What Does Our Partnership with CyberUSA Mean?

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[ This article was originally published here ]

Cyberusa_logoBy John McCumber, Director of Cybersecurity Advocacy, (ISC)²

After a lot of planning and coordination, we were excited to announce our new partnership with CyberUSA earlier this week. What is CyberUSA, you may ask? Governed by its members, the nonprofit was established to enhance information sharing between states and improve cyber resilience at all levels of participation: local, regional, and national. It is focused on the common mission of enabling innovation, education, workforce development, enhanced cyber readiness and resilience within our state and local communities, and connects them at the national level. What does all that mean?

The key takeaway is that – against the backdrop of a shortage of half a million skilled cybersecurity professionals in North America – we’re finally getting more focus on the need to address the men and women currently in the cybersecurity workforce, and those we are trying to recruit to join our ranks. Recent Congressional initiatives have pointed to the need to dramatically ramp up the resiliency, efficacy and protection of vital national resources such as our election systems and critical infrastructure. State, regional, and local governments and organizations will need to play a central role.  Historically, the emphasis from the federal level has been on specific technologies and policy mandates from Washington, DC. Those have been met with mixed results. It’s a good time to refocus on the fundamental role of humans in our need to define and manage these critical security capabilities.

We want to leverage this partnership to fill an important gap. While the Department of Defense and federal agencies have defined cybersecurity workforce roles and requirements, most state, regional, and local entities have not. In addition to our work with CyberUSA, we are also deeply engaged with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). By creating this partnership where we can map the great work done on the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and use state-level groups such as CyberFlorida to tailor these requirements for their state, we anticipate quickly ramping up a solid bulwark of professionals to deal with cybersecurity challenges outside our federal government.

Want to join us?  Reach out to your state’s affiliate or contact the national program. We need your voice!