Cultivating the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Experts
By Bryan Palma · March 28, 2022
As cybersecurity threats from nation-state actors grow in volume and sophistication, the worldwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals grows as well. Countries like Russia and China invest deeply in nurturing cybersecurity talent through state-funded education. Other nations, like the United States, do not. What short and long-term actions can Americans ask public leaders to champion? What are the most exciting and innovative ways we can inspire, train and prepare new generations of experts to protect the U.S.?
In 2016, a Center for Strategic and International Studies study found 82 percent of respondents across eight countries reported a lack of cybersecurity skills within their organization. 71 percent acknowledged the critical global shortage of skilled professionals. The cybersecurity skills shortage is notable in the U.S. federal government, where there is an estimated 35,000 openings for cybersecurity professionals.
Launch AmeriCorps for Cyber, Cybersecurity Corps
The U.S. is at a competitive disadvantage in developing skills to compete against countries using a ‘whole of government’ approach to train security practitioners. Both Russia and Israel use compulsory service to build their cyber skills at scale. To compete, the U.S. could create a cybersecurity version of the federal program, Corporation for National and Community Service, aka AmeriCorps.
Increase Scholarship Funding
Americans should ask our leaders to increase funding for the Cyber Corps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program. The program provides grants to 70 institutions across the country to offer scholarships to grow a cadre of information assurance specialists. The program is funded at $55 million a year, covering 2,000 students. Given our talent deficit, we need to increase the size of the program, for example a $200 million program would support 6,400 students.
Focus on Diversity
The talent pool needs to expand not only in size, but diversity. According to Aspen Digital Tech Policy Hub's latest report, only 4% of cybersecurity workers self-identify as Hispanic, 9% as Black, and 24% as women. According to the American Association of University Women, most community college students are women and 41% are minorities. If the SFS program participation was broadened from research universities to community colleges, we could achieve a larger, and more diverse talent pool.
Jump-Start Education in Kindergarten
Let’s focus on getting K-12 students interested in pursuing STEM-related careers. By creating a consistent age-appropriate cybersecurity curriculum for K-12, we can break down social and diversity barriers so younger students are inspired to succeed in cyber and advanced technology fields.
Better Policies. Broader Programs. A Brighter Cyber Future.
These recommendations are only the start of what we can do to increase the number and diversity of cybersecurity professionals. During June’s RSA Conference, I will explore this topic further. Join me.
Dec 4, 2023
Trellix Extends Virtual Intrusion Prevention System with AWS Gateway Load Balancer
Nov 28, 2023
Board Support Remains Critical as Majority of CISOs Experience Repeat Cyber Attacks
Nov 27, 2023
Trellix Announces Cybersecurity Generative AI Innovations Powered by Amazon Bedrock
Nov 22, 2023
Trellix Hosts Zero Trust Strategy Virtual Forum
Nov 16, 2023
Trellix Detects Collaboration by Cybercriminals and Nation-States
The latest from our newsroom
By Brian B. Brown · October 16, 2023
Get a recap of key learnings from the Ransomware Detection and Response Virtual Summit and learn to protect your organization against ransomware attacks.
By Nico Devoti · October 9, 2023
Trellix SIA Business Development lead explains the evolution of Trellix Security Innovation Alliance (SIA) partner program, its unique benefits, and why this should be top of mind for customers.
Get the latest
We’re no strangers to cybersecurity. But we are a new company.
Stay up to date as we evolve.
Zero spam. Unsubscribe at any time.