By Chris Doggett, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab North America
Reading the headlines about recent security breaches, there’s no doubt that the current state of cybersecurity is less than bright. Combine the headlines with the 2.2 billion malicious attacks on computers and mobile devices blocked during Q1 2015 alone, and it’s difficult to think positively about the threat landscape. However, as cyberthreats continue to increase in number and sophistication, it’s crucial that we explore various avenues and opportunities for combating the current state of cybersecurity and look for ways to approach our space differently.
— Securelist (@Securelist) July 30, 2015
One approach is to look at the silver lining: there’s ample room for the industry to innovate our cybersecurity strategy, particularly in the areas of education and business. With regard to education, demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 37 percent increase in information security analyst jobs through 2022. In terms of business, there is an abundant need for advanced security solutions in healthcare, mobile, the Internet of Things and the Cloud. Now is the time for students and entrepreneurs to leverage the expertise of established security companies, which can help launch their ideas and innovations successfully into the market.
It’s important that our industry do its part to help young people embrace the opportunity within the IT security space and help move them forward in their budding careers. For example, Kaspersky Academy is the educational arm of our business, dedicated to supporting young talent in IT security, including cybersecurity students, early stage startup founders, security product developers and junior security researchers. We tirelessly search for talented individuals who show great potential and provide them an opportunity to grow, be noticed and succeed in their career.
— Kaspersky Lab (@kaspersky) August 13, 2015
One of the main projects of Kaspersky Academy for 2015 is the global Security Startup Challenge (SSC). Launched earlier this year, SSC is designed to identify and nurture startups developing cybersecurity solutions. The mentor-driven program is unique in that we joined forces with Mangrove Capital Partners and ABRT Venture Fund to provide participants with access to a wide range of cutting-edge business, cybersecurity and cross-industry expertise. Participants are guided through each phase of their security startup’s journey: from the beginning stage of turning an idea into a product or service, to securing funding to help grow the business and ultimately taking their company public.
We’re excited to announce the culmination of SSC will be taking place in Boston on August 13. SSC participants will present their final proposals for evaluation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At a ceremony that evening, the grand prize winner will be announced and awarded with a cash prize.
The industry must continue to invest in a new generation of highly qualified cyber specialists to combat the ever-evolving threat landscape to ensure we have a bright and secure future. We need more exceptional minds working in the trenches, researching threats and developing solutions to tackle those threats. There’s much work to be done, but we’re confident that if the security community can help tomorrow’s experts today, we will make profound progress in our fight against cybercrime.