Visitors look at a demonstration of cybersecurity protection tools at a cybersecurity protection exhibition for youth in Shanghai on Sept. 23, 2017. (Photo/Xinhua)
ISACA, formerly the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, said it sees great strategic importance in China, especially its cybersecurity sector, and has increased its investment in the country by establishing a Beijing office to support the nation's digital transformation and business technology workforce.
"Establishing ISACA's presence in China and supporting the professional community throughout the country marks a significant milestone in ISACA's long-standing relationship with China," said Matt Loeb, CEO of ISACA.
The office, which is ISACA's first outside the United States, will provide a base for the organization to localize and expand its professional development, learning and credentialing offerings in technology audit and assurance, governance, risk, and information and cybersecurity.
It has begun serving customers in China, particularly those in the banking and financial services sectors, as well as expanding relationships with governments at various levels.
Leob said China is at a critical stage of accelerating its technology-led economy. "We intend to work locally in China and partner with the government, industry, academic community and local associations to support what China needs to do to address the challenges of digital transformation."
"A key challenge that we face worldwide and especially in China is what I call the cyber talent gap. We don't have enough people to address the cyber challenges. Some experts believe by 2020 there will be 2 million open cybersecurity positions that cannot be filled," said Rob Clyde, chairman of the board at ISACA, adding more training and education are needed.
Clyde applauded China's efforts related to data security laws and regulations, which he described as a great step. He said China has the largest number of internet users and pays attention to improving its capacity in information and cybersecurity.
According to a report from consultancy PwC, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, the average cybersecurity budget of Chinese survey respondents is 23.5 percent higher than the global average, with a total average budget of $6.3 million per respondent.
Founded in 1969 in the US, ISACA leverages the expertise of its more than 450,000 engaged professionals from backgrounds in information and cybersecurity, governance, assurance, risk and innovation, as well as its enterprise performance subsidiary.
It has a presence in more than 188 countries and regions, with 217 chapters and more than 135,000 members.
"With the rapid development of China's social economy, especially the popularization of network information, the IT industry has been developing rapidly in recent years. In comparison, the development of the IT industry's audit sector has lagged behind," said Chen Zhong, vice-president of the China Software Industry Association.
Chen said IT audits and risk appraisal will be carried out more frequently, and the links between cybersecurity and IT audits will become increasingly closer, adding IT auditors and related resources are in even shorter supply.