Anil Markose of Booz Allen Hamilton says cybersecurity is more about the mindset than the technical background
Anil Markose of Booz Allen Hamilton says cybersecurity is more about the mindset than the technical background

Earlier this year NYU Tandon School of Engineering and New York's Cyber Command (NYC3) joined forces to announce one of the country's most affordable Cybersecurity Master's Degree in the form of its NY Cyber Fellows program.

The program was developed to answer Mayor Bill de Blasio's New York Works initiative to add 10,000 cybersecurity experts to the workforce within a decade and will offer the degree for $15,000 after scholarships for the entire master's cybersecurity degree program.

The curriculum was designed with input from an Advisory Council consisting of the New York City Cyber Command and firms including Booz Allen Hamilton, Blackstone, Bridgewater, EY LLC, Goldman Sachs, IBM Security, Jefferies, and Morgan Stanley.

The goal of the program is to train students for positions that will help fill the cyber talent pool, diversify the industry, and help mid-career individuals transition into cybersecurity roles.

“Cybersecurity is a team sport and we're looking to build effected, diverse teams with T shaped skills,” NYC Cyber Command Deputy Chief Information Security Officer Colin Ahern said at a May 2 roundtable discussion following their inaugural meeting of the Cyber Fellows Advisory Council. “So we want people with a wide knowledge of both technical and non-technical abilities, but also people who can have deep knowledge in an important area”

Ahern went on to add that these skills could be technical, such as application development, but could also be in areas such as law or risk management. It takes a village but it takes both engineers and non-engineers to solve cybersecurity problems he said.

Gerard Brady, chief information security officer of Morgan Stanley added that data analytics and access management skill will be in high demand.

“Whether we're designing security capability in defensive practices or responding to incidents, teams are very diverse," Brady said. ” He went on to say that lawyers architects engineers, data scientists, and people dealing with risk management often have a common language and common mission of using their unique skillsets to defend their assets.

Cybersecurity jobs concerning reliability and safety will be in high demand as firms scramble to close the cybersecurity skills gap, Tom Brennan Founder of ProActive, and Member of Global Board of Directors of the Open Web Security Project said.

“A lot of interconnected devices that are running our process control systems, our trains, and our connectivity within the environments are typically overlooked in most cases,” Brennan said.

Many of these devices are running old or antiquated equipment that is increasingly becoming connected to sensors that collect valuable data that could be used to make decisions in boardrooms. The problems arise when these systems aren't properly air-gapped or aren't properly configured, Brennan said, adding that these systems will need to be accounted for moving forward. 

The program also works to get students involved in cybersecurity as young as in middle school with Hackathon events designed to spark an early interest in the field. Cyber Fellows will also have access to the NYC3 Cyber Range, a virtual laboratory with realistic simulation for hands-on training and development that is currently under development.