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SAFe-DevOps SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner (SDP) plan |

SAFe-DevOps plan - SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner (SDP) Updated: 2023

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Exam Code: SAFe-DevOps SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner (SDP) plan November 2023 by team

SAFe-DevOps SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner (SDP)

Exam Specification: SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner (SDP)

Exam Name: SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner
Exam Code: SDP
Exam Duration: 90 minutes
Passing Score: 73%
Exam Format: Multiple-choice, multiple-answer

Course Outline:

1. Introduction to SAFe DevOps
- Understanding the value of DevOps in the context of the SAFe framework
- Exploring the principles and mindset behind SAFe DevOps
- Recognizing the key elements of the Continuous Delivery Pipeline

2. Building a DevOps Culture
- Understanding the importance of a DevOps culture for successful implementation
- Fostering collaboration and communication between development and operations teams
- Encouraging shared responsibility for quality and delivery

3. Planning, Continuous Integration, and Continuous Deployment
- Creating effective release strategies and planning for continuous integration and deployment
- Implementing Continuous Integration practices and tools
- Automating the deployment process for faster and more reliable releases

4. Continuous Testing and Continuous Security
- Incorporating continuous testing into the development process
- Implementing automated testing practices and tools
- Ensuring security throughout the development lifecycle

5. Continuous Feedback and Continuous Learning
- Establishing feedback loops to gather insights and Excellerate the development process
- Leveraging metrics and telemetry for data-driven decision-making
- Promoting a culture of continuous learning and improvement

6. Value Stream Mapping and DevOps Improvement
- Mapping and visualizing the value stream to identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement
- Implementing DevOps improvements using the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle
- Applying the CALMR approach (Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, and Recovery) for DevOps transformation

Exam Objectives:

1. Understand the principles and mindset behind SAFe DevOps.
2. Build a DevOps culture that fosters collaboration and shared responsibility.
3. Plan and implement continuous integration and continuous deployment practices.
4. Implement continuous testing and ensure security throughout the development process.
5. Establish feedback loops and promote continuous learning and improvement.
6. Apply value stream mapping and DevOps improvement techniques.

Exam Syllabus:

Section 1: Introduction to SAFe DevOps (10%)
- Value of DevOps in the SAFe framework
- Principles and mindset of SAFe DevOps
- Elements of the Continuous Delivery Pipeline

Section 2: Building a DevOps Culture (15%)
- Importance of DevOps culture for successful implementation
- Collaboration and communication between development and operations teams
- Shared responsibility for quality and delivery

Section 3: Planning, Continuous Integration, and Continuous Deployment (20%)
- Release strategies and planning for continuous integration and deployment
- Continuous Integration practices and tools
- Automation of deployment processes

Section 4: Continuous Testing and Continuous Security (20%)
- Integration of continuous testing into the development process
- Automated testing practices and tools
- Security considerations throughout the development lifecycle

Section 5: Continuous Feedback and Continuous Learning (20%)
- Feedback loops for insights and improvement
- Metrics and telemetry for data-driven decision-making
- Culture of continuous learning and improvement

