NICE Conference Series begins Oct. 27, will address evolving cybersecurity workforce

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Conference Series & Expo, themed “New Decade, New Solutions: Meaningful Actions for an Evolving Cybersecurity Workforce,” will begin Tuesday, Oct. 27.

The NICE Conference is hosted by FIU’s Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy (Gordon Institute) and the Division of Information Technology, along with think tank New America. The conference is part of Cybersecurity@FIU, an FIU emerging preeminent program. It will take place virtually, extended over four weeks, from Oct. 27 to Nov. 16.

The conference will bring together thought leaders from industry, government, academia and nonprofit organizations. Speakers will explore issues in cybersecurity education and workforce development, such as women and minorities in cybersecurity; the effects of the pandemic on the workforce; and the next generation of cyber professionals.

Registration for the conference is free of charge for students, and $50 for industry, academic and government professionals.

It is supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) NICE Program, a partnership between government, academia and the private sector focused on cybersecurity education, training and workforce development.

“Overnight, our nation was forced further into cyberspace, increasing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in a serious way, but crisis often brings opportunity,” said Brian Fonseca, director of the Gordon Institute. “This virtual setting allows us to be more inclusive and reach a larger and more diverse audience in our quest to build meaningful actions that advance the rapidly evolving cybersecurity workforce.”

Conference keynote speakers include Chauncy Lennon of Lumina Foundation; Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; and Kara Four Bear and Donna Woods, 2020 Presidential Cybersecurity Education Awardees. There will also be breakout sessions, networking lounges and an exhibitor hall featuring sponsors Cybint Solutions, Security Innovations, IBM and Trend Micro.

The conference will also officially present the updated NIST Special Publication 800-181, the NICE Framework. It is a blueprint to categorize, organize and describe cybersecurity work, and provides a common language to speak about cyber roles and jobs. It can be referenced by those who wish to define professional requirements in cybersecurity in an ever-evolving industry.

“We will unveil a new NICE Strategic Plan to emphasize our priorities for the next several years on topics such as Expanding Use of the Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework), Discovering Cybersecurity Careers, Transforming Learning, and Modernizing Talent Management. The NICE Framework will also be the focus of plenary and breakout sessions featured throughout the conference,” said Rodney Petersen, Director of NICE at NIST.

Conference workshops are also available at an additional cost. The workshops will take place on Thursday, Oct. 29; Friday, Nov. 6; Thursday, Nov. 12; and Tuesday, Nov. 17.  Workshop topics include adoption strategies of the NICE Framework in the private sector, curriculum development in the online learning environment and more.

“The four-week virtual conference will allow us to expand participation and engagement this year, including the participation of students who are critical to the future of managing cybersecurity risks,” Petersen said.

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