Dec 4th

Microsoft SATV Training Benefit – Update

Microsoft is updating Software Assurance benefits beginning in February 2020 to ensure Software Assurance stays relevant and useful to customers. With this change in direction, some Software Assurance benefits will be retired or changed to eliminate redundancies and better align Software Assurance benefits across Microsoft’s products and services portfolio. The changes made also simplify benefit redemptions and replace outdated implementation mechanisms. While each customer experience is unique, all customers can benefit from the ability to optimize their business performance through Software Assurance.

Microsoft is investing in new ways to help organizations deploy, train, and get support for the products and services they buy. Because those new ways overlap with some dated and underused Software Assurance benefits, and the redemption process for some benefits are cumbersome and outdated, Microsoft is retiring those overlapping and outdated benefits.

Why are the SATV training vouchers being retired?

Customer and market feedback indicated a need for a streamlined learning experience. Microsoft is making significant investments to increase the alignment and quality of training offerings and certifications outside of Software Assurance over time.

When do the SATV program changes begin?

Over the next three years, Microsoft will be retiring the Software Assurance Training Voucher program and it will be migrated to new training and certification programs designed to better support learners.  Important dates to be aware of:

  • FEBRUARY 1, 2020 – Azure Cloud Services training courses will be retired from the SATV catalog.
  • FEBRUARY 1, 2021 – This is the final day that new SATV training vouchers can be purchased for any training.
  • JANUARY 1, 2022 – The is the final day any SATV training voucher can be redeemed.

How can Babbage Simmel help?

  • Find Azure Training – We are here to assist during this transition period so we have filled up the Azure schedule between now and February 1, 2020.
  • Reach out to us – e-mail info@babsim.com or call (614) 481-4345.

ADDITIONAL SATV FAQs

HOW LONG ARE MY TRAINING VOUCHERS VALID?
The ability to access your training vouchers expires with your Software Assurance coverage. If you create a training voucher before your Software Assurance coverage expires, the voucher remains valid for 180 days after the date it was created.

While Software Assurance Training Vouchers are being retired, you can still create and use training vouchers until January 01, 2022, with the exception of Azure training, which will be removed from the course catalog in February 01, 2020.

DOES MY ORGANIZATION HAVE SOFTWARE ASSURANCE?
If your organization purchased volume licensing of Microsoft software, you most likely participate in Software Assurance. Software Assurance offers a broad range of benefits in one program which helps you deploy, manage, and migrate software.

DO I QUALIFY FOR SOFTWARE ASSURANCE/FREE MICROSOFT TRAINING?
Software Assurance is selected at the time of software purchase. If your organization purchased volume licensing of Microsoft software, you most likely participate in Software Assurance. “SA Pack MVL” on your Microsoft Licensing invoice means your organization participates in the Software Assurance program. The Notices Contact listed on the agreement is your organization’s Agreement Administrator. Your organization can begin using qualifying benefits immediately and over the term of the license agreement.

HOW CAN I FIND SATVS AT MY ORGANIZATION?
You can ask the Benefits Administrator, Software Purchasing Manager or IT Manager at your organization for your training vouchers.

CAN TRAINING VOUCHERS BE USED FOR ANY OFFICIAL MICROSOFT LEARNING PRODUCT COURSES?
Training vouchers can be used for any of the following type of courses designated for IT professional and developer courses only.

  • Digital MOC (DMOC)
  • Community Courseware
  • MOC On-Demand

WHAT IS NOT ELIGIBLE THROUGH SATV?
SA training vouchers cannot be used for:

  • First Look Clinics
  • Hands on Labs
  • End User ILT training
  • Fresh Editions

WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE WANTS TO ATTEND A CLASS THAT IS NOT ON THE SOFTWARE ASSURANCE LIST OF ELIGIBLE COURSES?
Software Assurance training vouchers can only be used for eligible courses. Courses not covered under SATV scheme can be enrolled by making payments separately.

WHEN A VOUCHER IS CREATED FROM THE AVAILABLE TRAINING DAYS, HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Training vouchers expire 180 days after their creation date. If the designated employee does not use a voucher within 180 days, the voucher is automatically revoked and the training days are returned to the company pool of days for use by others. If the customer agreement has expired, vouchers and training days will be forfeited.

WHERE TO REDEEM THE TRAINING VOUCHERS?
You can redeem training vouchers only at participating a Learning Partner like NetCom.

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF EACH SOFTWARE ASSURANCE TRAINING VOUCHER?
One training voucher day equals one classroom training day. For example, if a course is five days, a five-day voucher is required.

DOES THE VOUCHER VALUE VARY BY COURSE TYPE?
The voucher value is the same for all eligible courses. There is no difference in voucher value between a developer course and an IT professional course. If the course length is the same, they both require the same number of voucher days.

