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From the President



ISSA International President Candy Alexander

Understanding the theme for this month’s Journal is “Looking Forward,” I can’t help but look back first. I am very much of the school of thought that “in order to successfully move forward, one must learn from our past,” so here it goes.

In my November president’s letter, I mentioned that this has been a year of change for our association. There has been a great deal of focus given to cleaning up the mess in the back office and establishing standards for operating the ISSA International headquarters as a business. I hope that as a member you are now starting to see some of the improvements that are taking place.

We have been running the association with a lean and mean support team, with Marc Thompson at the helm. Sean Bakke and Lisa Borden have done a remarkable job in addressing chapter and member issues as they’ve been identified. We have brought on a Director of Operations, Candice Benson, who has done a great job in keeping everything moving smoothly, as staff and volunteers are a challenge to keep in line at times!

With the 2019 ISSA election results, the International Board of Directors has changed a couple of players and I must say, I am so excited to see the Board working together as a cohesive team. The Board and I have worked with Marc to put together a great plan to continue our successes from 2019 and expand upon them in 2020.

One of our biggest successes has been the increase of visibility at major industry events such as RSA Conference in San Francisco, InfoSec World in Orlando, and Black Hat in Las Vegas. Not only did we increase our visibility, we recruited large numbers of new members and had fun doing it with “member parties in a booth.”

We’ve also re-launched our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in 2019, starting with the Women in Security, which the ISSA also co-sponsored the “Women in Security of the Year Award” in Las Vegas during Black Hat. The Privacy SIG is in the starting stages that we hope to move forward in earnest in 2020. And finally, the Application Development Security SIG, which we are still looking for volunteers to lead and participate. I’ll be honest, it has been a bit of a challenge to get these groups moving forward. I can only imagine our volunteers are having difficulty finding the extra time to put into these activities. But with determination, we will get them moving. If you are interested, please speak up and step forward!

The next look back in order to move forward item is something we should ALL be proud of. The ISSA has partnered for the past three years with ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) on an annual survey of our members to identify the challenges we all face in our day to day jobs, one of which identified in the past three years has been the lack of time—time for training and time for getting everything done that needs to be done. Perhaps that’s why our volunteers (and you) are time challenged.

This year we are kicking off our fourth annual ISSA/ESG research survey during the first weeks of December. This is a very important survey that provides us the collective voice as to what our challenges are, and believe me, the world is listening! We are continually having the data referred to by the media and have been interviewed several times as a result. Making our voices heard is the first step in changing things for the better for our profession. Be sure to complete the ISSA benefits section of the survey regarding your thoughts on the ISSA. The International Board and I are paying attention to those results! So again, please give yourself the gift of having your voice heard through our survey.

Now for the looking forward part. This is an exciting time for the ISSA as each new year brings with it the opportunity to introduce new services and offerings. We are hoping to provide some great content this year by way of our Strategic Committees that the Board of Directors are leading, areas such as global regulations, emerging technologies, and global standards. If you are interested in participating in any of these, please let me know, and I will point you to the right people!

In closing, I would like to remind you that this is YOUR association. We are here to provide you with the benefits and services you need to become the best possible infosec/cybersecurity professional you can be. We are not driven by revenue gained from training or certifications. We are the ONLY agnostic professional association that is driven by the profession, for the profession. I hope you will join me in making the ISSA shine for all of us.

On behalf of the ISSA International family to you and yours, I wish you the warmest of holidays and an extremely successful New Year!

Candy Alexander, CISSP CISM
ISSA International President

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