This article originally appeared in the March 2023 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.
For integrators and technicians looking to bolster their careers, earning a certification can definitely help, and getting one in an emerging field such as cybersecurity can be invaluable.
“We are beginning to see more cybersecurity conformance requirements for federal projects involving software solutions and networked technology equipment,” says Dr. Elli Reges, director of learning and development for the Security Industry Association (SIA). “It is only a matter of time before software development and device provisioning standards imposed by the government expand into integrator (technician/installer) qualifications and contractor performance for security projects involving connected systems.”
This is where SIA’s Security Industry Cybersecurity Certification (SICC) – the first-ever certification focused specifically on cybersecurity for physical security systems – could play a key role; in fact, the Security Industry Association (SIA) is offering a key course review at ISC West to help prep for the certification exam (see sidebar).
Developed by SIA with support from PSA Security Network and Security Specifiers, the SICC program validates the core knowledge and skills individuals must possess to effectively perform roles involving key facets of cybersecurity. The credential was created to ensure professionals have hands-on experience and a deep understanding of physical security and cybersecurity convergence.
The SICC is intended for security industry professionals who perform or provide technical support for the installation, networking, configuration and/or specifying of electronic security/low-voltage technology devices, including roles like lead/senior service technicians and installers, technical project managers, security systems designers, technical support engineers, security specifiers and consultants, IT and cybersecurity managers, chief technology officers, network administrators and product managers. The program is designed to assess and validate the core competencies these individuals must possess to effectively perform jobs involving critical aspects of cybersecurity.
“SIA’s [cybersecurity] certification is a critical must-have for every systems integrator,” says John Nemerofsky of SAGE Integration. “We are challenged with more IoT devices on our clients’ networks and more complex deployments with biometric technologies, surveillance analytics, ground-based radar and weapons detection systems.”
“The SICC bridges physical security and cybersecurity along with project management and application engineering into one competency, and it clearly does,” adds Rich Campbell, SICC, a systems engineer at RFI. “It will help integrators set their application engineers up for success.”
The certification validates the skills required to support technical security installations according to industry best practices for electronic security and cybersecurity and aligning with clients’ organizational priorities and business objectives, while accelerating careers and building trust with colleagues, partners and clients.
“The SIA SICC represents a convergence of physical and cybersecurity, showcasing professional excellence and equipping individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively address the ever-evolving threat landscape and ensure the secure protection of sensitive information,” says SICC credential holder Danny McNamee, head of engineering and pre-sales, project services at Axians North America.
New to SIA’s SICC offerings is a SICC Review Course, a comprehensive 12-hour training designed to help security industry professionals prepare for the certification exam. This course, available at ISC West 2023, leverages proven instructional design techniques and interactive learning tools and covers key concepts and skills that directly correspond with the 10 knowledge domains on the SICC exam blueprint.
“The SICC helps drive our industry forward and helps us demonstrate to customers that we are aware of cyber risks and deploy systems in a secure manner,” says Jim Cooper, SICC, VP of Technology at Integrated Security and Communications.
Learn more about the SICC at www.securityindustry.org/sicc or stop by booth 6077 at ISC West to meet the SIA team and ask questions about the review course, the certification and how to earn a credential.
Kara Klein is Manager of Communications for the Security Industry Association.