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Growing the Cybersecurity Workforce with the European HR Community

Today, on the 29th March, ECSO’s Head of Applications & Human Factors, Nina Olesen, delivered a keynote speech at the conference on “Women in Cyber Security – Trends, Opportunities and Current Challenges” organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, the ICT Association of Slovenia and the Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia. The keynote speech focused on how ECSO is helping to grow the cybersecurity workforce through initiatives such as EHR4CYBER, Youth4Cyber, and Women4Cyber, with a special focus on the newest initiative from ECSO and Women4Cyber: “the European HR Community”.

In her speech, Nina addressed the multiple challenges that Europe faces when it comes to cybersecurity skills and the workforce. There is a lack of information sharing between technical departments (i.e. Chief Information Security Officers) and HR which causes fragmentation in the recruitment process and the general understanding of needed cybersecurity competencies. Europe is also experiencing a lack of diversity in the cybersecurity workforce resulting from misconceptions about the needed skills in the cybersecurity field, lack of awareness about possible career pathways, and reduced access to affordable training and upskilling programmes.

To tackle these ongoing challenges, ECSO and Women4Cyber have launched a new initiative – the European HR Community. The HR community aims to provide input on the practical needs and challenges of the sector mentioned above, including recommendations for solutions and initiatives on how best to attract, recruit, and retain cybersecurity talent. The community will allow HR practitioners (including talent managers and anyone involved in the recruitment process in their organisation) to exchange with a network of peers and work towards tangible improvements in the hiring and retention of cybersecurity experts. Some of the initial priorities that have been discussed within the community include:

  • To provide cyber training to recruiters
  • To translate the technical jargon of the cybersecurity field and include non-technical language in job ads
  • To improve the retention of staff
  • To collect cybersecurity workforce data for Europe
  • To attract more women to the field

The new initiative fits nicely into ECSO’s overall mission of contributing to European digital strategic autonomy and to the strengthening of Europe’s cyber resilience​. ECSO, through its designated working group on skills and human factors, aims to contribute to a cybersecurity capability and capacity-building effort for a cyber resilient next generation (NextGen) digital Europe, through increased education, professional training, skills development, as well as actions on awareness-raising, expertise-building and gender inclusiveness.

For more information about the European HR Community, please contact nina.olesen(at)ecs-org.eu or arnaud.de.vibraye(at)ecs-org.eu.

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