Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

IBM Launches Cybersecurity Skills Initiative

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IBM Security today announced an initiative to help address the projected 1.8 million-person cybersecurity worker shortage.

As part of this initiative, IBM is sponsoring alternative education models such as Hacker Highschool and Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), while defining new workforce approaches to reach a broader pipeline of employees based on skills, experience and aptitudes as opposed to traditional hiring models which focus on degrees alone.

To help overcome the cybersecurity talent shortage and build the skills needed for the modern security workforce, IBM Security is investing in several initiatives including:

  • New collaboration with the Hacker Highschool project, an open cybersecurity training program for teens and young adults.
  • Continued investment in skills-based education, training & recruitment, including vocational training, coding camps, professional certification programs and innovative public/private education models like P-TECH (which IBM pioneered in 2011).  
  • Outlining a  strategic workforce approach for the security industry with practical steps that all organizations can take to rethink their own cybersecurity talent models, via a new industry whitepaper from IBM Institute for Business Value.

“The cybercrime landscape is evolving rapidly, yet many organizations are still approaching their cybersecurity education and hiring in the same way they were 20 years ago,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, General Manager of IBM Security. “The truth is that many of the critical cybersecurity roles we need to fill don’t require a traditional four-year technical degree. Industry leaders need to take an active part in resolving the talent issues we’re facing, by investing in new models and extending the pipeline to focus on hands-on skills and experience over degrees alone.” 

Rethinking Cybersecurity Training & Education

More than half of security hiring managers say that practical, hands-on experience is the most important qualification for a cybersecurity candidate.

Yet the majority of students are not given the opportunity to learn these security skills in a traditional classroom setting, particularly at a high school level. In fact, two out of three high schoolers say the idea of a career in cybersecurity had never been mentioned to them by a teacher, guidance or career counselor.

IBM Security is investing in alternative education models that focus on bringing cybersecurity exposure and skills to students at a younger age.

This includes a new initiative with ISECOM, a non-profit organization which provides Hacker Highschool, open cybersecurity courses designed specifically for teenagers to develop the critical thinking and hands-on, technical skills needed for today’s security professionals.

As part of this collaboration, IBM will provide sponsorship, expert guidance and IBM Security tools for a new Hacker Highschool lesson focused on the skills needed for an entry-level security operation center (SOC) analyst – a position that is in particular demand.

Students completing the Hacker Highschool curriculum will also have the opportunity for hands-on practice with IBM Security QRadar software, a deep security analytics technology used in thousands of security operation centers around the globe to help monitor malicious activity and detect attacks.

With the wide variety of cybersecurity roles that exist today, many of the core attributes and skills needed to succeed in this industry can be developed outside traditional four-year, university degree programs.

Vocational schools, associate degree programs, military veterans programs, coding camps and skills-based certifications are all great sources of cybersecurity talent which are often overlooked in traditional hiring and recruitment programs.

To get the latest insights on how IBM is helping security leaders tackle tough risk and security challenges, visit ibm.com/security/ciso.

Written by turbotodd

May 30, 2017 at 9:32 am

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