NewsMay 5, 2017 @ 7:31 AM

How Will ‘New Collar’ Skills Impact the Cybersecurity Skills Gap?

If you follow me at all, whether it’s here on SecurityIntelligence, on Twitter or on LinkedIn, you know that one of my hot buttons is the cybersecurity skills gap. Cybercrime is a global problem that cost organizations $450 billion in 2016 alone. Fighting it requires skills to prevent, detect, respond and remediate attacks.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to address the skills gap we are facing, which is expected to grow to 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022.

Filling the Skills Gap With New Collar Workers

At IBM, we are taking various steps to build awareness around the need for cybersecurity skills and to provide pathways for building such skills. These steps include programs such as #IBMCyberDay4Girls, our first-ever IBM Women in Cybersecurity Technical Seminar, and our comprehensive IBM Academic Initiative. However, we continue to seek new ways to address the ever-increasing skills shortage.

One of our latest endeavors centers around the notion of “new collar” skills. IBM believes many cybersecurity jobs can be filled through an approach that involves hiring resources who may not have traditional college degrees, but do have the requisite technical skills and aptitudes. To tap into these skills, we must engage in the training of such resources, whether it is by partnering with community colleges, sponsoring Pathways in Technology (P-Tech) schools or emphasizing training and certification programs for military veterans.

It’s Not Where You Start – It’s How You Finish

On May 9, the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) will publish a new executive report titled “It’s Not Where You Start — It’s How You Finish: Addressing the Cybersecurity Skills Gap With a New Collar Approach.” To learn more about IBM’s point of view on this topic, join David Jarvis, Diana Kelley and me for a webinar in which we will discuss why this new collar approach is an important new piece of a broader strategy that IBM and the greater cybersecurity community should take to address the skills gap.

Join the May 9 webinar: Addressing the Cybersecurity Skills Gap with a New Collar Approach

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Heather Ricciuto

Security Academic Initiative Leader, IBM

Heather Ricciuto is Global Leader of IBM Security’s Academic Initiative, partnering with educational and research institutions around the globe to develop top cybersecurity talent and close the skills gap. Her passions include workforce diversity, the advancement of women, volunteering and continuous learning. Heather is active in several initiatives involving the recruitment, retention and advancement of women at IBM. These include developing and delivering cyber camps for girls in grades 6 to 8, volunteering at IBM EX.I.T.E. camps and leading a recruiting committee for Women in Security Excelling (WISE) at IBM.