Security Center of Excellence (SCE) Charter
The Harrisburg University GTI Security Center of Excellence aims to be a strategic partner with public sector organizations in their information security and cyber defense efforts by providing innovative and effective educational programs and community building services.
The Mission of the Security Center of Excellence is to:
- Provide leading-edge education and training to address the current and future needs of information security professionals working in the public sector;
- Facilitate collaboration among information security professionals in efforts to address cyber security threats by hosting activities that support the exchange of information and experiences;
- Foster innovation by providing opportunities that support the identification, analysis and application of new technologies and emerging methods used for cyber security;
- Increase awareness and understanding regarding the importance of information security strategies in safeguarding public and private interests.
Securing computer systems and data is an increasing challenge for all. Major corporations report devastating breaches to their systems, losing significant amounts of customer personal data. Such incidents have high cost both financially and in consumer confidence.
Government is not immune to these incidents. The State of South Carolina and State of Utah both recently had personal citizen data stolen from government databases. As a result, taxpayers were responsible for paying for credit monitoring services and other costs. In South Carolina, this was in excess of $100M. It is no surprise that this led to a troubling loss in confidence among their citizens.
Developing and maintaining a strong security defense reduces the risk of such incidents, although all agree it is virtually impossible to ensure complete success. While cyber security involves an array of sophisticated tools, at the core of any cyber security strategy are skilled professionals. Maintaining the skills and readiness of information security professionals is a critical component of cyber defense, particularly given the rapid pace of change in tools, techniques and challenges. Faced with shrinking budgets, it becomes even more critical that cost-effective opportunities for development of the IT security workforce are available.
With this in mind, the Government Technology Institute at Harrisburg University is establishing a Security Center of Excellence (SCE). The center is a targeted effort to support government security leaders and their staffs through educational programs, collaboration and awareness raising initiatives. Having recently become a Global Academic Partner with (ISC)2, a global leader in information security standards, Harrisburg University will leverage these resources, plus its faculty, students and business partners to connect local information security professionals with the latest best practices and technologies. Through its partnerships with leading technology and security companies, the business community, technology associations and educational institutions, the center will bring together a robust community of stakeholders and contributors in support of a shared mission.
Scope of Work
- Develop and deliver an initial array of educational programs
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Certificate program
- Government Information Security Practitioner training
- Government Application Developer Security Requirements training
- Coordinate activities that raise awareness and promote collaboration
- Security Center Awareness and Launch Event
- Mini-forums, briefings, etc. (projecting up to 4, 2-4 hour events)
- Online presence, including references and resources
- Foster participation among public and private organizations
- Conduct outreach with various stakeholder groups to foster membership and participation
- Evaluate and expand educational offerings
- Expand awareness-raising and collaboration-focus events
- Enhance communications including online resources and digital community
- Introduce an Innovation initiative
- Grow participation to include a broader array of public sector, including local government and public education
- The Center is expected to continue to expand and enhance programs until such time that its services are no longer in demand or its ability to provide services does not meet the needs of its stakeholders.
- The Center will track measurable outcomes to identify its impact on its vision and mission. Such metrics would include:
- Number of participants served by Center programs
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Measurement of reduction in risk
- Other evidence of improved security position within the stakeholder community
Stakeholders & Decision Making
The Center aims to serve public sector information security operations including the Commonwealth of PA, local government including counties, municipalities and other public entities, and the public education community. It will work closely with the Commonwealth Chief Information Security Officer to identify needs and priorities.
The center will operate under the leadership of Harrisburg University and the Government Technology Institute. An advisory board consisting of public sector stakeholders from the Commonwealth, local government and other public entities, representatives from the private sector and other subject matter experts from academia will provide recommendations to the Center administrators. Members of the Security Center would be invited to provide a representative to the advisory board or its committees.
Funding and Sustainability
Private sector companies with expertise in information security are invited to become members of the security center. An annual membership fee from each member company will be used to underwrite center operations, including management, outreach and program development. Additional funding will be generated through registration fees for enrollment in programs. Annual programs will be provided based on the availability of adequate funding. Future funding may come from additional members, program fees, grants or financial gifts.
Organizations that are members of the Government Technology Institute can become members of the Security Center of Excellence. Private sector companies, technology associations and educational institutions recognized for their expertise in information security are invited to become members of the Security Center of Excellence and the GTI.