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Numerous reports highlight the growing cybersecurity skills gap that has resulted in a shortage of security professionals with the prerequisite expertise to safeguard critical systems and sensitive information in both the public and private sectors.

For instance, a recent study conducted by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (PDF) on behalf of (ISC)2 estimated that the number of security professionals was around 2.25 million globally in 2013, but market indicators show the need for as many as 4.25 million  security professionals by 2017, representing the potential for a 47% shortage in qualified personnel.

In addition, Cisco’s 2014 Annual Security Report stated that more than one million cybersecurity positions remain unfilled around the world, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the information security analyst field to grow by 37% through 2020.

Furthermore, Tripwire’s CTO Dwayne Melançon led a panel of well known security experts at this year’s RSA Conference discussing the growing cybersecurity skills gap, which included Javvad Malik Senior Analyst, 451 Research; Andy Ellis Chief Security Officer, Akamai Technologies; Jane Lute President and Chief Executive Officer, Council on CyberSecurity; and Mike Assante Director, SANS Institute.

A summary of the panel discussion, which was  can be found here, and the session was “visualized” by artist Kelly Kingman, as seen below.


In an effort to address these shortages, Tripwire announced that it will lead the Tripwire Cybersecurity Risk Manager LifeJourney Experience for the nation’s youth in collaboration with LifeJourney, a web-based, interactive classroom experience provider that allows students from middle schools, high schools and colleges to “test-drive” potential cybersecurity careers by enabling them to live a day in the life of one of cybersecurity’s recognized innovators.

“Unless the cybersecurity industry actively collaborates with academia, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals will continue to limit our ability to defend critical infrastructure and impact economic growth,” said Jim Johnson, CEO of Tripwire.

LifeJourney students can get first-hand experience in a variety of cybersecurity careers from leading companies, as each session provides for an understanding of the practical and academic skills needed for success and connects students to real world projects, mission-critical initiatives, and the mentors that can inspire and motivate them throughout every stage of their education.

“Tripwire’s leadership of the Cyber Risk Manager LifeJourney will help inspire and create the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and accelerate America’s STEM education mission,” remarked Rick Geritz, CEO of LifeJourney.

Johnson will join Geritz on stage at the DC Metro Cyber Security Summit on June 5, 2014, to announce the launch of the Tripwire Cybersecurity Risk Manager LifeJourney Experience.

Click Image to View Video

A brief video is available here which features LifeJourney mentor Rick McClure speaking about his experiences protecting an organization’s network infrastructure and the types of skills students should focus on in order successfully follow a similar career path.

“Programs like LifeJourney that accelerate math and science literacy are critical to building the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. This initiative fits perfectly with Tripwire’s long-standing commitment to expanding cybersecurity education,” Johnson said.

Such commitments include the recent donation of the cloud-based risk and analytics security platform called Benchmark to the Center for Cyber Security, Information Privacy and Trust at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST),

Benchmark, with technology that is valued at more than $11 million dollars, is the first publicly-available service of its kind and was designed to help organizations understand where security resources and investments could be most effective, and it provides complete visibility into security and compliance solutions from a large number of vendors across several disciplines.

“This very significant gift provides unique opportunities for the College of IST for research, education and outreach. Our research in cyber security, big data analytics and discovery, and human-computer interaction match very well with Tripwire’s evolving database and toolkit,” said Dr. David Hall, dean of the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

Tripwire tapped Penn State for this donation in order to help develop a community of experts that will can share critical information and analytics like they have never been able to do prior, as well as to assist in the education of future security leaders.

“We will be able to use this gift in classroom exercises and in the curricula for our undergraduate Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) major and graduate program in Cyber Security and Information Assurance. We are very thankful for Tripwire’s generosity and will display the gift prominently in the IST Building’s new laboratory.”

We also regularly feature articles on The State of Security from influential women in the security field discussing not only topical infosec subject matter, but also the challenges women face in their efforts to establish themselves in what has been a traditionally male dominated career field. A few of the articles include:

These kinds of initiatives continue Tripwire’s legacy of giving back to the community since its inception after the first version of Tripwire’s flagship solution was written by Gene Kim and Dr. Eugene Spafford at Purdue University in 1992, and was subsequently released to the open source community for the benefit of all.

“Information security is a truly a community effort. Tripwire has a history of giving back to the community,” said Gene Kim, founder and former CTO of Tripwire, and author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win.

We are pleased to say that Tripwire’s commitment to enhancing the security field by supporting education, empowerment and career development will continue long into the future.

Thanks to all for your continued support!

Hasta pronto,



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Tripwire has compiled an e-book, titled The Executive’s Guide to the Top 20 Critical Security Controls: Key Takeaways and Improvement Opportunities, which is available for download [registration form required].


Title image courtesy of ShutterStock