Chris Hodson, CISO at Tanium

We must equip students with #cybersecurity skills to prepare for a post COVID world 

No one could have predicted the devastating impact COVID-19 had on businesses across the world. The almost overnight transition to remote working forced unprecedented changes, blindsiding thousands of organisations. 

Across the country, thousands of endpoints suddenly needed to connect to corporate networks and unsurprisingly, with this surge in demand came much greater risk for remote workers. Our research found that 92% of UK businesses admitted to experiencing an increase in cyber attacks since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Many IT departments are now planning for what the future could look like, but now is also the time to ensure the next generation of cybersecurity experts are well prepared to address the challenges of tomorrow.  Schools, universities and training providers are well placed to give young people a holistic skillset, covering the relevant technical skills and soft skills that employers will need in a post COVID world. 

The importance of recruiting more cybersecurity talent 

In Europe, it’s been well documented that there’s a shortage of cybersecurity professionals. The ramifications of skills shortages include an increasing workload on existing cybersecurity staff, long-standing job vacancies and, ultimately, an inability to use or understand security technologies to their full potential. 

But the biggest consequence of all is whether businesses have the resources to deal with unexpected security challenges. While it’s never easy for organisations to react to a ‘black swan’ event, this pandemic has taught us that unless businesses pay due care and attention to continuous cyber-risk mitigation in a new work-from-anywhere era, those same organisations may find themselves exposed to serious financial and reputational damage.

 The pandemic has  reinforced the importance of businesses investing in the right security solutions and the best security talent to ensure the impact of such events is as minimal as possible. Now is the time for universities to reassess their curricula and ensure all students have the necessary skills to flourish and support businesses once they graduate. 

Adding cybersecurity to the curriculum 

In order to attract cybersecurity talent at universities in the first place, we must consider whether more needs to be done to weave cybersecurity into the school curriculum. 

As opposed to previous generations, students of today are digital natives and have been brought up around technology. With both teachers and students heavily relying on internet accessibility, the need to develop cybersecurity skills – in both their personal and professional lives - more important than ever.

A survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Microsoft found that 91 percent of teachers believed cybersecurity should be taught. Delivering this knowledge and skillset could well lead to increased interest in the subject as a whole and could lead to more students being inspired to take up a career in it.

Future candidates will need to understand the architecture, administration, and management of operating systems, in addition to grappling with the bigger picture when it comes to an organisation's reliance on the data centre. However, ‘soft skills’ are equally important. Security professionals have to communicate complicated subjects to people who might not have much of a technical background.

The Further Education (FE) sector plays an important role in providing the building blocks for courses in cybersecurity at the Higher Education level. Employers also need to be willing to recruit graduates with a degree in other subjects into entry-level roles in cybersecurity. However, now more than ever, it’s important to consider alternative routes, such as apprenticeships, to ensure everyone has a fair chance of working in an industry which desperately needs as much talent as possible.

It is also important to ensure those with an interest in cybersecurity have the opportunity to gain as much ‘real world’ experience as possible. There are many different areas of security, and only by exploring different domains will future professionals understand what areas they’re most interested in and gain an appreciation of what different teams are able to accomplish.    

Preparing for the new work landscape

While we must equip students with the important cybersecurity skills to have a successful career, we must also prepare them to work in ‘the new normal’. COVID-19 has fundamentally shifted the way businesses and workers operate., IT teams are having to adapt to the challenges which come with flexible working. For example, the traditional 9-5 is now less of a business priority with many staff working flexible hours to accommodate personal schedules.     

While many have adapted to this situation, some individuals are taking their understanding of cybersecurity into their own hands now more than ever as offices look to continue working from home policy for the foreseeable future. Many workers will try to take shortcuts to rectify any potential downtime quicker while IT departments are busier than usual, but this could create further problems if the issue is not solved correctly. 

A lack of cybersecurity training and awareness across organisations will leave UK businesses at risk. It should now be a requirement to invest the time to future-proof security strategies. One of the best routes to boosting cybersecurity is through encouraging awareness about common-sense defensive protocols. IT departments cannot be wholly responsible for preventing attacks in the era of Bring-Your-Own-Device. Educating students on these risks should also be a key consideration before they enter the workplace.

Looking to the future 

As time goes on and as the threat landscape evolves, the cybersecurity industry will continue to grow exponentially. It is an industry which is crying out for technically skilled workers amid a European shortage of talent. However, only by encouraging and training the next generation can businesses be confident that there will be enough candidates to help them stay protected in the post COVID future.

Chris Hodson, CISO at Tanium

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 15 hours 30 minutes ago

Evaluation survey and what you need to know: Uni...

This video provides more information for school and college learners who have been asked to complete an evaluation survey as part of the Uni Connect...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 15 hours 30 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Are we doing enough for disadvantaged learners? #SkillsWorldLive 2.7: On #SkillsWorldLive tonight, guests include: David Hughes…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page