DeepINTEL 2013 – New Talk: “Hackers NG” – Dealing with the Security Skills Shortage

Cooling temperatures in Vienna bring new talks to DeepINTEL. We are proud to announce a talk by Colin McLean, lecturer in Computing at the University of Abertay Dundee in Scotland. He discussed the problem of finding hackers with security skills (and who probably do not possess the attributes Mr Hayden sees in his own IT staff). The abstract reads as follows:

There is a cyber security skills shortage and it’s becoming a world-wide concern with many stakeholders warning of impending doom. Browsing the Internet shows that this concern is not only expressed from the USA, and the UK, but all over the world.

Mark Weatherford of the US Department of Homeland Security has stated “The lack of people with cyber security skills requires urgent attention. The DoHS can’t find enough people to hire.”. The United Kingdom’s National Audit Office has also stated “This shortage of ICT skills hampers the UK’s ability to protect itself in cyberspace and promote the use of the internet both now and in the future”.

The University of Abertay Dundee in Scotland was the first university to offer an undergraduate “hacking” degree in the UK, starting in 2006. The course is now widely recognised as the best vocational supplier of security graduates in the UK, with many of the graduates receiving several job offers before they’ve even completed the course.

This talk focuses on the experiences of running the course and examines how the cyber security skills shortage can be addressed. Some of the issues discussed will be:

  • Academia; There are many degrees with titles sounding like they may be producing the correct graduates, however, does the content match the type of skills required?
  • Industry; What can the security industry do to influence the content of academic courses to enable the correct type of graduate to be produced?
  • Non-Academic students; There are many people who are not suited to academia but have a good mindset and the skills to become excellent cyber security practitioners, how can these people be encouraged by academia?

So, if you need people with solid security skills, consider attending this talk. Please see also the updated DeepINTEL schedule for Colin’s biography.

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