21st Century Threat Creates Critical Workforce Demand

$15.4 million — Average cost to a company from a cybercrime

100 million — Number of Cyberattacks directed at Los Angeles City government departments

209,000 — Cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. that are unfilled

On December 14th, the LAEDC will host its seminal series, Future Forum, where Cyber Security will be the issue in focus; both the threats and the business and career opportunities for LA County residents. In the last five years we have seen a serious uptick in cyber attacks — in all its manifestations — across wide swaths of key industry clusters, from entertainment, defense, government, retail, transportation, and financial and insurance services. Even politics is not off limits to cyber attacks as demonstrated by the Presidential election when news broke that the Democratic National Committee was infiltrated by malware planted by two Russian hacking crews. The impact and consequences of a cyber attack have never been more concerning. For Los Angeles, a region that encompasses many leading industries, universities, businesses, and vital access points for national and international trade, securing these assets and infrastructure has never been more paramount.

But what methodologies and best practices exist to counter the cyber threat? How do public and private sector organizations prepare their workforce for an ever-evolving threat? What is the current state of job growth and employment demand for IT and cyber security professionals?

Research and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to well-respected global information security and management firms such as CISCO and Kaspersky Lab, indicate significant job growth and in-demand positions by both public and private sector employers for this burgeoning field of information technology. The federal government, in its Cybersecurity National Action Plan, budgeted more than $62 million for cyber security personnel and recruitment of the next generation cybersecurity workforce through the following initiatives:

  • National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education
  • Expansion of the Scholarship for Service program
  • Establishing a CyberCorps Reserve
  • Development of a Cybersecurity Core Curriculum
  • Increasing and bolstering investment in, participating universities in the National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Program
  • Enhancing student loan forgiveness programs for cybersecurity experts joining the Federal workforce

As a region, Southern California is well-positioned to heed the call by federal government employers as our region is home to many leading colleges and universities including four which are accredited as National Centers for Academic Excellence by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency: Cal Poly Pomona, CSU San Bernardino, CSU Dominguez Hills, and UC Irvine.

Future Forum on Cyber Security, while serious in topic, presents the ideal opportunity to gather key stakeholders, students, and public and private sector professionals from throughout LA County to come together to discuss how best we can combat the cyber threat and be at the cusp of innovative cybersecurity tactics and best practices.