Cisco and NIL opened the Cybersecurity Experience Center and Academy in Johannesburg to boosts the skills that are needed to deal with the growing challenge of cybersecurity threats.

Organizations cite a lack of trained talent as one of the biggest barriers to advancing their IT security postures and preventing attacks, according to the Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report. It is not surprising that there were more than a million job openings in cybersecurity globally in 2016 and the demand for cybersecurity experts has grown three times faster than any other IT role.

To help organizations increase their IT defense expertise in South Africa, Cisco and NIL joined forces and opened the Cybersecurity Experience Center and Academy at its Johannesburg office, where they will educate and fast track the skills needed to deal with the growing challenge of cybersecurity.

 “Cybercrime is now the fourth most reported economic crime in South Africa, with our economy reportedly losing R1 billion each year due to online criminal activities. Being breached is the new normal. In this hyper-connected world, security attacks like WannaCry and Nyetya are a fact of life. It’s no longer a matter of if these attacks will happen, but when. We hope with the launch of the Cybersecurity Experience Center and Academy, Cisco can assist businesses to overcome some of the security challenges that they are facing, especially in the skills space,” commented Cathy Smith, Managing Director, Cisco South Africa.

South African organizations are looking to improve security engineering capabilities to prevent the increasing attacks on their networks. This educational program will help to address the security ICT skills shortage in the country,” said Karen Sharpe, Head of Learning Services, NIL Africa.

The new facility will enable both public and private sector organizations to recognize some of the most critical cyber threats and trends faster and to equip their experts with the necessary skills, knowledge, and insights into some of the technology and expertise required to deal with cybercrime.

Cybersecurity Experience Center and Academy also incorporates an academy that will offer an MICT-SETA funded certified Cybersecurity training program of which Cisco will provide the content and facility, and NIL, Cisco’s leading training partner in the region, will facilitate the training.

The first class will be for 36 unemployed early career learners. The program will include both classroom and workplace experiential learning to understand the South African ICT security environment in the context of Global network security and, upon passing the exam, they will receive an internationally recognized Cisco Certified CCNA Cyber Ops certification that will be valid for three years.


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