First, let's consider the true picture!
The overall landscape of emerging cybersecurity threats has gone extremely wide and deeper in recent years. Almost every enterprise, large or small-medium, is severely under-pressure to protect its critical information and data. Every organization which has been attacked in recent years, had to pay a huge cost of their cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
More than half, i.e., 53% of all attacks resulted in financial damages of more than US$500,000, including, but not limited to, lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and out-of-pocket costs.
All organizations worldwide are living each day in a state of high-alert! They are trying their best to keep themselves protected from cyber threats. Around 72% of them are deploying a large number of security products offered by as many as 20-50 cybersecurity vendors.
BUT the problem they are facing is that there is NO synthesis among most of these cybersecurity products implemented by them, because most of such products operate as if they are floating islands. Do you know what is happening then?
There is a Flood of Cybersecurity Alerts!
All these cybersecurity products are generating a very large number of alerts, logs and other telemetry. There is no orchestration among these products from various vendors.
As a result of 'Alert Divulge', the huge gaps continue to exist between alerts generated, those that have been investigated, and those that are eventually remediated. As shown in above:
- Among organizations that receive daily security alerts, an average of 44 percent of those alerts are not investigated.
- Of those alerts investigated, 34 percent are deemed legitimate.
- Of those deemed legitimate, 51 percent of alerts are remediated.
- Nearly half (49 percent) of legitimate alerts are not remediated.
IMPACT: This process leaves many legitimate alerts un-remediated. What is the reason?
One reason of it, appears to be the lack of headcount and trained personnel who can facilitate the demand to investigate all alerts.
Most organizations are fully anticipating that-- the cyber threats they are facing will remain complex and challenging. They are expecting bad actors/hackers to develop more sophisticated and damaging ways to breach their networks. They also know that the modern workplace is creating conditions that actually favor the attackers:
• The mobility of employees and adoption of IoT devices provide attackers with fresh opportunities.
Along with increased threats, many organizations are expecting that they’ll be under additional scrutiny—from regulators, executives, stakeholders, partners, and clients.
That's why most organizations need to move beyond relying solely on technology for defense. That means they must take holistic approach to their cybersecurity defense and examine other opportunities to improve security, such as applying policies or training users too.
The Biggest Stumbling Block
Lack of skilled talent tops the list of obstacles in all industries and across all regions of the globe.
“If I could wave a magic wand and get 10 percent more people to take some of the burden off people who really feel the heat because of high demand for their particular service areas, I would be a very, very happy guy,” says a CISO for a large professional services firm.
While the skilled talent gap is an ongoing challenge, organizations report that they’re seeking out and hiring more resources for their security teams. They all want to improve their cybersecurity defense capabilities, had they have access to rightly trained manpower.
When it comes to the cybersecurity industry, the problem is clear: there’s not enough skilled professionals.
We have all seen the news before: there is a serious shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the market, ranging from 1 to 3 million unfilled security jobs globally for 2019-2020, according to different estimates. It is clearly a problem that cannot be solved overnight, but it is deeply affecting companies.
This is the biggest reason why Cisco wishes to close the cyber security talent gap .
This was exactly the reason the Cisco launched the Global $10 Million Cybersecurity Scholarship in 2016 and launched its CCNA Cyber Ops.
Why did CISCO launched its Global $10 Million Cybersecurity Scholarship Program?
To address the shortfall of security talent, in June 2016, Cisco decided to invest $10 million in a two-year Global Cybersecurity Scholarship program to increase the pool of available talent with critical cybersecurity proficiency.
Cisco had been offered training, mentoring and certification that aligned with the Security Operations Center Analyst industry job role, since then.
Till recently, Cisco had been delivering the training program in partnership with key Cisco Authorized Learning Partners. Actually, this training was designed to address the critical skills deficit, providing on-the-job readiness needed to meet current and future challenges of network security.
A large number of IT professionals obtained the benefits of this scholarship. Yet there is a huge pool of people who were left behind and could not participate in this opportunity.
In a fantastic article, Tim Harmon shares the first-hand account of his experience and training of CCNA Cyber Ops. You can read this article here: Cisco CCNA Cyber Ops Scholarship: The Ins and Outs!
The scholarship seems to have ended on date: November 7, 2018 as that was the last date for the students to log in at the platform.
BUT the shortage of Cybersecurity professional is still huge!
To identify the best opportunities for IT professionals, IDC recently completed a global survey of IT hiring managers, examined nearly 2 million IT job postings for requested skills, and built a global IT employment model to identify both near- and long-term growth potential for every major role in IT.
For many of these roles, there are skill shortages, but IT hiring managers won’t wait. They will fill those positions with the best skilled IT professionals they can find.
