IMPACT 2011 took place in Chantilly, Va. this week and while the event was off-the-record, it’s worth reporting the hot topics discussed in this gathering of security officers and experts. With hundreds of Facility Security Officers and Information System Security Officers in attendance the forum was a hot venue for information sharing and discussion of the current security landscape. The trends you’ll note in the agenda aren’t surprising, and spotlight the evolving digital landscape today’s security professionals face. Here are the highlights:
- Cybersecurity. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the past several years it’s probably no surprise that cybersecurity is a watch word across the intelligence and security industries. Whether you adhere to the Defense Department argument of cyberspace as a warfighting domain, or are with the State Department camp looking to broaden Internet access in order to promote democracy, wars of the future will be waged along the Internet superhighway. Government and private industry are looking for cybersecurity professionals with the necessary skills to compete in this growing market.
- The mission matters. Security is a customer focused profession (and you thought it was all about defending networks and hunting down Russian spies….). Security experts have an important goal in keeping their communities safe, and the human component of any security position – even within the IT industry – is a powerful one. Several presentations focused on briefing skills and the importance of training and education. That’s certainly a trend we see with training and education related positions posted at ClearanceJobs.com.
- Progress has been made in the security clearance process…but it’s far from over. Representatives from the Defense Security Service (DSS), the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) and others highlighted the improvements made in efficiency and reciprocity, but were cautious not to toot their own horns too loudly. They acknowledged that more steps need to be taken to make the process clearer and easier for both applicants and the security officers with companies and within the government who facilitate applications.