The government's spy organisation GHCQ has unveiled a new certification programme designed to test and validate the credentials of information assurance and cyber security professionals working in the UK.
The new certification scheme will be managed by the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) within GHCQ and will aim to ensure both private and public sector organisations can find skilled professionals to protect their IT systems.
The development of the certification is also designed to help give those in the sector a more clearly defined career path and achievement marker as they progress in the industry.
The certification, if achieved, will be valid for three years and the testing will be run by three industry certification organisations on behalf of the CESG: APM Group, a consortium led by the Institute of Information Security Professionals, and the BCS - the Chartered Institute for IT.
The roles the examinations are aimed at are:
- information assurance accreditor
- information assurance auditor
- communications security officer
- IT security officer
- security and information risk advisor
- security architect
Jonathan Hoyle, GCHQ's director general for Government and Industry Cyber Security said that the development of the scheme was an important step in the UK's growing cyber security development.
"Cyber security and Information Assurance expertise is at the heart of protecting the UK from cyber attack and I am delighted that GCHQ's scheme to certify IA professionals in both the public and private sectors is fully up and running," he said.
Government minister Chloe Smith added that the creation of a dedicated scheme to assess the skills of top security professionals was a necessary step to ensure the UK can defend its interests in the online world.
"The CESG Certification for IA Professionals scheme marks a significant step forward and for the first time will provide consistency in standards and a defined career structure across the IA/cyber security profession," she said.
"This is critical if we are to maximise the business opportunities of the networked world and keep the UK at the forefront of innovation."
The announcement of the scheme comes as the threats from cyber attacks continues to rise with state-sponsored malware like Flame being uncovered and criminals launching regular hack attacks on large firms, especially in the financial sector.
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