forecast survey, Robert Half Technology Survey, and information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Futurestep, Mondo, GovLoop, and Dice have presented a developing picture of the IT skills that will be in demand in 2014. Here, in survey order, are the top 10 major skills and why they made the list.

Advantages of Using SonicWALL Route-Based VPN Instead of Site-to-Site VPN

Article | Oct. 21, 2013

There are several advantages to implementing a route-based VPN (a.k.a. tunnel interface VPN) instead of a site-to-site one. Learn more.

Planning a Career Path in Cybersecurity

White Paper | Oct. 14, 2013

As a society, we have all become heavily dependent on computers, network, and data stores. This in turn has exposed us to the risk of loss or compromise of those data systems. The need for personnel knowledgeable and experienced in security implementation and management has never been greater and the need is growing.

Cybersecurity Necessities: A Firewall, Antivirus, and a Well-Trained Workforce

Webinar – Recorded | Oct. 03, 2013

You have spent money on software and hardware, implemented best practices, and believe you are secure, right? You may have overlooked the weakest link: your employee. Many breaches occur as a result of an employee mistakenly clicking on a link or visiting a site that allows a virus to be unknowingly downloaded, giving hackers access to your network. Today, a well-trained workforce is a necessity and may even be your most important cybersecurity tool. In this webinar, security expert David Willson will discuss how many breaches have occurred and are occurring, the tools and techniques hackers use to trick employees into clicking on links or opening attachments, and how to prevent such behavior.

Military Orders Process vs. Project Management Methodology, Part 2

Article | Sep. 10, 2013

Now that we have looked at the similarities and differences between the first two steps of the military decision-making process (MDMP) and the project management processes from the planning process group that align with them, it’s time to take a look at the third ste...

Applying the Four Standards of Security-Based CIA

Article | Aug. 29, 2013

Constant change in the technology landscape has been mirrored by the steady evolution of information security. The current information system environment is increasingly complex, comprising storage, servers, LANs/WANs, workstations, Unified Communications, Intranet, and Internet connections.

Top 12 SonicWALL CSSA Exam Prep Tips

Article | Aug. 21, 2013

Dell SonicWALL's CSSA (Certified SonicWALL Security Administrator) exam is an open book, online certification exam that certifies a student’s understanding of the SonicOS Unified Threat Management (UTM) operating system. The exam tests a student’s network security knowledge, and their ability to use the GUI menu structure for configuration of standard network security scenarios.

Military Orders Process vs. Project Management Methodology, Part 1

Article | Aug. 13, 2013

For a project manager (PM) who has served as a military officer on a battalion or higher staff, the parallels between the military decision-making process (MDMP), the orders production process, and project management doctrine prescribed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) are difficult to ignore. Both the MDMP and the processes outlined in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge—Fifth Edition (PMBOK® Guide) are iterative in nature, allow for the introduction of changes to the original plan, assign tasks and responsibilities, and involve the concept of managing the scope of the operation or project.

FIREWALL 2.0 - Deploying Cisco ASA Firewall Solutions

Video | July 11, 2013

Global Knowledge instructor Doug Notini discusses the benefits of our FIREWALL 2.0 - Deploying Cisco ASA Firewall Solutions course.

Using Countermeasures to Ensure Risk Management

Article | July 03, 2013

While the last few years have brought about many great advances in IT and network technology security and risk management have a critical point. There is a host of new concerns the IT security manager must be concerned with, including social networking, mobile, cloud, and information sharing. This has unleashed a new wave of change and potential risk. Risk management is required to deal with these emerging technologies and should provide the rationale for all information security activities within the organization. You can think of risk management as the process of ensuring that the impact of threats and exploited vulnerabilities is within acceptable limits at an acceptable cost. Risk management requires the use of countermeasures. Countermeasures can include any process that serves to reduce threats or vulnerabilities.

