Cyber Security Skills Taskforce established

21 November 2016

Ryan Ko

Dr Ryan Ko

University of Waikato Cybersecurity Programme Head Dr Ryan Ko is one of eight people selected by the government to be part of a Cyber Security Skills Taskforce to address the shortage of cyber professionals in New Zealand.

Dr Ko has extensive experience in cybersecurity skill and training development, including establishing the New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge

"It’s a privilege to represent the University as well as the research and certification sectors,” says Dr Ko. “The cybersecurity skills shortage gap needs to be addressed urgently, but one must also take a strategic approach considering all skill levels – basic, vocational, and advanced – to cover both short and long term needs. The formation of this diverse and well-represented taskforce will increase our chances of setting the country in the right direction."

The taskforce announcement was made by Communications Minister Amy Adams.

“We know there is a lack of New Zealanders entering the profession at a sub-degree level, so the taskforce will focus on working with academia and industry to develop a level 6 course, with industry supported internships,” says Ms Adams.

“There is a growing global shortage of cyber security professionals. It’s estimated that there will be a global workforce shortfall of between one to two million positions by 2019. This shortage is limiting the ability of organisations to protect themselves from the increasing threat of cyberattacks. New Zealand is competing for talent in a global market and it’s important that the taskforce looks at ways in which New Zealand can grow its own talent.”

The taskforce will focus on practical actions to increase the number of cyber professionals the industry needs to help defend against cyber-attacks, which cost the New Zealand economy $257 million last year.

It will establish a pathway for junior analysts, including a level 6 qualification and industry-supported internships, to be developed in 2017.

The taskforce will be led by Hewlett Packard Enterprises Chief Technology Officer David Eaton, and includes representatives from academia and industry to ensure training meets the needs of industry.