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The NIST Cybersecurity Framework & Workforce Development

Posted: Sep 15, 2017

Categories: Security, Certifications

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The NIST Cybersecurity Framework & Workforce Development

In May 2017, the US president issued an Executive Order for “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure,” which hold heads of executive departments and agencies (agency heads) accountable for managing cybersecurity risk to their enterprises.

Two key provisions of the executive order included:

  1. Effective immediately, each agency head shall use The Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (the Framework) developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or any successor document, to manage the agency's cybersecurity risk.
  2. Further, the United States seeks to support the growth and sustainment of a workforce that is skilled in cybersecurity and related fields as the foundation for achieving our objectives in cyberspace.

In partnership with itSM Solutions LLC and UMass Lowell, New Horizons is proud to offer a new cybersecurity workforce development program based on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF).

The NCSF training program is based on the cybersecurity framework issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in response to a 2013 executive order issued by then-President Barack Obama to protect the nation's most critically important technology infrastructure that, if incapacitated or destroyed, would have a debilitating effect on national security, the U.S. economy, public health, and safety.

Two training options are available:

  • The NCSF Foundation Certification Course.
    This course outlines current cybersecurity challenges and explains how organizations that implement an NCSF program can mitigate these risks. This program is focused on candidates who need a basic understanding of the NCSF to perform their daily jobs as executives, accountants, lawyers or information technology professionals.
  • The NCSF Practitioner Certification Course.
    This program is focused on candidates who need a detailed understanding of the NCSF to perform their daily roles as cybersecurity engineers, testers or operations professionals.

All programs come with a certificate of completion and continuing education credits, such as PDU and CEUs. Students who successfully complete the certification and meet university requirements may transfer credits and enroll in one of UMass Lowell's master's degree programs in information technology, such as network security or cybersecurity. Learn more about NCSF training & certification.

NIST Released Version 1.1 in April 2018

On April 16, 2018, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released version 1.1 of its popular Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. Version 1.1 includes updates on:

  • Authentication and Identity
  • Self-assessing Cybersecurity Risk
  • Managing Cybersecurity within the Supply Chain
  • Vulnerability Disclosure

The changes to the framework are based on feedback collected through public calls for comments, questions received by team members, and workshops held in 2016 and 2017. Two drafts of Version 1.1 were circulated for public comment to assist NIST in comprehensively addressing stakeholder inputs. See all of the update information here.

Additional Information Security Training Solutions

Being properly trained and informed is no longer exclusively for IT and Cybersecurity Professionals. Instead, it is now the responsibility of everyone in an organization to have at minimum a foundational understanding of security issues and vulnerabilities. At New Horizons, we are on the cutting-edge of cybersecurity with training programs designed to ensure that your organization can best prevent itself against attacks and, should one occur, significantly reduce your risk and increase your response time. View our entire lineup of Cybersecurity learning solutions.

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