Author and prominent IT security expert Winn Schwartau has formed a nonprofit organization to provide cybersecurity certification programs for end-users.
SCIPP International is using the SCIPP General Accepted Practices and an annual certification program tailored for specific policy requirements to bring end-users – often considered the weak link of an organization or corporation – up-to-date on cybersecurity threats.
The Vienna, Va.-based organization will provide training for corporate and government employees and customers, the self-employed and educators.
The nonprofit has satellite offices in Old Hickory, Tenn., Hong Kong and London.
SCIPP’s certification program consists of a pre-assessment, a three-chapter online course and a 25-question post-assessment multiple choice quiz. Certification is valid for one year.
Schwartau, the group’s founder, told SCMagazine.com today that available technology sometimes confuses end-users, who may think they are not vulnerable to attacks because they have anti-virus solutions installed.
"We are giving users tools that are too complicated – 98 percent of which they do not need," he said.
Schwartau added that a personal goal is to educate a high number of end-users in the K-to-12th-grade education sector.
SCIPP has assembled a number of well-known security visionaries to serve on its international advisory board, including Rob Pate, deputy director of outreach and awareness at the National Cyber Security Division, a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; former White House cybersecurity advisor Howard Schmidt, now president and CEO, R&H Security Consulting; and Leo Thrush, deputy director of communications programs for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Security advisors from the private sector include Stephen Carrick-Davies, CEO of Childnet International; Stephen R. Katz, founder and president of Security Risk Solutions; Micki Krause, chief information security officer of Pacific Life Insurance; Kevin Mandia, president and CEO of Mandiant; and William "Bill" Murray, executive consultant for Cybertrust, now a division of Verizon Business, and a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School.