Tags: exam expirations, exam retirement, recertification
Key certifications receive new lease on life
Microsoft announced that they have extended the life of certifications that were previously slated to expire in 2017. These exams will now expire on July 31, 2018:
- 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring
- 70-685: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
- 70-686: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator
- 70-488: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
- 70-489: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions
The good news is that you now have over a year to study for and secure these key certifications – and Transcender has a full range of practice tests, e-learning, and practice labs to help you succeed.
Windows Server 2008 to be retired in mid-2017
All of the following exams will retire July 31, 2017:
- 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
- 70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
- 70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator
- 70-694: Virtualizing Enterprise Desktops and Apps
Windows 10 has some exciting new additions for its users, and our audience will receive an inside look at the latest security updates during our first webinar presentation of the year. Join us for this LIVE and free webinar on January 25, 2017. Our Microsoft industry expert, George Monsalvatge, will cover the history, applications, functions, best practices, and security features of Windows 10. He will also explain why it is important to keep up-to-date on your certifications, and introduce you to some new features included in the latest version of Windows 10.
Some of the webinar topics include:
- What is Windows 10?
- User security features
- Keeping up with the latest versions
Join us on January 25, 2017 at 11:00 AM CT for the free webinar. Click here to register for the event!
PolitiHack, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Russians Influencing the US Election and Learned to Love CybersecurityDecember 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Posted in cybersecurity, Knowledge | 2 Comments
Tags: attacker, casp, ceh, cfr, CISSP, cozy bear, cybersecurity, DNC, fancy bear, fbi, GSEC, guccifer 2.0, Hackers, Russia, Security+
Hackitivism and cyberespionage are certainly nothing new, especially emanating from Russia. But the 2016 US presidential election was a swift education for Americans and the watching world regarding the widespread consequences of a successful APT (advanced persistent threat). A joint statement issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security stated that the “U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations” (emphasis ours).
Thanks to the detailed reporting from the New York Times, the fog of war is beginning to clear and the full extent of the cyberattack has become clear. And what is increasingly apparent is that at every stage, cybersecurity training could have significantly mitigated or (perhaps) even prevented portions of the attack altogether.
Enter the low-rung MIS contractor hired by the DNC — Yared Tamene. He claims no cybersecurity expertise, much less any cybersecurity-related certification like GSEC, CASP, CISSP, CEH or CFR. So it’s hardly appropriate to assign him the brunt of the blame. Instead, we should use his example to learn how cybersecurity knowledge and skills could have better informed the fateful decisions that he, and many others, made along the way.
In the fall of 2015, the FBI noticed some unusual outgoing network traffic from the DNC network, suggesting that at least one computer was compromised. The early forensics linked the compromise to a known Russian cyberespionage group going by the moniker “the Dukes” (AKA “Cozy Bear” and “APT29”) , who had in just the last few years, penetrated the White House, State Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff email systems. A special agent picked up the phone, called Tamene, and told him what they knew.
Before we even get to Tamene’s response, any trained cybersecurity first responder knows why the FBI called via phone rather than emailing their dire message. Communication protocol during a security incident should be out-of-band, meaning outside of the primary communication channels (primarily network where the attacker could be listening). Ironically, Tamene was convinced that the FBI call was a hoax, and after repeated calls over the new few months, he ignored the urgency. In November, the FBI even confirmed with Tamene that known malware was routing data to servers located in Moscow.
There are a lot of great security certifications out there, but since its release in 1994, the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) has become one of the best known and most highly regarded credentials. At Transcender, we’ve been dedicated to providing CISSP practice tests for over 13 years. Earlier in 2016 we also released our first test preparation for its sister certification, SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner). Our hard work has paid off, because we’re now an authorized practice test provider for (ISC)²® certifications!
What does this mean to you? Nothing has changed about our award-winning products, but it does mean that (ISC)² has officially endorsed our practice tests for CISSP and SSCP.
- The SSCP practice exam is a 300-question exam that will develop your test-taking skills, identify any weak areas, and prepare you for the actual test.
- The premium SSCP study solution combines our trusted practice exam with self-paced eLearning, for a comprehensive learning experience.
- The CISSP practice exam has an exhaustive 924-item question bank that will test every aspect of your technical skills, plus a 892-item flash card array.
- The premium CISSP study solution includes the practice exam with 20 hours of online instruction through self-paced eLearning, which includes access to a live subject matter expert.
