(ISC)²® Safe and Secure Online Volunteer Gary Alu, CISSP, Wins Individual Award for Educating 5,300 Students in First Annual Executive Women’s Forum Cyber Security School

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Challenge Urges Cyber Security Experts to Share their Expertise to Help Kids Protect Themselves Online

As National Cyber Security Awareness Month comes to a close, (ISC)2(“ISC-squared”), the world’s largest not-for-profit information security professional body and administrators of the CISSP®, today applauded its certified member, Gary Alu, CISSP, for winning the first annual Executive Women’s Forum’s Cyber Security Schools Challenge in the individual category.

Alu was recognized at a ceremony at the Alta Associates’ Executive Women’s Forum Annual Conference last week for reaching 5,300 students since the challenge was launched in February. The EWF and sponsors Carnegie Mellon University, (ISC)², the National Cyber Security Alliance and Own Your Space launched the Cyber Security Schools Challenge at the RSA Conference 2011 to harness the collective expertise of cyber security professionals and organize a national movement to educate our youth on the topics of online security, privacy, and safety. Participants could enter in either an individual or corporate category, and winners were selected based on the total number of students reached. Nationwide won in the corporate category for the most students reached by a team. Julie Peeler, director of the (ISC)² Foundation, presented the awards to both sets of winners on October 20th.

“In order to make the cyber world a safer place, there is no question that cyber security curriculum and online safety must be taught early on - in the classroom - and be treated as one of the fundamental building blocks of education,” said Peeler. “We congratulate and thank both the Nationwide team and Gary for dedicating their personal time and energy to helping these students become more cyber security aware and responsible digital citizens. We also applaud the Executive Women’s Forum for spearheading the Cyber Security Schools Challenge.”

Alu, president of F.G. Alu Consulting, Las Vegas, Nev., was selected as the winner in the individual category for reaching more students than any other single Challenge participant. He’s reached over 7,200 students alone in the past 12 months as a volunteer in (ISC)²’s Safe and Secure Online program, which sends (ISC)²-certified cyber security experts into schools to teach children how to protect themselves online. The free program includes a multi-media presentation highlighting timely topics such as social networking, cyber bullying, viral e-mails, “sexting,” malware, spam, identity theft and more.

Alu’s pioneering efforts in his hometown of Las Vegas with the Clark County School District resulted in him being invited to participate on the local Computers for Kids committee as a technical advisor and instructor. Through this role, his delivery of the Safe and Secure Online presentation was videotaped and installed on DVDs on every computer delivered to middle school kids through the Computers for Kids program. Alu has given a large part of his personal life to ensuring proper education is given to future generations of cyber security professionals, and his focus in the classroom is on online safety, security and ethics.

“I was deeply honored to be chosen as the individual winner of the Challenge for doing something that I am so passionate about and that is so worthwhile,” said Alu. “Helping to protect children from online dangers is truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and it is my goal to educate thousands more through (ISC)²’s Safe and Secure Online program. I encourage information security professionals everywhere to share their knowledge and expertise with people in their community who need it most, whether they are children, senior citizens or other vulnerable groups.”

The (ISC)2 Foundation was launched in September 2011 to make the cyber world a safer place for everyone through education and awareness programs in communities around the globe. Volunteers for (ISC)²’s Safe and Secure Online program, which is active in Canada, Hong Kong, the UK and the US, have educated nearly 70,000 children in those countries to date.

Peeler added, “So much of our lives play out online these days – it’s critical that the information security community pull together to make sure kids have the information they need to make wise choices online. All the Challenge sponsors offer wonderful content that resonates with kids. No matter which delivery vehicle they choose, cyber security professionals are making a significant impact on this education process. We look forward to supporting the next stages of the Challenge to ensure children everywhere are protected.”

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            Tags: CSSLP, CISSP, (ISC)², Julie Peeler, (ISC)2 Foundation, Safe and Secure Online

Media Contact:
Michelle Schafer
Merritt Group
703.390.1525 (o)
703.403.6377 (c)


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