Wanted: Tomorrow’s Cyber Warriors

Clearswift looks at how working with today's graduates is the way forward

The future is digital. So, to adapt we need to instill strong technology skills within the education of tomorrow’s future. As mentioned in the FT today, according to an official report UK manufacturing is about to enter a “dynamic new phase” because of emerging technologies such as 3D printing, but it will need 800,000 extra skilled people by 2020 to replace those retiring. It’s not just manufacturing that risks suffering however; as cyber-attacks are revealed as an organizations’ biggest threat following EY's 16th annual Global Information Security Survey 2013, the shortage of cyber security professionals becomes even more evident.

According to a new study by Raytheon, far too few young people are interested in a career in cyber security. Considering the evolving complexities of threats such as malware, internal threats and cyber warfare, it seems paramount to address the need to educate the next generation in cyber security to act as the future line of defense (or “Cyber Warriors” as Rolling Stone terms them). When even major players like Adobe are hacked, with at least 38 million accounts breached, it’s clear that there’s an increasing interdependence between cyber security awareness, knowledge and business acumen.

Despite this alarmingly evident need for cyber security Pros, why is there such a shortage? There’s been a lot of talk in the US recently about the shortage, with Reuters reporting that “for the governments and corporations facing increasing computer attacks, the biggest challenge is finding the right cyber warriors to fight back.”

To find out more about why there’s such a shortage, we need to talk directly with the future graduates. On the 9th October, Clearswift took part in Reading University’s recruitment fair offering future graduates the opportunity to apply for a role at the company. Reading University is local to Clearswift headquarters, its students are our future and we need to get them excited about cyber security! It seems ironic that cyber security is growing in its importance and affecting companies and the general public on a daily basis ( with immense figures reported in terms of both loss of data, personal information theft and fraud, as well as reputational loss ) but there still remains a very ‘reclusive geek’ perception associated with the job.

With National Cyber Security Month drawing to a close, has it really addressed the issue of how to get the younger generation more aware of cyber security and to apply cyber security teaching in the mainstream syllabus? Cyber security is undiscriminating as an issue; it can affect any business and the general public, so why should the skills needed to combat this not be made part of main stream education and highlighted as a very attractive career path?

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