Category Archives: writing

Peter H Gregory’s Study Guides Available For 2023 Top-Rated Certifications

Gregory’s best-selling books cover five of the top ten certifications ranked by salary

January 23, 2023

SEATTLE, Washington – Peter H Gregory’s best-selling certification study guides cover several of the highest-ranked certifications in the 2023 Salary Survey 75 list, including the #1 and #3 spots. Gregory’s books cover five of the top ten paying IT certifications, according to Certification Magazine, which just released its 2023 Salary Survey 75, the top 75 IT certifications ranked by U.S. salaries. The survey covered over 1,200 vendor and non-vendor certifications in IT, IT Security, and privacy.

The top certifications in the survey with best-selling study guides written by Peter H Gregory include:

“I am pleased that these certifications have made such a strong showing,” says Peter H Gregory, who has published over fifty books since 2000. “This success would not be possible, however, without strong support from McGraw-Hill Professional over the past thirteen years with the publication of the first edition of the CISA Certified Information Systems Auditor All-In-One Exam Guide.”

Gregory has written a total of sixteen titles for McGraw-Hill Professional since 2009, including CRISC Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control All-In-One Exam Guide, second edition, co-authored with Bobby Rogers and Dawn Dunkerley. Gregory’s other notable books include CISSP For Dummies (first published in 2002, now in its 7th edition), CISSP Guide to Security Essentials, second editionThe Art of Writing Technical Books, Chromebook For Dummies, and Solaris Security. “All of my published books have fueled my passion for helping IT professionals successfully pursue IT security and privacy careers,” Gregory adds. “The skills that my readers learn enable them to better understand how to protect their organizations’ sensitive information and critical systems.”

About Peter H Gregory

Peter H Gregory is a career information security and privacy leader. He is the author of over fifty books on information security and emerging technology. Visit him at peterhgregory.com.

For interviews with Peter H Gregory, please contact: peter.gregory [at] gmail.com

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You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference Peter H Gregory and include his web address, www.peterhgregory.com.

The WFH Book I Did Not Publish

In my tenure at McCaw Cellular Communications, later known as AT&T Wireless Services, I was placed on a task force in 2000 to study all aspects of working from home as a part of the company’s objective of shuttering numerous office buildings around the USA. We planned on identifying thousands of corporate workers who would work in their residences full-time, and developed a detailed plan on how to properly execute this vision from every conceivable perspective.

In this task force, we studied all aspects of WFH and had representatives from IT, Legal, HR, enterprise risk management (me), and others. The areas we explored deeply included:

  • Being a WFH employee – we identified the characteristics of a WFH employee, what it would take, what the employee needed where they live (a quiet and ideally-dedicated space), whether they would be distracted, and whether they had the discipline to work an 8 hour day when many things begged for attention at home.
  • Managing WFH employees – we explored how managers would manage WFH employees, since there would be apparent differences, particularly if they lived so far from an office that they rarely came in for anything. We identified the need to manage employees by measuring work products and milestones, versus just showing up.
  • Being a WFH manager – we explored the concept of managers being WFH themselves, and how they would manage from their remote perspective.
  • Information Technology – we developed an architecture for communications – what equipment would need to be at home and how it would be remotely managed. This was in the era before cable modems and DSL. The web was still quite new, and many business applications were still client-server and now designed for large numbers of dial-up users. We also considered voice telephony in this architecture.
  • Security and Privacy – our planning considered both physical security (theft prevention, confidentiality of printed matter) and cybersecurity.
  • Workplace Safety – we explored employment law, company personnel policies, and other legal aspects of employees whose workplaces were also their residences.
  • Insurance – we considered company and personal homeowners’/renters’ insurance and attempted to discern the boundaries and the rules.

This project, interleaved with many others, took more than a year to complete. It proved to be valuable for me in the future.

We did this in the era before videoconferencing, or should I say “affordable” videoconferencing. Our organization had numerous room systems that were ridiculously expensive, and did not scale down to the individual worker economically.

I joined a B2B SAAS company in 2005 as the global thought leader in cybersecurity and physical security, and was 20% WFH. There were few WFH employees in this company, and my background in WFH helped me navigate it successfully.

