CSM, (ISC)²® Initiative Bridges Cybersecurity Workforce Gap

Program Brings Education, Certification Offerings to Southern Maryland

To meet the growing need for information security professionals, the College of Southern Maryland has joined an international initiative with (ISC)²® to establish a joint framework for industry-academic cooperation to bridge the workforce gap between the increasing demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals and the amount of skilled professionals entering the industry.

Through the college’s membership in the (ISC)² Global Academic Program (GAP), students and professionals within Southern Maryland will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and industry certification they will need to enter the high-demand, high-paying cybersecurity workforce.

“In this increasingly digitally dependent society, it’s imperative that the College of Southern Maryland is able to offer the latest cybersecurity resources and training for our community’s professionals and students who are eager to enhance their knowledge and advance in their careers. We are excited to be able to join forces with (ISC)² to meet this growing demand,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried.

“Recognized as the global leader in gold standard information security certification and education, (ISC)² has developed and continually refined the (ISC)2 common body of knowledge (CBK) over the last 25 years to reflect the evolving threat landscape and accepted standards of practice for this burgeoning industry,” said Jo Portillo, manager, Global Academic Program, (ISC)². “This agreement with the College of Southern Maryland will allow us to advance our vision to inspire a safe and secure cyber world by incorporating our CBK directly into the global academic community.”

As a member of the Global Academic Program, the College of Southern Maryland will incorporate (ISC)² training material into course curricula, while utilizing  (ISC)2-authorized instructors to teach courses. In addition, up to five new cybersecurity industry certifications will be offered in the next few years in an instructor-led format and, in some cases, also via online, according to Susan Ross, executive director of the college’s workforce development programs. CSM is currently working with its Cybersecurity Advisory Group to select the key certifications to be offered.

“With (ISC)² now requiring their certification holders to earn more and more Group A Continuing Professional Education (CPE) units to maintain their professional certification, starting this fall, CSM intends to develop and offer 40 affordable and convenient two-hour online training courses in trendy industry areas of need over the next two years. This means information assurance professionals will now have easy access to earn Group A (ISC)² CPEs globally,” Ross said.

“In the world that we're in—information assurance and information security—the external threat is evolving rapidly. It evolves every time you add new systems into the world. It evolves every time somebody learns a new trick because the ability for bad actors to transmit that information has exponentially increased,” said CSM Instructor John Warsinske, who teaches information assurance and information security courses.

 “When I started college, there was a notion that you would go to school and you would find a job and you would do that job until you got a gold watch. The reality of business today is that many of the jobs that people do didn't exist 10 years ago. If you do not retain that intellectual agility, that ability to go back out and learn something new, then you run the risk in any profession of becoming stagnant,” said Warsinske.

A military veteran, Warsinske graduated with a master’s degree in history in 1988, before the growth of personal computers and the World Wide Web. Warsinske’s career in information technology grew with the rise of personal computers and computer networking. He worked within organizations and progressed to setting up wide-area networks and infrastructures. With each new career challenge Warsinske sought the training and certifications he needed through continuing education courses.

Now, Warsinske, who holds professional certifications in information security (CISSP®), project management (PMP) and information technology service management (ITILv3), is sharing what he’s learned with Southern Maryland IT professionals.

 “CSM relies very heavily on the local community to provide instructors—adjunct professors or certification trainers—who are professionally current in their various disciplines, whether that's information security or any of the fields that  provide certification as well as regular curriculum instruction,” he said.

For information about CSM’s current offerings or to register, visit http://csmd.edu/WorkforceDevelopment/InformationTechnology.html.


Formed in 1989 and celebrating its 25th anniversary, (ISC)² is the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information and software security professionals worldwide, with nearly 100,000 members in more than 135 countries. Globally recognized as the Gold Standard, (ISC)² issues the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSPÒ) and related concentrations, as well as the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLPÒ), the Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFPSM), Certified Authorization Professional (CAPÒ), HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPPSM), and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCPÒ) credentials to qualifying candidates. (ISC)²’s certifications are among the first information technology credentials to meet the stringent requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17024, a global benchmark for assessing and certifying personnel. (ISC)² also offers education programs and services based on its CBK®, a compendium of information and software security topics. More information is available at www.isc2.org.


© 2014, (ISC)² Inc., (ISC)², CISSP, ISSAP, ISSMP, ISSEP, CSSLP, CAP, SSCP and CBK are registered marks, and CCFP and HCISPP are service marks, of (ISC)2, Inc.


The College of Southern Maryland is the first-choice provider of workforce development in Southern Maryland. More than 22,000 enrollees started, maintained credentials, and/or advanced in a career over the past three years. The college’s CTET is a thriving facility, offering training that enables students to gain skills quickly to enter the workforce. In preparation for emerging energy careers, the center integrates renewable energy technologies into its curriculum. CSM facilitates workforce development and a strong connection to the region’s business community through its Corporate Center, which has a history of addressing the specialized needs of the local business community. Local businesses and individuals who are in need of professional, convenient and reasonably priced training will discover the Corporate Center is ideal for their training needs. Various training options are conveniently delivered in ways to fit a busy schedule, and can be tailored to meet specific business performance needs. For information about CSM, visit www.csmd.edu.