Cybersecurity: Immersive Labs, Accenture to Address Global Cyber Talent Shortage

Immersive Labs, a firm focused on people-centric cyber resilience, and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) are working together to launch the Cyber Million program that aims “to solve the cybersecurity talent deficit by increasing access to one million entry-level cybersecurity operations jobs over the next decade.”

The beta version of the program, rolling out now, “will be powered by the Immersive Labs platform with Accenture Security serving as the first foundational partner.”

The program is now “available to other organizations seeking to make cybersecurity operations roles available on the platform to a diverse pool of candidates, and users may access the platform to begin growing their skills.”

The cybersecurity industry currently “faces an enormous talent shortage with an estimated 3.4 million roles currently unfilled worldwide.”

Additionally, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 report in collaboration with Accenture, 59% of business leaders and 64% of cyber leaders ranked talent recruitment and retention “as a key challenge for managing cyber resilience.”

And, less than half of respondents “reported having the people and skills needed today to respond to cyberattacks.”

Cyber Million will “help fill these open roles, reducing barriers to entry for job seekers by increasing access to opportunities and uncovering hidden talent.”

Through an emphasis “on real-world skills, upskilling, and aptitude over traditional evaluation methods—such as education, certification, and experience—the program will modernize the way organizations recruit for cybersecurity roles globally.”

Unlike legacy hiring modes, the program will “take a practical, evidence-based, skills-first approach to recruiting.”

Anyone over the age of 16 will be able “to register for the program and complete a series of curated hands-on exercises and labs that match the skill set requirements of open roles.”

Once candidates successfully “complete these labs, skilled individuals may apply to open employment partner roles.” The program is designed “to be flexible, allowing candidates to complete courses at their own pace.”

Robert Boyce, Global Lead of Cyber Resilience, Accenture, said:

“Cybersecurity talent is everywhere, and it can be developed if those eager to learn are given the opportunity, whether or not they come from a technical background. We upskill our own people using the Immersive Labs program approach and we’re proud to build on our relationship to help get more people excited about starting a career in cybersecurity. Solving the cyber talent crisis requires this kind of industry-wide collaboration and an innovative approach. We’re excited to take this important step toward building the future of cybersecurity talent globally.”

James Hadley, CEO and Founder, Immersive Labs, said:

“We founded Immersive Labs based on the idea that people from various backgrounds—both with or without a formal education—can excel in cybersecurity if given the right opportunities. Our Cyber Million program that we’re building in partnership with Accenture, will help organizations discover hidden talent, increase diversity across the workforce, and build resilience against cyberattacks, and we welcome other organizations to join us.”

For the past six years, Immersive Labs has “offered platform access to veterans, students, and the neurodivergent community through Digital Cyber Academies (DCAs).”

Cyber Million represents “the next evolution of this program, with thousands of DCA candidates already migrated to the new platform.”

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