2013 was a great year for the (ISC)2 Foundation, giving us high hopes for 2014. In only its second full year of operation, the Foundation, in partnership with members worldwide:
And we added new ways members can advocate for the profession and volunteer their skills to help society. Our members volunteered their time as SMEs in the development of the Global Workforce Study questionnaire, spent countless hours evaluating scholarship applications and selecting our scholars, and translating Safe & Secure Online classroom materials into French and German.
A team of volunteers from the Eastern Massachusetts, Orlando and Sacramento, CA, USA Chapters are developing a new Safe & Secure Online for Seniors in conjunction with the volunteers in the seven countries where Safe & Secure Online now operates. That should be ready to launch to the public in a few months. Another group of volunteers from the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter are developing a four-year secondary school curriculum in cyber security based upon the SSCP CBK. That curriculum is being testing through our partners at Career Technical Education Foundation. Once it’s perfected, it will be ready to go into schools worldwide.
Here’s more detail on what’s happening with our scholarship and Safe & Secure Online programs:
The (ISC)² Foundation Scholarship Program is accepting applications for the 2014 scholarship period, which will close April 1, 2014 at midnight EST. The global scholarship program provides Women, Graduate and Undergraduate students the opportunity to continue IA and cyber security studies that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive, education that is highly sought after in a field that is ever evolving in its scope and complexity. Recognizing that our educators must also be highly trained and knowledgeable, we are once again providing Faculty Exam Voucher Scholarship opportunities for qualified educators who are instructing our future cyber security professionals in colleges and universities.
The program grew tremendously in 2013, awarding not only 24 scholarships to recipients around the globe, but joining in partnership with two organizations that recognize the ever increasing need for well-educated and knowledgeable cyber security professionals; Booz Allen Hamilton and University of Phoenix. Booz Allen Hamilton and the (ISC)² Foundation joined together to provide certification training and exam opportunities to US military veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life with the USA Cyber Warrior Program. The University of Phoenix and the (ISC)² Foundation created a global scholarship that, in 2013 provided five qualified applicants with full scholarships, undergraduate and graduate, to the University of Phoenix. A dozen (ISC)2 members volunteered to review scholarship applications and award the scholarships.
While it is exciting to reflect on new opportunities it is just as important to be excited about the effect the scholarships have had on past recipients, knowing the (ISC)² Foundation and your donations are making a difference in countless lives, like that of Innocent Barigya, who is studying at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, with the support of an (ISC)2 Scholarship. “I come from a poor background and life has not been easy throughout my life journey,” Innocent told the scholarship committee. His father passed away in 2009, and as the oldest son he became responsible for school fees for three of his younger siblings.
“Because of so much responsibility, it has motivated me to pursue the Masters of Information Technology (Security) so I can get more expertise which will enable me get a better job with good salary so that I can take my sibling through their education and also maintain my own family in the future,” he said.
But his interest in information security is not just economically driven. “My interest in information security started as I enrolled for my undergraduate course and I realized that many people have not taken information security very seriously. Also, there are very few information security experts in my country (Uganda),” he said. “I also wanted to be one of the best security experts in the country since information security is my major interest now.”
Without the (ISC)2 Scholarship, Innocent would not have been able to pursue his dream of becoming an information security professional. “I could not believe it was real, the day I received the mail on 30 July 2013 confirming my scholarship award from (ISC)2!” he exclaimed. “Things have changed; my dreams are starting to become a reality. I am so grateful and thankful for the generosity and kind hearts of the staff and members of (ISC)2. I pray God helps continue so that you can keep helping as there are still many people in need.”
In 2013 the (ISC)2 Foundation’s Safe and Secure Online Program experienced its best year yet; and we owe it all to our dedicated volunteers. This past year 475 more members became new volunteers for our program and collectively they reached an additional 50,000 children, parents and teachers. The presentations, which volunteers deliver to schools and various other groups for free, is highly valued by the community, as expressed by a teacher at Briggs Chaney Middle School in Maryland, USA, “Anthony’s presentation on cyber security was AMAZING. I've heard several different people speak on this topic over the years, and last night's presentation was by far the best. It was incredibly informative and I know that a lot of parents are interested in the subject and have benefitted.”
Thanks to our volunteers in Switzerland, the program was launched in early 2013, and then they went the extra mile and translated the teaching materials into French and German. Through groundbreaking research into children’s online behavior, designed by UK Lead Volunteer Tim Wilson and fielded by all the active UK volunteers, parents and teachers everywhere are having their eyes opened to the reality of children’s online activities.
All of these efforts are being recognized by fellow members as conveyed by Matthew Brussel, CISSP, “Kudos on your efforts, you are no doubt making a difference, it all starts with awareness and an open dialog. It's a good thing you are doing.” Another member, who wishes to remain nameless, donated $1,000 to support the Safe & Secure Online program because of the great work being done in the community by his fellow members.
Our volunteers’ efforts are being recognized outside the organization as well. The Safe and Secure Program won the Computerworld Honors Laureate award which honors visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic, and educational change; and also received a finalist award from the Tampa Bay Technology Forum located in Florida, USA for Excellence in Service.
Safe & Secure Online is leading the way around the globe in teaching children online safety tips. In 2013 the program launched in India, Ireland, and Switzerland. Volunteers and staff are already looking into 2014 and readying for Data Privacy Day in January and Safer Internet Day in February.
Mary Lou Sicoly, a Canadian School educator, voiced her appreciation, “Thank you again for all of your efforts, through you participation we were able to reach approximately 800 students. Well done!”
Another group of enthusiastic volunteers are putting the finishing touches on Safe & Secure Online for Seniors. Join them in keeping your community safe and secure by becoming a volunteer, or donate today and help us start the New Year right for children, and seniors, everywhere.
Foundation Director, Julie Peeler, Speaks to IDG News/ Network World about Cybersecurity Skills Gap. Watch it here
Why I am Going into IT Security: (ISC)² Scholarship Recipient, Veelasha Moonsamy, Speaks to CSO Online. Read it here
Symantec Sponsors (ISC)² Women in the Information Security Profession Study Read it here
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