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(ISC)² expands entry-level cyber programme after UK success

Flush with success from a UK certification programme, reaching 100k in the UK, (ISC)² now wants to provide free security certification to a million people worldwide

Security training and certification specialist (ISC)² has announced a new programme, One Million Certified in Cybersecurity, pledging to put a million people around the world through its foundation level education programme and certification exam.

Announced at a cyber skills event held at the White House in Washington DC, the programme builds upon the early success of a UK-specific initiative, 100k in the UK, which pledged 100,000 free exams and course enrolments for Britain’s future cyber pros.

The UK programme – which is open to anybody from recent graduates to people looking for a mid-career change, will – if successful – expand the UK’s existing security workforce by a third and so fill the gap left by security pros leaving the industry, according to (ISC)².

Beginning from September, (ISC)² will offer qualifying individuals free access to its online, self-guided Certified in Cybersecurity course, and the following examination. This covers the basic principles of cyber security; business continuity, disaster recovery and incident response; access control concepts; network security; and security operations practice.

Like the UK pilot, the worldwide programme will be open to anybody wishing to expand their skills and opportunities in the security sector, with a particular focus on individuals working in, or who wish to work in, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

(ISC)² CEO Clar Rosso said research suggested organisations that focus on recruiting and developing entry-level cyber pros are better placed to accelerate the invaluable hands-on training that their new recruits need to start a successful career in the sector.

“Our ‘100K in the UK’ programme garnered more than 10,000 applicants in its first two months. It is a resounding call to action for organisations serious about expanding the cyber security workforce to make the necessary investments now to break down barriers and clear obstacles for anyone interested in a cyber security career,” said Rosso.

“We support the aims of the Biden Administration, the US National Cyber Director and administrations around the world focused on this critical issue. We are proud to announce this initiative alongside so many others who share a strong commitment to addressing our cyber security workforce challenges and look forward to building the public-private partnerships needed to accomplish our goal of One Million Certified in Cybersecurity.”

At the same time, (ISC)² has committed to reaching groups that are historically under-represented in the cyber security sector. It plans to direct fully half of its one million commitment to target students from the US’ historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs), tribal organisations and women’s organisations in the US and worldwide.

Successful completion will see candidates become full (ISC)² members with access to further professional development resources, including more advanced qualifications and certifications.

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