Learn and Earn with ChannelCon Online: Cybersecurity at the Help Desk

by Debra B. McCraw | Sep 01, 2017

James Stanger presenting his session 'The Irreplaceable Help Desk Worker' at ChannelCon 2017.“More and more, help desk people are being seen as a major, if not the first, line of defense,” said James Stanger, CompTIA Chief Technology Evangelist, in his session, The Irreplaceable Help Desk Worker, at ChannelCon 2017. “There’s a big debate about where help desk fits into cybersecurity. When it comes to the first response, who’s best suited to respond? It’s the help desk.”

He cited these five skills as essential to the modern help desk worker:

“The most valuable workers are the ones who can look for indications of compromise in normal activity,” Stanger said.

Help desk workers don’t necessarily need to be able to configure firewalls, he added, but they should understand what they do and don’t block and be able to educate end users on how they can help keep the network secure.

“Is cybersecurity just what cybersecurity people do?” Stanger asked. “No, it’s what everyone does because it’s an integral part of business.”

He added that the Tier 1 help desk role has become more sophisticated, and the simple answers are fewer and further between.

“You will be asked how to solve the problem and can you write it down so we can create a script,” Stanger said.

Catch this and all the 2017 ChannelCon sessions individually or in our rebroadcast on September 19-20. Register today to hear insights from IT leaders, gain actionable tips to help you do your job better and earn continuing education units (CEUs) toward the renewal of your CompTIA certifications.

"The Irreplaceable Help Desk Worker" has been CEU-approved for CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Cloud+, CompTIA CySA+ and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) recertification.


  • Vicky Blue

    Friday, September 15, 2017

    Thank you for sharing that point of view. I was recently awarded a certification in Cybersecurity Technology at the Graduate level and share your opinion that advanced training can and does elevate the performance and merit of a Help Desk Technician (Computer Network Specialist II). Because of my Cybersecurity training, I have become more aware of phishing schemes and Denial of Service (DoS) exploits. The Help Desk Technician can alert users of the dangers of sharing passwords, leaving desktop and mobile devices unattended and unlocked, and of course, Social Engineering schemes because they are generally at the first or second level of interaction with the client. Thanks for the recognition.

  • Anthony

    Friday, September 15, 2017

    Are there any non-profit organization in the state of Minnesota! That help anyone like myself as Service Desk Technician to obtain a certification in Cyber Security. As we all know! Service Desk tech don't get paid much to afford educational classes to advance in this field.

  • Michael, A+, Net+

    Saturday, September 16, 2017

    If one is a veteran, they can sign up for Cybersecurity training courtesy of the Dept. of Homeland Security's "Hire our Heroes" program. Federally funded, there are 54 courses to take including exam preps for some CompTia certifications.

  • Japhet

    Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Am interested

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