Cyber Security a Hot Spot for Jobs in Lawrenceville

Lawrenceville, March 27, 2014 / MM Globalwire / When we saw this story recently about the number of postings for cyber security jobs in Lawrenceville, it made sense.

The Washington D.C. area’s large government complex, New York City’s financial sector, and the Silicon Valley’s technology hub are documented targets for cyber incursions aimed at gaining access to key assets and sensitive data.

Business Man Surfing Internet Web SitesCybersecurity isn’t a regional or industrial issue. It’s everyone’s problem.

Rright now, the bad guys are winning.

That message isn’t lost on William“Vic” Maconachy, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Capitol College in Laurel, Maryland. Capitol has undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs in Information Assurance.

He thinks this is a workforce issue—and not one limited to information technology.

“The whole workforce has to not just be aware of cybersecurity issues, they have to be savvy about how to protect their data and systems,” Maconachy points out.

Before Maconachy came to Capitol College, he worked with the National Security Agency (NSA) for a quarter of a century. He knows the table has been tilted toward the bad cyber actors and he points to another passage in the Cisco report as proof.

According to the report, “The security talent shortage makes this problem worse: even when budgets are generous CISOs struggle to hire people with up-to-date security skills.”

It also emphasizes that security professionals with data science skills can help improve alignment with business objectives.

That’s music to the ears of the Capitol College faculty.

“Information Assurance professionals don’t act in a vacuum,” said Bill Butler, who has been teaching at Capitol since 2002. “Business majors need to understand it too, which is we teach it across all of our disciplines at Capitol College.”

So back to this hot job market for a minute.

What are employers looking for?

cc-logo1“Expertise to be sure, but they also want to know that the employees can work as a team and have project management skills,” said Maconachy, adding that Capitol’s interdisciplinary approach for its students helps address this need.

Today’s and tomorrow’s security professional needs to understand how to both be reactive and proactive.

One key is to have reverse engineering skills. Capitol College trains students to be able to identify, protect, detect, respond, and rapidly recover from an attack.

Both Capitol educators stress that same employee should be part of the process in any company or governmental unit — beginning with the design of a new product or service to make sure that cybersecurity is being implemented from day one.

“We are early in the game when it comes to cyber leadership,” said Butler.

“We also are seeing a number of our students go right into the master’s programs in order to gain a deeper knowledge and more ‘real world’ exposure to their academic experience.”

Students at Capitol work directly with working cyber professionals in government and business.

And remember where those hot spots are?  They are in Washington D.C. metropolitan area, where Capitol is located, but also in New York and Silicon Valley. In those three markets alone, there are 60,000 cyber security openings. And when you count the rest of the world, the number explodes. In fact, the Cisco report estimates 1 million security professionals are needed around the globe. That means there are cyber security jobs everywhere, including Lawrenceville.

“That’s where our online programs work well. The working professional can both keep his or her job while deepening skills,” Butler concluded.

Meanwhile, the need for a skilled cyber workforce continues to be underscored.

The University of Maryland announced recently that it was hit again by a cyber-attack.  But we only know that because the university announced it.  More of it is going on than we know.  In Britain, the Labour Party thinks that business should be required to report cyber attacks.

The battle never ends.

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