(ISC)² Foundation Safe and Secure Online Volunteer Gary Alu Wins Executive Women’s Forum Cyber Security Schools Challenge, Helping Thousands of Children Become Cyber Safe

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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 begins, (ISC)2 (“ISC-squared”), the world’s largest not-for-profit information security professional body and administrators of the CISSP®, today announced its certified member, Gary Alu, CISSP, has won his second consecutive award in the Executive Women’s Forum’s 2012 Cyber Security Schools Challenge in the individual category for helping the most children become cyber security-aware.

Alu, who reached 3,845 students in the contest period (October 2011 through September 2012), was recognized at a ceremony at the Alta Associates’ Executive Women’s Forum Annual Conference yesterday. The EWF and Challenge sponsors Carnegie Mellon University, (ISC)², the National Cyber Security Alliance, and Own Your Space, launched the Cyber Security Schools Challenge at RSA Conference 2011 to harness the collective expertise of cyber security professionals and to organize a national movement to educate young people 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 children reached. Participants in the 2011 Challenge reached 7,714 children in total.

According to the National Cyber Security Alliance’s 2011 State of Cyberethics, Cybersafety, and Cybersecurity Study, sponsored by Microsoft, America’s K-12 schools are not preparing kids for the digital age. Schools are ill-prepared to teach students the basics of online safety, security, and ethics. The (ISC)2 Foundation’s Safe and Secure Online program brings cyber security experts into the classroom to teach children how to become responsible digital citizens.

“Children are exposed to the cyber world at younger ages than ever before, so it is essential to teach them the fundamentals of security and help them develop responsible online habits,” said Julie Peeler, director of the (ISC)² Foundation. “Gary is an outstanding champion for security awareness. He has singlehandedly reached more children through the Safe and Secure Online program than any other U.S. volunteer. We applaud his passion and commitment to making the cyber world a safer place for children, and we applaud the Executive Women’s Forum for giving professionals a platform to impart their invaluable expertise to the children in their communities.”

Alu, security analyst at NV Energy, was selected as the winner in the individual category for reaching more students than any other single 2012 Challenge participant. He’s reached over 11,000 students since he began volunteering for (ISC)²’s Safe and Secure Online program in 2010, which sends (ISC)²-certified cyber security experts into schools to teach children how to protect themselves online. This free program was recently expanded to parents and teachers to fill a much-needed gap in providing caregivers with the knowledge they need to help children safely navigate cyber space.

“I am once again honored to be chosen as the individual winner of the Challenge for the second year in a row,” said Alu. “I’m especially grateful to my company, Nevada Energy, for allowing me to take time out of work to pursue my passion of volunteering to teach children how to navigate cyber space and become responsible digital citizens. I presented at a school last week that had a cyberbullying incident, and the Safe and Secure Online presentation had a noticeable impact on the students when I saw the light come on in their eyes.”

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 80,000 children in those countries to date.

Links: About (ISC)2

About the (ISC)2® Foundation

The (ISC)2 Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust that aims to make the cyber world safer for everyone by supporting cyber security education and awareness in the community through its programs and the efforts of its members. Through the (ISC)2 Foundation, (ISC)2’s global information security expert membership of over 86,000 seek to ensure that children everywhere have a positive, productive, and safe experience online, to spur the development of the next generation of cyber security professionals, and to illuminate major issues facing the industry now and in the future. For more information, please visit http://www.isc2cares.org.

© 2012, (ISC)2 Inc. (ISC)², CISSP, CSSLP, ISSAP, ISSMP, ISSEP, CAP, SSCP and CBK are registered marks of (ISC)², Inc

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

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Michelle Schafer
Merritt Group
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