Britain's global eavesdropping nerve-centre GCHQ hopes to turn its certificates of IT security competence into an industry standard - by awarding them to bods in the private as well as public sector.
The CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) Certified Professional scheme (CCP) was launched in October, and is handed out to suitably skilled tech pros working for the UK government. Only civil servants and those working on UK govt contracts could apply, but this has now been extended beyond the walls of Whitehall.
Candidates can achieve practitioner, senior practitioner and lead practitioner status across six key roles: security and information risk advisor; information architect (IA) accreditor; IA architect; IA auditor; IT security officer; and communications security roles. The CCP scheme will run in parallel with the IISP’s* own professional development and certification programme.
Three independent certification bodies for the CCP scheme, each appointed and audited by CESG, have been established. The three groups are: the APM Group; the IISP, CREST* and Royal Holloway ISG consortium; and BCS, the chartered institute for IT workers.
Nearly 700 security professionals responsible for securing UK government networks have been accredited so far. The CCP scheme is part of Blighty's wider "Cyber Security Strategy", which is designed to make Britain more secure against electronic attacks and make it the best place to do e-commerce worldwide. Presumably, infiltrating on a Belgian telco, undermining SSL certificates and VPNs, and assisting the NSA's global internet dragnet fits in there, too.
The CCP certifications are valid for three years.
Ian Glover, president of CREST, added: "Private-sector organisations are already putting their staff through the security architecture examination, which is part of the CCP scheme. Extending the broader CCP scheme to the private sector is a very logical extension."
More details on the CCP scheme can be found here. ®
* IISP is the Institute of Information Security Professionals) while CREST is a professional body representing the security testing and cyber incident response industry.