Cybersecurity: Now is the Time to Engage in Talent Training SolutionsFebruary 15, 2021 | By Wayne O'Neill
The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) releases a monthly summary of cyber attacks and significant cybersecurity incidents across the globe. The monthly report serves as a wake-up call to the real world activities of bad actors, hackers, and state-sponsored attackers that are looking for vulnerabilities to exploit.
One such attack in January 2021 sought to exploit seemingly innocuous social media activity. According to the CSIS report, a group of state-sponsored hackers launched a “sophisticated social engineering campaign against cybersecurity researchers.” Their tactics were to use fake Twitter accounts and a fake blog to lure unsuspecting individuals into a trap of opening infected attachments in emails.
As the level of sophistication continues to rise in cyber attacks, so does the need for advanced cybersecurity training for cybersecurity professionals. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of talent in the industry. At last count, there was a shortfall of approximately 3.2 million qualified workers, according to a 2020 Cybersecurity Workforce Study. And, the talent that is in the industry is having a difficult time keeping up with incident response, software development to sniff out these sophisticated attacks, and other challenges safely managing information systems.
That’s why it is critical for both the private and public sectors to come together and engage in cybersecurity training solutions that create new cybersecurity jobs for qualified talent.
The Breeding Ground is Ready for Cybersecurity Training
There is no better breeding ground for cybersecurity training than on college campuses. Universities and colleges across the U.S. are starting to pick up the pace of emphasizing cybersecurity degree programs and cybersecurity courses to educate the next generation of security engineers and information security analysts.
More can be done, though. As more companies look to hire for security manager roles and similar IT/technology leadership positions, they will be looking for a higher caliber of talent that knows more than just how to stare at a computer and solve problems. Talent will also need to be able to lead projects, lead others, and identify comprehensive solutions that are more strategic than tactical.
The next generation of security professionals need a deeper understanding of cybersecurity from a holistic viewpoint. In other words, how does cybersecurity go hand in hand with supporting the business as a whole? It’s not just about working in a vacuum to solve cybersecurity problems. Cybersecurity leaders need to be versatile enough to understand the data science, understand the business problem, and communicate solutions to upper management.
It’s challenging to find a professional who possesses this combination of skills to understand the technical nature of cybersecurity, synthesize information to simplify communication with management, and spearhead the implementation of the right-size solution to solve problems.
That’s why it’s important to be able to identify different types of students — beyond just the engineering-types — that are best-suited for cybersecurity training programs.
Think Differently About Cybersecurity Recruitment
In some ways, a successful approach to cybersecurity is more art than science. It’s not just about crunching numbers, looking for vulnerabilities, analyzing code, and using data to assess threats. There is also a psychological element of needing to be able to think and get inside the head of a bad actor to understand what they are trying to accomplish.
You might find this type of future cybersecurity leader in a completely unexpected degree program, such as liberal arts. Liberal arts majors — or college students in similar programs — develop a deep understanding of sociology, psychology, philosophy, and creative arts. They are ready-made to think creatively and critically about cybersecurity.
These students may need to ramp up their understanding of the technical side of cybersecurity, but that can be taught. Their value is already having critical thinking skills and strong creativity to approach problems differently and work toward solving problems from all angles.
That’s what the future of cybersecurity calls for leaders who have the ability to outsmart, outwit, and outthink bad actors looking to launch even more sophisticated attacks on entities in the public and private sectors.
The key for cybersecurity training programs on university campuses is to be able to identify and attract these types of leaders by offering them a clear career path and selling them on the ability to advance your career in an exciting field that needs a certain skill set.
How RESET Can Help Facilitate Cybersecurity Training Programs
At RESET, we are actively working to help close the cybersecurity talent gap. Through our dedicated program, the Cyber Range Concierge, we facilitate the interaction between higher education, the public sector, and private organizations to create an environment of collaborative training.
Our goal is to create an environment where students work with cybersecurity experts to work together on research, skill development, and training. It’s about creating a cybersecurity ecosystem that enables college students to receive hands-on experience and enables public and private organizations to access high-quality talent to fill needed roles.
We encourage you to find out how to participate in our program. We are proactively looking to address the growing need for cybersecurity professionals by bringing together interested parties to engage in talent training solutions.
– Contact us today to discuss your interest in our cybersecurity training program.
– Download our Cyber Range Concierge brochure to find out more.