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Cybersecurity Talent: $30 Million NYC Initiative Brings Training, Research and Startup Support

New York City wants to develop cybersecurity talent and is looking for private partners to help enact a $30 million initiative to build a skills pipeline, fund research and support startups in the metropolitan area.

The program, dubbed Cyber NYC, is being led by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYEDC) and spearheaded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, StateScoop reported.  The City said it wants to “train talent from diverse backgrounds with the skills needed to get good paying cyber jobs.” Funding for the project has been reserved and how it gets doled out depends on the City’s evaluation of responses to its request for proposals (RFP) and the haggling that results, the report said.

Cyber NYC fits into a wave of security workforce development programs sprouting up in other metros. For example, there’s a similar program in Baltimore, a new state government backed cybersecurity training center in Massachusetts, a scholarship set up in Delaware and a training program for military veterans in Virginia, as StateScoop reported separately.

Officials said Cyber NYC will be housed in a “cyber center” that will feature the City’s first security focused startup accelerator, along with space and programming for the community. The plan also calls for technology partnerships to be added to the City’s Applied Learning Initiative with a goal to build security-centric curricula and foster collaborations with academia.

The plan also calls for Academic Innovation Exchanges to tie in universities with entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market as well as support early-stage companies. And, a cyber boot camp will help build a talent flow into the City, officials said.

Cyber NYC is seemingly well-timed. Among IT businesses, the expected 1.8 billion 2022 talent shortage for security pros is worrisome and innovative suggestions are surfacing from businesses and communities about how to best address the issue. For example, IBM has been stumping for security-centric trade school education to grow the talent pipeline.

Additionally, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a partnership led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that emphasizes cybersecurity education, training and workforce development, recently came out with a framework to help employers identify, recruit and develop cybersecurity talent.

Of course, another way to develop security talent in a locality is to examine operating models, such as managed service providers (MSSP). Most cyber security pros believe an industry-wide skills gap may compel organizations to think more creatively to address cybersecurity concerns, such as turning to MSSPs for expertise.

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