Microsoft expands cybersecurity skills training worldwide

Microsoft is expanding its cybersecurity skills program, first launched in the United States in October 2021, to 23 additional countries around the world.

The expanded campaign covers the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, South Africa South, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

“These countries present a high cyber threat risk, coupled with a significant gap in their cybersecurity workforce, both in terms of the number of cybersecurity professionals employed versus demand, as well as a lack of diversity,” he said. writes Kate Behncken, Microsoft. vice-president and head of the philanthropic program, in a blog post.

Cybersecurity training: diversity, equity and inclusion

One of the goals of the expansion is to bring cybersecurity skills development to women and other underrepresented groups, Behncken said. “The global cybersecurity workforce is critically lacking in diversity: in the countries where we are expanding our campaign, on average, only 17% of the cybersecurity workforce are women,” he said. she stated. “Leaving women out of the cybersecurity workforce leaves talent on the table and will only hurt our ability to close the skills gap. It’s not just about equality, it’s also has a business case: joint ventures are more successful.”

Microsoft estimates that the demand for qualified cybersecurity personnel will reach approximately 3.5 million people worldwide by 2025. The war in Ukraine has highlighted the immediate need for cybersecurity professionals to combat disinformation and attacks. potential for hacking by Russian state-sponsored agents.

This extension of the program consists of five main elements:

  1. A new partnership with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop a detailed study on the skills gap in selected countries and improve the capacity to develop the cybersecurity workforce through post-secondary education and training .
  2. Free training in cybersecurity courses via its LinkedIn Learning platform.
  3. Access to free curriculum, educator training, and teaching tools for higher education institutions to include courses on various Microsoft platforms. Additional resources, including free practice and certification exams and program onboarding support.
  4. A partnership with Ecole 42, a free global IT training program whose mission is to educate the next generation of software engineers, make Microsoft cybersecurity content available to its 15,000 learners worldwide , using peer-to-peer learning and gamification.
  5. A partnership with Women in Cybersecurity, a non-profit organization whose mission is to recruit, retain and advance women in cybersecurity, to expand their student chapters in all 23 countries.

Microsoft Cybersecurity Training: Key Relationships

Microsoft said it will also work with local educational institutions, nonprofits, governments and businesses to develop a cybersecurity skills curriculum that meets the unique needs of their own market in each country.

In the initial launched last year, Microsoft has partnered with US community colleges to help train and recruit 250,000 people into the cybersecurity workforce by 2025, which is half of the labor shortage from the country. The number of community colleges in the program now stands at 135 institutions, Microsoft said.

“It is critical that we invest in the cybersecurity workforce to ensure there are enough people with the skills to thwart these attacks and protect the digital ecosystem to keep organizations and people safe. “, Behncken said.

Cybersecurity training for MSPs

Meanwhile, several organizations are scrambling to fill the cybersecurity talent gap in the MSP ecosystem.

One example is Level Up, an MSP security training challenge hosted by CyberCall’s Andrew Morgan and Black Hills Information Securityis John Strand.

Also note: MSPAlliance in partnership with Boise State University and Stellar Cyber to create MSP-specific business, technical, and cybersecurity training and placement tools, according to a March 2022 announcement. Stellar Cyber ​​has been particularly active on the MSP training front. Similar to Apple’s focus on relationships at the university level, Stellar Cyber ​​is building partnerships to educate students on Open XDR (eXtended Detection and Response) technologies and related capabilities.

Additional information by Joe Panettieri.

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