The Beginning – Security Certification
In 2005, the former President of the Federal Association of Security Officials (FASO), initiated a Task Force to professionalize the Government of Canada (GC) security community. As the Departmental Security Officer for Natural Resources Canada at that time Sharon Savoie was asked to lead the Certification Task Force. This Task Force composed of members of the FASO Board of Directors, the GC security community and a research student from Carleton University developed and administered a questionnaire and the results of the survey confirmed that security practitioners across the GC supported and welcomed a Security Certification Program.
A Security Certification Program was established when Dr. Felix Kwamena, Adjunct Professor with Carleton University formed the Infrastructure Resilience and Research Group (IRRG) under the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Design. The Certified Security and Research Professional Program (CSARP) has a number of essential and elective courses available to employees of the GC, private sector and university students interested in the security discipline. The courses offered by SSA form an integral part of the CSARP program.
The GC security community was awakened when the terrorist attack on the United States of America on September 11, 2001, happened. That formative event and others since then, have demonstrated to the world that all countries and governments are vulnerable. The current threat environment remains complex, and government and industry security officials must address a broad array of issues such as, insider threat, cyber intrusions, terrorism, and economic espionage.
Security programs in private and public organizations need to be robust and resilient and subject matter experts in all aspects of security must be trained accordingly and supported by their management. The GC has built a solid security foundation and is now strengthening departmental security programs and building a robust and resilient security community to meet the domestic and international challenges and threats.
The implementation of the Treasury Board Policy on Government Security with the companion directives and standards provides uniformity and consistency with the establishment of eight security control measures and a security governance infrastructure. The mandatory Departmental Security Plan engages senior management and draws attention to due diligence, risk management, setting priorities and monitoring for compliance to ensure that every effort is taken to protect people from harm and safeguard assets and sensitive information and systems from compromise.
The value-added benefits of security certification are apparent. Certified Security Professionals will:
Will enhance their career potential
Be recognized as a security professional by a University
Learn from security professionals, subject matter experts
Engage and network with colleagues and others in the security community
Obtain a credential that employers will recognize and respect
The security program must be robust and resilient, resourced and supported by management. This is not an easy task, and it requires a team of subject matter experts, trained and ready to respond.
IRRG and SSA continue to broaden the scope of their training program, engage with the GC security community and private industry, advance the training and education program, and certifies security professionals under the IRRG CSARP program.