Section 6: Value Stream Mapping and DevOps Improvement (15%)
- Value stream mapping and visualization
- DevOps improvements using the PDSA cycle
- CALMR approach for DevOps transformation
SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner (SDP)
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SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner (SDP)
Question: 51
Why is hypothesis evaluation important when analyzing data from monitoring systems in the Release on Demand
A. It helps quickly create balanced scorecards for stakeholder review
B. It helps operations teams know where to apply emergency fixes
C. It helps link objective production data to the hypothesis being tested
D. It helps define the minimum viable product
Answer: C
One aspect In Release On Demand it to determine actual business value delivered through feedback collected from
Question: 52
What is the purpose of the blue/green deployment pattern?
A. To deploy between an inactive and active environment
B. To ensure no changes happen in production without going through the Continuous Delivery Pipeline
C. To deploy to only some data centers to reduce the deployment risk
D. To decouple deployment from release
Answer: A
Question: 53
Which term describes the time it takes value to flow across the entire Value Stream?
A. Activity ratio
B. Total lead time
C. Deployment frequency
D. Rolled percent complete and accurate
Answer: B
Evaluate the efficiency of your current Value Stream
Question: 54
What is the recommended way to prioritize the potential items for the DevOps transformation?
A. Minimum viable product
B. Lean business case.
C. Minimum marketable feature.
D. Weighted Shortest Job First.
Answer: D
Question: 55
Which teams should coordinate when responding to production issues?
A. Teams across the Value Stream
B. Dev teams and Ops teams
C. SRE teams and System Teams
D. Support teams and Dev teams
Answer: A
Question: 56
What are two aspects of the Continuous Delivery Pipeline, in addition to Continuous Integration? (Choose two.)
A. Continuous Release
B. Continuous Deployment
C. Continuous Improvement
D. Continuous Exploration
E. Continuous Testing
Answer: B,D
Question: 57
DevOps is a key enabler of continuous delivery.
What does continuous mean in this context?
A. To deploy to production and release on cadence every Iteration
B. To deploy to production and release at least once every Program increment
C. To deploy to production as often as possible and release when the business needs it
D. To deploy to production multiple times per year and release on a cadence once or twice a year
Answer: C
Question: 58
What identifies potential changes to the current-state Value Stream that could Excellerate flow?
A. Value Stream identification
B. Problem-solving workshop
C. Impact mapping
D. Future-state mapping
Answer: D
Question: 59
What is an output of the Release activity?
A. A Feature migrated to the cloud
B. A Feature deployed to production
C. A Feature made available to end users
D. A Feature made available to internal users
Answer: C
Question: 60
Which Metric reflects the quality of output at each step in the Value Stream?
A. Process time
B. Lead Time
C. Activity Ratio
D. Percent complete and accurate (%C/A)
Answer: D
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Scrum Practitioner plan - BingNews Search results Scrum Practitioner plan - BingNews Best Project Management Certifications

Project management certifications claim a place in every top IT certification list because project managers are essential to IT operations. Whether you’re interested in becoming an IT project manager or want to add project management to your skills list, the following certifications will help you boost your skills and increase your value.

What to know about project management roles and certification

Next to top-level IT certifications, project management certifications are among the most sought-after tech credentials. Project management certifications enhance and expand other IT qualifications and add to a professional’s skill set.

Project management involves planning, scheduling, budgeting, executing and reporting on various projects. In the IT realm, events such as hardware and operating system upgrades, platform migrations, security patches, software updates and maintenance tasks are considered “projects,” so project management is incredibly important.

According to staffing firm Robert Half’s 2023 Salary Guide, project managers in the U.S. earn, on average, $119,000 annually; salaries reach almost $200,000 for top earners. Scrum masters earn around $112,000 nationally, and top earners can make over $180,000. Robert Half places Agile and Scrum in the top five in-demand technology methodologies, so earning a top-level certification is a surefire way to become a sought-after and well-paid project manager.

Best project management certifications

More IT professionals are seeking project management certifications these days. Various evergreen IT certifications cover different areas and skills, but all of them can help you navigate your career path and increase your earning potential. Here are several to consider.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) stands firmly behind its PMP certification. The organization works with academia and training companies to ensure proper coverage and currency in the curricula supporting the PMP and other PMI credentials. With more than 1.2 million PMP-certified professionals globally, PMI’s PMP remains among the most prestigious project management credentials. 

You can obtain college- and university-based PMP training from many institutions. You may also find PMP coverage integrated into specific degree programs (often at the master’s level).

The PMP credential is coveted by employers seeking the most highly skilled project management professionals. It is designed to ensure credential holders possess the skills and qualifications to successfully manage all project phases, including initiating, planning, scheduling, controlling and monitoring, and closing projects.

PMP-certified project managers are well versed and skilled in managing all aspects of the triple constraints: time, cost and scope. Employers depend on PMP professionals to do the following: 

  • Manage budgets
  • Track costs
  • Manage scope creep
  • Identify how changes to the triple constraints may introduce risk to the project
  • Minimize risks to protect the project investment

PMP certification standards are rigorous and include the following: 

  • Skills and education: Credential holders must demonstrate and certify that they have the skills and education necessary to succeed in the project management field.
  • Documentation: Credential seekers should be ready to provide documentation of their education, previous projects and training courses. 
  • Eligibility ID: Candidates must obtain an eligibility ID from PMI before they can register for the exam. 
  • Exam: Once eligible candidates receive their ID, they have one year and three attempts to pass a comprehensive 180-question exam. 

