Certification essential for security success

Mark Plunkett of CompTIA explains the importance of certification to develop best practice and security for government organisations

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Certification essential for security success Certification helps to ensure that security deployments are meeting established standards and that staff have the right skills for the job, says Plunkett.
By  Mark Plunkett Published  September 17, 2015

As 84% of Middle Eastern executives indicate at least some degree of gaps within their IT skills, certification and accreditation has never been as important as it is today, particularly in government with its fixed set of assurance and accreditation processes.

A standard process to ensure national security information systems meet documented security requirements, certification and accreditation is an invaluable tool to manage the security of a system throughout its life cycle. Often, critical pieces of the security coverage are not implemented, or security policies are established, but not followed. Certification and accreditation forces the establishment of security configurations, controls, policies and procedures, and verifies their correct implementation.

Certification for government

So why is certification to best practice and security for government so important? Specific government outcomes can be accelerated with the aid of certification standards that are embraced throughout the IT world. What’s more, government agencies and contractors have found that requiring certification increases employee retention and productivity and keeps employees up-to-date on current technologies.

National defence and cyber-security needs to make it clear that a strong certified employee core will make the difference in preventing cyber-attacks against government investments in IT and m-government implementation. Promoting innovation means engaging potential professionals who currently work in the m-government initiative and explaining the positive impacts that certification standards will have on the workforce.

Research shows that 79% of Middle East executives believe IT certifications will increase in importance over the next two years. The interoperability of the workforce – to have the private sector and e-government working collaboratively – depends on the IT skills level of the entire GCC workforce. Expanding education and job growth opportunities within these government initiatives can be magnified by instituting world class standard practices that are measured and adaptive to the IT environment.

Certifications and accreditations validate skill-sets in IT and establish performance measures to set standards that governments can use to collaborate between agencies, citizens, and employees better than ever before. Certifications will also alleviate any uncertainty a government may have with implementing a new project that relies on an IT foundation.

The main goal of any m-government overhaul platform is to connect citizens with their government by modernizing systems to reflect an efficient and effective bridge of communication and assistance.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s explanation behind enhancing a country’s strategy sums it up perfectly when he highlighted the first key to businesslike innovation in government is a focus on skills. He highlighted that companies in the top tier of innovation invest continuously in their employees to provide them with the right skills for the marketplace and Governments must do the same, by constantly upgrading skills and nurturing innovation — among their own employees, across key sectors of the economy, and at the foundations of the education system.

Most importantly, he warned that Governments failing to equip new generations as leaders for their time are condemning them to be led by other, more innovative nations.

Research arising from a whitepaper published by International Data Corporation, concludes that with CompTIA certification preparation, IT professionals are more confident that the skills they possess are appropriate and useful for their job responsibilities. Certified employees perform at a higher level, have more domain knowledge and perform assigned tasks more consistently, increasing IT reliability and overall organization execution.

Mark Plunkett is regional director, Europe & Middle East, Emerging Markets at the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). To find out more about industry-leading IT certifications and IT business credentials, IT education and visit www.comptia.org

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