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Securing National Critical Infrastructure: Cybersecurity Awareness & Workforce Education Innovation

The Global Institute for Cybersecurity and Research (GICSR) announces the launch of its cybersecurity based workforce education initiative -- a nationally coordinated public/private collaboration with the NIST.

PRLog - Dec. 22, 2011 - CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- To coincide with the President’s proclamation naming December “National Critical Infrastructure Protection Month”, the Global Institute for Cybersecurity + Research (GICSR) is proud to announce the January 2012 launch of the National Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Education Initiative, a nationally coordinated public/private collaborative partnership with the NIST National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the US Department of Homeland Security, the National Council of Information Sharing & Analysis Centers (ISACs), critical infrastructure owner/operators, federal sector-specific agencies, academia, security certification and technology organizations.  

Beginning with the healthcare and public health critical infrastructure, sector-specific cybersecurity education frameworks and supporting education programs (K-12/current workforce) will be defined, developed and implemented via a series of nationwide regional workshops leveraging the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework as the foundational baseline.  The National Health Information Sharing & Analysis Center (NH-ISAC), nationally recognized by the US Dept. of Health & Human Services and the US Dept. of Homeland Security as the ISAC for the nation’s healthcare and public health’s critical infrastructure will lead development of the National Healthcare & Public Health Cybersecurity Education Framework. Additional critical infrastructure frameworks will also be completed in 2012.

Today, over 90% of the nation’s critical infrastructure (health, finance, communications, transportation, energy, supply chain, information technology, etc.) are owned and operated by the private sector. National critical infrastructures represent all systems, both physical and virtual (cyber) so vital to the operation of the United States that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating and cascading impact on national defense, economic security and public safety.   The sustainability and resilience of critical infrastructure secure technologies and the ability to heighten and coordinate situational awareness information sharing and incident response depend upon a skilled national cybersecurity workforce.  Today, the need across government and industry for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been more critical as the number and complexity of cyber attacks continue to escalate.

"Ensuring the readiness and response of our nation's critical infrastructure requires continued education and collaboration among sectors and partners. The efforts of the Global Institute will further strengthen our collective cyber security strategy by providing focused research and programs that address our critical challenges."
William F. Pelgrin, Chair of the National Council of ISACs

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is a nationally coordinated effort focused on cybersecurity awareness, education, training and professional development (K-12/current workforce).  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is leading the NICE initiative, comprised of over 20 federal departments and agencies, to ensure coordination, cooperation, focus, public engagement, technology transfer and sustainability. The NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework offers a working taxonomy and common lexicon comprised of seven cybersecurity categories (Securely Provision, Operate and Maintain, Protect and Defend, Investigate, Operate and Collect, Analyze, and Support).  

“As GICSR continues its ground breaking work in the development of National Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Education Frameworks to support education/training, the NICE initiative is pleased to see our Cybersecurity Workforce Framework being leveraged as a living baseline. As more and more Federal agencies begin to utilize the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework the effectiveness of the Framework grows. Having so many stakeholders on the same page will bring benefits to all involved.”
Ernest L. McDuffie, Ph.D., National Lead, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), NIST

The National Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Education Initiative, led by the Global Institute for Cybersecurity + Research supports:
•  Presidential Policy Directive 8 for National Preparedness to strengthen U.S. security and resilience through systematic preparedness for threats to the security of the nation’s critical infrastructures (Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery)
•  National Security Strategy
•  The International Strategy for Cyberspace
•  The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace
•  The U.S. DHS Blueprint for a Secure Cyber Future (Reducing Exposure to Cyber Risk, Ensuring Priority Response and Recovery, Maintaining Shared Situational Awareness and Increased Awareness)
•  National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), National Incident Response Framework

National Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Education Frameworks will provide consistency in defining and implementing standards for critical infrastructure cybersecurity workforce education including how cybersecurity work is defined and described – sector-specific cybersecurity functions, roles, responsibilities, competency models, job titles, tasks, KSAs, position descriptions, potential certifications, and career planning supporting a national critical infrastructure cybersecurity workforce pipeline (K-12 and current workforce).

The Global Institute for Cybersecurity + Research (GICSR), a non-profit organization facilitates open dialog and interaction advancing comprehensive cybersecurity research innovation and workforce education via a national and international public/private collaborative infrastructure. GICSR’s programs and initiatives work to find strategic focus, insight and solutions in five core cybersecurity functional areas (Best Practice Dissemination, Critical Infrastructures & Key Resources Situational Awareness / Intelligence / Information Sharing, Research Innovation, Security Policy, and Global Security Challenges). GICSR is headquartered at Exploration Park / Kennedy Space Center, with locations in San Diego, CA; Toronto, Canada; London, England, and Sydney, Australia.

The National Health ISAC is the nationally recognized information sharing and analysis center for the health sector.  It is non-profit and supported by industry stakeholders, including hospitals, pharmaceuticals, physicians, security and communications entities.  It is recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security as the health sector ISAC.  The mission of the NH-ISAC is to enable, facilitate and preserve the public trust by advancing the integrity and cybersecurity protection of the nation's healthcare and public health critical infrastructure from threats and vulnerabilities, as well as to foster the availability of best practices, countermeasure solutions, security awareness and workforce education.   The NH-ISAC is headquartered in Exploration Park/Kennedy Space Center, Florida with locations in San Diego and Washington D.C.

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The mission of the NH-ISAC is to enable, facilitate and preserve the public trust by advancing the integrity and cybersecurity protection of the nation's healthcare and public health critical infrastructure from threats and vulnerabilities.

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Location:Cape Canaveral - Florida - United States
Tags:healthcare information security, cybersecurity, health information sharing, cybersecurity education, ISAC, nist
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