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SANS, Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks Collaborate with Cyversity to Launch Global Cyber Diversity Academy

Cyversity, a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of women and underrepresented minorities, announced its initiative with SANS Institute, Google Cloud and Palo Alto Network s to tackle the “great cyber divide” through a multi-tiered program that provides a pathway for talented, diverse candidates to launch and advance careers in cybersecurity.

According to the 2021 ISACA report, “minorities comprise 26 percent of the cybersecurity workforce and only 21 percent of the overall workforce.” In the 2021 (ISC)2 CybersecurityWorkforce Study, research shows that the cyber field continues to be predominantly male (76 percent) and Caucasian (72 percent). Women have higher rates of workforce entry from self-learning than men (20 percent vs. 14 percent, respectively) and pursuing cybersecurity education to land a job (20 percent vs. 13 percent, respectively). A similar trend is true for ethnic minority respondents: Black/African respondents (18 percent) and Hispanic/Latino respondents (22 percent) pursued education to land their first job at higher rates than Caucasian respondents (12 percent).

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“SANS is excited to expand our partnership with Cyversity and further our collective mission to empower individuals launching careers in cyber, close the talent gap, and address the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field,” said Max Shuftan, Director, Mission Programs & Partnerships, SANS. “This program will bring new cybersecurity professionals into the workforce with the practical skills and knowledge needed to make our world a safer place.”

“Google Cloud is proud to work with partners like Cyversity and help connect women and underrepresented minorities, seeking to enter the cyber security field, with the cloud skills needed to bridge the cyber talent gap and build up the careers of skilled professionals in the space,” said MK Palmore, President of the Bay Area Chapter for Cyversity and a Director for the Office of the CISO, Google Cloud.

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“We are thrilled to support the efforts of Cyversity as they launch a program that will help empower and educate the next generation of cyber professionals,” said Mary Ann Byrnes, Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy Manager. “Providing our Cybersecurity Academy courses through the Cyversity program offers a substantive, innovative way to engage aspiring professionals in cybersecurity.”

The Global Cyber Diversity Academy will provide opportunities for skills development in cyber from different industry partners based on aptitude and career goals. Several hundred total participants globally will be selected for this scholarship and be offered at least one training course plus certification following final selection. Participation requirements:

  • 18 years of age or older at the time of application submission
  • Applicants must have residency status in one of three global regions (North America, South America, or Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA))
  • Cyversity Membership – applicants must sign up for student or professional membership (can join as part of the process)
  • Not currently employed in a cybersecurity role (IT functions OK)

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