Building Top-Notch Talent in Cybersecurity

Ibrahim “Abe” Baggili is an internationally recognized expert in cybersecurity and digital forensics. He is the founder and co-director of the University of New Haven’s Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group. Dr. Baggili works regularly with law enforcement on digital forensics to help solve crimes, and he created the Artifact Genome Project, a digital information resource for law enforcement. His work has been supported by the National Security Agency and the MITRE Corporation.

He received his Ph.D., master’s, and bachelor’s degrees in computer information technology from Purdue University, where he was a researcher at its Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) and its Cyber Forensics Laboratory. Before arriving at the University of New Haven in 2013, he was an assistant professor at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and director of the Advanced Cyber Forensics Research Laboratory, the first cyber forensics lab in the Arab region. In 2019, he was named a fellow of the European Alliance for Innovation.

The talent gap in cybersecurity is widely acknowledged, with a projection of 3.5 million unfilled jobs in cybersecurity by 2021. But one of the problems with the much-discussed cybersecurity skills gap is the emphasis is put on how to quickly fill the gap instead of on building technically competent, highly trained professionals. As Dr. Baggili points out:

“I think one of the biggest issues that we’re facing is that we need to rethink what the word ‘talent’ means. We keep using that word talent and I think that word talent is misused in these terms. … And also how can we not necessarily produce a lot of people that know cybersecurity but how do we produce graduates that are really excellent at what they do in cybersecurity. Because cybersecurity is one of those fields where you need to be excellent in order to really protect, defend and sometimes be part of an offensive team.”

In this episode, Dr. Baggili discusses:

  • The cybersecurity talent gap and how to address it;
  • What it takes to build top-notch talent and identify programs that promote excellence;
  • How he became interested in digital forensics;
  • And his advice for anyone who wants to get into the field of cybersecurity.
Category: Podcast
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