RESTON, Va., Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, KATZCY Consulting released, Cybersecurity Games: Building Tomorrow's Workforce. This white paper explores multiple public-private views on the potential role of cyber competitions in raising awareness of cybersecurity careers, enhancing education and training, attracting capable resources to the field and addressing a widespread skills gap. The catalyst for this discussion is the reality that thousands of cybersecurity jobs in the US remain unfilled while cyber attacks on American corporations and institutions are increasing in frequency and sophistication, demonstrated as recently as October 21, 2016 with the cyber attack against the Internet traffic provider, Dyn. The paper can be found here: https://www.cybercompex.org/clip/cybersecurity-games-building-tomorrow-s-workforce.
The need for this white paper discussion was identified by the Competitions subgroup of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Working Group. The NICE Working Group provides a mechanism in which public and private sector participants can develop concepts, design strategies, and pursue actions that advance cybersecurity education, training and workforce development. The paper was based on interviews with 28 major players in and around the cybersecurity field: thought leaders representing government agencies, defense contractors, other private industry entities and academia, including the National Security Agency, the US Department of Homeland Security, the Air Force Association, Northrop Grumann, Facebook, U.S. Cyber Challenge, CyberCompEx, Cyber Federation and the University of Maryland. "Within the cybersecurity field, we share a common goal, to advance and identify skilled people ready to fill the growing needs of the workforce," commented Bill Newhouse, Deputy Director of NICE. "We need to better understand the relationships between competitions that develop proficiencies in cybersecurity knowledge, skills and abilities, and employers who recognize how those knowledge, skills and abilities connect to vital tasks in cybersecurity work roles." "Today, thousands of cybersecurity jobs are available, and yet both interest and skill level are lacking among much of America's current candidate pool and much of its student population," notes Jessica Gulick, CEO of KATZCY Consulting. "Cyber competitions offer a creative remedy for this workforce shortage and skills gap. Because of its fun factor, "gaming" attracts an expanded audience. Participants are able to see what a cyber attack looks like, practice different responses, and innovate … all without real risk. Cyber games can enhance skills development and facilitate job recruitment and placement." Accepting competitions as a critical element in raising awareness, developing skills and building a pipeline of cyber professionals, the paper's authors and contributors intend to spark a national conversation that brings together stakeholders from across all key constituencies, including representatives of cyber competitions, government agencies, school systems, defense contractor firms and other private industry entities.