(ISC)² Turns 25: What's Ahead?

Hord Tipton on the Future of the IT Security Profession
(ISC)² Turns 25: What's Ahead?
W. Hord Tipton
(ISC)² is celebrating its silver anniversary as a global organization educating and certifying information security professionals. What are the key threats and trends driving the profession's future growth?

The field has changed dramatically since 1989, when the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium was established as a not-for-profit entity dedicated to education. When (ISC)² offered its first CISSP credential training, there were 500 applicants. Today, the organization serves more than 100,000 members in 135 countries, and its education programs are a vital element of a CISO's career development.

W. Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)², says the organization is at a critical juncture.

"Our technology is just expanding exponentially," Tipton says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. "We come from an area 25 years ago of really not having cellphones to now having smart computers hanging on our hips with more power than the Apollo [space capsule] that landed on the moon. It's just amazing the things we have to change to keep up with this evolution."

For the first half, maybe three-quarters of its existence, (ISC)² was primarily a certifying body, Tipton says. But the organization's role has evolved dramatically.

"Now, having hit 100,000 members, we're a self-sustaining operation," he says. "We're an organization that doesn't exist for the mere sake of gaining members any more."

Instead, Tipton says, "We refer to ourselves as an education and certification organization with social responsibility, as exhibited through our newly founded foundation.

"We try to build the security professionals of the future, and we want to get them early and keep them on a very robust and growing career path."

In an interview about (ISC)² and its 25th anniversary, Tipton discusses:

  • Major accomplishments of the organization's first 25 years;
  • The state of the security profession today;
  • Threats and trends that will drive future growth.

(ISC)² is a global leader in educating and certifying information security professionals throughout their careers. Before leading (ISC)², Tipton served as president and CEO of Ironman Technologies, where his clients included IBM, Perot Systems, EDS, Booz Allen Hamilton and Symantec. He also served for five years as CIO for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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