National Cyber Security Awareness Month Seeks #TalentHack Solutions to Overcome the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

Closing the Cyber Talent Gap and Educating the Workforce of the Future Drives Action and Conversation in NCSAM's Final Week

Oct 26, 2015, 16:00 ET from National Cyber Security Alliance

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One of the greatest risks to our nation's cybersecurity is a shortage of professionals trained to protect the vast networks we are creating. As such, National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) enters its final week today with an emphasis on the growing need for cybersecurity professionals and for educating students entering the workforce to use technology safely, securely, ethically and productively.

With the demand for cybersecurity experts growing at three and a half times the pace of the overall IT job market, and our networks becoming ever more connected, providing valuable information about cybersecurity careers as well as the need for building cyber-literate digital citizens – including seniors – has become a pressing concern.

A keystone event being held at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. on October 27 will address the challenges of this shortage in the cybersecurity workforce. Talent Hack: Solutions to Overcome the Cybersecurity Skills Gap, sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor's Passcode and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), will convene a conversation on three pillars of the cyber talent discussion –workforce, education, and diversity – that will feature experts from government, the private sector and educational institutions to surface the most promising paths forward for building a new generation of cyber leaders. Attendees will learn what's working and what isn't in creating tomorrow's cyber workforce and discover ways they can contribute to a deeper pool of cyber talent. For more information, visit To watch the event live, visit The Christian Science Monitor's YouTube channel.

"We can't build a large-scale safe, secure and trusted Internet unless we have the cybersecurity workforce to maintain it. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of cybersecurity positions available, but not enough people to fill them," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA. "This talent gap is a serious threat to our economy and national security. We need to inspire a generation of young people to pursue careers in cybersecurity."

A new survey released today by Raytheon and NCSA, "Securing Our Future: Closing the Cybersecurity Talent Gap," shows that education about careers in protecting the Internet falls short: 67 percent of men and 77 percent of women in the U.S. said no high school or secondary school teacher, guidance or career counselor ever mentioned the idea of a cybersecurity career and 61 percent are unaware or unsure of the typical range of responsibilities involved in a cyber career.

Moreover, in a survey released by ESET and NCSA last week, only 54 percent of parents surveyed said their child (or children) has received any instruction at school about the safe, secure and ethical use of technology – leaving almost half of school children uninformed.

"It is essential that we graduate students with the skills they need to operate the Internet in the safest and most secure way possible," Kaiser continued. "That means not just educating them on how to protect their online assets and their networks, but on the career opportunities that are available in cybersecurity. Young people value the richness of their online lives and therefore may be well suited to a career protecting the Internet."

Other key findings in the Raytheon survey include:

A gender gap:

  • The gap between men and women considering a career where they could make the Internet safer increased fivefold between 2014 and 2015
  • 25 percent of women globally say they are not interested in this kind of work compared to men (17 percent) when asked why they are less likely to consider a career where you could make the Internet safer and more secure

A lack of options:

  • 46 percent said no cybersecurity programs or activities were available to them

Latent interest in cyber careers:

  • Young adults want careers that require skills cyber professionals use: 44 percent - problem solving, 36 percent - data analysis, 27 percent - programming, 42 percent - management
  • 38 percent have already participated in or sought out cyber opportunities such as competitions, internships, scholarships, job fairs or mentoring programs (31 percent in the U.S.)

For more details and analysis of the survey findings, please visit to view reports, infographics and video.

NCSA encourages parents to get involved in their kids' cyber education through these calls to actions:

  • Volunteer at school, an after-school program, boys and girls clubs and community workshops to teach kids about online safety and cybersecurity careers. C-SAVE is an invaluable resource developed by NCSA to help parents and educators teach students cybersecurity, cyber ethics and cyber safety. You can access teaching materials and lesson plans here:
  • Expose students to opportunities in the field of cybersecurity by hosting an open house at your company to talk about what your cybersecurity department does.
  • Industry/teachers: Inspire students to learn about cybersecurity by mentoring a team in a cyber challenge or hosting events and afterschool programs. Check out CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Education Program created to inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
  • Work with your schools or community-based organizations to create an internship program for hands-on learning.
  • As a parent, learn about the "educational steps" to a career in cybersecurity and about community organizations that host cyber camps to educate kids about Internet safety and security. Visit GenCyber for information on cyber camps held across the country.

On October 28, the Commonwealth of Virginia, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, will promote cyber jobs to 350 high school seniors and educate them about resources available to help them start on the path towards cyber careers. Held at Washington Lee High School in Arlington, the event will include the participation of Governor Terry McAuliffe and will feature "A Day in the Life Of" cyber panel, in which professionals from various public and private industries will discuss what interested them about their jobs, how they got their start and what their typical day as a cyber professional looks like.

Other events taking place this week include:

EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2015, Indianapolis, October 27-30: The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is the premier higher education IT event, offering an engaging and informative program, formal and informal opportunities to build your professional network, and allows you to learn, reflect, and engage with colleagues from around the world. For more information visit

IT-oLogy Trends 2015 Conference, Columbia, SC, October 28 (8 a.m.5 p.m. EDT): 
Technology is driving business at an unprecedented speed. But on an almost daily business, cybersecurity breaches or hacks are taking place throughout the world. So how do you protect your business, your family, yourself? Trends 2015 will explore the important topic of cybersecurity. Presentations will range from trending topics in cybersecurity to new technologies. Additional information and registration here

#ChatSTC Twitter Chat: So You Want to Work in Cybersecurity? Virtual (Twitter Chat), October 29, 3 – 4 p.m. EDT: As NCSAM comes to a close, it's a great time to think about the future of jobs in the cybersecurity field. In this #ChatSTC chat, we'll talk about what it means to be a cyber professional, share tips for students and professionals looking to get into the field and discuss how to prepare to join the cybersecurity workforce. Moderated by STOP. THINK. CONNECT. (@STOPTHNKCONNECT). Use #ChatSTC to join! 