A Unified Model for Describing a Project Plan

White Paper | June 05, 2013

This paper proposes a unifying model for project plans. A distinction will be made between the outputs of project planning and the project plan itself. The significance of this distinction is to allow projects of all types to be described at a high level, in a common language, regardless of the type of analysis used to develop the plan.

Custom Cisco CCNP Security Training Labs

Video | Feb. 27, 2013

Course director Jim Thomas explains how our custom labs, which utilize external hosts, ISR routers, and DMZ, provide a real-world environment for students.

How To Improve Purchasing Performance By Categorizing Suppliers

Article | Feb. 20, 2013

As mentioned earlier, one of the most useful pieces of guidance that ITIL provides relates to the categorization of suppliers. ITIL describes four categories of suppliers:

The Business Process Analysis for a Project Manager

Article | Feb. 15, 2013

Enterprises, whether they are commercial, non-profit, or government entities, are operational organizations that operate through the execution of hundreds of processes. The quality of these processes affects every aspect of the enterprise and these processes are rarely static. Business Process Analysis (BPA) is the discipline of examining processes so that they may be changed to align with enterprise objectives.

Top 10 Cybersecurity Risks: How Prepared Are You for 2013?

White Paper | Jan. 24, 2013

Rather than looking back over the past year, organizations and individuals need to start assessing cybersecurity threats that lie ahead in the New Year. While there is always the chance for a new threat or risk to be unearthed this year, often the risks of the New Year are predicable from the trends of attacks from the previous year. However, other factors need to be considered as well, including new technologies, new software and applications, mobility, etc. Here are my predictions of the areas to watch for new security threats. When it comes to cybersecurity, we have a lot to look out for, take precautions against and be paranoid about.

Risk Management with RSA’s Archer GRC Framework

Article | Dec. 05, 2012

Risk is something we deal with on a daily basis. Living in New Jersey and having the occasional storm, I’ve recently performed my own risk assessment determining the value of certain assets and activities and made a decision on what I was willing to spend to reduce risk to what I perceived as an acceptable level. My management of risk was a rather simple case. Sure, in my revised business continuity plan for my home, I’ll make sure that I have more D cell batteries, have my garage door adjusted so it opens manually again, more food I can heat on a stove and that doesn’t rely on refrigeration, and finally I’ll consider a whole house gas generator that uses natural gas, which has always been available to power critical systems like the sump pump in my basement. What if, however, I was a really large business? One with lots of components and interdependencies that require a tight integration in order to succeed? How and where can a large volume of information necessary to management, business continuity, and disaster recovery be correlated and communicated to those individuals who, because of their roles and responsibilities, need to make the critical decisions regarding the management of risk?

Service Portfolio Real World Example – Cloud Services Provider

Article | Nov. 28, 2012

In a recent post, I gave an overall description of a service portfolio and the key components of a portfolio. Here, I will describe how a cloud services provider might implement an ITIL service portfolio. A cloud services provider will regularly have a set of services under development, a set of service in live operation, and a set of services that are retired.

What is a Service Portfolio?

Article | Nov. 14, 2012

ITIL describes a service portfolio as a collection of the overall set of services managed by a service provider. A service portfolio describes a service provider’s boundaries and promises across all of the customers and market spaces it serves. I like to think of a service portfolio as describing the past, present, and future collection of services offered by a service provider. The figure below shows a high-level view of a service portfolio.

Meet Customers' Needs Through Agile Team Development

Article | Oct. 26, 2012

We already covered the first three of the twelve advantages of Agile software development. These three advantages focus on team development and refining the process. Advantage #4: Motivated Development Team The positive relationship with a reasonable and satisfied customer is only one of the reasons why many developers prefer to work on Agile projects. The other main contributor is that they tend to value working in self directed teams (which the Agile methods require for success).

Zero Day Exploits

White Paper | Oct. 23, 2012

For several years, most news articles about a computer, network, or Internet-based compromise have mentioned the phrase "zero day exploit" or "zero day attack," but rarely do these articles define what this is. A zero day exploit is any attack that was previously unknown to the target or security experts in general. Many believe that the term refers to attacks that were just released into the wild or developed by hackers in the current calendar day. This is generally not the case. The "zero day" component of the term refers to the lack of prior knowledge about the attack, highlighting the idea that the victim has zero day's notice of an attack. The main feature of a zero day attack is that since it is an unknown attack, there are no specific defenses or filters for it. Thus, a wide number of targets are vulnerable to the exploit.

Meeting Customer's Needs Through Agile Development

Article | Oct. 12, 2012

There is a reason why the Agile methods are becoming mainstream. They can work! Although every Agile practice is not necessarily appropriate for every organization, each practice has delivered real value to many organizations, and some Agile practices can be used by anyone! This four part series explores twelve ways in which the Agile methods are valuable. I’ll bet that you will find more than a few that could be valuable for you!

Ten Steps to Better, Stronger Passwords

White Paper | Sep. 26, 2012

Hackers are everywhere, and they have a sophisticated array of tools for cracking your passwords. The primary purpose of this white paper is to help you understand that easy-to-remember passwords are no longer considered a secure form of authentication. You should consider any static password that you can remember as vulnerable. Even static passwords that are random are still vulnerable to some extent - It just takes much longer for a password cracking attack to be successful, and the likelihood of that success is inversely proportional to the length of the password. Here are some tips to help you create effective passwords, and how to keep your passwords safe.

How to Apply Knowledge Management to Project Management

Article | Aug. 24, 2012

Knowledge Management examines how we acquire, organize, manage, share, and utilize knowledge and information. The Internet gives us an overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis — and the volume of information available is growing rapidly! One of the biggest challenges for individuals and organizations involved in project management is to make the best use of this knowledge and information so they can operate more efficiently, improve decision making, and sustain a competitive advantage.

Importance of Lessons Learned in Project Management

Article | July 27, 2012

Lessons learned is a theory, or conclusion, based on evidence at a given time and describes what went wrong (as well as what went right) throughout the lifecycle of a project. Although it’s completed during the project closeout process, it should occur during the entire project lifecycle to ensure all information is captured and documented. Consequences of not having a project review of lessons learned are the increased likelihood of repeating actions that might have caused:

Contingency Planning: How Do You Plan for Failures?

Article | June 05, 2012

In spite of an organization's best efforts to prevent downtime and avoid compromises, failures will still happen from time to time. “There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be. Even that is merging into one category: those that have been hacked and will be again,” (FBI Director Robert Mueller). So what is your organization doing about it? How do you plan for failures and security breaches?

When Learning Fails: Six Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Webinar – Recorded | May 12, 2012

Everyone has been involved in a learning program or project that has not delivered its intended impact. Across organizations, remarkably similar but preventable missteps are made in needs identification, learning strategies, program development and implementation.  Instructor Tom Gram, Senior Director of Professional Services at Global Knowledge, will present six classic mistakes learning professionals make that reduce chances for success along with evidence-based practices to help prevent them. 

12 Steps to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Success

White Paper | April 16, 2012

IT departments have multiple opportunities and challenges as a result of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) invasion. The most common opportunity is to reinforce enterprise network security from both the inside and the outside. Supporting BYOD also offers more monitoring and tracking of activities that provide a more detailed view of network traffic flow. Alternatively, it will be a challenge for some IT departments to give up control over which devices may access their enterprise network. Another challenge will be to have the users doing configurations for network access, which adds human error to a crucial part of the process. The opportunities and challenges BYOD represents are real. Enterprises must make their network infrastructure BYOD ready to meet the onslaught.

The Difference Between a Project and a Service

Article | April 11, 2012

During a recent ITIL foundation class, a student asked an interesting question. She wanted to know: “What is the difference between a project and a service?” To be honest, I haven’t spent much time thinking about this distinction. However, I think that those of us who practice ITIL consulting and training should have good answers to questions such as this. Here’s how I answered this question.

