By Tisun Rustem, Senior Events Manager in EMEA, (ISC)²
With so many industry events and online educational opportunities vying for your attention, particularly in information or cybersecurity, one can be forgiven for wondering whether an (ISC)² event could have something unique to offer.
(ISC)² serves its membership with a range of on-line and conference-based educational opportunities, including one-hour webinars and half-day symposia, your annual regional Congress; and new to this year, the two-day Secure Summits - five of which are taking place in the EMEA region. Two, MENA and the UK, are still to come in November and December. They all provide the opportunity to develop your professional knowledge and earn CPE’s with educational agendas that are current and relevant. Programs are drawn from the (ISC)² membership community, of which there are 125,000 certified professionals around the world, and the support of our Chapter leaders and advisory councils, who help us reach the influential and government speakers that are driving priorities in security today.
After working with (ISC)² for 15 years, I can’t help but be biased; but I have also developed a clear perspective on what members come to expect and, in the end, value when they attend.
The first thing to note is their purpose. Speakers come to share insights with colleagues, not necessarily to address or build a profile within a commercial market. They present a particular point of view, not always or necessarily that of an expert, but one that reflects recent experiences. Presentations come from every level of practice and are selected for their ability to provoke thought. More often than not, the sessions mark the start of a discussion that continues throughout and beyond the conference. Front-line practitioners and administrators can find themselves sitting beside and talking to specialists, senior managers and CISOs. It’s a dynamic that contributes to the ongoing development in our profession’s understanding and curation of good practice.
Often the experience shared is extremely current. Our DACH Secure Summit held at the end of June became a platform for regular updates from practitioners about the NotPeyta ransomware attack; which hit as the Summit opened. Several (ISC)² members, both speakers and delegates, were actively monitoring, tackling and sharing what they were learning as it played out.
The structure of the Secure Summits in particular, provide the opportunity to pursue an in-depth, half-day workshop each day as well as shorter plenary sessions. Workshops this year cover front-of-mind topics for the majority of our members: Cloud Controls; Implementing GDPR; and Awareness, Behavior and Culture. While they are subjects that are widely covered across industry events, their value is enhanced by the audience; a room full of 50-120 people from varying organizations that are on the front-line of grappling with the subject at hand. The GDPR workshop for example, was created by our (ISC)² EMEA Advisory Council Task Force, made up of over 15 members from 10 different countries, who are currently implementing GDPR within banking, shipping, retail, legal, government and other sectors.
Outside of the sessions, delegates make a point of talking about the atmosphere. Whenever we ask for feedback, the quality of the networking always ranks high. Our members tell us that they feel like they are amongst friends and the events are a nice size, not too big or overwhelming, which makes it easy to interact and talk to people. Whether its Congress, which takes place in each of the EMEA, North America, and APAC regions, or a Secure Summit, the events open doors within your professional community, where members are able to discover opportunities to get as involved as their interest may take them. Chapter leaders make themselves available to welcome delegates, and member volunteers for various initiatives (from the Center for Cyber Safety and Education’s Safe and Secure Online program and Regional Advisory Council-led task forces, to those working within their country to advise national CERTS, education, standards and many other projects) can usually be found and open to conversation.
Overall, (ISC)² members and delegates come together in a forum where everyone can understand each other because they speak the same professional language and are dealing with similar issues. There is the opportunity to surround yourself with a trusted support network of colleagues, find career mentors and advisors, join a Chapter or get involved in other initiatives. There is also the chance to consider whether you might be ready to make a presentation yourself at the next event, as you find and take your place in the community.
To learn more about the events coming up in your region, visit: https://www.isc2.org