Other questions not listed?
send us an e-mail info@babsim.com or give us a call (614) 481-4345

Oct 23rd

10 Common Cybersecurity Misconceptions


COMMON CYBERSECURITY MISCONCEPTIONS FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ORGANIZATIONS

Misconception #1: My data (or the data I have access to) isn’t valuable.

All data is valuable

Take Action: Do an assessment of the data you create, collect, store, access, transmit and then classify all the data by level of sensitivity so you can take steps to protect it appropriately.

Misconception #2: Cybersecurity is a technology issue.

Cybersecurity is best approached with a mix of employee training; clear, accepted policies and procedures and implementation of current technologies.

Take Action: Educate every employee on their responsibility for protecting sensitive information.

Misconception #3: Cybersecurity requires a huge financial investment.

Many efforts to protect your data require little or no financial investment.

Take Action: Create and institute cybersecurity policies and procedures, restrict administrative and access privileges, enable multi-factor authentication and train employees to spot malicious emails.

Misconception #4: Outsourcing to a vendor washes your hands of liability during a cyber incident.

You have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect sensitive data.

Take Action: Put data sharing agreements in place with vendors and have a trusted lawyer review.

Misconception #5: Cyber breaches are covered by general liability insurance.

Many standard insurance policies do not cover cyber incidents or data breaches.

Take Action: Speak with your insurance representative to understand your coverage
and what type of policy would best fit your organization’s needs.

Misconception #6: Cyberattacks always come from external actors.

Succinctly put, cyberattacks do not always come from external actors.

Take Action: Identify potential cybersecurity incidents that can come from within the
organization and develop strategies to minimize those threats.

Misconception #7: Younger people are better at cybersecurity than others.

Age is not directly correlated to better cybersecurity practices.

Take Action: Before giving someone responsibility to manage your social media, website and network, etc., train them on your expectations of use and cybersecurity best practices.

Misconception #8: Compliance with industry standards is sufficient for a security strategy.

Simply complying with industry standards does not equate to a robust cybersecurity strategy for an organization.

Take Action: Use a robust framework, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, to
manage cybersecurity risk.

Misconception #9: Digital and physical security are separate things altogether.

Do not discount the importance of physical security.

Take Action: Develop strategies and policies to prevent unauthorized physical access to sensitive information and assets (e.g., control who can access certain areas of the office.)

Misconception #10: New software and devices are secure when I buy them.

Just because something is new, does not mean it is secure.

Take Action: Ensure devices are operating with the most current software, change the manufacturer’s default password to a unique, secure passphrase and configure privacy settings prior to use.

Next Steps For You

Now that you’re more aware of common cybersecurity misconceptions, the next step is to sharpen your security skills, either for upskilling or with the idea of starting a new career. Babbage Simmel’s Comprehensive NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF) Training & CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification Cybersecurity training options will equip you with the skills needed to become an expert in the security field. You will learn comprehensive approaches to protecting your infrastructure, including securing data and information, running risk analysis and mitigation, architecting cloud-based security, achieving compliance and much much more.

Questions about Cybersecurity?  Get in touch!

 

 

Source: staysafeonline.org/cybersecure-business

Oct 18th

5 Steps to Protecting Your Digital Home


More and more of our home devices— including thermostats, door locks, coffee machines, and smoke alarms—are now connected to the Internet. This enables us to control our devices on our smartphones, no matter our location, which in turn can save us time and money while providing convenience and even safety. These advances in technology are innovative and intriguing, however, they also pose a new set of security risks. #BeCyberSmart to connect with confidence and protect your digital home.

SIMPLE TIPS TO PROTECT IT

  • Secure your Wi-Fi network. Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cybercriminals to access all of your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network and your digital devices by changing the factory-set default password and username.
  • Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring. Read the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) How-to-Guide for more information.
  • If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense is to stay on top of things by updating to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems.
    If you have the option to enable automatic updates to defend against the latest risks, turn it on. And, if you’re putting something into your device, such as a USB for an external hard drive, make sure your device’s security software scans for
    viruses and malware. Finally, protect your devices with antivirus software and be sure to periodically back up any data that cannot be recreated such as photos or personal documents. Learn more about the Internet of Things (IoT) or smart devices which refer to any object or device that is connected to the Internet.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved—gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
  • Never click and tell. Limit what information you post on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to grab coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all that criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings—online and in the real world. Keep Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday, and even vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are— and where you aren’t —at any given time. Read the Social Media Cybersecurity Tip Sheet for more information.

Next Steps For You

Now that you’re more aware of protecting your digital home, the next step is to sharpen your security skills, either for upskilling or with the idea of starting a new career. Babbage Simmel’s Comprehensive NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF) Training & CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification Cybersecurity training options will equip you with the skills needed to become an expert in the security field. You will learn comprehensive approaches to protecting your infrastructure, including securing data and information, running risk analysis and mitigation, architecting cloud-based security, achieving compliance and much much more.

