Inside our IT bubble, leaders are aware of the cybersecurity skills shortage that plagues enterprises. As concerning as this challenge is, it may come as a surprise to the general public despite headlines over record ransoms, data leaks, and network breaches. Simply put, there are many more position openings than individuals available to fill them. This imbalance is creating a security gap that cybercriminals are taking advantage of.
Vying for experienced security professionals is highly competitive and costly for companies and organizations of all sizes. Unfortunately, expensive recruiting campaigns can leave under sourced companies, non-profits, and government organizations left in the cold against those with greater recruiting tools. And while larger corporations may have greater access to premier and efficient cyber talent, they often find themselves repeatedly competing for the same talent pool. Still, the beat goes on with the threat landscape growing more complex by the day.
What IT leaders are looking for is a resource to address this critical security gap by cultivating new, diverse talent pools that leverage underutilized human capital. That is why WEI is proud to announce its partnership with CyberTrust Massachusetts, a nonprofit organization focused on building cybersecurity efforts across the commonwealth through hands-on training and education. The organization is aiming to address state-wide needs including:
- Inadequate security resources/practices: Organizations across Massachusetts are facing immense challenges to identify affordable resources to help them better defend against next-gen cyber threats and sustain modern cyber resiliency. This only heightens the need for businesses, non-profits, and local government to tap into a regional hub for meaningful cybersecurity development and support.
- Skills shortage: As we’ve recently touched on, there is a shortage of trained workers available to meet next-gen cybersecurity demands. According to CyberSeek, there are currently 20,000-plus cybersecurity job openings in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, communities of color and women are underrepresented in the cybersecurity workforce. This makes this cyber workforce shortage a unique opportunity for demographics that are frequently overlooked due to a lack of opportunity to obtain hands-on cybersecurity experience.
Cyber Range Offering
To combat the challenges bulleted above, MassCyberCenter has provided grants to Bridgewater State University and Springfield Technical Community College to support the establishment of SOC and Cyber Range facilities. Students gain much more than just textbook knowledge or virtual simulation training, as these facilities are designed to equip students with highly sought-after skills. These skills are partly learned through competitive cyber war gaming – an interactive exercise that places students in a simulated cyberattack environment. This includes real-life scenarios such as a data breach, discovery of sophisticated malware, and much more. Response from participating students has been overwhelmingly positive.
WEI’s Proud Participation
At WEI, we are aware of the challenges CyberTrust is taking on. With more than 20,000 cybersecurity job openings in Massachusetts, our experts have looked for ways to close the skills gap. Just as important, however, is CyberTrust’s mission to involve students of diverse populations and backgrounds, an endeavor that WEI has committed to with its new service, the WEI Technical Apprenticeship for Diverse Candidates. This four-step training and mentoring process is specifically tailored to customer needs, roles, tools, and tech stack. It took no time for us to realize the values of CyberTrust Massachusetts connect with those of our own. Says WEI President Belisario Rosas:
“The CyberTrust mission directly correlates with the values of WEI as we focus on building a workforce representative of a diverse community—including people of all backgrounds who are passionate about solving complex problems.”
With a proven security team anchored by some of the top security professionals in the industry, WEI is looking forward to providing invaluable insights and knowledge to these promising students. Says WEI Cybersecurity GTM Leader Todd Humphreys:
“This program provides WEI with a unique opportunity to apply its cybersecurity expertise in ways that not only help fortify the regional security landscape but to also contribute to a sustainable pipeline of cyber talent that is critically lacking right now. We believe that the next generation of security leadership is already being educated at Massachusetts’ higher education institutions. WEI can’t wait to work with them.”
Through our involvement with CyberTrust, WEI aims to contribute to an expanded and more diverse workforce that not only benefits our cyber customers, but also helps enrich the northeast region. Whether you're a student seeking a direct path into a cybersecurity career, a business in search of emerging talent, or a company with valuable resources and expertise to offer, we welcome you to join us in this remarkable initiative.
Next Steps: WEI provides enterprises with increased visibility at all touch points of the IT estate, and that includes at the edge and applications within the data center. How can we help your enterprise with its current and future cybersecurity architecture? Contact our experts today to get started.