While the certification is difficult to achieve, PMP credential holders enjoy significant rewards. PMI’s salary survey revealed that PMPs in the U.S. earn an average of 32 percent more than their non-credentialed counterparts. In the U.S., PMPs earn a median annual salary of $123,000, compared with $93,000 for non-PMP-certified project managers. Additionally, PMP credential holders can earn significantly more depending on a project’s size and complexity, as well as their experience and expertise.

For those who are interested in program management or who wish to specialize in a project management area, PMI offers several interesting additional credentials:

  • Program Management Professional (PgMP): The PgMP credential targets professionals who manage multiple projects on an organizational level.
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP): The PfMP credential targets professionals who manage organizational project portfolios.
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP): The PMI-ACP credential targets project management professionals who work with the Agile project management methodology.
  • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA): The PMI-PBA credential focuses on business analysis and the ability to define stakeholder requirements, project scope and business solution outcomes.
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP): The PMI-RMP credential is a specialized credential that focuses on risk assessment, identification and mitigation.
  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP): The PMI-SP credential is for project managers charged with developing and maintaining project schedules.

The PMP credential remains a nonpareil certification for IT and other professionals whose responsibilities encompass project management. It is the standard against which all other project management credentials are judged.

PMP facts and figures:

Certification name

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Prerequisites and required courses

  • Four-year degree
  • 36 months of leading and directing projects within the past eight years
  • 35 hours of project management education (does not apply to active CAPM certification holders)


  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or equivalent)
  • 60 months of leading and directing projects within the past eight years
  • 35 hours of project management education (does not apply to active CAPM certification holders)

Note: Credential holders must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) per three-year cycle to maintain their certification.

Number of exams

One (180 questions, five unscored; 230 minutes to complete)

Cost per exam

Online and in-person (administered by Pearson VUE) computer-based exams:

  • PMI member: $405 (may retake two times within a year for a fee)
  • Nonmember: $555 (may retake two times within a year for a fee)
  • Exams are available in online proctored or center-based test (CBT) formats.

Note: Eligibility ID from PMI is required to register.


Self-study materials

PMI maintains a list of training resources on the PMP exam guidance webpage, including these:

Additional training materials (quizzes, publications, books, practice guides and more) are available from the PMI Store.

Numerous books are available, including these:

PMP certification is also recommended for anyone who aspires to become an enterprise IT architect.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

PMI also backs the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential. In fact, the CAPM is considered a stepping stone for those who wish to attain PMP status. PMI describes the CAPM as an “essential first step in building a career as a project manager” but also a step that “opens the door to opportunities at every stage of your career.”

The CAPM requires the following:

  • A high school diploma (or GED or global equivalent)
  • 23 hours of project management classroom training 
  • The CAPM exam 

No previous experience is required. The education prerequisite can be met by completing PMI’s Project Management Basics online course, which costs $350 for PMI members and $400 for nonmembers.

The CAPM is one of a small set of entry-level certifications for IT professionals who are interested in project management. However, it’s just a stepping stone to the PMP credential. Unless you work in a large organization with a project management team comprising junior and senior positions, the CAPM alone is unlikely to provide a ticket to a project management job. However, it’s ideal for IT professionals for whom project management is a part-time role or for those who want to grow into full-time project management.

PMI issued its existing CAPM exam in July 2023, so some older study materials might not be complete. For additional information about the existing exam format, visit PMI’s CAPM exam Update page.

CAPM facts and figures:

If you want to start building project management skills but aren’t ready to invest in an entry-level certification course, consider exploring free project management training materials.

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Although different Scrum master certifications are available, our pick is the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) from Scrum Alliance. This nonprofit encourages the adoption of Scrum and Agile practices, promotes user groups and learning events, and provides resources for professional development. The organization boasts more than 1.4 million certified practitioners worldwide.

