NSA notches up security credentials

The National Security Agency has signed a five-year contract with the International Systems Security Consortium to develop and administer a new test for information security professionals interested in working for NSA.

The Information Systems Security Engineering Professional certification being developed by the Framingham, Mass., consortium is an extension to the Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential. People who have worked in information security for at least four years and who already hold the CISSP credential will be eligible to take the ISSEP exam.

Lynn McNulty, government affairs director for the nonprofit consortium and a former associate director for security at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said the exam would boost the level of security knowledge and skill at a time when protecting networks is a high priority.

NSA plans to use the test for both its employees and contract workers.

'This is a metric they can use to make sure the people who come through the door have the proper qualifications,' McNulty said. 'We think this credential will have a lot of applicability throughout the federal government. Professionalizing the IT work force is an objective that everybody shares, and a lot of people are looking at accomplishing this through professional certifications.'

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