Knowledge Kingdom

Jordan’s I(TS)2 training company and Int@j, the country’s IT association, have rolled out the Kingdom’s first Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP) pre-exam initiative.

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By  Alicia Buller Published  August 18, 2004

Jordan’s I(TS)2 training company and Int@j, the country’s IT association, have rolled out the Kingdom’s first Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP) pre-exam initiative. This certification preparation course lasted five days and was attended by 29 students from local IT companies, banks, government agencies and ISPs. After taking the exam, six students left the course fully certified, this is a notable achievement considering the stringency of CISSP as a global security standard. The CISSP registration and pre-exam course was borne out of Int@j’s awareness that security knowledge is a top priority if Jordan is to be a player in the global IT market. Government technology body, Int@j, was formed in 2000 with the vision of representing and promoting the Kingdom’s IT services industry worldwide. “Int@j has introduced CISSP to enhance the savvy of the local IT experts that are now tasked with servicing the sector’s security needs and maintaining public safety and trust,” says Aiman Mazareh, chairman of Int@j’s human resources committee. “Certification establishes a consistent method for assessing the skills and competency of security professionals,” he adds. I(TS)2 delivers security education and exams throughout the Middle East via its global partner (ISC)2, the International Information Systems Certification Consortium — an organisation that was established in 1989 as a non-profit body to administer security certification based on knowledge collated from security professionals in various market segments. “We aim to empower governments and commercial enterprises to combat evolving security threats and generate career opportunities for newly certified personnel,” says Samer Omar, vice president of professional services at I(TS)2. "Security management plays a crucial role in the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems, yet finding experienced and qualified security personnel is becoming increasingly difficult [in Jordan],” he adds. While CISSP certification is not a guaranteed measure of success, it does represent a widely accepted standard through which perspective information security personnel can be measured. UAE-based government training body, Etisalat Academy, has also adopted the CISSP initiative and runs the programme quarterly, churning out 50 – 60 certified professionals each time. “It is a tough exam, the success rate is between 30% and 40%. But all the organisations now, the managers, engineers and professionals, have to be certified and they have to take the examinations,” says Raafat Nakhla, business development manager at Etisalat. “We have found others are doing the same in the Middle East. To my knowledge, the Middle east now has 800 I(TS)2 certified professionals,” he adds.

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