(ISC)² to award government information security awards this week

Those up for the awards include the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity Division, Quantech Services’ MCSW Certification and Accreditation Team, the Office of Naval Intelligence’s CLEAR Project Team, and the National Defense University’s Assuring the Information Infrastructure Team, as well as various individuals from government and industry.

“One of the highlights of our year is recognizing people and companies in different regions of the world who have exhibited good, positive moves in the information security space. The awards send the signal that the work being done is appreciated,” said W. Hord Tipton, executive director (ISC)² and former chief information officer of the Department of the Interior, in an interview with Infosecurity.

One of the award categories is for federal contractors. “We recognize contractors for the work they have provided, for customer satisfaction the contractor has provided to the client. It’s a recognition that it takes more than the in-house security team to get the job done,” explained Tipton.

Tipton said that there are challenges regarding contractors. The government is opening up its security gate and has to develop the relationships carefully. “When you go into the cloud, you better have people who really understand how contractors work and make sure you have the right people in there so that you are relying on something that is more than just trust.”

Cloud computing presents some new security challenges for the government, he noted. “You have to be doing a lot of discovery. When you are controlling your data directly you know first hand the people….When you go online, [the data] leaves your network and goes into the cloud. You are putting a lot of trust out there. [You want to know] exactly how the contractors handle your data – Do they subcontract it? What happens if they make changes to it? How is it protected? How does it flow? The security challenges are quite different from when you have an in-house situation”, he said.

This is the seventh year that (ISC)² has conducted the awards. Tipton hopes the recognition provided by the awards will encourage more professionals to join the government, which faces a shortage of information security staff.

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