(ISC)² 5th Annual CyberSecureGov conference at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington DC was a big hit and a sold out crowd. This year’s theme was on Educating the Workforce in Cyber. “(ISC)² is an international nonprofit membership association focused on inspiring a safe and secure cyber world. Best known for the acclaimed Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, (ISC)² offers a portfolio of credentials that are part of a holistic, programmatic approach to security [1].”

The three-day training event was held from May 9-11th and focused on cybersecurity, which have over 74 speakers. Attendees could earn up to 20 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. There were 3 main tracks that focused on the managerial, technical, general side. One presentation that I particularly took interest in was Dr. Mansur Hasib, Why You Should Get a Cybersecurity Graduate Education Instead of an MBA. Dr. Mansur is the Program Chair of Cybersecurity Technology for the Graduate School at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC).

He “highlighted the issues of why MBA curriculum needs several key updates to properly prepare executives for the digitally powered modern organization [2].” As a current graduate student at UMUC in Cybersecurity, we discussed the importance of understanding the business and cyber side within an organization. After I wrap up my current Masters, I will continue onto a MBA at UMUC to strengthen my business skills. Dr. Mansur’s “key message was that cybersecurity and business success is essentially people powered perpetual innovation [3].”

Another interesting aspect of the conference was the King of The Hill style offensive/defensive Cyber Challenge, which more information can be found at http://www.cyberpanoply.com/. “Competitors must access/exploit a target, plant their flag in the identified critical service on the target, and then defend that target from other competitors [4].” The competition allowed skillsets from novice to professional, where the competitor accumulates points for ownership for the host. More and more conferences these days are hosting cyber competitions, which allow the competitors to strengthen and showcase their skillset to prospect employers. The conference also had a career fair that was hosted by CyberSecJobs / ClearedJobs. Organizations that were present ranged from the public to private sector and it was a pleasure to speak with each and every one of them.

The Government Information Security Leadership Awards (GISLA) was a treat and aimed in recognizing federal information security leaders. The awards focused on technology improvement, process policy improvement, workforce improvement, up and coming information security professionals, community awareness, and MVIP (Most Valuable Industry Partner). Keynote speaker, Major General Sarah Zabel, Vice Director at DISA said it best. “It is not about me, it’s about the mission.” As information security professional it is our duty to protect the mission and its critical systems.

As my first year attending CyberSecureGov, I found the conference to be very informational and the keynote speakers were outstanding! As cyber students and professionals, it is crucial to stay up to date with industry trends and standards. I would like to thank Dan Waddell, Managing Director, North America, (ISC)² for giving the National Cybersecurity Student Association an opportunity to sponsor the event and share our information at our table. Till next year.

Gustavo Hinojosa
Executive Director, National Cybersecurity Student Association

 

Bibliography

[1] “Information Security Education & Certification Leader | About (ISC)²”, Isc2.org, 2017.  [Online]. Available: https://www.isc2.org/aboutus/default.aspx.

[2] M. Hasib, “Why You Should Get a Graduate Cybersecurity Education Instead of an MBA”, LinkedIn, 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/isc2-helping-you-learn-cybersecurity-hasib-cissp-pmp-cphims?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BK3WYhchhlw8clr9TNnc26Q%3D%3D.

[3] M. Hasib, “Why You Should Get a Graduate Cybersecurity Education Instead of an MBA”, LinkedIn, 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/isc2-helping-you-learn-cybersecurity-hasib-cissp-pmp-cphims?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BK3WYhchhlw8clr9TNnc26Q%3D%3D.

[4] “(ISC)² CyberSecureGov 2017”, http://cybersecuregov.isc2.org, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://cybersecuregov.isc2.org/events/-isc-cybersecuregov-2017/custom-119-27491a7435a24738b724325f2c3dce19.aspx.