The Scrum Alliance provides a support system for Scrum practitioners, including Scrum gatherings, professional development and retreats, user groups, virtual communications, coaching, online training and much more. 

In addition to community and advocacy activities, the Scrum Alliance offers numerous Scrum-related certifications. The certifications are designed for team members on the Scrum master, product owner and developer tracks. Each track offers credentials at the foundational, advanced and professional levels. Certification is also available for Agile leadership and guide levels.

  • Scrum master track: Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) and Certified Scrum Professional-Scrum Master (CSP-SM)
  • Product owner track: Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) and Certified Scrum Professional-Product Owner (CSP-PO)
  • Developer track: Certified Scrum Developer (CSD), Advanced Certified Scrum Developer (A-CSD) and Certified Scrum Professional for Developers (CSP-D)
  • Guide-level certifications: Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), Certified Team Coach (CTC) and Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)
  • Agile leadership: Certified Agile Leadership (CAL), a credential based on a combination of education and validated practice 
  • Agile coaching: Agile Coaching Skills-Certified Facilitator (ACS-CF), which supports groups as they collaborate, create and make decisions.

The CSM is an excellent entry-level credential for project managers who are getting started as Scrum practitioners. Candidates must demonstrate an understanding of Scrum principles and values and will learn how to implement and apply Scrum in practice. The Scrum Alliance provides CSMs with resources, checklists and information about the Scrum master’s servant-leader role.

Certified ScrumMaster facts and figures:

Certification name

Certified ScrumMaster

Prerequisites and required courses

  • General familiarity with Scrum
  • Completion of a 14-hour (usually over two days) CSM training course (price varies by training provider; candidates can expect to pay around $920 to $1,500)

Note: Certification must be renewed every two years by earning 20 Scrum education units (and paying $100 for foundational-level certifications).

Number of exams

One (37 correct answers out of 50 questions required to pass; 60-minute time limit)

Cost per exam

Fees for online tests paid by the training provider


Self-study materials

Scrum Alliance offers blogs, articles, reports, online learning, suggested memorizing and presentations online, including these: 

Note: Udemy offers practice tests designed to help test takers pass the CSM certification exam on their first attempt.

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) issues globally recognized certifications that attest to a candidate’s expertise, mastery of industry and regulation standards, and mastery of the ASQ Body of Knowledge. ASQ offers 18 credentials, three of which specifically target project management: 

  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) (expert level)
  • Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) (professional level) 
  • Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB) (entry-level)

The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt is ASQ’s highest Six Sigma credential. The CSSBB is for experienced practitioners who understand Six Sigma methodologies (including the DMAIC model), tools, systems and philosophies. CSSBBs can lead teams or manage team dynamics, roles and responsibilities.

The path to CSSBB certification is rigorous. Candidates must do the following: 

  • Pass a comprehensive exam
  • Complete two projects employing Six Sigma tools and processes, resulting in project improvement and a positive financial impact
  • Submit an affidavit to attest to the project’s veracity 

Alternatively, candidates with at least three years of experience in one or more of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge areas need to complete only one Black Belt project.

CSSBB candidates are expected to demonstrate mastery of these ASQ Black Belt Body of Knowledge, called standards:

  • Organization-wide Planning and Deployment (organization-wide considerations, leadership)
  • Organization Process Management and Measures (impact on stakeholders, benchmarking, business measures)
  • Team Management (team formation, facilitation, dynamics, training)
  • Define (voice of the customer, business case and project charter, project management tools, analytical tools)
  • Measure (process characteristics, data collection, measurement systems, basic statistics, probability, process capability)
  • Analyze (measuring and modeling relationships between variables, hypothesis testing, risk analysis and management, other analysis methods)
  • Improve (design of experiments, Lean methods, implementation)
  • Control (statistical process control and other controls, maintain controls, sustain improvements)
  • Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) Framework and Methodologies (common DFSS methodologies, design for DFX)

The CSSBB credential is valid for three years. To recertify, candidates must earn 18 recertification units (RUs) or retake the exam. Recertification by RUs costs $90 for ASQ members and $130 for nonmembers.

