OAS – Cisco report on actions to support closing the gap between supply and demand for Cybersecurity talent in Latin America

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WASHINGTON, USA – The general secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) and Cisco are pleased to announce the release of the report “Cybersecurity Workforce Development in the era of talent and skills shortages,” which aims to provide an overview of the challenges resulting from the lack of professionals in the sector and the risk that this poses for cybersecurity in the region.

The report (Available in Spanish), which includes a presentation on the current context of cybersecurity, provides a series of solutions for multi-stakeholders to implement to promote workforce development and help solve the problem of labor shortages in cybersecurity.

Among the proposed solutions:

  • Digital education for children and young people;
  • Access to training programs;
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities for workforce development, and
  • The creation and implementation of national strategies and action plans by governments as a key foundation to promote the development of cybersecurity talent as a part of national agendas in Latin American countries.

Based on a detailed analysis of the cybersecurity labor market, the report analyzes the main reasons for the current situation through three perspectives:

  • From the supply side, an examination of the reasons behind insufficient practical training in cybersecurity which has to do with the lack of knowledge and inconsistent information.
  • From the demand side, an exploration of how both public and private sector organizations can reduce their staffing needs through, for example, investment in the re-education of their workforces.
  • From the perspective of governments, which are responsible for implementing initiatives that boost the cybersecurity labor market based on the inclusion of specific initiatives within their national strategies and regulatory frameworks.

In her presentation, the executive secretary of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the OAS, Alison Treppel, said:

“This publication will undoubtedly contribute to the strengthening of cybersecurity capacities in the region at a time when Latin America and the Caribbean appears as a priority target for cybercriminals. To strengthen the cybersecurity ecosystem, it is necessary to work comprehensively and in a coordinated manner in the development of the workforce. To do this, all stakeholders must work together to address challenges collaboratively with the aim of delivering achievable and sustainable solutions.”

For his part, Mario de la Cruz, senior director of government affairs of Cisco Latin America, said:

“Latin America has to consolidate its economic growth through the capabilities, tools and opportunities that digital transformation offers, all of which cannot happen without the existence of a solid cybersecurity foundation at all levels of the population: from digital literacy to the most advanced fight against cyber threats. We have to create that talent.”

The publication of the report is part of the joint cooperation agreement between the Cybersecurity Program of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the OAS and Cisco to create the Cybersecurity Innovation Councils, an initiative that brings together leaders from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia to promote innovation, raise awareness and disseminate good practices in cybersecurity in the region.

For more information, download the document here.

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