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Cybersecurity teams need to cast a wider net | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

“This is unlike any other training program or recruitment practice as we’ve basically thrown out the status quo of how we traditionally recruit within the industry and have started from scratch,” Cavanagh says.

She says the pilot program addresses many of the challenges women face in the sector such as providing more inclusive, comfortable learning environments as well as having strong support through a mentor network.

“It’s an experiential learning program rather than just sitting in front of a computer and doing studying or sitting in a lecture room and studying,” Cavanagh says.

“And the skill sets we’re looking for aren’t just technical, we’re not just looking for programmers or coders. We’re also searching for those that have experience or want to work in the governance, risk and compliance areas.

“We need cybersecurity analysts as well which is a different skill set to coding, and we’re already seeing a lot of our students actually transitioning from other careers such as nursing, marketing, police and even journalists,” Cavanagh says.

Group executive of the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, Jason Murrell, says the program, which is led by Purple Team Australia, will assist in addressing the great shortage in cybersecurity specialists which is set to grow to 3000 by 2026.

Group executive of the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, Jason Murrell. 

“That shortfall was calculated before the most recent major cyberattacks which highlights the urgency needed to go out and find cybersecurity professionals ourselves because that need is going to be much higher,” Murrell says.

“We do need to fill this gap with homegrown talent.”

Murrell says addressing the diversity gap means bringing it back to the classroom in primary schools for a start.

“We really need a cradle-to-grave sort of strategy with cyber because we’re getting to the point where people get into the workplace needing to unlearn bad habits,” Murrell says.

“And we need to provide clearly defined career pathways so it becomes something all young Australians can aspire to.”

Another initiative designed to boost diversity in the digital sector overall is the NSW government’s Institute of Applied Technology which provides training through a partnership with TAFE NSW, Macquarie University, the University of Technology and Microsoft.

Microsoft Australia education director Tiffany Wright says the tech leviathan is committed to ensuring that everyone is equipped to participate in the digital economy, “not just those who can afford it, or who are already participating.”

“We know that if we create the right conditions, women are much more likely to pursue a tech career. The ability to access high-quality courses online delivered by trusted education and industry experts was very important to us, to ensure that people could participate from wherever they are,” Wright says.


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