(ISC)²’s Initiatives to Close Cybersecurity Gap


(ISC)² has announced the launch and expansion of three programs to bolster global cybersecurity and make careers in the sector more accessible worldwide.

The initiatives are:

  • The launch of (ISC)² Certified in CybersecuritySM, an entry-level certification which aims to support and nurture a new generation of cybersecurity professionals entering the field
  • The introduction of (ISC)² Candidates to enable new pathways into the cybersecurity profession via networking opportunities, continuous education, and career development support
  •  Enrolment for the One Million Certified in Cybersecurity initiative is now open, where one million people worldwide can attend the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity education and exams for free

The company says the initiatives add to (ISC)²’s aims to address the global workforce gap of 2.72 million. The gap is largest in Asia-Pacific at 1.42 million, with 61% of cybersecurity professionals from the region indicating in (ISC)²’s 2021 Cybersecurity Workforce Study that their organizations lack a sufficient amount of cybersecurity talent.

(ISC)² Opens Global Enrolment for One Million Certified in Cybersecurity

The (ISC)² One Million Certified in Cybersecurity initiative is now accepting participants. To qualify, individuals must enrol as an (ISC)² Candidate, for free, which entitles them to a wide array of exclusive programs and services to assist individuals starting a cybersecurity career, including free education and exams for the association’s new entry-level cybersecurity certification (ISC)² Certified in CybersecuritySM.

First announced by (ISC)² CEO Clar Rosso during last month’s Cyber Workforce and Education Summit at the White House, (ISC)² is acting on its pledge to implement meaningful solutions to our global cybersecurity workforce challenges. Research suggests organizations that focus on recruiting and developing entry-level cybersecurity staff – including those with little or no technical experience – accelerate the invaluable hands-on training the next generation of professionals needs to start a successful cybersecurity career.

Those who earn the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity demonstrate to employers that they have the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for an entry-level cybersecurity role.

“The global cybersecurity workforce shortage is an issue we can no longer just talk about. It’s time for decisive action,” said Rosso. “I am proud that our association – with its rich history of advocating for the advancement, expansion and enablement of the cybersecurity workforce – is undertaking this unprecedented initiative to make rewarding cybersecurity careers accessible to so many people. We look forward to welcoming our One Million Certified in Cybersecurity participants to our community as (ISC)² Candidates and soon as new certified members of our association.”

How the Program Works

To participate in the One Million Certified in Cybersecurity initiative, individuals must visit www.isc2.org/candidate and enrol as an (ISC)² Candidate. Upon completion of that process, which includes an online form and affirmation to abide by the (ISC)² Code of Ethics, individuals will be able to access their free education and exam via their (ISC)² Candidates benefits page.

Participants will receive a free exam, as well as access to the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity online self-paced education course. The course provides a review of the subject matter published in the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity exam outline, which shares the security concepts on which certification candidates will be evaluated, including:

  • Security Principles
  • Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) and Incident Response Concepts
  • Access Controls Concepts 
  • Network Security 
  • Security Operations

University students, recent graduates, career changers and other professionals wishing to expand their skills and opportunities are encouraged to participate, especially individuals employed or seeking employment within small and midsized businesses.

After successfully completing the exam, participants will become (ISC)² members with access to a wide array of professional development resources to help them throughout their careers. The (ISC)² entry-level cybersecurity certification is the first step on a career-long journey that will help cybersecurity professionals gain experience and work toward advanced qualifications such as the CISSP®.

Encouraging Diversity and Inclusion

In addition to open enrolment, (ISC)² will work closely with new and existing partner organizations to reach historically under-represented populations and encourage greater diversity within the cybersecurity community. (ISC)² has pledged that 500,000 course enrolments and exams – will be directed toward students of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), minority-serving institutions (MSIs), tribal organizations and women’s organizations across the U.S. and the globe.

For more information on One Million Certified in Cybersecurity, including how to partner with (ISC)² to help support under-represented populations globally, visit www.isc2.org/IMCC.

