CPITS is bridging shortage of talent in cybersecurity market – Abioye

Fortress Abioye, a cybersecurity engineer speaks to BusinessDay’s Frank Eleanya about participating in Trend Micro’s Certification Program IT Security (CPITS) a free 10-week program focusing on the soft and hard skills required to succeed in the cybersecurity field. He also discusses the recent global shortage of cybersecurity talents and what can be done to bridge the gap.

What is Trend Micro all about?

So we are a cyber security leader and we deal with cyber security products. We are also a vendor, in terms of providing solutions for protecting networks, protecting data, protecting your servers, protecting your endpoints, your clouds, and your environments. We also provide managed incidents. We provide services like managed detection and response, incidental response, and recently, some services as well. So in brief we are just a cyber security leader that provides these solutions that help you to secure and protect your environment.

There seems to be a shortage of tech talents generally and the cybersecurity market is also experiencing the same thing. Give us an idea of what the talent market is for the cybersecurity market.

Right now there’s a huge shortage of cybersecurity talents and it’s very glaring, not just in Nigeria and Africa alone, but globally. And as we know, threats are rising every day there are attacks, and people are going mobile. There are more vulnerabilities and things to be exploited. So it’s been weaponized every day. When you look at it, there’s this shortage of people that can help with protecting these environments and protecting individuals and companies from these exploits. And then you look at the huge number of threats that arise every day. There’s no balance. And if this is not equated soon, if there’s no balance, soon it’s going to be so much worse than it is right now. So that’s how it looks.

What is driving this shortage in the market? Is it a lack of policies or a lack of opportunities, training opportunities, or is it driven by incentives?

I think that first of all, awareness has a huge role to play in terms of. They are not so knowledgeable about the facts of cybersecurity. They’re not well-learned in this area of what’s going on. Awareness plays a huge part.

Also, training. Providing opportunities would greatly help with bridging this gap of lesser talent in this field.

There are opportunities available, but people are also driven by incentives. They’re also driven by what these opportunities come with, and how conducive they are. Incentives have a role to play and good opportunities have a role to play. We need to provide training even for teenagers, from when they are young, not just looking for people that are well experienced.

Most job opportunities come with so many, like high requirements. And some people are just looking to get in, looking to start. And if you are looking for people that already have this huge experience, then that gap is going to remain really wide.

Is there a link between the shortage and the rising cybersecurity threats that we’re seeing in our environment?

As I mentioned before, if there’s already this huge gap, there are so many threats on the ground right now, and they’re increasing day by day, and then we have less and less talent, there is a problem. We don’t have enough knowledgeable people in this area to help with cyber protection, so threats are definitely going to continue every day and people are going to continue to fall victim day by day. So yeah, there’s a huge relationship there.

What role is Trend Micro playing to bridge the gap?

So that’s where the CPITS program comes to play. That’s just one of the areas apart from awareness and training. The CPITS program is a program where we look for people, recent graduates looking to enter cyber security, recent graduates that studied computer courses, or even those who don’t have a related course but have some preliminary knowledge. We look for these people that are really interested in learning more in going into this field, and they’re trained with everything they need to know to become an IT security professional. They’re trained in network protection, server protection, data protection, cloud security, and all the things that they need to know. After they’re done with this program, you find that they’re very knowledgeable and they’re able to go into the world and make it a better place with the knowledge they’ve been given.

What has been the response of Nigerians and maybe Africans to the CPITS program?

As far as I know, my batch was the first batch of this program in the African region. I know a lot of people applied but I believe that a greater number would have if they were aware of such an amazing opportunity. And that’s why we are trying to make it even more widespread so that everyone can be aware that there’s such an opportunity like this. The response was very good. There’s a batch that’s coming in this year with the applications that are open right now.

And from what I’ve heard, there are so many applications and I’m glad that the responses are coming in.

How rigorous is the program?

So the program is a nine-week program and very rigorous. It’s been structured in a way that you can take it, but you have to make some sacrifices. It’s going to be all through the week, from Monday to Friday. You’ll be having training from experts all over the world. you’ll be having hands-on experiences. And then you take some examinations to show that you are following what is being taught. At the end of the nine weeks, you would also take your final exam where you get your certificate and everything. It’s rigorous, but it is very worth it.

