Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), one of the world’s leading providers specializing in cybersecurity, wishes to take advantage of this international day of education which takes place on the 24e January. This is an opportunity to reaffirm the need to include cybersecurity among the subjects to be studied in schools and high schools, being today a growing priority in our increasingly digital society. In this area, the reality is that there is an increasing need to be vigilant, as cyberattacks increased by 28% in Q3 2022 globally compared to 2021 across all industry sectors. Me Africa, Check Point Research reported that Africa saw the highest number of attacks of any geographic region with 1,875 weekly attacks per organization.

The increasing pace of digital transformation has led businesses, as well as some public bodies like those in healthcare or even education itself, to shift their operations to the internet and adopt more remote working. Indeed, the cost of a cyberattack in the healthcare sector has increased by 42% in the last 24 months (Source: IBM and CPR). Thus, the specialization in cybersecurity has established itself as the field offering the greatest job prospects within the digital branch. This topic itself has also sparked debates about what the jobs of the future will be like.

According to the report published by the World Economic Forum in 2020, 50% of all employees in all sectors will need to retrain by 2025, and 40% of the basic skills of current workers are expected to change during the same period. In fact, by 2022, 40.1% of organizations acknowledged that they were recycling talent from other departments into cybersecurity. However, only 2 out of 10 internal positions are trained or have the necessary knowledge to perform the required functions.

The new generations still have time to be more up to date with the technological advances and new concerns that we will face in the years to come and can better prepare for their professional careers. It is advisable to start at an early age, at the entry level in primary school, and continue throughout the educational path to university and beyond, because keeping abreast of cybersecurity can span a lifetime.

It doesn’t matter if a future worker is looking to enter this security industry or just preparing for any other minimally digital job, but the old adage of “if you know cybersecurity, you have a job for life“could be something to live for. It was a statement made by Robert Herjavec in an interview for Cybercrime Magazine in 2018, which becomes even more relevant in this 2023 where cybersecurity permeates almost every aspect of work and our digital lives.

In South Africa, the cybersecurity market is expected to grow by more than 11% per year until 2027. Given the strong growth of cyberattacks not only in South Africa, but also in the rest of the continent, qualified professionals will then be in high demand. Businesses across all industry sectors will seek to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and rely on skilled people to enable them to do so more effectively. Given the shortage of cybersecurity skills in the country, those seeking to qualify in this field will find themselves in a strong position when it comes to job prospects and career opportunities.

Check Point SecureAcademy: teach to learn

While the current offer of studies in Africa is growing, with a number of universities, Technikons, coding academies and other institutions offering degrees, certifications and specialized courses in cybersecurity, there Unfortunately, there remains a large number of students who, due to the lack of general knowledge about cybersecurity, lack of interest when it comes to training in cybersecurity.

Check Point Software currently has 144 partners worldwide in its MIND program for cybersecurity education, having achieved a 144% increase in the number of active establishments in the program, which impacted a growth of 168 % of student enrollment rate in 2022 compared to the previous year. One example is Check Point Software Technologies’ partnership with the Pan African Information and Communication Technology Association (PAICTA).

This collaboration enables PAICTA to distribute Check Point cybersecurity training materials to higher education institutions across Africa as the two organizations work to fill the skills gap that exists for these professionals.

However, this training and recruitment should not be limited exclusively to young employees. Some international companies have started to implement initiatives for their employees, launching over the past year incentive plans to encourage attention and detection of phishing attacks by adding them to their general bonus policies, or launching free cybersecurity training and certification programs.

Cybersecurity is, and will continue to be, one of the most critical and sought-after careers in the world. However, we must continue to encourage and help its expansion“Charnie-Lee Adams Kruger, SADC Country Manager at Check Point Software Technologies.”That’s why, with our SecureAcademy program, we seek to support students at institutions of higher learning and non-profit organizations around the world by providing them with vital cybersecurity knowledge and learning resources. These studies, certifications and training will help ensure that these young minds are equipped with the skills necessary for the cybersecurity jobs of the future, allowing them to build careers throughout their careers.“.

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