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Mitigating the Cybersecurity Skill Gap

Lisa Yeaton Digital Content and Communications Marketing Specialist Published 17 Nov 2017

In the security world, we use the phrase, “It’s not if, it’s when” a cybersecurity attack will occur.  These attacks are not solely focused on governments and businesses, but also the everyday internet user. We see news headlines almost on a weekly basis now of a new attack and this will continue to increase. 

Over the past decade we’ve seen a massive increase not only cyber-attacks, but startups trying to solve some of our greatest IT security challenges we have ever seen from the black hat hackers of the world.  From end point protection, threat intelligence and network security.

These advancements in technology help enhance our cybersecurity posture, but we still lag behind in subject matter cybersecurity experts needed to continue the mission of mitigating cyber-attacks.  A recent study conducted by AT&T states that critical gaps continue to exist in cyber defense strategies worldwide.  Of those surveyed, 80% acknowledged they have experienced a cyber breach in the past 12 months. 

Reasons attributed to cyber-attacks:

  • Lack of budget
  • Missing overall cyber defense strategy/policy
  • Inadequate training of employees
  • Unenforced authentication policies (access)
  • Lack of cybersecurity experts

The good news is some universities have identified the cybersecurity skill gap issues and are addressing them aggressively.  A great example of this progressive approach is Anderson University. 

Anderson University in collaboration with Extreme Networks, Integrated Partners, and Ascension Information Services has created a new cybersecurity engineering lab at the AU engineering center.  The lab provides hands-on learning for the university’s information security, computer science, and computer engineering majors. 

The goal is to prepare the next generation of students with real-life experience writing code, leveraging high capacity-servers and the latest in networking technology from Extreme Networks to stop cybersecurity attacks of the future. These students gain significant information security knowledge and have the opportunity to intern at companies partnering with Anderson University. 

In order to stay ahead of cyber-attacks, it’s imperative that we continue the development of our students and existing information technology engineers. Cybersecurity is not a trend or a “buzz word”, it’s the reality of the world we live in.  Cyber-attacks will only get more sophisticated and, with the emergence of the Internet of Things, self-driving cars, and more technologies to come, we must be prepared to mitigate attacks.

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