(ISC)2 Marks 20th Anniversary With Children’s Online Safety Initiative

San Francisco — April 20
(ISC)2, a nonprofit that educates and certifies information security professionals throughout their careers, is honoring its 20th anniversary with the U.S. launch of (ISC)2 Safe & Secure Online, a program that invites (ISC)2 information security experts to educate school children ages 11-14 on how to protect themselves online.

The announcement was made at the (ISC)2 20th Anniversary Founders Celebration, held in conjunction with the RSA Conference 2009 this week in San Francisco.

“(ISC)2’s mission to make the online world a safer and more secure place includes encouraging our professionals to become involved in helping society at large,” said W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, CISA, executive director of (ISC)2.

“With today’s youth using more connected technology than ever before, they are being exposed to a variety of dangers their parents may never see. Safe & Secure Online provides our members the opportunity to pay our profession’s success forward and honor the selfless contributions of our founders by making a difference in young people’s lives.”

Founded in 1989, (ISC)2 was the first organization dedicated to educating and certifying professionals worldwide to secure the networked world. With more than 60,000 members in 131 countries to date, (ISC)2 has grown to become the largest body of information security professionals in the world. A list of (ISC)2 founders honored at the banquet can be found at www.isc2.org/20thanniversary.

“At a time when the Internet was still in its infancy, the founders of (ISC)2 recognized that technology alone cannot secure data — the ‘people’ part of the equation must be addressed,” said Patricia A. Myers, CISSP-ISSMP, chairperson of the (ISC)2 Board of Directors.

“These visionaries recognized the need for a professional body that would establish a common body of knowledge and certification for the field of information security and worked tirelessly as volunteers to make that happen.”

Safe & Secure Online is a program begun by (ISC)2 with support from Childnet International, a charity that aims to make the Internet a safe place for children. First introduced in the United Kingdom in 2006, then expanded to Hong Kong in 2007, Safe & Secure Online has reached nearly 20,000 children in those regions. The program is designed to address the gap in security advice that exists in children’s safety outreach efforts.

A U.S. pilot program, spearheaded by (ISC)2 member volunteer Richard Harrison, CISSP, of Seattle, is under way in Washington state and will serve as a model to expand the program to other regions within the U.S. The program combines compelling presentation materials for the classroom developed by former school teachers, including a video on cyberbullying, with practical advice from (ISC)2 professionals. Other topics covered include social networking, viral emails, spam, identity theft and more.

“Parents should not underestimate the dangers for children online,” Harrison said. “While very high-profile threats such as online sexual predators are still very much a concern, the problem of cyberbullying has now overtaken it as the top online threat to kids. Identity theft is also becoming an issue for children. These important topics are all addressed in the Safe & Secure Online program.”

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