UKI to Launch Social Media Security Certification

by Justyna La Pay | Apr 01, 2013

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.

The SMSP course is definitely an eye opener. With how much social media has taken over, it is important to be fully aware of the capabilities along with all the risks it brings.

Wilder Guerra, information systems technician, U.S. Navy

The UKI Social Media Security Professional (SMSP) certification, powered by CompTIA, will be available on April 9.

The SMSP certification designates professionals with demonstrated technical knowledge of social networking platforms, as well as the skills to effectively mitigate risks in order to safeguard organizations' critical information from social media hackers. SMSPs have established competency to help guide organizations' social media personnel security policy. The unique aspect of the SMSP certification is its focus on technical granularity specific to social media platforms such as cross-site scripting, socware (social media malware), phishing, data profiling, geo-tagging, identity theft, and evil twin attacks.

The SMSP exam (UK0-001) will be available only through Pearson VUE testing centers. The certification exam features 65 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed within 90 minutes. Candidates can prepare for this exam by attending an official training course administered by Ultimate Knowledge Institute's (UKI) Authorized Training Partners (ATPs), or they can opt to challenge the exam without official training. SMSP exam vouchers are available through UKI's online store.

Ideal Candidates for SMSP Powered by CompTIA

The SMSP certification is designed for IT security professionals with a minimum of one year of cybersecurity work experience. This certification is ideal for individuals who either already work with social media solutions or who want to expand their skill set to ensure their readiness to tackle emerging cyber threats. Candidate job roles include information security technician, security administrator, security architect, security engineer or any other role that is responsible for information security.

The SMSP certification and training program is also designed for Information Assurance professionals in Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Information Officer (CIO) or other roles responsible for developing social media usage policies and education programs for end users.

The SMSP beta exam was attempted by IS professionals from Fortune 500 enterprises and government organizations covering various industries and sectors, and included organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, SRA International, Wells Fargo, Wyndham International, Symantec, U.S. Department of Defense, FBI and many others.

"The SMSP course is definitely an eye opener," said Wilder Guerra, an information systems technician with the U.S. Navy. "With how much social media has taken over, it is important to be fully aware of the capabilities along with all the risks it brings. It is important to get this course because social media is the new norm."

Why is social media security important?

The sophisticated attacks that originate from social media platforms have been named one of the biggest challenges for the information assurance industry in 2013 by Sourcefire, McAfee, Forrester and Norton. With a network like Facebook, which boasts more than 1 billion users globally, those with criminal intentions are investing resources to access the wealth of data that users often voluntarily disclose about themselves and their organizations, be it private enterprises, government agencies or the military.

Since social networks rely on trust and sharing, hackers often choose social media as a platform for spreading malware and launching phishing and social engineering attacks to access sensitive information. In a recent study by McAfee, half of organizations surveyed admitted to a security scare resulting from social media. Also, a recent survey by Protiviti Inc. revealed that CIOs view improved competency in security for social media, which is now at the core of many enterprises, as one of their most pressing concerns.

While most IT professionals are aware of the dangers of social media usage, only about a third of corporations have a breach prevention and response strategy in place. Many organizations indicate the lack of skilled workforce to handle threats emerging from new media. This growing lack of experts in social media security and request for training development by the U.S. Department of Defense led Ultimate Knowledge Institute to design the SMSP training course and partner with Examplify, a wholly owned subsidiary of CompTIA, to develop the SMSP certification exam. UKI's strong training development background combined with CompTIA's experience in exam development offer a credible and reliable way to validate the skills of individuals taking the exams in the exploding IT arena of social media.

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