New EMEA Advisory Board from (ISC)²®to Boost Information Security Defences

Body to Mobilise International Professional Community and Shape Public Policy Issues

London, U.K., 18th April, 2012 – The international cyber security professional community has an opportunity to organise and act as a resource for industry, government and special interest groups with (ISC)²®‘s launch of a new Advisory Board for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EAB). (ISC)² (“ISC-squared”), the world’s largest information security professional body and global leader in information security education and certification, is spearheading this volunteer-led effort to address a consultation gap in public policy development and to enhance the information security professional community’s ability to have an impact on broad efforts to protect society.

The EAB will co-ordinate cyber security consultation and volunteer support from across the professional community for initiatives aimed at protecting communities from cybercrime; improving the public’s ability to defend itself against cyber risks; and addressing the acute shortage of skilled professionals available to meet business and society’s current and future requirements in information security.

The Initial programme agreed at the inaugural EAB meeting last month includes:

· Input from the profession into the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) Project 2020 – an initiative led by Europol to predict cybercrime trends to the year 2020

· A review of and outreach to the growing number of public and special interest groups working on the development of a common understanding of IT and information security skills requirements in Europe, including eskills UK and the Council for European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS)

· An academic special interest group led by (ISC)2 members who work in academia to examine gaps in undergraduate curricula such as the lack of security content in computing courses and other concerns

· Support for the Cybersecurity Challenge UK, including the development of an online virtual challenge in secure software development and efforts to enhance visibility for diverse career opportunities

· Expansion of the goodwill programmes run by the (ISC)2 Foundation, in particular the (ISC)2 security awareness initiative for school children, Safe and Secure Online, into seven new European countries

“The international professional security community has a significant role to play in the development of our digital society, and we are giving that community a voice through the EAB,” said John Colley, CISSP, managing director EMEA, for (ISC)2 and co-chair of the (ISC)2 EAB. “Information security has become a top priority, with disparate strategic interest groups and government actions proliferating at a rate that risks real confusion. As the largest body behind one of the first professions to develop at an international level, we have a great opportunity to build on foundations of recognised, internationally accepted principals of practice while offering input that can be politically agnostic and relevant across national borders.”

“We are responding to our membership’s overwhelming desire to give back to society, while addressing a significant consultation gap in public and industry-led efforts to address cyber security issues,” commented Richard Nealon, CISSP-ISSMP, who is an elected member of the (ISC)2 Board of Directors and will co-chair the EAB with John Colley. “The current instinct is to consult big industry and vendors with very few discussions actually including the information security professionals tackling the issues at hand. The EAB will work to balance the perspective.”

The EAB is made up of active volunteers, all experienced senior information security professionals who have agreed to champion areas of activity. They will engage with and mobilise the region’s professional community, including the 12,000 (ISC)2 certified members in EMEA. The initiative builds on (ISC)2‘s recent launch of its local chapter programme, with chapters open to all information security professionals. Since this programme’s September launch last year, over 20 petitions have been fielded from both small and major market countries to form chapters in the EMEA region.

“We anticipate the efforts of the EAB will extend our reach and contribute a wealth of knowledge to the work we are undertaking to raise standards in the international fight against cybercrime,” says John Lyons chief executive officer, The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA), with whom (ISC)2 has signed a global memorandum of understanding to support their work with law enforcement agencies and governments around the world. “Having the weight of such a large professional community represents a real contribution. We look forward to working together.”

Karen Price OBE, chief executive of e-skills UK, says: “Ensuring that the UK has a workforce, from entry level right up to the Board, that is aware of cyber security threats and able to tackle them is a real priority. We are committed to improving expertise across industry and collaborating with employers, training providers and organisations such as (ISC)2 to achieve this.”

Judy Baker, chair, Cyber Security Challenge UK, added, “(ISC)2 has been an active supporter as a professional association. We look forward to receiving the support of their broader membership, as our ambitions are to reach out to wider audiences within the UK, do more with younger candidates and potentially share and partner with other nations. We welcome the direction and position (ISC)2 is taking with this body.”

The EAB is one of six regional and subject-focused advisory boards managed by (ISC)2 around the world. More information about (ISC)2 advisory boards are available here

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