Fast-forward four years, when the SARS and MERS outbreaks threatened to become global pandemics, our larger customers asked us what our pandemic contingency plan was and whether we were prepared to execute it if a pandemic occurred. I responded by leading the effort to build a pandemic contingency plan. Not surprisingly, it mirrored guidance developed later by the CDC and WHO. This, too, would be valuable for me later.

In 2015, I changed employers and was 100% WFH. I thrived in this environment and was fortunate to have a separate, dedicated space for both my day job and my writing career.

In late 2019, having been immersed in pandemic planning, I recognized the early signs of what would later be known as the COVID-19 pandemic. In four days, I wrote a book summarizing all I had learned in the prior two decades and prepared to publish it on March 18, 2020. It was to be called WFH: Succeeding With Remote Work Through a Focus on Technology and Culture.

My employer said no. My book would have cut into the company’s revenue, as the company was also advising firms’ preparation and response for the highly-anticipated pandemic. So, this book sits on an SSD on my laptop, unknown to the world. It’s no longer relevant today, as anyone could publish an all-perspectives WFH playbook by just looking around to see how everyone else has already done it.

This was not an entirely wasted effort. I’ve used material in the book to help my current employer (where I am a WFH director, managing WFH managers who manage WFH employees) and to ensure we all succeed. The effort also gave me the experience I would need in 2022 when I published The Art of Writing Technical Books: The Tools, Techniques, and Lifestyle of a Published Author.

Peter H Gregory Publishes a Book To Guide Aspiring Tech Book Authors

Seattle, WA – April 26, 2022 – Author Peter H. Gregory has announced that his latest book, “The Art of Writing Technical Books,” has just been published. The book is available in paperback and electronic editions worldwide.

Peter H Gregory is a well-known author of tech books, including certification study guides for the world’s leading professional certifications in information security and privacy. He has authored over fifty books in the past twenty-three years, beginning with “Solaris Security.” He wrote this first book in 1998-1999 amid the dot-com boom when most servers on the Internet were powered by the Solaris operating system from Sun Microsystems and when internet security was just becoming a concern.

“I have wanted to write this book for many years,” cites Gregory. “I have mentored numerous aspiring authors and helped many get published. But until now, I only could converse with them and answer their questions. Everything I’ve helped others with is captured in this book.”

Gregory has long been passionate about helping aspiring writers break into the publishing profession. He has been instrumental in helping several accomplished professionals publish books for major publishing houses, including Sarah Perrot and Matthew Webster.

About Peter H Gregory

Peter H Gregory is a career information security, privacy, and technology professional and a former executive advisor and virtual CISO. He is the author of over fifty books on information security and emerging technology. Visit him at peterhgregory.com.

For interviews with Peter H Gregory, please contact at: https://peterhgregory.wordpress.com/contact/

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You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference Peter H Gregory and include our web address, www.peterhgregory.com

My Writing Tools

As a professional writer for over twenty years, I have been using a small set of tools that helps me improve my writing. Whether I’m writing a new blog entry, commenting on a LinkedIn post, updating my resume, or writing the first draft of a new book, one or more tools help spot errors in my copy.

The primary tools at my disposal include these:

