Tags: virtual apprenticeships | cybersecurity | trump

Will Virtual Apprenticeships Solve the Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage?

Will Virtual Apprenticeships Solve the Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage?
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Friday, 30 November 2018 03:53 PM Current | Bio | Archive

America has a problem. It is an issue that is hampering security efforts in both the private and public sectors. This problem exposes vulnerabilities that can potentially harm the United States in a manner that is on par with a full-scale military invasion.

It is currently estimated that a total of 300,000 cybersecurity professionals are currently needed in the U.S. to combat both domestic and international cyber threats.

If you don’t think that the cyber issue is truly a national crisis, consider these words taken from a speech given just before this year’s anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen:

"DHS was founded fifteen years ago to prevent another 9/11. I believe an attack of that magnitude is now more likely to reach us online than on an airplane," she said. "Our digital lives are in danger like never before."

Her sobering statements came after the Department of Homeland Security revealed this past July that a campaign initiated by Russian operatives in 2017 had compromised the networks of multiple U.S. electric utilities and put hackers in a position to cause widespread blackouts.

She also noted during her speech, "The pace of innovation, our hyper connectivity and our digital dependence have opened cracks in our defenses, creating new opportunities and new vectors through which these nefarious actors can strike us. The result is a world where threats are more numerous, more widely distributed, highly networked, increasingly adaptive, and incredibly difficult to root out."

A June 2018 report created by the Office of Management and Budget identified that, "the Government lacks a comprehensive, risk-derived understanding of which cybersecurity skillsets the Federal enterprise needs to develop and which positions are most critical to fill."

So what can the Trump administration do to combat these pressing threats? Some cost effective and logistically efficient solutions may be to cross train some members of the current workforce or create apprenticeships in cybersecurity practices.

This possible fix can be facilitated by iQ4 Corporation. According to their website, iQ4 Corporation is an entity that enables collaboration between students, academia, business and government in attempting to transform and scale the workforce of the future. It was announced this week that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had named iQ4 as its first sponsor of the Virtual Apprenticeship Program in cybersecurity based on standards set by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).

According to Frank Cicio, founder and chief executive officer of iQ4, “There are currently over 300,000 jobs open in cybersecurity and the national cybersecurity workforce is expected to experience a shortfall of two million cybersecurity professionals by 2022.”

These types of apprenticeships, which were touted by President Trump, his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, and NEC Director Larry Kudlow at the Our Pledge to America’s Workers Event held in October would help to provide the fastest relief to this pressing national security matter.

There have already been scores of attacks against the United States. A leaked NSA map obtained by NBC News in the summer of 2015 showed how the Chinese government has executed hundreds of damaging cyber-attacks against every sector of the U.S. economy. Earlier this year, there were also reports of Chinese government backed hackers compromising the computers of a Naval contractor working for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center based in Newport, Rhode Island.

Additionally, hackers from several different countries have now begun to inundate computer systems belonging to businesses and private citizens in the U.S. with several undetectable strains of Dharma Ransomware and other similar infections.

With threats like Russian cyber actors targeting American infrastructure via Industrial Control Systems with malware and spear phishing attacks and global outbreaks like last year’s WannaCry attack victimizing private citizens to the tune of millions of dollars in losses, the time for the Trump administration to act is now.

Julio Rivera is a small business consultant, political activist, writer and Editorial Director for Reactionary Times. He has been a regular contributor to Newsmax TV and columnist for Newsmax.com since 2016. His writing, which is concentrated on politics, cybersecurity and sports, has also been published by websites including The Hill, The Washington Times, LifeZette, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Toronto Sun and PJ Media and many others. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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America has a problem. It is an issue that is hampering security efforts in both the private and public sectors. This problem exposes vulnerabilities that can potentially harm the United States in a manner that is on par with a full-scale military invasion.
virtual apprenticeships, cybersecurity, trump
Friday, 30 November 2018 03:53 PM
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