As the cost, frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to rise, enterprises face the critical challenge of staffing their organizations to adequately combat the growing number of threats and protect their organizations from potential data breaches. At the same time, filling open positions with qualified cybersecurity professionals has emerged as a significant obstacle in the war against hackers. On the heels of research indicating a 40 percent gap in the IT security workforce in 2014(1), HP committed to education and training initiatives aimed at closing the gap. To ensure diversity in this workforce, HP also committed a $250,000 grant to the SWSIS scholarship program, to be distributed to winners over four years.
"Cybercrime, and its financial and reputational damage, will only increase as our adversaries evolve and continue to outpace the industry," said Art Gilliland, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Security Products, HP. "To stay ahead we must inspire a new generation of talent to enter the IT security field, and HP is committed to providing support for women in particular through programs such as SWSIS to ensure a diverse group of students acquire the skills needed to address this evolving threat landscape."
Together, HP, ACSA and CRA-W have funded scholarships for undergraduates and master's degree candidates from 13 colleges and universities across the United States including:
- California State University, Dominguez Hills
- Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott
- Kentucky State University
- Marshall University
- Michigan State University
- Northern Kentucky University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Stony Brook University
- University of Cincinnati
- University of Maryland Baltimore County
- University of Maryland at College Park
- University of Washington, Tacoma
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
"The pool of scholarship candidates this year was impressive -- the new SWSIS fellows demonstrate academic excellence and engagement in their universities and communities, as well as participation in information security events beyond their academic course work," said Rebecca Wright, professor at Rutgers University and Co-Director of the ACSA/CRA-W SWSIS scholarship program. "It is our goal for these SWSIS fellows to contribute to the representation of women in the information security workforce not only by their own career development, but as ambassadors who encourage others to pursue similar paths."
"There is so much opportunity to pursue a career in the security field, and it's great to see that HP and ASCA are encouraging more women to go down this path," said Brooke Young, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "I look forward to starting the new academic year with their support, and continuing to explore new security challenges."
SWSIS scholarship details
The SWSIS program was founded by ACSA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the understanding, theory and practice of cybersecurity. The SWSIS scholarship program is a joint effort between HP, the ACSA and CRA-W.
- HP funds will be allocated to the ACSA over a four-year period, beginning in 2014.
- While there is no preset scholarship amount, students are eligible for scholarships in the amount of $5,000-10,000 per individual each year, and can be awarded up to $20,000 total over a two year period.
- For each individual, the scholarship is effective for two years, but the student must reapply after the first year to confirm continued interest in the IT security industry.
- Scholarship winners have the option to intern at HP, although it is not a mandatory requirement.
- To apply, candidates must provide a statement of interest in the field of information security, a transcript and a statement of their current educational status.
- CRA-W reviews all applications and recommends one or more outstanding candidates to the ACSA to receive scholarship funding.
HP will be addressing this news and the latest trends in enterprise security at the RSA Conference 2015, taking place Apr. 20-24 in San Francisco. To hear more about the "New School of Cyber Defense", attend Gilliland's keynote presentation on the main stage on Wednesday, April 22, 3:05 p.m. PT. Additional information about HP Security solutions is available at HP booth No. 3403. Keep up with RSA Conference happenings by following the hashtag #RSAC and follow @HPsecurity.
About HP Security
HP enables organizations to take a proactive approach to security, disrupting the life cycle of an attack through prevention and real-time threat detection. With market-leading products, services and innovative research, HP Enterprise Security enables organizations to integrate information correlation, application analysis and network-level defense. Additional information about HP Enterprise Security can be found at www.hp.com/go/esp.
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(1) "IT Security Jobs Study," The Ponemon Institute, February 2014.
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