UKI Announces Social Media Security Professional Certification

by Justyna La Pay | Sep 04, 2012

Update: Please note that CompTIA is no longer affiliated with this certification. For more information, visit the Ultimate Knowledge Institute (UKI) Social Media Security Professional certification page.

Ultimate Knowledge Institute (UKI) and Examplify, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CompTIA, have partnered to develop the industry's first social media security exam and certification. The new Social Media Security Professional (SMSP) certification designates professionals with the knowledge and skills to safeguard sensitive information and prevent potentially devastating security breaches emerging from social media channels.

The SMSP beta exam, powered by CompTIA, will be available starting Sept. 17. Candidates can prepare for the exam by attending an official UKI training course, or they can opt to challenge the exam without official training.

The SMSP certification is designed to fill the growing demand for IT security professionals with verified skills in identifying and mitigating social media risk. The certification is geared toward IT professionals in job functions such as information security/assurance technician, network technician, security administrator, systems administrator, network administrator, security architect, security engineer, or any other information security role.

"In these tough economic times, organizations continue to live by the do-more-with-less mantra while navigating the dynamic and more complex than ever nature of the current risk landscape," said Tony Akers, UKI co-founder. "Having a current and diversified set of skills that differentiates one from peers is important in order to excel in this challenging environment and become an indispensible part of the infosec team."

Growing demand for social media cybersecurity experts

More and more, organizations rely on social media as a tool to support marketing efforts, enable greater collaboration, spread important causes, and generate positive change. Unfortunately, with the many benefits of instant communication comes an array of security risks, as hackers target employees through social media channels to steal critical business information. Many organizations are aware of the risks involved: In a 2012 RIMS Benchmark Survey, 60 percent of risk managers identified social media as both an asset and a liability to their organization. According to the 2011 Barracuda Labs report "Social Networking Security & Privacy," 86 percent of respondents fear that employee use of social media networks can endanger company security.

These growing concerns reflect the need to take an active part in protecting critical business information. In a recently published Gartner report, 60 percent of corporations revealed that they plan to monitor social media channels by 2015. Having a skilled workforce that can anticipate potentially devastating security breaches, minimize the impact of attacks, and collect necessary evidence for prosecution will be key to securing organizations.

CompTIA and UKI partner to address a lack of comprehensive social media security education

Development of the social media security training began when the U.S. Department of Defense approached UKI with a request to design and teach an information security course focusing on social media security. The goal was to enable a wholesome protection of the DoD's infrastructure.

"The training courses came about as a collaboration of military experts and information security researchers." said Dr. Scott A. Wells, UKI co-founder. "The success of these courses and the skyrocketing demand for cybersecurity professionals trained in social media security led us to modify our curriculum and partner with Examplify to develop a solid certification exam for the general public."

Examplify, a custom exam development company, leverages CompTIA's nearly 20 years of successful exam development experience. It has co-developed the SMSP exam with UKI to offer a credible, reliable way to validate the skills of individuals in the exploding IT arena of social media.

Individuals who sit for the SMSP beta exam will help determine the passing score for the industry's first social media security certification through their participation. They will be eligible to obtain the SMSP certification upon successful completion of the exam. The beta phase is expected to be finalized before the end of October 2012, and the exam is scheduled to be in the market January 2013.

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