• When organizations can’t find external candidates, they identify motivated internal candidates. It is always organization's long-term talent acquisition strategy.
To be ready for these roles, IT professionals should drive their own careers by getting certified in areas organizations are looking for.
No matter your current role or your interest is, these “most significant” IT roles can be part of your career in IT. Remember, even if companies have difficulty finding candidates to fill roles, they don’t delay a project if they can’t fill a position.
Cybersecurity Jobs: Hot-in-demand with Long-Term Importance
Not only cybersecurity jobs are one of 'Top Significant IT Jobs' and hard to fill up currently. They make a highly attractive career option for any IT professional. What do you think?
A good start made now has a huge potential to make a highly rewarding career options in times to come. Remember, this career of a cybersecurity professional is a young career in itself. You must choose these careers, before the crowd makes its way to ….
Young engineers might not see cybersecurity as sexy, which is weird because we think it’s the coolest [job] ever. It’s spy versus spy. Competition for qualified cybersecurity professionals is driving up salaries and better benefit offerings, like more vacation time, access to training programs, and telecommuting options. The demand for the jobs, though, might be backfiring on employers, because workers can take advantage of the competition.
The issue that many organizations have today is that IT projects can’t go forward unless cybersecurity issues are addressed. Rather than viewing cybersecurity as an afterthought, organizations are now viewing a basic level of cybersecurity to be included as table stakes in any new project. Companies are devoting a lot of effort to hiring and retaining cybersecurity professionals. The catch is the time and money spent is an investment that is not being spent on actually improving cybersecurity.
Even Forbes reports that 'Cybersecurity is The Fast-Growing Job With A Huge Skills Gap' and states that --
One of the most in-demand cyber security roles is Security Analyst
Starting around at a salary of $75,000 at the entry-level, Cyber-security Analysts can easily get the milestone of $1,00,000 per annum.
Security analysts work to prevent and mitigate breaches on the ground. As most of Global Cybersecurity vendors such as Cisco, Symantec, Raytheon, AT&T, SecureWorks, Digital Guardian, F5 Networks, Fortinet, Capgemini SE, Treo etc have entered into the market of 'Cyberseucrity Operations Center (SOC) already, the competition to hire an able 'Security Analysts' has gone many notches higher.
In fact, Cisco's launch of its new CCNA Cyber Ops program with its Global $10 Million Cybersecurity Scholarship was a deserving response to current shortage of cybersecurity analysts. You may have the following question in mind!
What is the difference between CCNA Security and Cyber Ops?
I am frequently faced with this question. Here I am trying to present the Cisco's perspective as the answer to the question.
From the Cisco's perspective, CCNA Security and its certification path is typically concerned with 'Nuts and Bolts' of making your networks security using Cisco's devices, software and services. And job profiles which make cut to this domain are usually network engineer, network architect, network administrator etc as they are assigned with tasks related with the building, securing and maintaining the network infrastructure.
However, CCNA Cyber Ops and certification path (in future) is typically concerned with 'Guarding' of your castle. The is about every minute guarding of your networks and protection of your critical information assets and entails a 24x7 job of guarding against possible attacks and if any breach has happened, it requires ZERO-DAY DETECTION, if possible and quickest possible response to curtail the damages.
I hope you would like this article and leave me your feedback. You may also love to share this article among your contacts at Linkedin, Facebook and other social media platforms.
This article is written & published by Ms. Meena, Senior Manager - IT, at Luminis Consulting Services Pvt Ltd, India. She can be reached at Email: and/or Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meena1
Abdinur Hashi Farah, Qatar
The training was really well organized and we learnt a lot in a short period, the course materials were inline and easy to practice by your own. It was little bit challenging to balance work and study within 12 days consecutively, but Meena made very comfortable and enjoyed sessions because she makes you want to come to class to learn about more and she explains the content so well and doesn’t move on until students really understand it. She was very helpful on exam preparation questions. Finally, I’m feeling comfortable and understood all the concept and preparing for exam. I recommend this class to all....
Amar Kermia, Algeria
Ingénieur Système Réseau
CCNP R&S, CCNA R&S, MCSE 2012 R2 Server Infrastructure and Cloud
The CCNA security Training is the basic knowledge for us to clarify and prepare for the CCNA to CCIE Security Certification. During the 13 days of training, we have Increased our Knowledge and we have well understood all theories part and practical part as well. We are working in ALL what we covered on the training. CCNA security is the same practice, what we find in our client Infrastructure. I was really satisfied by the Online training of Luminis, also by the trainer, Meena.
Sunday Ogali, Nigeria
IT Administrator at Chris Ejik Group of Companies
CCNP R&S, CCNA R&S
Fantastic training sessions with so much interactivity. I personally enjoyed the labs and the communication methods of the trainer. Ensuring that the whole class was carried along every step of the way, she also made sure to check if we all understood everything before proceeding. Training material was also in line with the curriculum, and I must say that this training has added more knowledge to me. The exam preparation sessions were also made very easy, thanks to the trainer. I will surely take my certification exams to validate my knowledge, and I definitely will enroll for more trainings in the future. Good job! Thumbs up!
Kgomotso KG Selebogo, South Africa
Network Engineer at EOH Network Solutions
CCNP R&S, CCNA R&S, JNCA, NSE 4, NSE3, NSE1, NSE2, ACIS - Avaya Fabric Networking Solutions, Avaya Fabric Networking Solutions Integration Exam
I feel that the training needs more practical portions to it. I also feel that the trainees need to be given the chance to do the practical’s on their own before the instructor just gives us the answer on -- how to configure. The instructor needs to articulate more. For exmaple, we only did Private VLan’s and the FirePOWER section last day during the exam-questions session. I felt that for they were important, but we just rushed through them. For someone who has worked on Palo Alto, Watchguard and Fortigate, I feel that the training I have done for the other vendors was stronger than the one I did for cisco. I was expecting a lot more from the Cisco CCNA Security training.
Thusoetsile Seetelo, South Africa
Network Engineer at Vodacom
CCNP R&S, CCNA R&S
The training was good, the trainer provided good content. The trainer gave student platform to express what they have learned. The trainer knew how to interact with students.
Ramesh Naik, Nigeria
It is my first time undergoing an online training and I have to say it was an absolutely great experience. The level of engagement the Trainer had with the student was top-notch which discouraged anyone being left behind, with active troubleshooting for every student issues in order to progress was outstanding. We had theoretical explanations for each concept, practical examples and scenarios to back them up which transformed an abstract idea into real life situations. I would say joining this training has been a life changing decision for the better as I have greatly increased my knowledge in Networking and the zeal to push and attain higher goals. It is worthy of note to mention Meena has been absolutely fantastic, and I greatly appreciate the sacrifice she has made to make this project a success. I’d be eternally grateful to Luminisindia for the opportunity to be a part of this story and I look forward to more sessions like this.
William Kisemei, Kenya
Network Communications Officer at Wells Fargo Ltd
I admit that the training was absolutely of high pedigree and full of examples, concepts and well labelled explanations. Meena has been on fore-front in making sure that every student understood the discussed topic. Her engagement with the class had been tremendous and most of the time she would like to hear from the students on their issues. The training had meet my personal threshold of being on higher level just like a physical class …I will have a good compliment to other people about changing their career path through such causes i.e. CCNA Security.
Sulaiman Abaniwonnda, Nigeria
IT Specialist, Financial Technologist,Trainer
CCNA R&S, MCSE Security, CCNSP, ITIL v3, ISO/IEC 27002, MCSA Messaging, etc
I am pleased to be part of the training. It is an opportunity that I could not take 100% benefits because of technical issues (Internet and Power). However, it was a well-prepared training with quality and summarized presentations. All the necessary materials provided were very helpful. The time for the training, though it was tiring because one have almost down as a result of the work, but I always felt happy and eager to join the session on daily basis. The timing were very right. The duration, 12 days was actually loaded with so much, though in a simple manner, but participants may need to revise the contents, video and jottings before a new session, this was not always easy to achieve. As for our formidable tutor, teacher and trainer, Meena, I am blessed to know her and part of her students. If I have future opportunity, I will love to have her as my teacher once again. A strong woman, she never tired, and always encourages the participants to be at alert. Well done, Meena. Namaste!
Prashan Kanjee, South Africa
Systems Engineer: ICT Infrastructure, Software & Server Maintenance at South Cape TVET College
CCNA R&S, Microsoft Windows Server
I would like to say that this CCNA Security course has really broaden my knowledge not only in Cisco configurations but also in terms of security. The trainer explained all the concepts in a way that made understanding those concepts easy as well as how those concepts were applied. I am grateful to the trainer for giving her time to educate me on key and important concepts of security. I will definitely be taking my CCNA Security exam in the near future. The trainer also provided me with all the resource required in order for me to better prepare myself for the upcoming exam. The training was of a high standard and I would definitely be recommending Luminis to my colleagues. Thank You Luminis for this wonderful opportunity you’s have provided me with.
Mbuso Sibeko, South Africa
Network Support Engineer at Vodacom Business South Africa
CompTia A+, Network+ and Cisco IT essentials, CCNA R&S
It’s been a very interesting journey, We learnt a lot in a short space period of time. All the theory and practical were very informative. Some days were challenging but that’s how we learn. This was a very interesting journey sadly it came to an end so soon. I wish to do more bootcamps with Meena in future. Once again, many thanks for this incredible training opportunity, please continue to change people’s lives. Thanks you, Meena, for your massive effort, for encouraging us and for your positive energy towards us. Much appreciated!
Nasir (Oyeniyi) Bello, Nigeria
IT Support Specialist at Enterprise Business Info System
CCNA R&S, PRINCE2 Project Management
I would like to use the medium to say a big thank you to LUMINIS INDIA, specially my Facilitator Meena R. For the wonderful opportunity given to participate in this CCNA SECURITY TRAINING. Thank you so much for your support and I will be glad to participate in any of your training program online with Network Career and other IT program that will help me improve my knowledge in this wonderful IT WORLD.
Oladipupo Subair, Nigeria
Network Administrator, IT Support
CompTia A+, CCNA R&S, Dell-EMC Data Science, Oracle Certified Associate
The practicals and examples were very useful. The recordings helped too. The teacher took time to re-explain in case students did not understand. And the past test questions was a good idea too. I guess the practice project was also a good idea. The whole 13 days was a good experience.
Obinna Ohajuru, Nigeria
IT & System Support Officer at RTCom Nigeria Limited
CCNA, CCNSP, Windows Server 2012 R2: Server Networking
The quality of content and way of content delivery was excellent as trainer did not withhold any information sort of that needed to be shared. I connected to the trainer as though it was a one-on-training as room was given for questions, hands-on practical section and verifying each steps done. I am more vast in CCNA Security and with more little study I would be ready to take my certification exam soon. Thanks, I really appreciate being honored to be ...tutored by Luminis Consulting Team!
Olumayowa Akinkuehinmi, Nigeria
Transmission Engineer at MainOne
6500 MSPP & Passive Optics Network O&C
The training was informative and the trainer did a good job to make sure the whole concept was understood. Meena took her time to make sure I understand whatever she is talking about with illustrations. Also the study guides and also the projects went a long way to give more insight into CCNA Security.
Peter Sunday Odejide, Nigeria
EUS / IT Officer (Huawei NE) at CWG PLC
Cisco SMB Specialization for Engineers Intel Technology Expert HP Enterprise Networking HP Service Sales
Meena is not just a blessing to Indians but the whole world, the training was well understood. Meena took the class with passion and the training was comprehensive. The practical process was well cordinated and she gives explanation when there’s need. She makes everyone feel among. The content, material were in depth. Many thanks, Meena!
Simon Selwana, South Africa
Acting IT Manager at National Library of South Africa
CCNA R&S, Certified Linux Administrator
We had a very mind blowing 13 days of CCNA Security (210-260) Online Training Bootcamp, ...was a bit clueless about few security concepts. I have learned and gained more about the following: (1) Secure Routing and Switching, (2) Cisco Firewall Technologies and Intrusion Prevention System Technologies, (3) Content and Endpoint Security. With full knowledge of above, I think it paved a way for me to easily write my CCNA security exam.
Charles Amon, South Africa
IT Manager at Redwill ICT
CCNA Cyber Ops, CCNA R&S
The training has been so helpful. Ms. Meena was so committed in doing this training. She was spending more hours and sleeping late each night. This has been an ultimate gift since it was a fantastic training. I would like to thank her and the entire team that made this happen. Technically, this training was so well laid out. The content of the training was so thorough and Ms. Meena is so skilled with the security part. She taught and demonstrated so well and answered every question informatively. Study material were provided, support was provided and everything.. that we required. I really appreciate to known her and I hope she will be available always to when I have something to ask. Much appreciated!
Xolisa Ndzishe, South Africa
Site Manager at Bronitek Technologies
CCNA R&S, Certified Fiber Optic Technician
Course was very informative and it expanded my knowledge. It gave me an opportunity to fine tune my networking skills .The good side of it is that you can plan, deploy the network and configure network security by applying the theoretical knowledge. The Instructor knew the subject very well....
Lee Wendo, Kenya
Switch Support Analyst at IPSL (Integrated Payments Services Limited)
CCNP R&S, ITIL
I found the training to be effective and informative, really opened my mind to understand the concepts better. The practical sessions made the understanding much better and gave me a hands-on feel. Going through the exam dumps gave me a feel of how the actual exam will be. The project assignment will be a good platform to practice all the knowledge learned and acquired. At the end of the process, it will make me more confident to prepare and sit for the exam.