NICE Conference & Expo 2015, San Diego, CA, November 3 - 4: The demand for cybersecurity positions in both the public and private sector is large and growing, but the talent pool of cybersecurity workers is not yet able to keep up. The NICE 2015 Conference and Expo features thought leaders from education, government, industry and non-profits who are addressing the cybersecurity education, training, and workforce needs of the nation. For more information visit

Here are some valuable resources to help Internet users stay safe online and learn more about careers in cybersecurity:

  • The "Securing Our Future: Closing the Cybersecurity Talent Gap" infographic provides a snapshot of the findings of Raytheon's new survey on the cybersecurity workforce.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operates the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) Portal, which links employers and educators to cybersecurity career tools and resources, including a nation-wide training catalog, workforce development toolkit, and guides for using the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. For more information, visit
  • For educators, a free K-12 cyber curriculum is available on the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center website. This curriculum can be tailored and used in a variety of subjects, even those outside of the traditional STEM or cyber-related course. Visit
  • Facebook recently launched TechPrep, an online resource hub to help people get started in programming careers. It shows parents and students what programming is, why it's important, and what sort of jobs are available for those who can code – like jobs in security engineering. TechPrep offers resources on everything from classes to college prep. Learning to code opens up amazing opportunities in industries like cybersecurity that are only getting more important. Facebook also provides tips for securing your Facebook account at
  • The newly launched STOP. THINK. CONNECT. website provides general tips and advice for protecting your online network and accounts, and includes Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian and French versions.
  • STOP. THINK. CONNECT. partnered with Cyber-Seniors and developed useful guidelines, which incorporate real-life comparisons to help older adults stay safer and more secure online.
  • The new EDUCAUSE campus security awareness campaign is a framework designed to support security professionals and IT communicators as they develop or enhance their own security awareness plans. 
  • This infographic highlights the 2015 Top Information Security Strategic Issues selected by the Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC) in August 2014
  • The Privacy K-12 Curriculum Matrix introduces privacy concepts and information, specified for multiple age groups, in a way that allows them to think for themselves and reach their own conclusions about what best suits their values and comfort levels.
  • NOVA has created a collection of free digital resources that educators can use to teach their students best practices for online safety, introduce them to coding, and explore careers in cybersecurity. On October 14th, NOVA aired CyberWar Threat on PBS (now streaming online), a program that examines the science and technology behind cyber warfare and how America's infrastructure is vulnerable.
  • NOVA also has videos from their Cybersecurity Lab, a game that teaches players how to keep their digital lives safe, spot phishing scams, and understand the basics of coding. The Cybersecurity Lab videos take an in-depth look into topics like encryption, the different types of hackers, and online privacy, and also include discussion questions that educators can use with their students. 
  • With massive hacks and data thefts occurring with greater strength and frequency, cybercrime is not going away – it's growing larger, stronger and more covert. This piece from The Sage Colleges covers recent high-profile security breaches and what can be done to protect important data and infrastructures:

Individuals and companies and organizations of all sizes can show their support for NCSAM by becoming a Champion. Currently there are more than 700 NCSAM Champions who will play an active role in sharing important cybersecurity messages with their local communities, corporations, governments and individuals internationally. For more information on how to become a champion, visit

Visit NCSAM's Media Resource Hub,, for more information on activities and events throughout the month. Additional resources (infographics, tip sheets, media kit and more) and information on getting involved are also available at

About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Now in its 12th year, NCSAM is co-led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, the nation's leading nonprofit public-private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the Internet and digital privacy. Recognized annually in October, NCSAM involves the participation of a multitude of industry leaders ‒ mobilizing individuals, small- and medium-sized businesses, non-profits, academia, multinational corporations and governments. Encouraging digital citizen around the globe to STOP. THINK. CONNECT., NCSAM is harnessing the collective impact of its programs and resources to increase awareness about today's ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Visit the NCSAM media room:

About The National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation's leading nonprofit public-private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the Internet and digital privacy. Working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), private sector sponsors and nonprofit collaborators to promote cybersecurity awareness, NCSA board members include representatives from ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, BlackBerry, Cisco, Comcast Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, Logical Operations, Microsoft, PayPal, PKWARE, RSA - the Security Division of EMC, Raytheon, Symantec, Verizon and Visa. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, nonprofit and academic sectors, NCSA's mission is to educate and empower digital citizens to use the Internet securely and safely, protect themselves and the technology they use, and safeguard the digital assets we all share. NCSA leads initiatives for STOP. THINK. CONNECT., a global cybersecurity awareness campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online; Data Privacy Day, celebrated annually on January 28, and National Cyber Security Awareness Month, launched every October. For more information on NCSA, please visit

STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the national cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. The campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations with leadership provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). The Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Learn how to get involved at



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SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance