New (ISC)² Head Tackles Staffing Crisis

David Shearer on Security, Certifications and Recruiting Talent
New (ISC)² Head Tackles Staffing Crisis
David Shearer

As David Shearer steps in as the new executive director of (ISC)², he inherits a huge challenge: How does the certifying body respond appropriately to the global information security staffing shortage?

Formerly the COO of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Shearer has just been named to replace longtime executive director, Hord Tipton, who is retiring.

Shearer inherits a thriving global organization whose certifications and membership are growing steadily. But he also steps in at a time when cybersecurity threats are mounting, and when public and private sector organizations worldwide struggle to recruit and retain skilled security talent.

And in Shearer's opinion, it's not just a security crisis; it's a challenge for all technology professionals.

"The principles, best practices and procedures they're using to manage servers, routers, switches need to be aligned with the overall security program," Shearer says. "We need to be looking at educating and certifying those IT professionals as well, so they have a common lexicon, a common level of expectation in their role in supporting the overall information security program."

In an exclusive interview about his new role, Shearer discusses:

  • Short- and long-term goals as executive director;
  • The role of (ISC)² in addressing the staffing crisis;
  • The consortium's goals for 2015 and beyond.

Shearer has more than 27 years of business experience, including stints as associate chief information officer for International Technology Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; deputy chief information officer at the U.S. Department of the Interior; and the executive for architecture, engineering and technical services at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He has been responsible for managing and providing services via international IT infrastructures, and he has implemented large-scale SAP Enterprise Resource Planning projects.

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