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UK police team up with Cisco for cyber security training

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Cisco Networking Academy has announced plans to team up with the UK’s police force in a bid to make the country’s cyber space a safer environment.

The initiative will see officers all over the country trained in best cyber security practices and has been described as a ‘pivotal partnership’.

As well as sharing its expertise in the field of cyber security, Cisco will also be running scaleable and accessible programmes for police officers, of which the company revealed there are at least 12,000 across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland currently maintaining the safety and security of online and offline worlds. 

“We are very pleased to be working with Cisco Networking Academy. By joining the programme, forces can access training designed to raise awareness and increase their understanding of cybercrime and cyber threats, while also gaining insights into the procedures used to defend networks,” said Andy Beet, National Police Chiefs’ Council, Data Communications Group, Futures Lead. 

“It’s important for all police officers to understand cybersecurity as fully as possible; by doing so they can develop their knowledge in this increasingly important area, improving security in both their professional and personal lives,” Beet concluded.

Reading is UK’s top destination for cybersecurity professionals

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A new study has revealed the top UK cities for those working in the cybersecurity industry, measured against a criteria of salary levels, affordability, job availability and sector growth potential.

Reading came out top of the rankings, followed by Leeds, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester, according to data pulled together by cyber security training outfit, Crucial Academy.

The research makes for interesting reading (no pun intended) against the backdrop of the perceived skills gap within the UK’s cybersecurity community, and beyond – the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) estimates a global shortage of 2 million cyber security professionals by 2019, according to the UK House of Lords Digital Skills Committee.

In August, research from Databarracks revealed only 56 per cent of UK firms believe they have sufficient cybersecurity skills in-house to deal with the numerous threats they are facing, according to new research.

Databarracks questioned over 400 IT decision makers in the UK as part of its 10th annual, survey in order to understand their views on a series of issues relating to IT security and business continuity.

And 12 months ago the UK Government said it was “acutely aware” of the need for more skilled cyber security professionals working within the sector, and that it was embarking on a series of initiatives to help promote the profession.

Discussing the concern with members of UK technology industry body TechUK, Matt Parsons, head of cyber security skills at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said at the time: “We are looking at a number of ways to retrain people who are interested in moving into the industry at pace and at scale.

“Using what we have learned, we are planning to scale up and look at how we can support the cyber security industry – and get more people in at a quicker rate.”

Neil Williams, CEO of Crucial Academy, said: “The cyber security skills gap is a growing issue across the UK. Every city in the ranking is a tech hub within its own right, however, it is fascinating to see which cities, based on these factors, may be more attractive to the much-needed talent pool of cyber security professionals.”

Tom Marcus, an MI5 veteran who works with Crucial Academy, said: “Cyber security is one of the most serious issues UK business faces today. For young people leaving education, ex-military people looking to transition to civilian life or those looking for a career change, there is no career no more Brexit-proof than cyber security.”

40% of Americans would retrain with cybersecurity jobs in mind

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A new survey shows that not only are the majority of Americans concerned about cybersecurity threats, but many are willing to consider returning to college to pursue a cybersecurity education – especially if their employer pays for it.

The State of the Cybersecurity Workforce and Higher Education survey, conducted through Engine Insight’s Online CARAVAN omnibus, asked US adults ages 18 and up for their opinions on and awareness of the cybersecurity field, as well as the role that higher education plays in it.

Of the 1,004 adults surveyed, 41 percent said they would probably or definitely consider returning to college to earn a certificate or degree to prepare for a cybersecurity job.

However, willingness rose to 72 percent if current employers were willing to pay for respondents’ education in preparation for an in-house cybersecurity job. Those respondents most willing to consider pursuing an employer-funded cyber education were between the ages of 35 and 44.

“These findings are great news for employers seeking to address the cyber skills gap within their organizations yet facing recruitment challenges,” said Melissa Marcello, associate vice president at Champlain College Online. “Our survey shows that employers have a ready and willing pool of future cyber experts within their current workforce, if they’re willing to provide the resources and support to upskill and train them.”

Other key findings from Champlain’s survey:

  • Overall, 88 percent of surveyed adults said they were very or somewhat concerned about cybersecurity threats impacting them personally, with older respondents showing greater concern than younger ones.  A full 50 percent of respondents ages 54 to 72 said they were “very concerned” about such threats.
  • 68 percent of respondents were confident in colleges and universities’ abilities to create solutions that address cyber threats-nearly as confident as they were in the private sector and significantly more confident than they were in the government.
  • When presented with various roles that colleges and universities could play in reducing cyber threats and improving information security, 90 percent of respondents felt that higher education institutions should ensure all college students-regardless of major-have a basic cybersecurity education.
  • Feeling that it was too late to consider a career change was the primary reason identified by respondents for not considering returning to college to prepare for a cybersecurity job. About one-fifth (22 percent) of respondents felt that way, including many younger respondents in prime career-changing years.
  • Women (13 percent) were significantly more likely than men (6 percent) to say they didn’t think they had what it takes to be successful in a technical field.
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents – 85 percent – believed that more should be done to encourage women to enter the cybersecurity field. Perhaps surprisingly, respondents age 65 or over were significantly more likely (94 percent) to feel this way than any other age group.

“Cybersecurity is crucial to so many industries that it’s vital for everyone, regardless of gender, age or career field, to have at least a baseline understanding of cyber principles,” said Kathleen Hyde, chair of cybersecurity programs at Champlain College Online. “For those seeking more, like career changers, nearly everyone is an ideal candidate for a cybersecurity degree or certificate program because of the vast landscape.”

Champlain College Online fielded its online cybersecurity survey from June 21-24, 2018, with a randomized, nationally representative sample of 1,004 U.S. adults ages 18 and above.