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Turning the Shortage Into a Stimulus: Taking Cues from the National Cybersecurity Skills Strategy
By Michael Alicea · April 24, 2023
The RSA Conference is the cybersecurity industry’s biggest annual event. This year, I am honored to take part in a panel, "Perspectives on the Developing Cyber Workforce Strategy,” moderated by Camille Stewart Gloster, the Deputy National Cyber Director. The panel will create an opportunity for the conference audience to understand how they can support the implementation of the soon-to-be-released National Cyber Workforce Strategy. It will focus on current and future commitments and investments in cybersecurity skills and steps our nation needs to take to close the cybersecurity skills gap.
The White House is expected to release the National Cyber Security Skills strategy, a vital addition to the administration’s National Cyber Strategy. The key to the success of both the national and the cyber skills strategies will be the degree to which the public sector, private sector, academia, and civil society stakeholders collaborate to implement real improvements in how our nation invests in its people.
As the Chief Human Resources Officer for Trellix, I see first-hand how the cybersecurity skills shortage hurts our customers and business partners. According to the (ISC)² 2022 Workforce Study, the global cybersecurity skills gap is 3.4 million people. As an industry, we need to cultivate and nurture a new workforce by removing barriers to entry and actively working to recruit people from diverse backgrounds and talents. To do this, we must think and act differently.
I look forward to discussing the role we’re playing at Trellix to do our part. We have redesigned our job roles to focus on skills, not just degrees or how many years someone has been in a role, to ensure we recruit, retain, and promote the most talented, most diverse workforce possible.
Beyond changing how we run our own business, we have made a commitment to partner with nonprofits, to show how businesses can donate their time, money, and ability to make an impact. One example is our partnership with Gotara, a global career growth platform for women in STEM+. Through a series of development experiences—including firsthand and personalized opportunities guided by Gotara’s STAR Program advisors—we’re combating unconscious bias and empowering women to navigate and grow their careers. Our collaboration with Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) helps equip Latinos with soft skills—like communication and leadership — and hard skills related to cybersecurity. This is an example of a partnership with the potential to scale on a national basis, with the support of the administration.
As part of our commitment to closing the cybersecurity skills gap, Trellix is working with policy makers to implement lasting change. We commend the administration’s focus on closing the cybersecurity skills gap by taking a comprehensive and coordinated approach to expanding our nation’s cyber workforce, improving its diversity, and increasing access to cyber education and training pathways. I am thrilled to take part in this RSA panel led by Camille Stewart Gloster, and my fellow panelists, Diana Burley, Vice-Provost, American University and Tara Wisniewski, Executive Vice President, (ISC)².
Following RSA, I look forward to sharing key takeaways from the panel so as an industry we can steadily grow and better our nation’s cyber workforce.
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