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GUEST ESSAY: A Memorial Day call to develop more veterans for in-demand cybersecurity roles

It’s no secret that cybersecurity positions are in high demand. Today there are more than 500,000 open positions in cybersecurity in the United States, leaving organizations vulnerable to cyber threats.

Related: Deployment of employees as threat sensors

Meanwhile, 200,000 well-trained and technically qualified military service members are dump every year.

These individuals have many transferable skills that would make cybersecurity a successful civilian career. Yet, there is still work to be done to make this path more accessible and familiar to veterans and the transitioning military community.

Basically, cybersecurity professionals identify weaknesses and design systems and processes to protect any organization – government agencies, private businesses – against cyberattacks. Veterans have the characteristics that make them ideal for these roles. They are exceptional at working in high-pressure environments, handling confidential information, solving complex problems, and responding systematically.

Even better, cybersecurity jobs offer people who have served our country a fulfilling career. Cybersecurity jobs are still available and offer many options for people who want to work remotely or move across the country for family or work reasons. Plus, they tend to pay well too. The average salary is $116,000 per year plus benefits.

While veterans are well positioned to transition into cybersecurity, there is often a lag when raising awareness of these opportunities and defining pathways. Training and certification must become more accessible and hiring criteria must change to encourage veterans to apply for these positions.

For the cybersecurity industry that needs to fill critical roles, our responsibility is to make a concerted effort to help place these qualified people into jobs.


Private company programs that focus on hiring veterans, offering free technical training and certification courses, and upskilling existing former employees in cybersecurity roles could be one answer to the talent shortage. of our industry. Including a veteran during the cybersecurity talent recruitment process is one way to create a more inclusive hiring process because they understand the language, process, and skills that other veterans may have.

This experience can also be useful when training cybersecurity talent. An example is a training program led by a veteran who once trained servicemen to be combat ready. After many years and roles in his civilian life as a cybersecurity professional, he now leads (and builds) the entire cybersecurity development and training program for a large government contractor.

Arguably one of the most critical changes needed will be to adapt hiring practices to help candidates without a traditional college education take on these critical roles. Strict job requirements for entry-level cybersecurity positions are among the biggest hurdles facing those trying to break in, especially veterans who won’t apply with a traditional college degree or experience. in business often required.

Relaxing these restrictions has proven effective. A recent survey Infosec found that hiring managers successfully filling cybersecurity roles consider more inexperienced candidates, actively recruiting diverse candidates and emphasizing attributes such as leadership skills, certifications, and communication skills. .

Beyond lowering these barriers to entry, a key to placing these people in cybersecurity roles is forming partnerships that facilitate hands-on training, certifications, apprenticeships, mentoring, and relationships with the industry to help veterans land their first online job. And it works.

A student who completed a free Security+ training boot camp with Infosec and VetsinTech recently landed a job as a security engineer with Caterpillar, nearly doubling his previous civilian role salary (as a scientist). Another uses his cybersecurity training as part of a veterans scholarship to advance their careers as a law enforcement detective and lead the department’s first dedicated cybercrime unit.

These stories show that government, private, and public partnerships are key to guiding veterans into cybersecurity roles with the proper training, certifications, professional connections, and opportunities they need to break into the industry. .

Many government and non-profit organizations such as Veterinary jobs and VetsinTech do exactly that. They provide free cybersecurity training and career development opportunities to transitioning military members, veterans, National Guardsmen, reservists, and military spouses.

As a security training provider, Infosec has formed partnerships with these two organizations to provide hands-on certification training for veterans. No matter the size or type of your organization, I encourage you to contact them and see how your organization can work together to fill these gaps.

To stay ahead of the ever-changing cyber threat landscape, we need to think differently about hiring and training talent. Once veterans enter our industry, they are often some of the most valuable cybersecurity employees and leaders.

This is a call to hone our country’s veterans in the cybersecurity roles we desperately need.

About the essayist: Jack Koziol is the founder, SVP and GM of Infosec Institute, a cybersecurity education company. He is the author of The Shellcoder Handbook. When he’s not keeping the world safe by helping organizations educate their employees, he tries to make sure his three children eat breakfast and get to school on time.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of The Last Watchdog written by bacohido. Read the original post at: https://www.lastwatchdog.com/guest-essay-a-memorial-day-call-to-upskill-more-veterans-for-in-demand-cybersecurity-roles/

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