New charity initiative seeks to improve security awareness

Non-profit organization (ISC)2 sets up foundation with aim to provide cybersecurity user education, programs and research to consumers.

A new charitable organization, (ISC)² Foundation, has been formed to provide cybersecurity education and awareness programs worldwide, focusing on community and end-user education, scholarships and industry research.

Established by non-profit organization (ISC)², the foundation offer programs that leverage the skillsets of information security professionals to give back to the community and nurture the next generation of information security professionals. It aims to "make the cyberworld a safer place for everyone", the organization said in a statement Tuesday.

The (ISC)² Foundation supports community service and engagement that have long-term impacts on communities by providing online security education programs for children, parents and teachers.

Scholarships are also available for students from high school through post-graduate level with the aim to build the next generation of information security professionals, according to the foundation. It will also provide research illustrating information security issues faced by governments, private sectors, educators, IT professionals and society, in the hopes that the information will benefit lawmakers and policy makers.

"There is an immediate need from the public to better understand information security safety issues, and unfortunately, to date, there have only been a few avenues they can turn to for valuable, trusted information," W. Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)² Foundation, said in the statement.

The foundation was created to deepen the impact of social responsibility programs and pay success forward by creating an entity that was dedicated to giving back to the community, Tipton said. He added that the charity organization aims to keep more children safe from online predators, send "more promising" young people to school, and conduct more research leading to public policy initiatives in support of various industries.

The foundation will drive some of (ISC)²'s existing programs including Safe and Secure Online, a free public service that places certified information security experts in classrooms to teach children to protect themselves online and be responsible digital citizens, as well as the Information Security Scholarship Program, which comprises over US$300,000 in grants that fund research on topics ranging from role-based personnel anomaly detection to mitigation of vulnerabilities in control system code.

Beneficiaries of the foundation include parents, teachers, students, current IT security professionals and as well as professionals considering a career in information security.