Building up the Talent Pipeline in Cybersecurity

It’s no secret; the pandemic kicked off the great resignation. Organizations in all industries scramble for talent to fill open positions. One sector of vital importance in dire need of skilled workers to fill a talent pipeline in cybersecurity. A 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study concluded that the global cybersecurity workforce gap has increased by 26.2% compared to 2021, leaving a void of 3.4 million jobs.

The threats to global infrastructures and organizational networks are never-ending, and without a fully stocked cyber workforce, those threats create untold damage.

The question on Ron J Stefanski’s mind: is there a talent pool waiting in the wings to answer the call, and what are today’s disruptors doing to find this talent and bring them into the cybersecurity space? Two disruptors answered the call and joined Stefanski on DisruptED to talk about talent and to get the right people onto the bus.

Mark Jaster, Founder & CEO of FOUR18 Intelligence Corp, and Marlena Sessions, CEO of NOVAworks, spoke with Stefanski about the situation.

“The problem we are faced with today is there are way too many cyberattacks for our resources and our ability to defend them,” Jaster said. “We don’t have enough people, we don’t have enough knowledge about what’s happening, and it’s happening in real-time, incentivized by the payoff that the attackers have when they succeed.”

Stefanski, Jaster, and Sessions discuss the following:

  • Developing talent to match job seekers
  • How to create skills to increase the talent pipeline in cybersecurity
  • Finding people who may not be thinking of a cybersecurity role but who could be great candidates

“At NOVA works, we are stewards of our taxpayer dollars,” Sessions said. “We don’t say ‘no’ to any job seeker. Anybody can come in. I could find myself out of work or a laid-off mid-level career professional, but we do focus on certain areas of folks who might have been historically excluded.”

Mark Jaster is a growth strategist and innovator with a deep skill set and unique methods for solving the most complex problems of innovation strategy and product adoption in complex markets such as information systems, medical devices, biotechnology, and enterprise risk management. Jaster holds an MSE in Engineering Design & Management from Stanford University and a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.

Marlena Sessions has over two decades of experience working to change lives. Before her role with NOVAworks, Sessions was the Executive Director for San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board, worked in leadership roles for Grant Associates, and led the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County as the COO and CEO for seventeen years. She holds her BA in History/Political Science from Whitworth University and her MA in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

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