  • Microsoft Word. I’ve been using Microsoft Word since the mid-1980s when DOS and Word 1.0 fit on a 360k floppy disc with room left over for several documents. A few years ago, I considered stopping using Microsoft Word in favor of other word processors. However, Word is the mainstay of the major publishing houses (John Wiley, McGraw-Hill, Cengage Learning) with detailed requirements that include the use of customized template (.dot) files, Track Changes, and more. These features require that authors use Microsoft Word and nothing else. And to Microsoft’s credit, Word for Mac has improved significantly over the past couple of years.
  • Microsoft Word spell check. While I turn on real-time spell check, I generally just do batch spell checks on sections of chapters (or entire chapters) to correct spelling errors.
  • Microsoft Word grammar check. I used to use Microsoft Word grammar check, until I started using Grammarly a few years ago. Now I just keep the MS Word grammar checking turned off.
  • Grammarly Premium. I use Grammarly Premium as my primary grammar and readability tool. Grammarly Premium is integrated into Brave Browser, so it checks most of my browser-based writing such as email, short LinkedIn postings and comments, and most free-form text fields. Ironically, it does not (yet) work with WordPress, so as I write this, Grammarly is blind. Often I will copy my blog post directly into the Grammarly desktop tool and check my grammar there and manually make corrections in my blog posting. The nice thing about Grammarly Premium is that it works on all of my devices, although in slightly different ways. A disadvantage of Grammarly is that it cannot process large chapter files; I manually have to copy large blocks of text (20-30 pages) into Grammarly manually and then transcribe my corrections into my manuscript.
  • ProWritingAid. This is the latest tool in my collection, having learned about it from Stephanie Newell. I have the ProWritingAid extension installed on the Brave Browser on my MacBook Pro. Interestingly, ProWritingAid checks my WordPress (Grammarly does not), and most other web-based input. It’s interesting to see Grammarly Premium and ProWritingAid working on the same text side by side.

Having recently watched a video by Stephanie Newell, I’m considering turning off real-time spell checking in Microsoft Word, as it may prove a distraction while I write. I do wonder, however, whether doing spell checking later might leave me puzzled on whether I’ll remember what I was thinking and if I will make the proper corrections. My Word spelling and grammar settings are shown below.

WFH Book for Employers and Employees: Lost Opportunity?

Short version: should I publish my “how to WFH for employers and employees” book, or has the opportunity passed me by?

Long version:

In 2001, I was on a task group for a large (50,000+ employees) employer to determine the corporate, technology, management, and cultural structure for changing thousands of office workers into work-from-home workers. This immersion in every aspect of work from home (WFH) enriched me in ways I would not understand for many years.

I became part-time WFH in 2005 and began living out the experiment on my own. The learning and planning we did a few years earlier proved to be pretty realistic, and I was able to apply those principles to my new situation.

A couple of years later, when the SARS and MERS epidemics threatened to go global, I was asked to write a pandemic response plan for my employer so that our corporate customers would have more comfort knowing we were prepared. We would be able to continue delivering services without sacrificing quality or security.

When news of COVID-19 began spreading in February 2020, I immediately recognized the signs that this could be a global pandemic and made specific preparations for my family. In addition, my employer started taking steps that were similar to the plan I made over a decade earlier.

On March 16-18, 2020, in response to the emerging pandemic, I wrote a fifty-page manuscript on working from home and adapting technology and corporate culture to make it work. Unfortunately, my employer did not permit me to publish this book, as it would undermine the advisory practice (despite my having accumulated this expertise before working for this company). As a result, my completed manuscript is still under wraps.

Recently I’ve returned to this completed manuscript and wonder today whether there would be any value in publishing it. The book treated a pandemic as a future event, so there would be changes in tense that would have to be fixed. And of course, thousands of organizations figured out on their own a lot of what my book tells readers to do.

How My Writing Became More Productive

I was working on my first book, Solaris Security, in 1998. I spent most of my writing after dinner and after kids were in bed, working around 9-11pm three or four nights each week. Most of the time, I’d write until I was head-bobbing and falling asleep mid-sentence. It was slow going.

Image courtesy Web Writer Spotlight

Several people at work knew I was writing this book. One day in the break room, my colleague Mike Cattolico asked me how writing was going. I replied that I was getting a little bit done each night until I was falling asleep. Mike replied, “Dude! You need to flip that schedule: get up early, like 4am, and skim the cream off the top.”

That made sense to me. The very next day, I took his advice and tried it out. After several days of getting up at 4am and writing for a couple of hours before the kids woke up, I found that my productivity skyrocketed. He was right!

For twenty years now, I’ve been writing in the early morning hours, as well as on Saturday mornings (and sometimes all day Saturday). Last year, I made another change and stopped writing on the weekends, essentially spending fewer hours each week writing. But with the experience I’ve gained writing dozens of books over two decades, I’m getting as much writing done on weekday mornings, and I now have my weekends free for other things.