We’re also working together to develop a practice test for the up-and-coming CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional) certification for 2017. Be sure to follow our blog or subscribe to special updates and promotions on the Transcender web site to be notified of its release.
Transcender has been committed to closing the skills gap in the IT industry for the last 25 years and helping qualified candidates get the recognition they deserve. And now even (ISC)² recognizes our efforts. After your certification training, come over to us to help you prepare for exam day. Study with confidence, knowing that you have the most relevant and up-to-date study tool in the marketplace!
Tags: black hat, cfr, cfr-210, cyber, cybersec, cybersec first responder, cybersecurity, first responder, hacker, lo, Logical Operations, white hat
Who says there’s no news in December? In cybersecurity, it’s never a question of if, but a question of when a breach will occur. So rather than wait for the new year, we thought we’d get the jump on 2017 and together with Logical Operations, release the Cybersec First Responder (CFR-210) practice test today.
What exactly is the CFR certification all about? Well, CFR-210 showcases your ability to to quickly detect and respond to active cyber threats. It’s not just about detailed knowledge of the analysis techniques and tools, but how to identify and respond, in real time, to the broad array of security threats affecting organizations worldwide.
So, white hats, rejoice and black hats, you’re on notice. They’re some new sheriffs rolling into town with some serious skills — and they’re not afraid to use them!
Here’s the press release for your reading pleasure.
Microsoft changing Windows 10 certification paths; Windows 8/8.1 certifications to retire in December 2016November 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
Tags: exam retirement, mcsa, windows 10, Windows 8
Disclaimer: Exam retirements are subject to change without notice. Please go to the Official Microsoft Retired exams list to confirm or deny a specific test’s retirement date, as it may have changed since this post was originally published. Click our blog’s Certification Paths category to find the latest posts by date on this topic.
Test takers, take note: Windows 8 and 8.1 certifications are being retired in December, while Windows 10 certification paths are changing. If you are only one test into the two-test sequence, be sure to schedule your exam before the retirement.
These exams will no longer be available after December 31, 2016:
- 70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
- 70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
- 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
- 70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8
If you have passed either the 687 or the 688, but you do not pass the sister exam, you will not have a valid certification after December 31.
What to do if you still need that MCSA: Windows 8 in your certification wallet
You may not know that if you hold an older certification – even as far back as Windows 2000 – you can bypass the two-exam path to a MCSA: Windows 8 and take a single upgrade exam.
You can take the 70-692 and earn the MCSA: Windows 8 if you hold any of these old-school certifications:
- MCDST: Windows XP
- MCSA: Windows 2000
- MCSA: Security on Windows 2000
- MCSA: Messaging on Windows 2000
- MCSA: Windows Server 2003
- MCSA: Security on Windows Server 2003
- MCSA: Messaging on Windows Server 2003
- MCSE: Windows 2000
- MCSE: Security on Windows 2000
- MCSE: Messaging on Windows 2000
- MCSE: Windows Server 2003
- MCSE: Security on Windows Server 2003
- MCSE: Messaging on Windows Server 2003
You can take the 70-689 and earn the MCSA: Windows 8 if you hold any of these more recent certifications:
- MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7
- MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
- MCSA: Windows 7
What to do if you want to jump to the MCSA: Windows 10
There are now two distinct paths for the MCSA: Windows 10 certification. If you have already earned the MCSA: Windows 8, you can upgrade to MCSA: Windows 10 by taking and passing this exam:
If you’re starting at square one, you can earn the MCSA: Windows 10 by passing two exams:
- Exam 698: Installing and Configuring Windows 10 (available in beta in June 2016)
- Exam 697: Configuring Windows Devices
That’s right – there is no separate “upgrade exam” that takes you from an MCSA: 8 to an MCSA: 10. The 70-697 will either upgrade your prior cert, or knock out half of the testing requirements for a brand-new MCSA.
What to do if you’re still in a Windows 7 shop
While you will no longer have the ability to earn Windows 8 and 8.1 certifications, Microsoft has not announced any immediate plans to retire the MCITP in Windows 7. The MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7 and MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 are still valid certifications and can be earned with a two-test sequence:
MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7:
MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7:
Note that the MCSA: Windows 7 is listed as a “retired certification” on the Microsoft legacy certifications page. (For more information on Microsoft’s newly streamlined certifications, read this post on Born To Learn.)
Note that as of this writing, there do not appear to be any direct upgrade exams from the MSCA: Windows 7 (or its equivalent MCITPs) to the MCSA: Windows 10. Your best bet there is to take the two-exam sequence starting with 70-689 (upgrade to MCSA: Win 8 from MCITP: Win 7) and 70-697 (upgrade from MCSA: Win 8 to MCSA: Win 10). Remember that you need to pass 70-689 before December 31, but you can take the 70-697 at any time in 2017.
Bundle and save with exam vouchers and practice tests from Transcender
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-The Transcender Team
Tags: cyber security, GIAC, GSEC
As reported by Stanford Journalism, the demand for infosec jobs is likely to rise 53 percent through 2018. Earning a cybersecurity certification can help qualify you for those jobs. In response to the growing demand, Transcender has added a top infosec vendor to our security exam lineup: Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). GIAC is an OS-neutral organization that develops highly focused security certifications, including some of the hardest and most prestigious in the field.
The GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials exam is an ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 accredited certification and lasts for four years before the candidate must re-certify. This is an intermediate-level exam that covers a wide range of topics, from the nuts and bolts of logging and network protocols to overall risk management and security practices. You can click here for a complete list of the topics you’ll see on the GSEC exam: https://www.giac.org/certification/security-essentials-gsec
Transcender’s SecurityCert: GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) 2016 Practice Exam is meant for candidates who want to demonstrate they are qualified for IT systems hands-on roles with respect to security tasks. To be successful, candidates need to understand information security to a practical level beyond simple terminology and concepts. Our practice test has 360 practice questions and 558 flashcards to help you prepare for the live exam, which has 180 questions and up to a 5 hour time limit.
The GSEC: GIAC exam is $1,249 (or $689 when taken with an associated SANS training course). Our practice exam formats range from $99 – $119, so we can offer you a cost-effective way to test your chops before sitting the live question bank. (If you’re new to Transcender, welcome! And be sure to review why you should read those long, boring explanations.)
-The Transcender Team
Tags: professional development, webinar
Are you passionate about professional development? We are too! Troy McMillan has prepared an informative FREE webinar to discuss common barriers to professional development, and strategies for finding the right path.
This webinar is suitable for both managers and team members. Managers can find out how to best encourage their team to gain new skills by taking advantage of learning opportunities. Staff members can discover what a steady dose of skills improvement can do for their outlook and their career.
When: Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM EST / 10:00 CST / 9:00 MST / 8:00 PST
Presenter: Troy McMillan
To register, click this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4211778623661375236
(Transcender will not sell, share, or otherwise use your contact information.)
Tags: ccent, ccna, icndv3
Cisco has officially retired the old CCNA exams (100-101 and 200-101, or the combined 220-120), so the opportunity to take the ICNDv2 has come and gone. The new path to Cisco’s flagship certification is the ICNDv3 path. As of October 2016, you need to pass one of these combinations to earn the CCNA Routing and Switching certification:
- Exam 100-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
- Exam 200-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2)
- Exam 200-125: CCNA Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (CCNAX)
Passing the 100-105 exam alone will also earn you the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) certification.
How much change should I expect for the ICND1?
For the first exam, Cisco has rearranged the material and condensed the objectives from seven to five. Here’s a comparison of the old and new objectives:
OLD: 100-101 ICND1 v2.0
1.0 Operation of IP Data Networks
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 IP Addressing
4.0 IP Routing Technologies
5.0 IP Services
6.0 Network Device Security
NEW: 100-105 ICND1 v3.0
1.0 Network Fundamentals
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 Routing Technologies
4.0 Infrastructure Services
5.0 Infrastructure Management
While at first glance it might appear that the CCENT removed troubleshooting questions entirely, the new exam simply integrates troubleshooting into each objective. For example, Objective 2.0: LAN Switching Technologies will have you troubleshoot interface and cable issues (collisions, errors, duplex, speed), while in Objective 1.0: Network Fundamentals, you’ll have to troubleshoot IPv4 and IPv6, as well as “apply troubleshooting methodologies to resolve problems:”
- 1.7.a Perform fault isolation and document
- 1.7.b Resolve or escalate
- 1.7.c Verify and monitor resolution
The changes in the objectives typically just mean reorganization of the old material, but there have been a few additions and deletions of topics for this exam, which I’ll explain.
Key Topics Removed from ICND1 or Moved to ICND2 Exam:
OSPF (single area) and other OSPF topics were moved into ICND2. Instead, RIP is used to introduce CCENT candidates to IP routing protocols.
Dual Stack was removed from ICND1, since there are many different IPv4 to IPv6 transition technologies being used.
Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) has been removed.