(ISC)² Launches Certified in Cybersecurity Entry-Level Certification to Address Global Workforce Gap

With the official launch of the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity certification, (ISC)² is delivering on its commitment to address the global cybersecurity workforce gap by creating new pathways into the profession for those interested in a cybersecurity career. Anyone earning the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity certification demonstrates they have the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities to take on entry- and junior-level cybersecurity roles, enabling employers to more confidently build resilient teams across all experience levels.

“We are facing a growing global cybersecurity workforce gap of more than 2.7 million people. One of the most persistent cybersecurity staffing challenges organizations around the world experience is being able to identify entry- and junior-level candidates with the right skills and aptitude to learn and grow on the job. At the same time, early career hopefuls are unable to demonstrate their understanding of cybersecurity concepts and gain the attention of hiring managers,” said Clar Rosso, (ISC)² CEO. “Our Certified in Cybersecurity certification bridges that gap and connects employers to qualified entry-level candidates backed by the world’s largest association of certified cybersecurity professionals. (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity is one of several impactful solutions underway at (ISC)² to reduce the cybersecurity workforce gap, remove barriers to entering the field and deliver a positive, long-term opportunity for individuals and employers alike.”

Certifying the Next Generation of the Cybersecurity Workforce

The (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity certification was created to support and nurture a new generation of cybersecurity practitioners entering the field – from recent university graduates to career changers to IT professionals – seeking to validate their security skills and access a new career and professional development pathway.

The (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity certification exam evaluates candidates across the following subject areas:

  •  Security Principles
  • Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) & Incident Response Concepts
  • Access Controls Concepts
  • Network Security
  • Security Operations

(ISC)² Candidates Make Cybersecurity Career Success Accessible to More People

(ISC)² has also launched (ISC)² Candidates for individuals pursuing or considering a career in cybersecurity, or already seeking an (ISC)² certification. Upon enrolling as an (ISC)² Candidate, participants receive access to exclusive programs and services, including discounts on official (ISC)² certification education courses, self-study materials and conferences. An annual due of U.S. $50 will be waived for the first year of the initiative (until September 2023) as (ISC)² Candidates work toward earning an (ISC)² certification like the (ISC)² CISSP® or (ISC)2 Certified in CybersecuritySM entry-level certification.

“Part of our commitment to addressing the global cybersecurity workforce shortage is creating new pathways to cybersecurity career success,” said Clar Rosso, (ISC)² CEO. “Whether you are pursuing your first cybersecurity job or looking to advance within the profession, as an (ISC)² Candidate, you will have access to the resources, benefits and professional development you need to achieve your goals. (ISC)² – backed by more than 170,000 members – will be your guide, partner and advocate as you achieve career milestones like joining a local chapter, discovering a mentor at a conference or earning your first (ISC)² certification. We will be there to support you every step of the way.”

Empowering Cybersecurity Career Pursuers

In a report from Champlain College Online, cybersecurity professionals were surveyed on the top barriers to entry in their career path. Results included high expectations for prior training or work experience, as well as a lack of diversity and inclusion. (ISC)² is addressing many of these barriers with the creation of (ISC)² Candidates, which will help reduce costs and make education more accessible to under-represented populations worldwide. Benefits include:

  • 20% off (ISC)² certification education, including online self-paced and online instructor-led courses for all (ISC)² certifications
  •  (ISC)² member pricing for regional SECURE Summits and (ISC)² Security Congress annual conference
  • Access to hundreds of hours of award-winning (ISC)² webinars
  • 30% – 50% off publications
  • Digital badge to demonstrate your commitment online

One Million Certified in Cybersecurity

(ISC)² today also announced that (ISC)² Candidates is the first opportunity for individuals to participate in the One Million Certified in Cybersecurity℠ program. (ISC)² has pledged to put one million people through its entry-level Certified in Cybersecurity certification exam and education program for free. Upon enrolling as an (ISC)² Candidate, individuals will have the opportunity to take the (ISC)² online self-paced education course for the Certified in Cybersecurity certification and the exam for free.