CSSBB facts and figures:

Certification name

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)

Prerequisites and required courses

  • Two completed projects with signed project affidavits or one completed project with a signed affidavit (depending on experience level)
  • Three years of experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge

Number of exams

One computer-based or paper-based exam: 

  • Computer-based (165 questions, 15 unscored; 4.5 hours) 
  • Paper-based (150 questions, four hours)

Cost per exam

  • Members: $468 
  • Nonmembers: $568 
  • Retakes: $368

(Exams administered by Prometric)


Self-study materials

ASQ maintains a comprehensive list of exam prep materials, including the following:

  • Training opportunities
  • Question banks
  • Interactive trial exams
  • Books 
  • Recommended references

Note: Udemy offers a course called Six Sigma: Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Accredited.

Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)

Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) is ASQ’s professional-level credential targeting experienced Six Sigma practitioners. Often, a CSSGB works under the direction of the more senior CSSBB or as an assistant. CSSGBs identify issues and drive quality and process improvements in projects.

To earn the credential, candidates must meet the following requirements: 

  • They must have at least three years of experience working with Six Sigma processes, systems and tools.
  • The work experience must have been full-time and compensated. (An unpaid internship, for example, doesn’t count.)
  • The work performed must have been in at least one of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge competency areas.
  • Candidates must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge. 

Currently, the Green Belt Body of Knowledge includes six competency areas:

  • Overview: Six Sigma and the Organization (organizational goals, Lean principles, design for six sigma methodologies)
  • Define Phase (project identification, voice of the customer, project management basics, management and planning tools, business results for projects, team dynamics and performance)
  • Measure Phase (process analysis and documentation, probability and statistics, statistical distributions, collecting and summarizing data, measurement system analysis, process and performance capability)
  • Analyze Phase (exploratory data analysis, hypothesis testing, additional analysis methods)
  • Improve Phase (design of experiments, implementation planning, Lean tools)
  • Control Phase (statistical process control, sustain improvements, Lean tools for process control)

Overall, this is an excellent credential for those who have some experience but who are not quite ready to take on the roles and responsibilities of a Black Belt.

CSSGB facts and figures:

Certification name

Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)

Prerequisites and required courses

  • Three years of experience in one or more of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge areas; must be a full-time paid position (not internships)

Number of exams

One computer-based or paper-based exam: 

  • Computer-based (110 questions, 10 unscored; 4.5 hours)
  • Paper-based (100 questions, four hours)

Cost per exam

  • Members: $369 
  • Nonmembers $469
  • Retakes: $269

(Exams administered by Prometric)


Self-study materials

ASQ maintains a comprehensive list of exam prep materials, including the following:

  • Training opportunities
  • Question banks
  • Interactive trial exams
  • Books 
  • Recommended references

Note: Udemy offers a course called Six Sigma: Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Accredited.

Project resource management is an element of overall project management. It aims to maximize resources to avoid resource shortages and excess resources.

Thu, 09 Nov 2023 10:01:00 -0600 en text/html
25 Million Project Managers In Demand As Median Salaries Soar To $120,000

The project management industry is witnessing unprecedented growth, and is set to increase in demand over the next few years, with a predicted 25 million needed to fill the gap across various industries globally. Some of the most popular sectors with opportunities for project managers include technology, construction, manufacturing, and finance.

This comes at a time when the technology sector is booming, with AI spurring the need for over 90 million new jobs. It turns out that roles requiring project management skills and capabilities such as people management, stakeholder management and engagement, budgeting, project planning, and resource management are becoming more of a necessity for most organizations.

And in tandem with this demand, the median salary for project practitioners in the U.S. is $120,000, up from $115,000 in 2021, according to the Project Management Institute's (PMI) findings.

Which Countries Offer The Highest Salaries For Project Managers?

According to PMI's report, the U.S., Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, and Singapore turn out to be in the list of the top five countries offering the most promising salaries for PM professionals.

The rate of increase dramatically varies across countries, however, with Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and The United Arab Emirates, witnessing increases of more than 60%.