Key Topics Added:
- High level knowledge of the impact and interactions of infrastructure components in an Enterprise network, specifically:
- Access Points
- Wireless Controllers
- Awareness of the Collapsed Core architecture compared to traditional three-tier architectures. This option collapses the Distribution and Core into a single tier, with the Access as the second tier.
- Configuring and verifying IPv6 Stateless Address Auto Configuration (SLAAC).
- Coverage of anycast IPv6 addressing.
- Knowledge of Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP). An L2 discovery protocol is used in addition to Cisco Discovery Protocol.
- Knowledge of RIPv2 for IPv4 as the primary focus for understanding of how routing protocols work.
- DNS and DHCP related connectivity issues.
- Syslog message logging for device monitoring.
- Skills and knowledge of device management related to backup and restoring device configurations, IOS feature licensing, and configuring time zones.
How much change should I expect for the ICND2?
While the number of objective domains has remained 5 in the update of the 200-101 (ICND2) to the 200-105 exam , those domain topics have changed and also the content. The comparison of the domain changes are as follows:
OLD 200-101 ICND2 v2.0:
1.0 LAN Switching Technologies
2.0 IP Routing Technologies
3.0 IP Services
5.0 WAN Technologies
NEW 200-105 ICND2 v3.0:
1.0 LAN Switching Technologies
2.0 Routing Technologies
3.0 WAN Technologies
4.0 Infrastructure Services
5.0 Infrastructure Maintenance
Topics have been both moved and deleted.
Key Topics Removed from ICND2:
Frame-Relay and Serial WAN technologies are no longer covered.
VRRP and GLBP have been removed from First Hop Redundancy Protocols. Only HSRP remains, since it is most commonly deployed.
Key Topics Added to ICND2:
- Knowledge of dual-homed vs single-homed Intelligent WAN topology options.
- Basic knowledge of external BGP (eBGP) used to connect Enterprise branches.
- Expanded VPN topics to include DMVPN, Site-to-Site VPN, and Client VPN technologies commonly used by Enterprises.
- Understanding of how Cloud resources are being used in Enterprise network architectures, including:
- How cloud services will affect traffic paths and flows
- Common virtualized services and how these coexist with a legacy infrastructure
- Basics of virtual network infrastructure (Network Function Virtualization)
- Awareness of Programmable Network (SDN) architectures including:
- Separation of the control plane and data plane
- How a controller functions and communicates northbound to network applications and southbound to the R&S infrastructure using APIs.
- How to use the Path Trace application for ACLs which is a key new network application enabled by the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller – Enterprise Module (APIC-EM). This tool automates the troubleshooting and resolution of complex ACL deployments.
- Understanding of QoS concepts related to marking, shaping, and policing mechanisms used to manage congestion of various types of traffic. The need for QoS and how it is used for prioritizing voice, video and data traffic. Plus an understanding of the automation
How much change should I expect for the combined exam?
The 200-125 exam, like its predecessor the 200-120, covers all topics from the 100-105 and 200-105. The content is organized in the following domains:
1.0 Network Fundamentals
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 Routing Technologies
4.0 WAN Technologies
5.0 Infrastructure Services
6.0 Infrastructure Security
7.0 Infrastructure Management
Everything that has been written about the prior two exams applies to the 200-120.
What if I passed some of the old exams, but need the new certification – or to recertify?
Cisco has developed a handy tool, called the Associate-Level Certifications Exam Logic Tool, that lets you plug in your exact combination of exams to predict which ones you’ll require: http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/tools/ccna_tool/index.html
CCNA Routing and Switching is a three-year certification. When three years have passed, you must recertify. This page has the information you need to help you plan your recertification path.
And, finally, here are the links to the CCENT and CCNA Transcender practice exams. Keep your eyes peeled for special holiday exam pricing, and be sure to sign up for our mailing list if you aren’t receiving deal notifications!
Until next time,
Tags: exam vouchers
Microsoft made a worldwide adjustment in the price of their MCP and certification exams for non-academic titles. The increased prices went into effect on July 18, 2106.
The pricing change does NOT affect pre-paid vouchers from Transcender or vouchers purchased from Pearson VUE, Courseware Marketplace, or through academic Volume Licensing. You can continue to use any vouchers you bought prior to the pricing upgrade without having to make up the additional cost.
Student discounts have not changed, but they will be calculated from the new exam price.
In most cases the price increase was around USD $15. To find a price for a specific exam, find your test on the Microsoft Certification Exam List or go directly to Pearson Vue and check the price for your region.