Do you need to have any knowledge of engineering or something that you need before you are selected for the program?

Yes, it is really preferred if you have some basic knowledge. Generally, have some IT knowledge like networking line notes. And if you also studied, as I said earlier, a computer-related course or you’ve taken some courses on cyber security or you have some knowledge or hands-on experience in cyber security, it is preferred. This is because for those nine weeks you can’t be taught everything. If they see that you are someone that already has gotten some knowledge, some basic knowledge in some areas that are going to be needed in the training, it’s going to be preferred because it’ll make the process easier as you can’t be taught everything in nine weeks. That’s why we can’t just get someone that knows nothing about cybersecurity or maybe doesn’t have an interest. Interest also has a huge role to play in being accepted.

After the program, what next?

After the program, the program equips you with everything you need to know to be a cybersecurity professional. You are going to be certified with Joint Micro as a cybersecurity professional, as well as certified in IT security. So you definitely have a greater edge and more opportunities in working in the cybersecurity field.

Fortress Abioye, a cybersecurity engineer speaks to BusinessDay's Frank Eleanya about participating in Trend Micro's Certification Program IT Security (CPITS) a free 10-week program focusing on the soft and hard skills required to succeed in the cybersecurity field. He also discusses the recent global shortage of cybersecurity talents and what can be done to bridge the gap. What is Trend Micro all about? So we are a cyber security leader and we deal with cyber security products. We are also a vendor, in terms of providing solutions for protecting networks, protecting data, protecting your servers, protecting your endpoints, your clouds, and your environments. We also provide managed incidents. We provide services like managed detection and response, incidental response, and recently, some services as well. So in brief we are just a cyber security leader that provides these solutions that help you to secure and protect your environment. There seems to be a shortage of tech talents generally and the cybersecurity market is also experiencing the same thing. Give us an idea of what the talent market is for the cybersecurity market. Right now there's a huge shortage of cybersecurity talents and it's very glaring, not just in Nigeria and Africa alone, but globally. And as we know, threats are rising every day there are attacks, and people are going mobile. There are more vulnerabilities and things to be exploited. So it's been weaponized every day. When you look at it, there's this shortage of people that can help with protecting these environments and protecting individuals and companies from these exploits. And then you look at the huge number of threats that arise every day. There's no balance. And if this is not equated soon, if there's no balance, soon it's going to be so much worse than it is right now. So that's how it looks. What is driving this shortage in the market? Is it a lack of policies or a lack of opportunities, training opportunities, or is it driven by incentives? I think that first of all, awareness has a huge role to play in terms of. They are not so knowledgeable about the facts of cybersecurity. They're not well-learned in this area of what's going on. Awareness plays a huge part. Also, training. Providing opportunities would greatly help with bridging this gap of lesser talent in this field. There are opportunities available, but people are also driven by incentives. They're also driven by what these opportunities come with, and how conducive they are. Incentives have a role to play and good opportunities have a role to play. We need to provide training even for teenagers, from when they are young, not just looking for people that are well experienced. Most job opportunities come with so many, like high requirements. And some people are just looking to get in, looking to start. And if you are looking for people that alread...


Fortress Abioye, a cybersecurity engineer speaks to BusinessDay's Frank Eleanya about participating in Trend Micro's Certification Program IT Security (CPITS) a free 10-week program focusing on the soft and hard skills required to succeed in the cybersecurity field. He also discusses the recent global shortage of cybersecurity talents and what can be done to bridge the gap. What is Trend Micro all about? So we are a cyber security leader and we deal with cyber security products. We are also a vendor, in terms of providing so...


Fortress Abioye, a cybersecurity engineer speaks to BusinessDay's Frank Eleanya about participating in Trend Micro's Certification Program IT Security (CPITS) a free 10-week program focusing on the soft and hard skills required to succeed in the cybersecurity field. He also discusses the recent global shortage of cybersecurity talents and what can be done ...


Cybersecurity