An Introduction to PMI’s Project Management Life Cycle

Article | April 06, 2012

The term "life cycle" implies two things: that a process is perpetual and that the sequence of events is obligatory or uni-directional. There is no beginning or end to a life cycle and the sequence of events cannot change. A seed cannot go directly to being a mature plant nor revert back to the blossom stage.

Incidents and Problems - Workarounds

Article | March 14, 2012

In my last post I discussed aspects of problem management in the context of a real-life situation regarding the first vehicle I owned. In that scenario, and throughout this series of posts, I’ve demonstrated a real-life situation from a standpoint of the incident and problem management processes that ITIL describes.

Hacking Back In Self-Defense: Is It Legal? Should It Be?

Webinar – Recorded | Feb. 01, 2012

Your business has been hacked, leaving you with a persistent bot; now what? In this hour-long webinar, security expert David Willson will discuss ways you can eliminate the threat in an act of self-defense or defense of property. As new laws are explored, old ones amended, and solutions sought, you'll take a look at thinking outside the box to give the good guys the advantage-or at least a fighting chance.

Network Forensics Analysis: A New Paradigm in Network Security

Webinar – Recorded | Oct. 26, 2011

In this hour-long webinar, security expert and Global Knowledge instructor Phillip D. Shade will provide insight into the emerging network security science of network forensics analysis, a.k.a. security event analysis and reconstruction. Using case studies, you will examine the role of data retention in network forensics analysis, and you will learn about applying forensics analysis techniques to handle application-based attacks, VoIP call interception, and worms, bots, and viruses.

The 5 Phases of Hacking: Covering Your Tracks

Article | Aug. 30, 2011

An attacker needs to destroy evidence of his presence and activities for several reasons like being able to maintain access and evade detection (and the resulting punishment). Erasing evidence of a compromise is a requirement for any attacker who wants to remain obscure and evade trace back. This usually starts with erasing the contaminated logins and any possible error messages that may have been generated from the attack process.

The 5 Phases of Hacking: Gaining Access

Article | Aug. 16, 2011

Gaining access is the most important phase of an attack in terms of potential damage, although attackers don’t always have to gain access to the system to cause damage. For instance, denial-of-service attacks can either exhaust resources or stop services from running on the target system. Stopping a service can be carried out by killing processes, using a logic/time bomb, or even reconfiguring and crashing the system. Resources can be exhausted locally by filling up outgoing communication links.

The 5 Phases of Hacking: Scanning

Article | Aug. 11, 2011

Attackers use a method called scanning before they attack a network. Scanning can be considered a logical extension (and overlap) of active reconnaissance since the attacker uses details gathered during reconnaissance to identify specific vulnerabilities. Often attackers use automated tools such as network/host scanners and war dialers to locate systems and attempt to discover vulnerabilities.

How to Avoid a Cyber Disaster

Webinar – Recorded | April 27, 2011

Planning for a cyber disaster makes recovering from one much easier. Still, as important as disaster planning is, it's often overlooked or put off until it is too late. In this webinar, Global Knowledge instructor Debbie Dahlin discusses planning for the unexpected -- whether the unexpected means a simple power outage, a network security breach, or a major natural disaster. She'll discuss risk analysis and risk management techniques and explain the importance and process of creating a business continuity plan. Using a fictional company as an example, Debbie will walk you through the disaster planning process a security professional should use, and she will provide simple tricks to reduce your company's downtime before, during, and after a disaster.

Securing Communications

Webinar – Recorded | Feb. 23, 2011

In this webinar, the second of two based on our Cybersecurity Foundations course, you'll build on what you learned in the first of the series, Protecting Your Network with Authentication and Cryptography.

Protecting Your Network with Authentication and Cryptography

Webinar – Recorded | Feb. 09, 2011

In this webinar, the first of two based on our Cybersecurity Foundations course, you will examine the following topics: verifying users and what they can access, ways a user can be validated to computer and network resources, how cryptography is used to protect data, symmetric and asymmetric encryption and hashes.

