IBM recruits 200 Universities to Bridge Cyber Security Skills Gap

IBM is planning to collaborate with more than 200 local and international higher places of learning, in order to develop courses and programs aimed at giving the next-generation, a solid foundation in cyber security skills. According to a statement issued on Friday, Big blue said the initiative will address the skills gap for professionals who lacked knowledge of how to secure enterprise data, mobile devices and cloud computing infrastructure. It is not the first time that IBM has collaborated with universities. In October, IBM collaborated with four universities in order to study cognitive computing, in a project whose aim is to develop computers that operate similar to the human mind. MIT and Carnegie Mellon University were among the universities working with IBM.

This time around, as part of IBM’s Academic Initiative, the company is launching new curriculums and programs focusing on cyber security with Fordham University, Georgia Institute of Technology, San Jose State University, Southern Methodist University, Technische Universitat Darmstadt in Germany, Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, Universidad Cenfotec in Costa Rica, Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia, The University of South Carolina, University of Texas at Dallas, and Wroclaw University of Economics in Poland.

IBM Helps Bridge the Cyber Security Skills Gap

“As our planet becomes more interconnected though new technology like cloud computing and the proliferation of mobile devices, interdisciplinary education for cyber security is essential,” said Dr. Mark Harris, an Assistant Professor, Integrated Information Technology Program, at the University of South Carolina. “This is a challenge that IBM is proactively addressing, largely by partnering with academic programs and encouraging higher levels of skill development to address these new world challenges.”

As technology continues to gain momentum and new threats continue to emerge, the number of cyber security programs has increased significantly in order to keep pace.  One reason for this growth is the very strong demand from industry and government for trained professionals as both of these market segments are facing a significant skills gap. The U.K.’s National audit office recently conducted a report into its cyber security strategy review. The report found it will take two decades to address the current cyber security skills Gap.

The U.K. is way behind when it comes to crucial STEM skills, and has to start preparing now. The report cited cyber security as one as the top four risks for U.K.’s national security and also recognizes the opportunity that cyberspace presents to the United Kingdom.

IBM is hoping to help offset the situation by combining its leadership in developing and innovating security products, services and solutions for clients with its long-standing relationship with the academic and research community.  Marisa Viveros, Vice President of IBM’s Cyber Security Innovation Program sounded off on the critical importance that cyber security now occupies in our digital world:

Developing security intelligence skills for the 21st century, including the ability to proactively predict, identify and react to potential threats has taken on a new priority in the digital age”. “Our security skills development programs are designed to address the most urgent areas of security and provide expertise and training to help clients cope with the dire skills shortage.”

As part of the Cyber Security Innovation Program, IBM will give universities access to its software products and provide them  with network scanners built to track intrusions. IBM will also issue faculty awards, to winning proposals about how to incorporate IBM tech into its curriculum and share what they build with other universities worldwide.

Image credit via IBM