Cyber threats have no borders.
One hacker in one place can damage an entire company – along with its employees and clients – all over the world.
To create a skilled workforce ready to meet the challenges of the cyber world head-on, it’s not always enough to provide education at the local level. It’s becoming more and more important to spread awareness and information to the global community.
That’s exactly what the team at the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs’ Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy set out to do.
A few years ago, the institute created a cybersecurity leadership and strategy executive program tailored toward managers and professionals in the field working in cybersecurity to help them learn the necessary skills to fight cyber threats. The first few programs were originally hosted in Miami and then in Washington, D.C.
But earlier this year, the Gordon Institute broke ground and, in partnership with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Argentine Ministry of Security, created and organized a cybersecurity certificate training program fully in Spanish and conducted in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The program was warmly received by the international community and was attended by 50 professionals from both the public and private sectors, hailing from all parts of the hemisphere – Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay and the United States.
Gordon Institute Director Brian Fonseca and FIU cybersecurity experts as well as experts from the U.S. National Defense University and major tech companies like Microsoft and Trend Micro were among the featured speakers. Argentine Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich presented the keynote address.
Program participants included government officials and law enforcement officers from around the region, such as Argentina’s own Ministry of Security; higher education folks from institutions like the Universidad de los Andes; and representatives from companies like Sony Pictures Entertainment.
“This is the first cyber program of its kind at the university,” said Hector Cadavid, deputy director of the Gordon Institute. “Globally, we want to provide the best training and share knowledge with all of our partners and neighbors.”
The purpose of the program was to deepen participants’ understanding of cybersecurity in the 21st century and to help professionals in the field learn more about best practices to create cyber resilient communities.
The ultimate goal, Cadavid said, is to prepare a skilled global workforce and bridge the gap between the rising amount of cybersecurity jobs and the fewer number of professionals currently qualified for those jobs and for future employment opportunities.
The two-day program covered ways to identify threats, the ins and outs of organizational cybersecurity and strategies to combat cyber attacks. It culminated in a simulation exercise in which participants got to apply their skills and respond to a hypothetical cyber attack.
By the end of the program, Cadavid said, many participants were asking how they could get further training and pursue opportunities for cybersecurity education at FIU.
The institute will be hosting the program in Miami in May of 2019 and has already started working to organize similar training programs for the spring of 2019 throughout the Latin American region in places like Costa Rica, Colombia and Chile. The institute is hoping to eventually expand its program offerings across the world.
“This is really continuing to put FIU on the map, not just locally but globally,” Cadavid said. “The interest these types of programs are generating are not limited to this hemisphere. This is how we continue to be Worlds Ahead.”