(ISC)2 urges focus on workforce development in implementing Obama’s cybersecurity plan

(ISC)2 announced its support of the recommendations to advance the federal cybersecurity workforce as outlined in the report titled, “Cyberspace Policy Review,” submitted to President Obama and later released to the public on May 29, 2009.

The report’s assessment of U.S. policies and structures for cybersecurity conveys industry sentiment that a ‘holistic and integrated approach’ to the nation’s cybersecurity strategy will be the key to its success, an opinion long held by (ISC)2.

“It’s true that improvements to the nation’s information technology and communications infrastructures are critical to reducing national security risks,” said W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, CISA, executive director of (ISC)2, “but an effective action plan for developing a more cyber-competent and secure nation must have a strong and sustained focus on the ‘people’ component. I believe this report and its recommendations regarding the importance of workforce development are a step in the right direction.”

The report states that a technologically advanced workforce is necessary to remain competitive in the 21st Century and lists ‘[The development of] a strategy to expand and train the workforce, including attracting and retaining cybersecurity expertise in the Federal government’ as one of its top mid-term action plan items.

Increased cybersecurity education, awareness and an expanded support for key education programs will be factors in achieving success, according to the report. This emphasis on workforce improvement is consistent with the opinion of federal chief information security officers (CISOs) found in “The State of Cybersecurity from the Federal CISO’s Perspective – An (ISC)2 Report,” which states that 75 percent of those surveyed felt that mandatory professional certification should be extended across all agencies in government.

“We recognize that the current threat environment and seriousness of its potential impact is placing high demands on information security professionals, particularly those in the federal world who safeguard national systems, critical infrastructures and citizen information,” added Tipton. “At the same time, there is an equally important need and responsibility to build greater cybersecurity awareness among end users around the world. That’s why (ISC)2 has prioritized building an education and awareness program portfolio that addresses the needs of people who participate in cybersecurity at every level.”

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