Who Do We Mean When We Say Cybersecurity Professionals?

William Jackson of GCN just posted an Article entitled “Cyber Educators to Congress – Let US handle IT” on GCN. Leads off with “Cybersecurity certification programs, universities and technical schools have failed to produce a professional workforce with the skills needed to protect our critical infrastructure, industry observers say, but they also are warning Congress against imposing federal regulations on the profession as industry and academia retool their training and educational programs.” Seems reasonable, until the educators refine the training and education, lets not impose regulations that may not be applicable.

More interesting to me, is that this reinforces my belief that to the cybersecurity professional workforce, the Federal govenrment and even the country, Cybersecurity compirses those activies that give us access to cyberspace, allow us to live, work, and play in cyberapce, and to ensure that we’re safe and secure while doing it. Look at the workforce that the CSIS study and this study deal with. Along with that, it means all the things that rely on cyberspace – banking, the electronic grid, systems for everything from food safety to weather and flight control and safety can do what they need to do and we can trust the networks and systems.

But it seems like we’re heading down a road, in some cases, where our work to secure our systems is becoming overshadowed by those things that we could do to imapct someone else’s systems.

I think its time for a definition, and an emphasis, on the workforce and capabilties that give us the opportunity to use cyberspace and realize that what we can do to others, while important, is far from the biggest piece of the pie. From what I see we’re not worried about certifying hackers, we’re worried about certifying those who protect us. Lets acknowledge that and move forward.

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