UKZN Academics Among the First to Receive New Cybersecurity Professional Designation

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Dr Brett van Niekerk, senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science and Mr Barend Pretorius, PhD candidate, are among the first 15 recipients of a new cybersecurity professional designation, known as the Information Security Management Professional (ISMP).

This was introduced by the ISACA South Africa Chapter to confirm the knowledge, skills, and experience in the field aligned to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) processes.

The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) South Africa Chapter is the largest in Africa, with approximately 2 000 members. Formerly known as the Information Systems Audit and Controls Association, it has approximately 145 000 members globally and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019.

As part of the ISMP, candidates are required to have qualified as a Certified Information Security Manager by acquiring the CISM certification, which is offered by ISACA, in addition to relevant work experience. Van Niekerk received the award for having the third highest marks in South Africa for the CISM examination. The qualification provides candidates with essential knowledge in information security spanning information security governance, information risk management and compliance, the development and management of security programmes, and security incident response.

Globally and nationally, cybersecurity skills have become imperative for every industry. Internationally, information security and cybersecurity have been recognised as scarce skills. Qualifications such as the CISM skill recipients with knowledge in this unique field and help to close the skills divide while providing individuals and their organisations with the necessary tools to protect their systems. The ISMP designation identifies those who have acquired and proven these skills in the South African context.

Van Niekerk and Pretorius recently presented a paper at the virtual ITWeb Security Summit, where they focused on cybersecurity for the industrial internet of things. van Niekerk also presented at a UKZN Big Data breakfast, where he discussed recent cyber security incidents in South Africa.

Words: NdabaOnline

Photographs: Supplied