13 Skills Every IT Pro Should Know

Article | Nov. 12, 2010

No matter which IT field you're working in, there are several skills that are useful for every IT professional to know. Here, seven experienced IT professionals working in the networking, programming, project management, and security fields, share what they believe a...

ASA ACL Logging

Article | Oct. 10, 2010

As any network administrator will tell you, the ASA Security appliance (as well as its forerunner, the PIX) are capable of generating massive amounts of log messages, especially when the firewall/security appliance is set to log messages at debug level to the syslog...

Examining IPSec Perfect Forward Secrecy

Article | Sep. 17, 2010

A feature common to IPSec Virtual Private Network implementations throughout the Cisco product line is Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS). This optional additional component is now a default supplied configuration setting with the Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) I...

Using ASDM with Minimum User Privileges

Article | July 30, 2010

Occasionally as I'm teaching a Cisco training class, I get an idea for a blog post and it happened again this week. The Securing Networks with ASA Fundamentals curriculum is mostly based on the Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM). While the class describes the us...

10 Ways Malicious Code Reaches Your Private Network

White Paper | July 13, 2010

Private networks are under constant threat of attack, even when steps have been taken to "secure" them. The large volume of malicious codes, and their ability to evolve and adapt, requires security professionals and common computer/internet users alike to be mindful of their actions and constantly play defense. This white paper focuses on 10 common ways that malicious code can penetrate a network. Knowledge of these methods and the ability to recognize them are the first steps in preventing them from succeeding in harming your network.

Allow or Disallow All IPSec Traffic through the Firewall?

Article | June 02, 2010

The subject of this week’s post was actually prompted by a question from a former colleague.  Soon after the PIX Firewall added support for IPSec Virtual Private Networks, a command was added to the command-line, sysopt connection permit-ipsec. This command was subse...

10 Security Concerns for Cloud Computing

White Paper | March 11, 2010

The flexibility, reduced cost, and mobility of cloud computing have made the concept a hot topic. Before implementing this method of computing, however, it is important to consider the security of the "cloud." In this white paper, you will learn some of the risks and benefits of cloud computing to be sure it is the right solution for you.

AnyConnect Syslog Troubleshooting

Article | Feb. 15, 2010

I recently was presented with the challenge of logging ALL of the pertinent connection, disconnection, and termination messages associated with the Cisco SSL AnyConnect client without overwhelming the syslog capture display with extraneous messages. This blog will br...

An Introduction to Procurement Management

Article | Jan. 14, 2010

Project procurement activities are often managed by specialists. By this I mean that the procurement department takes over responsibility for purchasing and contract management from the project manager. As a result of this separation of responsibilities, the steps and stages of procurement are often poorly understood by PMs. In this and the next few blog submissions, I will attempt to shed light on procurement activities and relate these activities to the PMI PMBOK.

VPN Connection Process

Article | Jan. 05, 2010

There are some common misconceptions on the part of some of my students as to how VPN sessions are established from either a remote location or remote user to the ASA firewall. In particular, a “gray area” seems to be when the attributes from the tunnel group are app...

“nat-control” versus “no nat-control”

Article | Nov. 24, 2009

ASA and PIX software version 7.0 introduced the configuration command nat-control which didn’t exist in previous versions of code. Although training course material for both the SNAF (Securing Networks with ASA Fundamentals) and SNAA (Securing Networks with ASA Advan...

What’s an RFC and what can they do for me?

Article | Sep. 16, 2009

No matter what book or manual you use to study for the CCNA examination, you will see various protocols and processes referencing an RFC. And, although frequently referenced, the RFCs are seldom actually included in the documentation. So, the logical question becomes...

Triple Constraints Model

Article | June 01, 2009

The triple constraints model has been one of the main staples for teaching project management for as long as I can remember. The model is generally represented by a triangle with Scope on the horizontal leg, Time on the left leg, Cost or Resources on the right leg an...