Watch out hackers, the Biden administration is making a big push to close the cybersecurity skills gap by launching programs aimed at creating professional that can handle these ever-evolving threats.
The online world is riddled with threats at this point in history. Ransomware attacks, security breaches, and run-of-the-mill phishing scams have become commonplace throughout the internet, and businesses and individuals alike are having trouble keeping up with them.
Now, the US government is investing some money to train more and more cybersecurity professionals that can fight back against these nefarious hackers.
Biden Administration to Launch Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Programs
Announced on Tuesday, the Biden administration plans to launch hundreds of cybersecurity apprenticeship programs in tandem with tech firms across the country. The initiative will be significantly expedited with programs launching “in as little as 48 hours.”
The effort to close the cybersecurity skills gap will not be an easy one, unfortunately. According to some reports, there are as many as 700,000 open cybersecurity roles in the US, leaving businesses and government agencies vulnerable to cyber attacks.
The effort to recruit more cybersecurity professionals will focus on young people, women and minorities, which are woefully underrepresented in cybersecurity. Outside of the obvious benefits of diversity in any field, the sheer number of roles to fill means that everyone needs to be included.
“We're not going to find 700,000 people if we're only looking for white men. It's not going to happen,” said Gina Raimondo, White House Commerce Secretary.
Is the Cybersecurity Skills Gap That Bad?
In so many words, yes. Countless cybersecurity roles continue to go unassigned, and businesses and government agencies are flying blind when it comes to most threats. Considering online threats cost these organizations millions of dollars in lost data, it's safe to say making an effort to solve the problem is in everyone's best interests.
“The cybersecurity talent shortage is one of the most significant and threatening challenges facing our industry today. We all need to think differently about the problem,” said Barbara Massa, executive vice president at the cybersecurity firm Mandiant. “We need more cyber professionals entering the career field. And a cybersecurity career should be in reach for anyone who wishes to pursue it. We need more pathways to cyber careers and we need them as soon as possible.”
Without this program, things could get a lot worse too. In addition to the 700,000 open roles across the country, cybersecurity professionals that are currently working are planning to quit in the near future. Suffice it to say, this initiative from the Biden administration could be a big step in the right direction for the entire cybersecurity industry.
If you're a business without a cybersecurity professional on staff, you aren't completely lost. There are tools like password managers, VPNs, and antivirus software that can at least somewhat protect you against these threats. Still, we recommend getting someone on staff soon to protect you against larger threats looming around the corner.