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CISO Research

Posted By Laura Fucci, Friday, December 4, 2015

I recently participated in a study conducted by George Mason University and the National Science Foundation focused on establishing core competencies  around the cybersecurity practice, and the CISO in particular.  They are trying to broaden their study group, so I thought I would share this opportunity with you.  The interview took less than an hour and I enjoyed it.  A synopsis of the study is included below.  If you can spare the time, please contact J.P.Auffret ( or Catherine Schell ( 


This project is developing Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Core Competencies as a foundation for developing multidisciplinary cybersecurity leadership education learning objectives and curricula guidelines. The project is leveraging these guidelines towards the development of online cybersecurity leadership education modules, certificates and a blended online cybersecurity leadership master's degree for delivery nationwide in partnership with other universities.

The goal is to address the cybersecurity leadership gap in the U.S. as cybersecurity leadership expertise is limited to a small number of university graduate level cybersecurity leadership programs that bridge the technical and management skills required for cybersecurity leadership. Formally, we are exploring the following questions: What cybersecurity leader core competencies are critical to cybersecurity leadership effectiveness?; and what organizational dimensions are factors in cybersecurity leadership success?

The project is bringing together private sector, government and academic cybersecurity, IT and other executives in focus groups, workshops, forums, and online collaboration for the development of the Core Competencies, learning objectives and curricula guidelines. The approach builds upon the U.S. Government's success in collaborating with academia and private sector in the development of CIO Core Competencies.

Finally, this project is developing a Cybersecurity Leadership Education Forum and associated board with the goal of ongoing project sustainability and for ongoing updating of the Core Competencies, learning objectives and curricula guidelines. As a direct outcome of this project, universities in partnership with government organizations and the private sector have a set of best practices for developing cybersecurity leadership programs and measurable outcomes to compare with.

Tags:  Cybersecurity security education 

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