Training a new generation of cybersecurity experts

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.


Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand globally and companies are struggling to find people with the right skills.

The impact

The World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity and its partners have launched a set of initiatives to reduce the global cybersecurity workforce gap through training and upskilling.

Salesforce, Fortinet and the Global Cyber Alliance, in partnership with the Forum, are delivering free and globally accessible cybersecurity training through the Cybersecurity Learning Hub. This platform aims to democratize access to cybersecurity career paths and has already trained over 80,000 individuals spread across all continents.

Other Centre partners are also leading the way in international cybersecurity training that identifies how organizations can best protect the value they create and the wider supply chain in which they sit.

The Cyber Polygon is the world’s largest technical training event for cybersecurity professionals and teams. Led by Sberbank subsidiary Bi.Zone, with support from the Forum and INTERPOL, this online cybersecurity training is allowing professionals from 47 countries to enhance and develop tactics for responding to targeted cyberattacks against corporate ecosystems.

“Our daily lives are built around services provided by dominant digital companies which promote economic development in their resident countries. Their resilience will define the safety of our future for years to come.”— Herman Gref, CEO, Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank

What is the challenge?

Digitalization, in tandem with the economic impact of COVID-19, has created a “double-disruption” scenario for workers. The latest World Economic Forum Future of jobs report suggests that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, with 40% of current workers’ core skills expected to change in the same period.

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Cybersecurity is one of the most relevant areas to concentrate reskilling efforts. The move to work-from-home due to the pandemic underlined the importance of cybersecurity to ensuring the smooth running of an economy, facilitating everything from food deliveries to manufacturing processes as well as the functioning of critical infrastructure such as electricity grids and the banking system.

Additionally, there is a clear need for more cybersecurity professionals. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by 350% in the past eight years and the (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study for 2021 estimates that an additional 2.7 million cybersecurity professionals are needed.

Our approach

Cybersecurity Learning Hub

The Cybersecurity Learning Hub has revealed a clear global appetite for access to cybersecurity training, with over 480,000 completions of its learning modules recorded since it was first launched in 2019.

The training modules are developed by the partners and the Centre for Cybersecurity. Some of the most popular modules include Cyber Resilience, Cyber Hygiene and Application Security. This highlights how individuals are prioritizing preparations for cyberattacks, how to prevent a cyberattack and how to build secure applications that can help them do business. The Cybersecurity Learning Hub user data displays the importance of practical skills and the value created by pooling the cybersecurity expertise of Forum partners.

“The Cybersecurity Learning Hub is a valuable training platform for those transitioning into early stage cybersecurity careers and those wishing to implement cyber hygiene best practises for themselves and across their businesses.”— Philip Reitinger, President and CEO, Global Cyber Alliance

Cyber Polygon

Leveraging the Forum network and experts, Cyber Polygon saw more than 1,200 organizations apply for 200 positions in 2021 alone. Participants include global corporations, international organizations and government agencies from several industries: technology, banking, healthcare, government agencies, law enforcement, science and academia, consulting, retail and tourism.

The cybersecurity training event focused on two scenarios: defence and response. During the first scenario, participants exercised their skills in repelling a large-scale attack on a business-critical system in real time, while in the second teams conducted a full-scale investigation of the incident.https://www.youtube.com/embed/WiGp8vIU9b4?enablejsapi=1&wmode=transparent

Additionally, concentrating on cybersecurity training creates opportunities to tackle inequality. World Economic Forum partner ABSA, in collaboration with the Maharishi Institute, have been running successful cybersecurity academies that are targeting some of the most disadvantaged groups in South Africa. This approach is scalable and shows it can reliably bring people into permanent, high-skilled work.
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How can you get involved?

As cybercrime spreads across sectors and borders, cybersecurity is proving more and more critical to the survival of businesses, organizations and countries. The Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity keeps working with its partners to allow employees and individuals to advance their skills through cybersecurity training.

By partnering with the Forum, organizations can join the Centre’s initiatives to address the cybersecurity skills gap, build resilience in industries and secure new technologies.

Discover more about these initiatives or contact us.

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