This is a story of how a career setback turned out to be a setup for something bigger.It was the year 2000, and I had just gone through a layoff. I was a network engineer and felt I needed some way to stand out in the crowd. Days later I was at a bookstore looking at technical books when I came upon a CISSP title. What was this?I opened it and it was a security certification for a Certified Information Systems Security Professional. It was a professional certification \u2013 not from a hardware or software vendor, but from an international nonprofit membership association, ISC2.org, the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium.As it turns out, my timing was perfect as the dot com boom was starting to wake up. Prior to 2000, network engineers did security\u2026there were no discrete security roles like we have now.Security was an area that had always really intrigued me. Little did I know the dot com boom would explode and suddenly everything would now be online and available to everyone \u2013 including cybercriminals. Since that time, just about everything we put online has been compromised, from Target, to the US government OPM, to hospitals, banks and everything in between.New opportunities are on the wayI recovered well from my layoff thanks to my CISSP. As it turns out, this credential has been quite very valuable to me and so many others.I quickly learned that the certification was just the beginning. Once certified you need to obtain your CPEs (Continuing Professional Education credits) to maintain the credential. This seemed like a chore at first but led me to become involved with ISSA (Information Systems Security Association), ISACA (Information Systems Auditors and Controllers Association) and InfraGard (The FBI\u2019s program to guard critical infrastructure).Signing up for these professional organizations\u2019 chapter boards gave me more CPEs and got me into great conferences like ISACA\u2019s CACS and Infosec World for free. I had no idea just how many new networking and educational opportunities were in store for me, which all started with that CISSP certification.The age of acceleration is hereIt\u2019s now 2019 and I\u2019m almost finished reading an excellent book called \u201cThank You For Being Late\u201d by Thomas L. Friedman. The author points out just how life changing 2007 was. It was a tripping point in the age of acceleration. Steve Jobs announced that Apple had just reinvented the mobile phone, It had no buttons, it had the best media player, a web browser and yes it was a phone.Facebook, Twitter and Googles Android OS all showed up about this time. AT&T became the iPhone\u2019s exclusive mobile phone carrier and their wireless network traffic increased 100,000 percent from 2007 to 2014.Since that time the largest cab company the world has ever known, Uber, owns no cabs. The largest hotelier, AirBnB, owns no hotels.The age of acceleration is here. But Friedman points in his book how do we manage all of this? The world is globally connected 24 x 7 and its changing everything. Its also adding endless opportunities for state sponsored cyber criminals across the globe.We need to fill security jobs \u2013 nowISACA recently stated that 58% of all security jobs are unfilled due to shortages of security professionals. A report by Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that over 3 million cybersecurity jobs will be open by 2021. A site called Breachlevelindex.com shows the latest data breach statistics since 2013 as 14,717,608,286 data records compromised. That\u2019s over 14 billion records!With everything online, all these data breaches and a shortage of cybersecurity professionals what is the best course of action? What is being done to correct this problem?As it turns out ISC2 \u2013 the number one global source for certified cybersecurity professionals \u2013 has created a Professional Development Institute. This quote from ISC2.org summarizes their mission:\u201cWe\u2019re committed to helping our members learn grow and thrive by providing world class certification programs education and training, and professional development opportunities that inspire a safe and secure cyber world.\u00a0 With more than 140,000 certified members, we empower professionals who touch every aspect of information security\u201dAll of this is free to ISC2 membersThree new courses are online now:GDPR for Security Professionals \u2013 A Framework for SuccessDevSecOps \u2013 Integrating Security into DevOpsBuilding a Strong Security CultureI believe ISC2\u2019s new institute will be a turning point and set a new standard for professional security certifications. It will make getting CPEs much faster and accelerate learning to keep pace with the current ever-changing cyber threat landscape.It will also help to attract more people to the profession. ISC2\u2019s Professional Development Institute adds great value to all its certified members and will be a significant contribution to the professionals who secure the worlds business systems. I\u2019m so thankful for that day 17 years ago when I discovered that CISSP book in that bookstore.