Lithys 2018: (ISC)² - B2C Community Innovator

Lithys 2018: (ISC)² - B2C Community Innovator

Company: (ISC)²

Company background: (ISC)² is an international nonprofit membership association focused on inspiring a safe and secure cyber world. Best known for the acclaimed Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) certification, (ISC)² offers a portfolio of credentials that are part of a holistic, pragmatic approach to security. Our membership, over 138,000 strong, is made up of certified cyber, information, software and infrastructure security professionals who are making a difference and helping to advance the industry. Our vision is supported by our commitment to educate and reach the general public through our charitable foundation – The Center for Cyber Safety and Education™. For more information on (ISC)², visit

Contact: Samantha O'Connor

Title: Online Community Manager

Related URLs:

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Lithy category: B2C Community Innovator

1. Describe the innovation(s) and how you settled on the decision to innovate (user request, Lithium suggestion, internal idea, etc.)

Our members are at the center of everything we do. As our Community approaches its first anniversary, we strive to innovate based on member feedback and activity because even though we manage the Community, we believe the users own it. We‘ve innovated new features and forums based on member interests and requests, not only for the Community, but our entire organization. We’ve worked with various internal teams behind the scenes to address these needs, often bringing in the Community at large to help finalize our plans.

For example, we had a request from our members to create an area in the Community where they could troubleshoot and pose questions to their colleagues. We asked for feedback from the larger Community to ensure that there was enough support from all members for a new area to be created.

Another member-driven change in our Community was creating private spaces for members based on the certifications they hold. This innovation, while not specifically driven by documented requests, came from listening and talking with members to see what they wanted and needed out of the Community.

Finally, we restructured our Community after seeing initial confusion about where to go and where to post. We divided one category of the Community into two – one focused on the organization and another for general discussions. This allowed us to create a foundation for future boards while also helping to guide users to the appropriate areas.



All these initiatives helped our members to create deeper relationships with each other, with the Community team, and with the Community itself. We encourage future requests, both internal and external, to help enrich our Community with knowledge, cultivate a sense of belonging, and provide a platform to give people a voice in the industry.  

2. Tell us about how you made it happen Did you stage it first, who got an early look, how you drove adoption/use, and any iterations you had to make to get it right.

Our innovations are staged and thoroughly tested before being created in our Production environment. We believe that by doing this, it creates less friction during updates and provides confidence in changes that are made to the larger Community. So far, we have not needed any iterations, which we credit to our relationship with our Community members and understanding their needs and desires.

We always strive to create an open atmosphere in our Community to help our members and internal teams get things right the first time. We engage members both publicly and privately by asking questions to gain insight into their experiences and preferences. For example, when we implemented our new technical board, we reached out to the Community to gauge support for the idea. Once we felt we had enough support from the Community members, we consulted with our internal teams. As a final step, we placed a poll on the homepage to empower users to name this new “tech” area that they requested. We started and ended with Community user feedback, which helped create interest in this new board before it was even developed.


For our other initiatives, we drove adoption and use by being open and transparent about upcoming changes to the site. While some users were resistant at first, we‘ve seen Community members stepping in and standing up for the decisions and helping to steer others toward adopting the features. We have seen this pattern happen frequently, which has helped us to identify key users and develop a new Super User program. We are currently working with a set of members to beta test and finalize a program built for our members, by our members. This way we are ensuring it will be exactly what our Community needs.

3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business.
By taking this approach, engaging all members, and asking for input, we are ensuring the changes we make are sustainable and not just addressing one-off requests. We also believe that by keeping our members informed throughout the process and bringing them in to help us make decisions creates a richer Community experience and makes members feel more empowered and connected to the Community and our organization.

Our Community goals are focused on creating rich, engaging experiences for our certified members and those of the larger cybersecurity profession. By innovating in the Community based on user-driven requests and feedback, we are working to create long-term Community members who come back time and time again. These members help to create engaging content, mentor other Community members, and advance the cybersecurity profession in general. This helps our organization uphold core values, enrich membership, and foster all generations in creating a safe and secure cyber world.

The results are in our metrics. Average session time in the Community has increased month over month by 4.2% and total users visiting the Community is increasing at a rate of 6.0% per month.


From a recent Value Analytics survey, we learned that 72% of users are finding what they are looking for on the Community! Outside of these metrics, we’re also learning about visitor satisfaction and receiving comments like: “Thank you, the Community is fun and informative.”; “I feel confident that (ISC)² is concerned about my improvement in the field of Information Security and is expanding the opportunities to learn from each other.”; “Thanks for creating the Community. I think it is a terrific service to the (ISC)² community.”; and “Keep up the great work. BIG LOVE.”


72% of users are finding what they are looking for on the Community - these are amazing stats! Congrats, Samantha and team!

Thanks, @AliciaS! It is definitely something we are proud of 🙂