NICE Move: Draft National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education

The following is the full text of an important announcement from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). I urge all readers to participate in the review process. Readers' experience and insights can shape the future of information assurance by ensuring that the cybersecurity education plan conforms to the motto I imposed on the Master of Science in Information Assurance program at Norwich University in 2002: "Reality trumps theory."

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NIST is pleased to announce that the Draft National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Strategic Plan is available for comment. The plan, "Building a Digital Nation," outlines NICE's mission, vision, goals and objectives. NIST and its interagency NICE partners seek comments from all interested citizens and organizations concerned with cybersecurity awareness, training and education.

NIST coordinates the interagency NICE program, which is a national campaign focused on enhancing cybersecurity in the United States by accelerating the availability of educational and training resources designed to improve the cyber behavior, skills and knowledge of every segment of the population. The program aims to improve secure use and access to digital information in a way that advances America's economic prosperity and national security.

"This plan represents the coordinated thinking of the federal agencies that have leading roles in NICE," said NIST's Ernest McDuffie, who leads the NICE program. "We are soliciting feedback from the larger population to inform and improve the planning process for this comprehensive national initiative."

Comments on the NICE draft strategic plan are due by Sept. 12. NIST's federal partners that contributed to the plan include the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Personnel Management and the National Security Agency.

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities in government, private sector and critical infrastructure are a risk to national security, public safety, and economic prosperity. Now is the time to begin a coordinated national initiative focused on cybersecurity awareness, education, training, and professional development. The United States must encourage cybersecurity competence across the nation and build an agile, highly skilled workforce capable of responding to a dynamic and rapidly developing array of threats.

The Draft Strategic Plan outlines the mission, vision, goals and objectives of NICE. The Strategic Plan will be updated in subsequent years as the initiative matures. This draft publication is intended to be read by a wide variety of Americans including everyday citizens whose daily lives interact with cyberspace, students, educators, chief information officers, chief human capital officers, information technology managers, cybersecurity researchers, curriculum developers, academia, industry - large and small, private organizations, non-profits organizations, entrepreneurs, and state/local/tribal/territorial governments. NICE encourages participation and thoughtful comments from all interested citizens and organizations.

Comments on this draft should be entered into the Comment-Template_Draft-NICE.xls and e-mailed. Comments must be received by Sept. 12, 2011.


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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