A growing global cybersecurity workforce shortage could affect New York’s ability to fend off cyber attacks. One data tool shows that after Washington, D.C., the New York metro area has the largest absolute number of cybersecurity job openings – roughly 20,000.
At City & State’s Protecting New York Summit on Wednesday, cybersecurity experts from the public and private sectors discussed some of the ways that New York is attempting to rectify that gap. Liat Krawczyk, assistant vice president for Emerging Tech Initiatives at Cyber NYC – a public-private initiative led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation – said that one of those techniques is to engage academic institutions like Cornell Tech, The City University of New York, and New York University to build skills that transfer directly to the workforce. “We will be launching a cybersecurity master’s degree at (The City College of New York) that will be built together with industry, such as one of our partners, which is Facebook,” Krawczyk said.
An expanding cybersecurity workforce can’t automatically rely on young professionals to flock to open positions at government agencies, even though those skills are needed there. Convincing skilled workers to take their talents to government work will require an appeal to their sense of purpose, according to Richard Jacobs, the assistant special agent in charge of the Cyber Branch at the FBI’s New York Office. “What we find is that a lot of young people who are in college and studying a technical field, their first thought, generally speaking, is not the FBI. It's a tech company of some kind or a startup,” Jacobs said, adding that a government enterprise can’t compete with those companies on salary. “What we can compete on is mission and people who believe in that mission. We are also doing a lot of work with universities around the country to advertise that mission and to talk to students about that mission, in the hope that when they’re old enough to become an agent or something else, we will be ready to discuss positions with them.”
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