But living and working in the right country is only part of the answer. As a general rule, you need to fulfill a few key criteria before you can expect to make six figures in this profession. Some of the other factors that affect your salary are outlined below:

Factors That Influence Earning Potential

To build and continue to grow your career as a project manager, you need to first bear in mind that a continuous growth mindset is key to your career success. Any management profession demands some aspect of PM skills, but if you are working specifically as a project manager, you will be expected to be versatile, adapt, plan for the worst, and coordinate multiple aspects while keeping projects or programs running smoothly. In our technically enhanced economy, you'll need to work on adopting new skill sets, such as proficiency in emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, automation, and data analytics.

Therefore, ongoing industry awareness is key to your career success and salary increase.

Continuous learning

So it's no wonder that continuous learning and development, specifically for project management practice, played a key role in influencing some of the highest wage earners surveyed by PMI, who reported that obtaining a PMP certification helped them earn more in their roles. Some other project management certifications you can obtain include Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner, Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt.

Project size and sector

The scope and budget of a project, and the type of sector you're operating in, can significantly impact earning potential. For example, a multi-million-dollar government project would pay significantly more than a nonprofit working with a half-million-dollar budget.


The number of years of experience you have in project management is a directly contributing factor to your earning potential. As you increase in years of experience, in project size, and in your qualifications, your pay will show for it. For example, a project manager in the United States with less than three years of experience could make on average $78,279, while those with up to 10 years of experience can earn around $100,000 annually.

While industries and sectors are evolving and demand increases for project managers in various capacities, this is the perfect time to jump into the industry if you haven't already. Contribute to the economy and experience a thrilling and rewarding career by obtaining your certifications so you can have a competitive edge, and build your experience both in and outside of work so you have a portfolio of successful projects to showcase your expertise.

Thu, 09 Nov 2023 21:56:00 -0600 Rachel Wells en text/html
Customer Service Resources Can Assist Transportation Workforce No result found, try new keyword!ACRP’s Planning and Design of Airport Terminal Restrooms and Ancillary Spaces provides a thoughtful, step-by-step process to help airport industry practitioners plan, design, and implement terminal ... Fri, 29 Oct 2021 21:31:00 -0500 text/html Cybersecurity practitioners fret after SEC sues SolarWinds and its CISO

Updated with comment from SolarWinds

Cybersecurity practitioners are expressing concern after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued both SolarWinds Corp. and its Chief Information Security Officer Timothy Brown for fraud relating to the hack of the company first disclosed in December 2020.

The hack, which was attributed to Russian government-linked hackers, saw the insertion of malicious code into the company’s information technology monitoring and management tool Orion. The hack was originally estimated to have affected more than 18,000 organizations worldwide, including the U.S. Department of State, Homeland Security and Commerce, the National Security Agency and Microsoft Corp. However, SolarWinds later put the figure of affected customers at under 100.

The SEC’s lawsuit charges SolarWinds and Brown for fraud and internal control failures relating to allegedly known cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities. The complaint alleges that, from at least October 2018, when SolarWinds went public, through December 2020, when it disclosed it had been hacked, SolarWinds and Brown defrauded investors by overstating SolarWinds’ cybersecurity practices and understating or failing to disclose known risks.

It’s alleged by the SEC that through this period, SolarWinds misled investors by disclosing only generic and hypothetical risks at a time when the company and Brown knew of specific deficiencies in SolarWinds’ cybersecurity practices as well as the increasingly elevated risks the company faced at the same time.

The fraud allegation comes about as the SEC claimed that SolarWinds’ public statements about its cybersecurity practices and risks were at odds with its internal assessments. It’s alleged that in a 2018 presentation prepared by a company engineer and shared internally, including with Brown, that SolarWinds’ remote access set-up was “not very secure.” Someone exploiting the vulnerability “can basically do whatever without us detecting it until it’s too late,” which could lead to “major reputation and financial loss” for SolarWinds, the suit claims.

In short, SolarWinds was internally concerned about its security posture but was telling the public that everything was basically fine when it was not.

Where it takes an arguably strange twist, at least in terms of Brown being specifically targeted, is that the SEC alleges that employees, including Brown, were internally questioning the company’s ability to protect critical assets from cyberattacks throughout 2019 and 2020.

Despite seemingly attempting to highlight and rectify the issues, Brown stands accused by the SEC of failing to resolve the issues or, at times, not raising them further within the company. “As a result of these lapses, the company allegedly also could not provide reasonable assurances that its most valuable assets, including its flagship Orion product, were adequately protected,” the SEC writes.

