Submission By: Tejas Vashi


Tejas pic2.jpgToday's information security challenges are more complex than ever. The proliferation of digital strategies has given cybercriminals the means and opportunity to appropriate personal and corporate information, steal money, or both.

The Internet of Things (IoT), for example, allows sensors and endpoint devices to gather, and make available, huge amounts of data intelligence. This data can be analyzed and leveraged to drive business decisions or take real-time actions. Other digital technologies, such as mobility and cloud, are used to establish this connectivity across people and things. While realizing business outcomes, this influx of data intelligence and connectedness creates more opportunities and reason for cyberthieves and hackers to carry out cybercrimes.

In our hyperconnected digital world, trust is huge. Organizations must be able to trust the systems that manage and process their data. They need to trust the people and partners who use the data. And they want to trust the systems and controls and the fundamental technologies and processes that protect that data.

That is why we need a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity. We must implement a security system that stops threats before, during, and after an attack, protects business and governments, and helps them build trust, adapt faster, and add greater value for their users.

To plan for the future, and build digitized businesses and communities, a security mindset is critical for everyone.

One tiny problem: the workers with these skills are hard to come by.

Exploding Need for Cybersecurity Skills

The security landscape is changing fast. Even if organizations could hire or develop security professionals fast enough, they often don’t know where to begin. Lack of skills in the industry makes it difficult to hire. The security landscape is changing so fast that validating skills is another hurdle. As such, organizations are left to outsource, poach talent from other companies or agencies, or simply throw their hands in the air and hope things get better.

That isn’t good enough.

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, let’s talk about what Cisco is doing to make things better.

cybersecurity-professional-pipeline.jpgFirst, let’s take a look at the security landscape.

Online criminals today are using advanced technology and tactics. Their efforts to breach network security, hijack controls, and steal data are outpacing the ability of IT and security professionals to keep up.

Security used to just be about protecting the network. Not anymore.

A comprehensive security approach is needed, one that covers all aspects of IT: identifying, isolating, monitoring, and proactively preventing threats. The industry faces an extreme shortage of professionals with security operations skills. The security talent shortage makes this problem very challenging. But the stakes are simply too high to ignore it.

Training for the Future, Training for Today

To that end, Cisco has invested $10 million in a Global Cybersecurity Scholarship. The two-year program’s goal: increase the pool of talent with security skills.

The scholarship funds learners pursuing Cisco’s new CCNA Cyber Ops certification. This certification is designed to create cybersecurity operations analysts.

Cisco training helps ensure job readiness to meet network defense challenges in the real world. Training enables individuals to handle current and future network security demands. This helps businesses reskill their staff and hire necessary new talent.

Looking Ahead

This year, the theme of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is “Our Shared Responsibility.”

At Cisco, we take that responsibility very seriously.

While it’s true that no single company can solve cybersecurity challenges on its own, it’s our responsibility to do our part.

Learn More

To explore Cisco’s Global Cybersecurity Scholarship—and to apply for it—click here.

To get more information on Cisco’s new CCNA Cyber Ops certification, click here.

To get involved with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit here.




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Tejas Vashi is currently Senior Director, Product Strategy & Marketing for Learning@Cisco, within Cisco’s Services organization. In this role, he leads the Product Management team responsible for building and maintaining the comprehensive product portfolio strategy, establishing cross-company alignment with respect to education for Cisco’s products, systems, solutions, and architectures, as well as establishing the global learning portfolio characterization to meet internal, partner, customer and industry training, certification, and enablement requirements.