Government task force to build cyber security skills

Communications Minister Amy Adams has announced the establishment of a Cyber Security Skills Taskforce to address the shortage of cyber professionals in New Zealand.

Communications Minister Amy Adams has announced the establishment of a Cyber Security Skills Taskforce to address the shortage of cyber professionals in New Zealand.

The eight-person taskforce will be led by David Eaton, CTO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) New Zealand and also a member of the CERT Establishment Advisory Board. It will also include representatives from academia and industry.It will establish a pathway for junior analysts, including a level 6 qualification and industry-supported internships to be developed in 2017.

However this will do little to produce highly qualified security professionals. A level 6 course, according to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework is not a degree level course but a certificate or diploma course and “qualifies individuals with theoretical and/or technical knowledge and skills in specialised/strategic contexts.”

Adams said there was a lack of New Zealanders entering the profession at a sub-degree level, so the taskforce would focus on working with academia and industry to develop the course, with industry supported internships.

“There is a growing global shortage of cyber security professionals. It’s estimated that there will be a global workforce shortfall of between one to two million positions by 2019,” Adams said.

“This shortage is limiting the ability of organisations to protect themselves from the increasing threat of cyber attacks. New Zealand is competing for talent in a global market and it’s important that the Taskforce looks at ways in which New Zealand can grow its own talent.”

The members of the task force are:

Jo Healey, CEO of Dimension Data NZ who “has a longstanding interest in improving cyber security skills in New Zealand, and a good understanding of industry needs in relation to cybersecurity skills,” according to the minister.

Brent Lewis, the principal of Avondale College who “has developed innovative teaching models in New Zealand based around a facilitated learning model.” According to the minister, under his leadership the college as achieved outstanding results in international certifications from Cambridge CIE, Microsoft, Adobe Autodesk and others.

Dr Ryan Ko, a senior lecturer and head of the cyber security programme at Waikato University. He has “extensive experience in cybersecurity skill and training development, including establishing the New Zealand cyber security challenge.”

Kendra Ross, co-founder and director of cyber security company Duo Ltd. She established and runs 1stTuesday – New Zealand’s largest network of security professionals, and has been on the advisory board of the Wellington Regional Council initiative on increasing economic growth through cyber security skills. She also is on the CERT Establishment Advisory Board.

Dr Rick Ede, CEO of Unitec Institute of Technology, which “plays a leading role in cyber security research and teaching within New Zealand.”

Chris Rutter, head of technology transformation and value management at ANZ Bank New Zealand, where his responsibilities includes developing and implementing workforce strategies for the bank’s technology area.

Tia Greenstreet, head of careers and transition at Wellington College.

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