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Last chance to vote for new sheriffs of security town

CISSP tin star elections close today

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Friday marks the final day to submit votes for this year's election of directors to the (ISC)2 security certification body.

(ISC)2, which administers the widely recognised Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) qualification, has around 80,000 members and several vocal critics in the infosec community. Respected members of the security community, including Jack Daniel, co-founder of the BSides security conference, and Rob Graham have criticised the institution in the weeks leading up to this year's election, as previously reported.

(ISC)2 directors are elected for a three-year term. Four of the 13 seats on the board are up for re-election this year.

Four radicals - the so-called "Four Horsemen of the Impending Infosec Apocalypse" - launching campaigns to stand for election to the infosec board, standing on a reform ticket. Only one of the four - Dave Lewis (@gattaca) - made the cut by getting 500 nominations from (ISC)2 members before a 17 September deadline. Scot Terban, Boris Sverdlik and Chris Nickerson all fell short.

Lewis, from Canada, wants to restore the integrity of the CISSP exam. There's still the option to cast votes for alternative write-in candidates but there names won't appear on the official ballot papers, largely filed with established candidates standing for re-election.

Longstanding critics praised the election of Wim Remes to the (ISC)2 board last year as part of an overdue reform process. Remes is is a manager in risk and assurance practice at Ernst & Young in Belgium. He's also been involved in organising the well-regarded BruCON security conference and presenting at BlackHat, something that gives him a fair amount of street cred.

The board of (ISC)2 is made up of representatives from academia, industry and internet committees. CISSP has been accused by several critics of being "out of touch", but Remes told El Reg: "We need fresh blood but we don't want to throw our history away. The present board are a diverse bunch who are well in touch with what's happening in security... and knowledgeable."

CISSP certification helps people to get or retain jobs in information security but it's not mandatory. Membership to (ISC)2 costs $85 a year, a bone of contention among some members.

Security blogger Javvad Malik, a CISSP member, said that much of the criticism was unfair.

"(ISC)2 is changing quite significantly, going from a certificate only organisation to more of a member organisation. So personally I believe they are heading in the right direction," Malik told El Reg. "In my opinion there are many critics out there of (ISC)2 who have never ever proactively tried to find out more about the organisation.

"When I was at their congress event in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, I learned a great deal about how it operates, got to meet with many of the board members etc - and to be honest I came away with an overwhelmingly positive opinion of them. I don't think anyone will claim it's a perfect organisation, but it's nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be."

Malik's experiences at the (ISC)2 congress can be found in a video blog post here.

Voting for the (ISC)2 board elections ends at 17.00 EST (22.00 GMT) on 30 November. ®

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