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24 Feb 14. Cyber security industry launches skill search. As the threat from cyber criminals soars at an unprecedented rate, a shortage of qualified professionals is making it difficult to defend companies and countries from cyber attacks, experts have warned. People with the necessary expertise are sometimes lured by the money to be made on the “dark side” of hacking – or barred from employment in governments because of a history of dabbling in illegal activity. Jane Holl Lute, president of the US Council on Cyber Security, a non-governmental organisation, is calling on the industry and government to “get serious” about the workforce problem. “We need more pilots, frequent fliers and people on the runway,” she said in a speech last year, using a metaphor from the airline industry. “We need to bring into other professions a greater understanding of cyber security.” The council has created the US Cyber Challenge, which aims to find 10,000 bright students and turn them into cyber security professionals. By running competitions at high schools and summer camps and holding job fairs, it hopes to make cyber security an exciting career option for people who may never have considered it. Global demand for people with cyber security skills is forecast to grow at about 13.2 per cent each year from 2012 to 2017, according to the Global Information Security Workforce Study by Frost and Sullivan consultants. The 4.2m information security professionals the survey predicts for 2017 will probably be high earners – in 2013, 60 per cent in the sector reporting a salary increase. W Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)2, a professional body for information security professionals, has called on the US government to do more to solve the “acute skills gap” in a recent open letter. The former chief information officer for the US Department of the Interior says 61 per cent of US government respondents to a recent survey believed their agency had too few qualified workers now, let alone in the future. Mr Hord Tipton says the US should establish a cyber “special forces” team to tempt people who might not usually consider a job with the government. There is a big workforce problem. But people who figure out how to make things work, reverse engineer things, are really good at this and they can learn the technology. Many are not trained as computer scientists (Source: FT.com)

24 Feb 14. Israel utilises its cyber security expertise. Surrounded on all sides by historically hostile states and with a long coastline, Israel is a country perhaps more naturally inclined than most to invest in security. As a result it supplies a share of IT security products vastly disproportionate to its size. Despite having a population of just 8m, the country controls about 5-7 per cent of the global cyber security market. This is all the more impressive because these businesses operate under export restrictions. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, hopes to consolidate his country’s position as a world leader in the field. IDC, an analysis company, predicts the global market will grow from $30.3bn in 2012 to an estimated $42bn by 2017. If there were any doubt as to the threat posed by cyber attacks, the day before the event, Seculert, a cyber security company, announced that 15 computers containing defence ministry information had recently been infiltrated by
hackers. Further confirmation is offered by network security company FireEye, which calculates that Israel was the victim of an average of 1.5 serious cyber attacks an hour in 2013. To deal with this, Jeffrey Starr, chief marketing officer of Cellebrite, an Israeli mobile diagnostics and forensics company, notes that: “Israel has developed a highly specialised pool of talent whose primary mission has been coping with unique security challenges through rapid technological inn

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