New White Paper On Role Of Cybersecurity Competitions In Workforce Development

Groundbreaking discussion among thought leaders calls for increased collaboration and investment to expand reach and impact of cyber games.

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RESTON, Va.Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Today, KATZCY Consulting released, Cybersecurity Games: Building Tomorrow’s Workforce.  This white paper explores multiple public-private views on the potential role of cyber competitions in raising awareness of cybersecurity careers, enhancing education and training, attracting capable resources to the field and addressing a widespread skills gap. The catalyst for this discussion is the reality that thousands of cybersecurity jobs in the US remain unfilled while cyber attacks on American corporations and institutions are increasing in frequency and sophistication, demonstrated as recently as October 21, 2016with the cyber attack against the Internet traffic provider, Dyn. The paper can be found here: https://www.cybercompex.org/clip/cybersecurity-games-building-tomorrow-s-workforce.

The need for this white paper discussion was identified by the Competitions subgroup of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Working Group. The NICE Working Group provides a mechanism in which public and private sector participants can develop concepts, design strategies, and pursue actions that advance cybersecurity education, training and workforce development.

The paper was based on interviews with 28 major players in and around the cybersecurity field:  thought leaders representing government agencies, defense contractors, other private industry entities and academia, including the National Security Agency, the US Department of Homeland Security, the Air Force Association, Northrop Grumann, Facebook, U.S. Cyber Challenge, CyberCompEx, Cyber Federation and the University of Maryland.

“Within the cybersecurity field, we share a common goal, to advance and identify skilled people ready to fill the growing needs of the workforce,” commented Bill Newhouse, Deputy Director of NICE.  “We need to better understand the relationships between competitions that develop proficiencies in cybersecurity knowledge, skills and abilities, and employers who recognize how those knowledge, skills and abilities connect to vital tasks in cybersecurity work roles.”

“Today, thousands of cybersecurity jobs are available, and yet both interest and skill level are lacking among much of America’s current candidate pool and much of its student population,” notes Jessica Gulick, CEO of KATZCY Consulting.  “Cyber competitions offer a creative remedy for this workforce shortage and skills gap.  Because of its fun factor, “gaming” attracts an expanded audience.  Participants are able to see what a cyber attack looks like, practice different responses, and innovate … all without real risk.  Cyber games can enhance skills development and facilitate job recruitment and placement.”

Accepting competitions as a critical element in raising awareness, developing skills and building a pipeline of cyber professionals, the paper’s authors and contributors intend to spark a national conversation that brings together stakeholders from across all key constituencies, including representatives of cyber competitions, government agencies, school systems, defense contractor firms and other private industry entities.

“Our hope is that a larger discussion will further three primary recommendations,” adds Dan Manson, CPP/ Co-chair NICE Working Group Competitions subgroup. “First, to agree upon areas where standardization of cyber competitions can drive scale and facilitate an increase in the number of games offered and an expansion of their reach across the US.  Second, to explore greater collaboration and shared investment among key stakeholders.  And, third, to accelerate the advancement of cyber competitions as way to identify and further develop skilled resources to meet the needs of the growing workforce.”

The release of Cybersecurity Games: Building Tomorrow’s Workforce will be announced this morning at the NICE 2016 Conference and Expo in Kansas City, Missouri.  The event brings together cybersecurity workforce, training and educational leaders from academia, business and government for two days of focused discussions. This year’s theme, “Innovations to Shape the Future Cybersecurity Workforce,” showcases effective collaborations, experiments, innovations and other potentially game-changing methods in support of national workforce needs.

About KATZCY Consulting

KATZCY is a woman-owned consulting firm driven to help cybersecurity and other technology-related enterprises enhance revenue and growth initiatives through comprehensive and actionable Go-to-Market strategies, backed by a full complement of professional development, marketing/PR and sales (to include business, proposal, and workforce development) services. KATZCY consultants bring decades of experience and deep industry expertise in emerging, specialized markets. Visit the website at www.katzcy.com.

About CyberCompEx

CyberCompEx is a virtual community of talented Americans whose mission is to improve our country’s ability to anticipate, avoid, detect, and defeat threats that endanger our nation. CyberCompEx provides the tools for these Americans to develop the essential skills and to apply these skills to the workforce needs of government and critical infrastructure organizations in order to improve the cybersecurity posture of the networks and systems on which the U. S. defense and economy rely. This platform serves to connect the workforce with employers in the cybersecurity industry. CyberCompEx is sponsored by U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), a program supported by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate through a contract with the Center for Internet Security, a 501(c)3 organization. Visit the website at  www.CyberCompEx.org.