In the world of IT today, and especially that of Cyber security, there are two things that are certain: Job growth, and the plethora of certifications that come along with it. In fact, I don’t know of any other industry that has so many certs that came along with it. In fact, two of my biggest clients are IT cert vendors, and offer extensive training for whatever cert you want to pursue.
Back when I first started in IT, which was back in 1999 or so, Microsoft was the primary vendor for offering the IT certs. Their biggest program at the time was the MCSE, or the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.
I remember getting the study books for it, and there were about six of them, each like five hundred pages long. Well, I got through the half of the first book, and miserably failed the practice exam. So I gave up on that.
Then as 9/11 happened, the world of Security exploded, and thus the explosion of the certs that went along with it. The big one that came out at the time was called the CISSP, or Certified Information Security Systems Professional.
This time, there was only one study book, so I thought I could get through that. Got through the book and some training videos, again didn’t do so hot on the practice exams. So, I gave up on that one as well.
Now, with the explosion of Cyber security, the number of certs have literally exploded by 100X. In fact, I could probably write an entire book just on the certs that are available for Cyber security. But out of all them, it is still the CISSP that still stands out as even of the top Cyber security certs that one can still can get.
Now today, there is a new cert that has come out, and it is called the “Cybersecurity Certification Program for Internet of Things (IoT)”. It is being offered by an organization called the “CTIA”, which is a group that represents the wireless industry here in the United States. It appears that the primary goal of this certification is to certify individuals to connect together IoT (Internet of Things) wireless devices.
It is also expected that this cert could be further expanded to protect consumers and the entire wireless infrastructure, which will eventually establish the foundation for what is known as “Smart Cities”. This the scenario in which the entire infrastructure of a city is all connected together, and even to the people that live there as well.
This cert is actually being supported by some of the biggest telecom vendors out there, which include the likes of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. It is also the hope that a result of this collaboration, that there will be a standardized set of Security Best Practices.
Because of this, it will make the transition for both individuals and businesses alike to enter the world of IoT, without having to worry about all of the Security issues which could become prevalent in the future. It is even anticipated that this set of Best Practices will make the roll over into the world of 5G networks a smooth one as well.
Also, the CTIA is not just simply offering the cert, but they are also offering its resources as well to candidates whom aspire to achieve it. According to Tom Sawanobori, CTIA senior vice president and CTO: “The IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program harnesses CTIA’s network of authorized labs and reflects our commitment to securing networks and devices in an increasingly connected wireless world.” (SOURCE: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/new-security-certification-could-make-it-easier-for-businesses-to-get-started-with-iot/).
It appears thus far that the standards which have been set forth for cert are very high, with contributions being made by the leading wireless operators, security experts, tech companies, and test labs. Also, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) took part in creating the standards for the cert as well.
My thoughts on this?
Well, I think it is a good idea that this cert is actually coming out now. I have written and even edited articles about the word of IoT, and right now, it is a very murky one. All we know so far is that there are a bunch of devices that will be connected together, in order to automate our lifestyles. There may be something like this out there already, I am not sure.
Thus, this will give evolution to what is known as the “Smart Home”, then in turn, the “Smart City”. As the concepts of this start to unfold, many Cyber security experts are fearing that there will be many gaping holes (which will probably even be unforeseen as well) for the Cyber attacker to enter into, and cause horrific damage.
Probably one of the best examples of a primitive level IoT are the Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) of Siri and Cortana, which are available on the iPhone and the Android, respectively. You can connect one of these devices to one of your home gadgets, and ask your VPA to start it for you. There are already Security flaws with Siri and Cortana, and just imagine how this all could multiply if they were connected to each and every device in your home!
The efforts that are being taken by the CTIA in launching this cert is the best news I have heard so far in the attempts to create a list of Best Security Standards in the world of IoT. So let us hope that this continues with solid momentum going forward.
For a full Press Release about this, click on the link below: