F-Secure, a European cyber security provider, and the University of Helsinki are teaming up to address the global shortage in the cyber security workforce with the creation of a new course series. The series, called Cyber Security Base with F-Secure, aims to get course participants working in the cyber security field by providing classes where potential experts can acquire the skills needed for entry-level positions.
Recent studies have found that employers are struggling to hire workers with the cyber security skills necessary to secure the devices, systems, and data that people and organizations rely on. According to a 2015 investigation, over 209,000 cyber security positions in the US alone were unfilled. Projections estimate the global shortage to reach 1.5 million positions by 2019.
Given the increasing capabilities of today’s attackers combined with the widespread digitalization of many aspects of life, this shortage puts people and companies all over the world at risk.. “Many of us in the industry see cyber security as a kind of race between attackers and defenders,” said Samu Konttinen, CEO, F-Secure. “Right now, defenders are doing a better job in protecting systems than ever before. But threats have never been more advanced or numerous than they are today, so it’s in everyone’s interest to prioritize training and recruiting the best possible cyber security specialists.”
Cyber Security Base with F-Secure will address the cyber security skills shortage by offering some basic training with low entry barriers in the hopes that this encourages people to attend. Offering the series through the University of Helsinki’s MOOC – an online course system open to the public – ensures that people all over the globe can enroll without moving or disrupting their daily lives, or paying costly tuition fees. There are also no formal education prerequisites for enrollment. However, a basic understanding of code, computer networks, and internet security are necessary to follow the course material.
Cyber Security Base students will learn about relevant cyber security legislation within the EU, tools used to analyze flaws in software systems, building secure software systems, and performing risk and threat assessments on systems. Completion of the course will give participants the skills needed to work as junior cyber security consultants.
This is a new beginning for the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki. According to Professor Sasu Tarkoma, Head of Department, the partnership will significantly contribute to computer security education and do more to secure the digital infrastructure spreading throughout the globe. “Cyber security is more than just a booming industry,” he said. “It’s now touching on nearly every aspect of life, so it’s important for our education system to recognize this. Working with F-Secure will allow us to spread this knowledge to students all over the world.”