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Harrisburg University – (ISC)²® Alliance Aims to Bridge Cybersecurity Workforce Gap

 New initiative supports cybersecurity students and professionals through education and certification 


    Harrisburg, PA, November 16, 2014 ─ Today Harrisburg University announces an alliance with (ISC)²®, the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information and software security professionals with more than 100,000 members worldwide. Earlier this year, the University was approved as a new member of the (ISC)² Global Academic Program (GAP), making it one of a few Universities with access to this global network and vast collection of resources aimed at preparing the cybersecurity workforce. 


Through the agreement, Harrisburg University (HU) and (ISC)² will provide students and professionals in Central PA and beyond with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and industry certification they need to be successful in the high-demand, high-paying cybersecurity workforce. This collaborative initiative is an important part of the organizations’ shared mission to bridge the workforce gap between the increasing demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals and the amount of skilled professionals in the industry. 


As a private, non-profit higher ed institution focused on applied knowledge and skills in science and technology, Harrisburg University offers undergraduate, graduate and professional development in information security, and a range of other computer and information technology programs. In the coming weeks, it will announce additional new programs aimed at supporting the information security community in Central Pennsylvania. 


As part of this current initiative with (ISC)², just last week, the University concluded its first offering of the widely recognized CISSP certification course, where twenty-one (21) area information security professionals took the 5-day course in preparation for earning the highly-sought-after CISSP credential. HU will offer this course again in January. An information webinar on the course is scheduled for December. “Given HU’s commitment to applied and experiential learning, these courses will be presented in a manner that makes them interactive and engaging, using our faculty’s best expertise in adult learning—which will be unique for certification courses of this kind,” say Dr. Bilita Mattes, HU Provost & Chief Academic Officer. 


"For the first time, Central Pennsylvania Information Security professionals have a resource for local, University-sponsored, classroom training in preparation for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification and other industry standard security certifications from (ISC)²,” says Chuck Davis, Corporate Faculty at Harrisburg University. “No longer do we have to travel to Washington, D.C., Baltimore or Philadelphia for this level of training and collaboration with high-tech security professionals,” Davis continues. In addition to the training, the local (ISC)² chapter provides Central PA security professionals a valuable peer network during a time when cybersecurity is increasingly critical to businesses in PA and around the world. 


“We have also recognized the need for highly specialized information security skills for the healthcare industry, which is why we are introducing the new Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner certification through (ISC)²,” says Dr. Eric Darr, President of Harrisburg University. “The healthcare industry is experiencing enormous change and at the same time facing increasingly rigorous demands for security and privacy of patient health information. By bringing this training to Harrisburg, we hope to help this industry continue to build the workforce necessary to thrive in the face of these pressures.” 


The University will hold an informational webinar on the new Healthcare Information Security and Privacy certification on November 19, led by Mr. “Buddy” Gillespie, a well-known regional leader among healthcare information professionals. Mr. Gillespie is a member of Central PA HIMSS and the PA e-Health Initiative Board. A workshop and the 3-day HCISPP preparatory course are scheduled in early 2015. 


“Recognized as the global leader in gold standard information security certification and education, (ISC)² has developed and continually refined the (ISC)² common body of knowledge (CBK®) over the last 25 years to reflect the evolving threat landscape and accepted standards of practice for this burgeoning industry,” said Jo Portillo, manager, Global Academic Program, (ISC)². “This agreement with Harrisburg University will allow us to advance our vision to inspire a safe and secure cyber world by incorporating our CBK directly into the global academic community.” 


For information or to register for the upcoming information security workshops and courses at Harrisburg University, please visit For more information on (ISC)², please visit