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Gov’t Cyber Certification Board Sparks Controversy

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Cyber observers agree there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals within the federal government, but two recent competing reports cannot agree on a solution for the problem.

An overwhelming majority of cybersecurity professionals polled by (ISC)2, an IT and security certification group, oppose a government-run board of examiners to oversee cybersecurity certifications, the group announced Wednesday.

But that finding stands at odds with a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies report that called for a “governance body” tasked with setting accreditation for programs and standardizing training certifications.

Karen Evans and Frank Reeder, two former Office of Management and Budget officials who authored the CSIS report, wrote that the “current professional certification regime is not merely inadequate, it creates a dangerously false sense of security.”

They write in their report that current training programs do not focus enough on preventing and responding to cyber incidents.

The CSIS report concludes by calling for a nonprofit board composed of members from the private sector, academia and government, Nextgov reports.

However, (ISC)2 Executive Director Hord Tipton told eWeek that the CSIS report’s comments “cast aspersions” against those who oversee current programs and even those who have them.

Beyond that, (ISC)2 focuses on the numbers, including the 69 percent of the more than 700 cyber pros polled who oppose a government board. One anonymous respondent called the proposed board of examiners a “political nightmare,” according to eWeek.

Other (ISC)2 findings:

  • 47 percent think current cyber programs meet the federal government’s needs
  • 48.3 percent think there’s a gap between cyber programs and the government’s needs
  • 40 percent think certification programs create a false sense of security

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