Questions about Cybersecurity?  Get in touch!

Oct 17th

If You Connect, You Must Protect


Internet of Things (IoT) or smart devices refers to any object or device that is connected to the Internet. This rapidly expanding set of “things,” which can send and receive data, includes cars, appliances, smart watches, lighting, home assistants, home security, and more. #BeCyberSmart to connect with confidence and protect your interconnected world.

WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

  • Cars, appliances, wearables, lighting, healthcare, and home security all contain sensing devices that can talk to another machine and trigger other actions. Examples include devices that direct your car to an open spot in a parking lot;
    mechanisms that control energy use in your home; and tools that track eating, sleeping, and exercise habits.
  • New Internet-connected devices provide a level of convenience in our lives, but they require that we share more information than ever.
  • The security of this information, and the security of these devices, is not always guaranteed. Once your device connects to the Internet, you and your device could potentially be vulnerable to all sorts of risks.
  • With more connected “things” entering our homes and our workplaces each day, it is important that everyone knows how to secure their digital lives.

SIMPLE TIPS TO OWN IT

  • Shake up your password protocol. Change your device’s factory security settings from the default password. This is one of the most important steps to take in the protection of IoT devices. According to NIST guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and create a unique password for your IoT devices. Read the Creating a Password Tip Sheet for more information.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Many connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved—gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
  • Secure your network. Properly secure the wireless network you use to connect Internet-enabled devices. Consider placing these devices on a separate and dedicated network.
  • If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense is to stay on top of things by updating to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. If you have the option to enable automatic updates to defend against the latest risks, turn it on.

Next Steps For You

Now that you’re more aware of protecting what you are connecting, the next step is to sharpen your security skills, either for upskilling or with the idea of starting a new career. Babbage Simmel’s Comprehensive NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF) Training & CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification Cybersecurity training options will equip you with the skills needed to become an expert in the security field. You will learn comprehensive approaches to protecting your infrastructure, including securing data and information, running risk analysis and mitigation, architecting cloud-based security, achieving compliance and much much more.

Questions about Cybersecurity?  Get in touch!

Oct 15th

5 Ways to Be Cyber Secure at Work


Businesses face significant financial loss when a cyber attack occurs. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, in 2018, the U.S. business sector had the largest number of data breaches ever recorded: 571 breaches. Cybercriminals often rely on human error—employees failing to install software patches or clicking on malicious links—to gain access to systems. From the top leadership to the newest employee, cybersecurity requires the vigilance of everyone to keep data, customers, and capital safe and secure. #BeCyberSmart to connect with confidence and support a culture of cybersecurity at your organization.

SIMPLE STEPS TO SECURE IT

  1. Treat business information as personal information. Business information typically includes a mix of personal and proprietary data. While you may think of trade secrets and company credit accounts, it also includes employee personally identifiable information (PII) through tax forms and payroll accounts. Do not share PII with unknown parties or over unsecured networks.
  2. Technology has its limits. As “smart” or data-driven technology evolves, it is important to remember that security measures only work if used correctly by employees. Smart technology runs on data, meaning devices such as smartphones, laptop computers, wireless printers, and other devices are constantly exchanging data to complete tasks. Take proper security precautions and ensure correct configuration to wireless devices in order to prevent data breaches.
  3. Be up to date. Keep your software updated to the latest version available. Maintain your security settings to keeping your information safe by turning on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it, and set your security software to run regular scans.
  4. Social media is part of the fraud toolset. By searching Google and scanning your organization’s social media sites, cybercriminals can gather information about your partners and vendors, as well as human resources and financial
    departments. Employees should avoid oversharing on social media and should not conduct official business, exchange payment, or share PII on social media platforms. Read the Social Media Cybersecurity Tip Sheet for more information.
  5. It only takes one time. Data breaches do not typically happen when a cybercriminal has hacked into an organization’s infrastructure. Many data breaches can be traced back to a single security vulnerability, phishing attempt, or instance of accidental exposure. Be wary of unusual sources, do not click on unknown links, and delete suspicious messages immediately. For more information about email and phishing scams see the Phishing Tip Sheet.

Next Steps For You

Now that you learned 5 ways to be cyber safe at work, the next step is to sharpen your security skills, either for upskilling or with the idea of starting a new career. Babbage Simmel’s Comprehensive NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF) Training & CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification Cybersecurity training options will equip you with the skills needed to become an expert in the security field. You will learn comprehensive approaches to protecting your infrastructure, including securing data and information, running risk analysis and mitigation, architecting cloud-based security, achieving compliance and much much more.

Questions about Cybersecurity?  Get in touch!