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Professional Profile: Cheryl Jackson, CISSP, CBCP

From cryptography to telecommunications security and disaster recovery, adiposity the right certifications help prove expertise.

When describing Houston native Cheryl Jacksons life, two words come to mind: exotic and mysterious. Exotic, because of her unique choice of pets, a Yellow-Naped Amazon parrot that talks, sings and barks like a dog and an African Grey parrot that is just starting to acquire these talents. Mysterious, because she deals in the shadowy world of computer security where shoptalk doesnt occur outside the closed confines of work.

Cheryl boasts two singular certifications, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP), well outside the relatively mundane world of the MCSE and CCIE. As she explains, "The CISSP is a certification for information security professionals. This certification is obtained through the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium ISC2 to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves as experienced, knowledgeable and proficient information security practitioners. The CISSP requires high-level proficiency or knowledge in everything from public-key infrastructures (PKI) to telecommunications security to disaster recovery and physical security. The CISSP certificate also provides a means of identifying those persons who subscribe to a rigorous requirement for maintaining their knowledge and proficiency in the information security profession. The CISSP is now the most common security certification sought by employers looking for security managers, vice presidents and chief security officers.

She continues, "The Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP) certification is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience in the business continuity/disaster recovery industry. This certification is sponsored by the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) and requires demonstration of proficiency in a specific number of subject areas of the Professional Practices for Business Continuity Planners.

Jackson is Manager of Methods and Administration in the Global Security Practice Division of Netigy Corporation. Her team is responsible for the continued development of Netigy's methodologies and tools in the security management process arena. Netigy operates a highly regarded Global Security Practice dedicated to thought leadership and best practices for information protection in today's Internet-enabled business environment. Netigy utilizes a sophisticated Information Protection model that guides the identification and development of security services for both enterprise and service provider clients.

Clearly, these people regard computer security and these certifications seriously. Jacksons description of the CISSP borders on Oriental mysticism. "The CISSP exam is based on the Ten Domains of the Information Security Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)," she explains.