Filling the Cybersecurity Skills Gap – Cybersecurity Skills Initiative

See highlights of the event in this short video:

The inaugural Cybersecurity Conference took place in the Irish Management Institute in Sandyford on the 3rd October. We had a number of Ireland’s leading cybersecurity experts speaking at the conference and three exciting workshops were scheduled and very well attended.

The conference marked the launch of The Cybersecurity Skills Initiative (CSI) which has been carefully planned by 18 different organisations in Ireland representing industry, education and government.

Background to the Cybersecurity Skills Initiative (CSI)

The security landscape changes at a rapid pace and keeping up can be a serious challenge for any business. There’s also a significant shortage of skills in the cybersecurity space – so finding new expert recruits can be tricky. This is something that Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet are helping to address by collaborating with ICT companies and educational institutes to facilitate the development of these missing skills.

Cybersecurity is not just for big ICT firms – it’s for all organisations. It’s quite a specialised area of IT and every industry and business is impacted by security threats in one way or another. Any organisation that is storing data, sharing data, has customer data on file or is holding employee data needs a secure system in place to protect the information. This came into sharp focus recently with the introduction of the GDPR regulations.

A Changing Landscape

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing its part too and changing the way businesses operate. A lot of roles are evolving and, in some cases, disappearing but with this change comes opportunities as new jobs emerge. If organisations are shedding certain roles there lies an opportunity to cross skill employees and turn them into cybersecurity experts.

Plenty of employees will have an aptitude for security and can be reskilled and redeployed into a crucially important area of the business.

The Cybersecurity Skills Initiative (CSI) is not purely focusing on individuals with computer science degree or engineering degree but will assess various different people from a variety of backgrounds to see if they have an aptitude and the initial skillset needed to be upskilled into a cybersecurity role.

Cybersecurity Awareness

Many businesses around the world have a lack of understanding and awareness into their own security and how good their security systems actually are. Too often cybersecurity can get pushed back onto the IT department or network managers.

Security needs to be imbedded at the core of the business – over and above other IT disciplines. A breach in security can be devastating.

The Cybersecurity Skills Initiative (CSI) will put security front and centre for CEO’s, business managers and those involved in IT. It’s designed to raise awareness both of the threats that exist and of the opportunity to upskill professionals into appropriate roles to address the risks. It will help business become more focused on their own security going forward.

A variety of different training programmes are being rolled out from Half Day Cybersecurity Awareness Workshops to short Cybersecurity Foundation Skills Courses and Cybersecurity Management Workshops for CEOs.

Demonstrating good security practices can be a real selling point for a business as it shows they are responsible and appreciate the importance and sensitivity of the data they hold.

The Cybersecurity Conference

The Cybersecurity Conference was on the 3rd October and ran from 8am – 1pm. It had a mix of panel discussions, presentations from industry expect and three different workshops.

The opening session included 4 speakers:

  • Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Digital Development at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
  • Carmel Somers, IBM, Chair of the Cybersecurity Skills Initiative (CSI)
  • Una Fitzpatrick, Director, Technology Ireland
  • Paul Healy, CEO, Skillnet Ireland

The morning presentations were given by Brian Honan, CEO, Irish Reporting & Information Security Service discussing ‘Where’s the Risk? Examining the Threat Landscape’ and Detective Supt Michael P Gubbins, Head of the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau talking about how ‘Criminals Follow the Opportunities – Big or Small

We also had some excellent presentations on Creative Ways to Fill the Skills Gap and a panel discussion – AI is the future of Cybersecurity for Better or Worse!

See the full conference agenda….

Cybersecurity Workshops

Three different workshops were run as part of the conference:

Workshop A: Cybersecurity Primer for CEOs – What to Know so You Know What to Do.

Workshop B: Risk Assessment for Companies.

Workshop C: Capture the Flag (Now Fully Booked).

Interested in taking part in one of the workshops? Learn more over here…..

Who is the CSI aimed at

Aimed at businesses across all industries and sectors, it will be of particular interest to CEOs, senior managers, IT professionals, HR professionals who are responsible for staff training and development and also for anyone with an interest in cybersecurity and planning for their organisation’s future.

View Conference Details.