As technology becomes more intertwined with our lives and the trend of IoT increases, businesses are increasingly innovating through technology and bringing cybersecurity to the forefront. Just glancing at the news shows the growing number of data breaches, as more companies and customers are exposed through the technologies they rely on. However, this also shows that the number of cybercriminals is growing, attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and there seems to be no shortage of evolving talent on the attacking end.
Cisco has called out a very true and troubling fact which is that there is a shortage of qualified talent in the cybersecurity industry. Many businesses don’t have the appropriately skilled individuals they need to defend against the growing Cybercrime industry. More talent is needed to defend, innovate, and change businesses from a reactive to a proactive security approach.
To “close this security skills gap,” Cisco has created the Global Cybersecurity Scholarship program. The program is a $10 Million investment into the training and mentorship of students and professionals to succeed in the ever-evolving security industry. The scholarship is a three-month program that provides courseware and training for the following exams:
- Understanding Cisco Cyber Security Fundamentals (SECFND)
- Implementing Cisco Cyber Security Operations (SECOPS)
The SECFND and SECOPS exams create the new CCNA Cyber Ops certification. This associate level certification is meant to prepare candidates as Security Analysts within a Security Operations Center (SOC). In addition, mentorship and coaching are provided by select Cisco Authorized Learning Partners throughout the program.
I have been lucky enough to have been chosen to participate in the Cohort 5 session of the program. The Cohort start date is December 28, 2017 and ends April 28, 2018. I will be sure to fully summarize my thoughts on the program and the certification once I complete it. Our group was given early access to the material, and my initial thoughts on the program are positive. I am glad to see more investment in growing future talent in the security industry.
Additional information about the Cybersecurity Scholarship Program can be found here.