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Idaho State University honored as a founder of world’s premier computer security association

May 13, 2009
ISU Marketing and Communications

The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC)2, the globally recognized “gold standard” for certifying information security professionals, recognized Idaho State University as a founding organization at the (ISC)2 20th anniversary founders celebration this spring, held in conjunction with the largest security conference in the world in San Francisco.

Corey Schou, associate dean of information systems at the ISU College of Business, university professor of informatics, and director of the ISU Informatics Research Institute, accepted the recognition on behalf of ISU President Arthur C. Vailas.

Corey SchouISU was the only higher education institution among the founding group. Other organizations recognized as founders were the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS), the Computer Science Institute (CSI), the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Schou was also recognized for his personal leadership in forming the consortium. He was named an (ISC)2 Fellow in 2008.

“I congratulate Dr. Schou and his associates in the College of Business on this recognition by the world’s leading information security organization,” said Gary A. Olson, Ph.D., ISU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It is a vivid endorsement of the university’s goal of leading in opportunity and innovation for the information age.”

“I am delighted to see this deserved recognition of Dr. Schou’s initial leadership and tireless work on the international information security stage,” said Kenneth A. Smith, Ph.D., CPA, dean of the ISU College of Business. “His involvement, especially in the formative stages of the consortium, helped provide the foundation from which the consortium has grown to prominence.”

Idaho State University leadership in a developing profession with (ISC)2

By the mid-1980s, a group of information security pioneers decided they could no longer ignore the need for a professional certification to maintain and validate a common body of knowledge, values and ethics for individuals working in the field. These visionaries saw the need to position information security in many important ways. Among them were the encouragement of industry professionals to report directly to upper management instead of purely information technology divisions; by recognizing the information security profession as its own entity, and by having a greater impact on a company’s overall security posture through the establishment of policy and standards and risk management, among others.

In 1986, ISU hosted a workshop for six other organizations interested in the professionalization of computer security.  ISU was selected to lead an effort to build the new organization and establish standards and Dr. Schou personally led the early work.

In 1988, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Information Systems Security Educators Association (FISSEA) hosted a conference at ISU to address the need for standardized curriculum for the burgeoning profession. The conference participants agreed to form a consortium (which later became [(ISC)2]) that would attempt to bring together the competing agendas of the various organizations.

Other early work included the creation of a standardized exam, the writing of the definition of what constituted a “professional,” and development of a common body of knowledge to define what a professional in the information security industry should know. Shortly thereafter, the consortium granted a waiver of formal examination to select professionals with years of specific experience in the field to receive certification. Approximately 500 applications were received, with 300 applicants qualifying to receive the first 300 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certifications.

In 1989 (ISC)2 was established as a non-profit corporation. The consortium hired its first managing director in 2000, and established its European headquarters in London in 2001. A year later the consortium opened its Asia office in Hong Kong.

When in its infancy, most founders believed the consortium would peak at a few thousand certified professionals. Today, the consortium supports more than 60,000 certified professionals in more than 130 countries, from Antigua to Zimbabwe. (ISC)2  has become synonymous with the “people” part of the information security equation, and (ISC)2  certifications have become the highest in demand around the world.


About Idaho State University

Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution founded in 1901, educates approximately 13,000 students per year in more than 280 programs. It is Idaho’s lead institution in health professions and medical education. Its seven colleges engage in a broad range of innovative research, teaching, and learning in the natural and physical sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts, education, engineering, business, pharmacy, and technology.  Visit ISU today at www.isu.edu or boise.isu.edu.

About the ISU College of Business

The Idaho State University College of Business prepares students to become business leaders in a world fueled by knowledge-based human capital. The information age demands technologically-sophisticated leaders grounded in contemporary business practices and with the communicative and behavioral skills most sought by employers.  ISU College of Business students learn from a faculty of the highest caliber, all dedicated to providing students a program built on a strong business education foundation, new ideas, big dreams and technological horizons. Accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – the ISU College of Business is rightfully known as “one of the best business schools in the world.”

About the Informatics Research Institute (IRI)

The Informatics Research Institute at ISU has a mission of teaching, research and service.  Some of these activities include:

•    Developing interdisciplinary programs in informatics

•    Developing interdisciplinary degree programs

•    Developing and offering outreach programs.

•    Coordinating activities of various related centers on campus

•    Providing leadership in critical infrastructure protection

•    Developing  training programs to support industry and government

•    Developing infrastructures to support research in diverse fields.

The IRI hosts the internationally-recognized Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education.  Each year the program graduates students from the Scholarship for Service program sponsored by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.


About (ISC)²

The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC)2, is the globally recognized Gold Standard for certifying information security professionals. Founded in 1989, (ISC)² has certified over 60,000 information security professionals in 131 countries. Based in Palm Harbor, Florida, USA, with offices in Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, (ISC)2 issues the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and related concentrations, Certification and Accreditation Professional (CAP), Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), and Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) credentials to those meeting necessary competency requirements. (ISC)² certifications are among the first information technology credentials to meet the stringent requirements of ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard 17024, a global benchmark for assessing and certifying personnel. (ISC)² also offers a continuing professional education program, a portfolio of education products and services based upon (ISC)2’s CBK®, a compendium of information security topics, and is responsible for the (ISC)² Global Information Security Workforce Study. More information is available at www.isc2.org.


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