Digital innovation is one of the most exciting opportunities of our time. It seems like the futuristic depictions that once felt fictitious are quickly becoming reality. We can video call on our watches, cars can drive themselves, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) help us find victims amidst fire and rubble, and a virtual global office brings colleagues across the world together in a click.

By 2030, it is projected that 500 billion devices and things will be connected to the Internet. However, as with all opportunities, there also comes a risk. In a world where everything is connected, everything is also vulnerable, and our increasingly digital world is more exposed to cyber attacks and cyber espionage than ever before.

These attacks are dramatically impacting businesses — their bottom line, customers, and often their most prized asset, trust, and integrity. According to Cisco’s recently launched 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, more than half of all attacks resulted in financial damages of more than US$500,000.

Additionally, just as technology is evolving, cybercriminals are leveraging these new digital tools and solutions to advance their attacks. For example, while the use of encryption keeps our information safe, its increased use by attackers makes them even harder to track.

More connections mean greater exposure and a growing risk none of us can afford to ignore.

Companies recognize these threats and are scrambling to adapt as they look to deploy cybersecurity defense that can block attacks changing as fast as technology itself.

However, adapting doesn’t happen overnight. Effective security technology must be supported by trained professionals. And currently, there is a lack of talent available to help.

According to the Cisco 2018 Security Capabilities Benchmark Study, a shortage of qualified candidates was again one of the top three obstacles to security, with 27% citing a deficit of trained professionals as an obstacle (up from 25% in 2016 and 22% in 2015).

Connecting companies to game-changing talent

This unprecedented demand for cybersecurity knowledge and skills is creating exciting employment opportunities across almost every industry. It is projected that there will be two million cybersecurity openings by 2019[1].

Additionally, our research with Gartner in 2015 showed the fastest growing job families from 2014 to 2020 will include digital security and privacy (28% CAGR).

As a world leader in security research and comprehensive security solutions, Cisco is at the forefront of this global shift.  Our industry-leading threat and malware intelligence group, Cisco Talos Intelligence Research Group, is one of the largest commercial threat intelligence groups in the world, comprised of world-class researchers, analysts, and engineers.

Talos threat intelligence feeds into every security product to offer an integrated and comprehensive portfolio of security technologies. Additionally, last year, we launched the Intuitive Network, a network that adapts, learns, and protects, with security built-in for advanced protection.

Alongside this, we are world leaders in producing the curricula and skills to build the workforce of tomorrow. For the past 20 years, our world-leading Cisco Networking Academy IT skills and career building program has provided the networking skills essential to help our industry adapt to changing workforce needs.

In partnership with more than 10,000 education institutions and 22,000 instructors worldwide, Networking Academy is helping to shape workforce talent in more than 180 countries.

Deep research and insights, coupled with student and employer demand, show that it’s time to develop pathways that enable our students to transition into careers in cybersecurity.

We have therefore developed a comprehensive range of Cybersecurity courses covering the latest in cybersecurity, taking students from entry-level learning to career readiness.

Students can follow pathways based on their desired learning outcomes. For some, that may be developing a personal understanding of their own online safety, while others can take their learning to a deeper level and pursue a career in cybersecurity. Students receive practical, real-world learning experiences from qualified instructors that give them a head start when entering the workforce.

Connecting talent to life-changing opportunities

Our ongoing movement to maintain digital safety and security includes preparing the workforce that will defend and protect our digital economy. However, the security need and opportunity is about much more than the threat or even the job itself. It is about empowering people from all backgrounds and creating an inclusive future where everyone can participate in the digital economy.

Networking Academy’s innovative and flexible model reaches those at all stages of life, in remote and underserved communities, providing a pathway to a lifetime of opportunity.

For example, Networking Academy allowed Billy Anglin to channel his interest in hacking to create a successful career in cybersecurity.  Through Networking Academy, Fred Mpala coupled his business acumen gained in college with critical digital skills, establishing the confidence to become a Director of Information Security.

Nearly every job will require digital skills in the future, and as part of this security will be a critical capability for all professionals. We look forward to being a part of this change — creating a more relevant talent pool, filling the global cybersecurity skills shortage, and creating cyber heroes that will transform lives and our world.

Visit NetAcad.com today to learn more about the program and curriculum.

[1] ISACA 2016 Cybersecurity Skills Gap: https://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/be4eaf1a-eea6-4b97-b36e-b62dfc8dcbae-original.jpeg



Harbrinder Kang


Corporate Affairs