George Jones, chief information security officer at cybersecurity company Critical Start Inc., told SiliconANGLE that the decision to go after Brown “could have a chilling effect on other CISOs, causing them to be more cautious about providing inaccurate information or incomplete information to investors or the public.”

“If he was knowingly misleading investors, he should have been charged,” Jones said. “There is some question as to how much he knew about the security gaps and there could be plausible deniability, but I would expect to be acutely aware of cybersecurity gaps that exist in my purview and either accept them as a known risk or have a plan on the roadmap to remediate them.”

Dave Stapleton, CISO at third-party risk management firm ProcessUnity Inc., also believes the action by the SEC “may deter some would-be CISOs, which is disappointing.”

“No one demands perfection. No one is saying that risk must be reduced to zero,” Stapleton said. “They simply require transparency and good faith efforts to secure sensitive systems and data. CISOs who are adequately supported by their executives and are empowered to speak the truth, even when there may be consequences to the business, have little to fear. The question is, how many CISOs truly feel that kind of support?”

Timothy Morris, chief security adviser at systems management company Tanium Inc. warned that “the charges add another layer of complexity to the already overstressed CISO role, as fully complying with regulatory disclosure requirements while protecting investigation and response efforts is not easy, even on a good day.”

“With SolarWinds’ CISO now under the microscope and Uber’s former CISO making similar shock waves last year, we can expect turnover in this role,” Morris added. “In fact, Gartner predicts that almost half of cyber leaders will change jobs by 2025 and a full quarter will change career paths entirely due to the mental and emotional toll associated with their job.”

In response to the SEC action, SolarWinds said in a statement that it was “disappointed by the SEC’s unfounded charges related to a Russian cyberattack on an American company and are deeply concerned this action will put our national security at risk.”

“The SEC’s determination to manufacture a claim against us and our CISO is another example of the agency’s overreach and should alarm all public companies and committed cybersecurity professionals across the country,” the statement added. “We look forward to clarifying the truth in court and continuing to support our customers through our Secure by Design commitments.”

Image: SolarWinds

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New Zealand prop Tamaiti Williams believes the All Blacks have what it takes to defuse South Africa’s vaunted bench “bomb squad” in the Rugby World Cup final.

The impact of the Springboks’ replacement tight five forwards was crucial to swinging the semi-final against England their way, with Ox Nche, Vincent Koch and RG Snyman all prominent.

The bench was similarly impactful in South Africa’s warm-up win over New Zealand, with Jacques Nienaber introducing seven forwards at once to dominate the second-half set-piece battle and seal victory.

New Zealand, however, fared much better in the Rugby Championship meeting between the two nations earlier in the year, a game in which Williams made his debut.

And the 144kg prop believes that experience will stand him (if involved) and his colleagues in good stead at the Stade de France on Saturday.

“It’s clear they’ve got a good bench. They do damage when they come on,” said the 23-year-old, who came on at loosehead in the second half of the All Blacks’ semi-final win over Argentina.

“It is about whatever the team needs us to do off the bench – [adding] energy with our voice, energy with our ball carrying, our set piece.

“There is a lot of talk about them but we are just going to focus on ourselves and make sure we are primed. When the bench comes on, we need to make sure we make an impact.”

Tamaiti Williams has risen quickly over the last couple of years, and says he’s learned a lot playing against South Africa


The gigantic Williams has risen quickly over the last couple of years after impressing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific.

Born in Whangarei, New Zealand’s northernmost city, he spent the majority of his childhood in Perth, Australia.

Having come through as a loose forward, Williams was a late convert to prop, but is skilful enough to cover both sides of the front row.

And he is braced for a significant challenge this weekend on the sport’s biggest stage.

“They are massive,” Williams quipped of the South African forwards. “And they are clinical – if you deliver them a chance, they’ll take it.

“It’s been a great learning, playing against them – I had a good win against them and we got a hiding against them as well.

“For us, it’s all about being clean. You’ve got to match the physicality they are going to bring. Everyone knows what they are going to bring, it is up to us to stop it.”

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