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By Brian Robinson

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Feds may require cybersecurity credential for workforce

Reports are emerging about recommendations that the Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency will make to the Obama administration that will require government and contractor employees involved in cybersecurity be formally certified.

The commission is a group overseen by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and published its first report on securing cyberspace in December 2008. It’s expected to issue its follow-up report later this month or in early July.

That’s likely to spur a debate about just what a cybersecurity credential is, versus that for regular IT security. There are many people involved in the cybersecurity know that don’t have any kind of formal qualifications, but are nevertheless leaders in the nascent field.

It will also stir up debate about the needs of organizations such as the Homeland Security Department , which has said it aims to hire around 1,000 cybersecurity professionals. If it wants that size of a cybersecurity workforce, it may have to become involved in defining just what a cybersecurity professional is. If new Senate legislation becomes law, DHS could become the lead on this issue for the federal government.

And where will the military’s new Cyber Command stand on this? It has its own view on what cybersecurity means, which include offensive as well as defensive capabilities.

Maybe it’s time for another acronym to be thrown into the mix. We already have the CIO, CTO and CSO. Perhaps there should also be a CCSO. No?


Posted by Brian Robinson on Jun 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

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Reader comments

Thu, Jul 1, 2010 Cyrus

CISSP costs a lot of money to get and maintain. DoD is finding this out the hard way. It is a mandate (DoD 8570.01-M), but most PMs are not placing in into the contracts, or are not enforcing it because they don't have the money to do so. DoD Agencies are having a lot of trouble paying for their people to maintain the CISSPs they have.

If the Feds need a certification, they should design and train their own.

Wed, Jun 23, 2010 DoD IC Alexandria, VA

Interesting. This has been mandated for the DoD Cyber (or InfoSec, or IA, or whatever the flavor of the month is) community for a while now. Have they looked at DoD 8570.01-M.

Wed, Jun 23, 2010 IA security DC

I don't think a CCSO is needed. There is already a federal CISO, Howard Schmidt, even though he doesn't have the actual title. I think he, NIST and OPM need to start a series of meetings to define the cybersecurity job category. That is the first step towards identifying credentialling.

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