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From the President


ISSA International President Keyaan Williams

Our Challenge and Our Opportunity

The ISSA is the best association of information security professionals in the world. We have achieved success in many areas since the 2016 annual meeting, but we must do more to accomplish our mission to develop and connect cybersecurity leaders globally. We are at a unique point in history because of the numerous voices and perspectives trying to define the profession. Specialist organizations like OWASP and the Cloud Security Alliance focus narrowly on distinct silos. Information sharing and analysis centers (ISACs) are setting exclusive standards and codes of practice that are limited to organizations in specific industries. Professional certification bodies like (ISC)2, ISACA, and CompTIA are defining the profession based on the standards promoted in their certification programs. Vendors are defining the profession according to their position and products in the marketplace.

Each has value, but these disparate voices need the ISSA to continue serving as the unifying force and authentic voice of the industry and the profession. ISSA remains the only organization dedicated exclusively to the information security professional. Our members lead the ISSA to serve as the standard-bearer for the security industry. The strategic goals established by the board in 2016 will help the ISSA strengthen our position. These goals include membership value, global influence, and organizational excellence.

Membership value

Membership value highlights our strategic priority to focus on providing something meaningful to dues-paying members. Value comes in many forms. As we enhance existing programs and develop new programs, we will focus on identifying and understanding what ISSA members want and consider valuable, encouraging members to get involved and contribute to the organization, and by providing opportunities to improve the knowledge, skills, and experience of our members.
This starts by evaluating our existing services and programs to identify where investment is appropriate. We have a renewed focus on professional development beyond certification training and CPEs for all members. For our executive members, we want to enhance the benefits and value offered by the CISO Executive Forum. We have already taken steps to make the CISO Forum more valuable by partnering with Wisegate to provide a forum for our security leaders to collaborate virtually between the quarterly events of the CISO Forum.

Global influence

Global influence highlights our strategic priority to have ISSA recognized as the leader, trusted source, and advisor on information security technology, education, standards, and legislation. Leadership is influence, and ISSA leads the profession by leveraging the knowledge and experience of our members to contribute to standards, education, government steering bodies, and legislative affairs related to global information security. Our plans to transform the ISSA website into a modern ecommerce platform will help us connect qualified members with the right opportunities. Increasing global ISSA membership will also extend our influence. Ambitiously, I want to see global ISSA membership grow to 25,000 active members by 2020.

Operational excellence

Membership value and global influence depend on operational excellence. Excellence begins with effective financial management. We must get to a point where dues revenue covers our administrative costs. This will allow the investment from sponsors to support the programs, activities, and initiatives promoted by the ISSA. We will also scale back some activities and programs in the short term, which will allow us to stabilize our finances so we can invest more in initiatives that deliver on our commitment to provide value to ISSA members.

Transparency will support our operational excellence goals. In addition to the annual membership meeting, we will start providing quarterly membership meetings that ensure everyone is informed about the activities of the association. Further, all governing documents of the association will be available so that members can hold me and the entire board accountable for managing operations, finances, and relationships according to the standards and procedures documented for the ISSA.


The ISSA is absolutely the voice of the information security profession. We can make our voice louder and more pronounced if all members work together to help accomplish our strategic goals. Accountability will be easier because board members will be more accessible, visible, and involved with local chapters and our members. We will leverage the website and email to ensure all members have insight and influence in the governance of our association.

~Keyaan Williams

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