The President met with leaders in the private sector as well as those in education to discuss the need to address cybersecurity threats to the nation and efforts needed across the board.  The increase in incidents and the ongoing threat of attack is something that transcends all the invisible borders that we put on humans or businesses.  In other words, cybercriminals don’t care about your race, religion, income, or the industry that you work within.  Data is valuable to them however it needs to be obtained and whatever information it can provide – it all adds up.

The meeting was held to unify efforts so that collectively we are fighting the battle against hackers with the hope of having a greater impact.  

What Will They Do?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will develop a framework for improving the security and integrity of the technology supply chain.  This guideline will provide a “how-to” on building secure technology and assessing existing technology.  They will work with Microsoft, Google, IBM, Travelers, and Coalition to create these standards.  Apple announced a new program to “drive continuous security improvements throughout the technology supply chain” as well.  They will work with their 9,000 US-based suppliers to drive mass adoption of multi-factor authentication, security training, vulnerability remediation, event logging, and incident response.

One area that should be of interest to the public is that IBM announced it will train 150,000 people to develop cybersecurity skills.  They will do this in partnership with 20 Historically Black Colleges & Universities to establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers.  This effort will also encourage diversity within the cyber workforce. In that same way, the Girls Who Code establishment of a micro-credentialing program will target other underrepresented groups.

With nearly half a million public and private cybersecurity positions needing to be filled, there is room for growth as a job seeker in this industry, as well as room for the industry itself to grow and develop.  This should be helped by the University of Texas System’s expansion of existing and future developed short-term credential programs for cyber-related fields.  Additionally, Whatcom Community College will provide cybersecurity training and education to faculty as well as a support program for colleges to “fast track” students from college to career.  A win for community-based colleges in every community. 

What can be derived from this meeting and the resulting efforts are two important things for anyone in the IT industry:

  1. The threat of cybercrime is real, it is growing, and it must be addressed immediately and collectively
  2. There is opportunity for anyone within the industry to grow exponentially