The talk of cybersecurity training is getting louder – and for a good reason. During the pandemic, 90% of companies have reported an increase in cyber attracts. As technology overpowers the world of business and cyber-attacks become more frequent, digital data security becomes a prevailing topic.
Enter Bronzeville-based Evanston Technology Partners, Inc. who today is offering a first-of-its-kind Cybersecurity apprentice program targeting underemployed in our Black and Brown communities. An initial pilot is now underway, which will later be followed by a rigorous apprenticeship training program. “We know that the Cybersecurity business will forever grow, and as a result, job creation and opportunity will be plentiful,” said Emmanuel Jackson, Founder and CEO, Evanston Technology Partners (ETP). “Cybersecurity is risk number one. This program will train, develop and foster the industry’s future leaders from historically underrepresented communities.”
The initial pilot is being conducted virtually, in partnership with IBM and Pluralsight. Members of the initial pilot will work in a simulation lab to gain experience in enterprise-wide cyber breaches and cyber destructions. Students will learn how best to handle different kinds of attacks in real-life scenarios. Jackson says the hands-on experience is crucial and will make program graduates incredibly marketable.
“The biggest issue in cybersecurity is people,” Jackson said. “The only way to work towards solving our country’s challenges in cybersecurity is to get people trained, certified, and into simulated environments so that they can be testing every possible hypothesis and every risk. The best way to fill these jobs is through women and underrepresented populations.”
ETP is working with the Chicago Urban League and others to provide wraparound services for program participants. “We know people have life-related issues from time to time. While my team and our partners will be focused on training and mentoring from the technical side, the Chicago Urban League and others are positioned to easily step in and help trainees manage any challenges,” Jackson added. Cybersecurity skills are in great demand and the best cyber talent is hard to find, both issues expected to be addressed through ETP’s program providing solid training and marketable and competitive employment.
WBC will continue to share updates of ETP’s cybersecurity training program in future editions of this newsletter.