‘It’s a hotspot’ - Michigan sees need for cybersecurity workers

“We are about 700,000 people short of filling the jobs in the United States that have the word cyber or IT in them.”
“We are about 700,000 people short of filling the jobs in the United States that have the word cyber or IT in them.”
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 6:32 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - During a trip to Mid-Michigan, the federal government’s Head of Cyber Security spoke about the growing number of cyber attacks and explained why the industry is desperately searching for more workers.

Michigan is a hotspot for cyber attacks because the state has a long history of technological developments and innovations.

“It’s a hotspot because, cyber makes a very real contribution to the various industries that are rich here: the automobile industry, which is increasingly moving to autonomous and electric vehicles; the agricultural industry, which increasingly depends on digital infrastructure in ways that we might not have 30-40 years ago,” said Chris Inglis, National Cyber Director.

Inglis said that is why Michigan is at the center of the effort to hire more people to work in cyber security.

“We need to then work to appeal to the broadest possible population at the earliest possible moment,” said Inglis.

Translation – recruit qualified students, like Sherridell Knox, that want to do the work.

“They want the younger generation to be able to be in this field, be computer scientist, be cyber security professionals, networking professionals,” Knox said. “The only way that they’ll actually be able to do that is by listening.”

Inglis said he’s listening.

“So the students are the ones who can tell us how that can be done. The students are the ones that tell us how they showed up here and what makes it exciting for them,” Inglis said. “We need to make sure the students influence whatever solutions we bring to bear.”

Inglis said that about one-third of cyber and IT jobs are empty and Michigan’s schools can help.

“The education system here is very good at developing skilled people – not necessarily all through a formal education of the college nature but using every means available to provide the skills necessary,” said Inglis.

Below are a list of basic things you can do to protect yourself against cyber attacks.

Keep ransomware policies up-to-dateAutomatic updates recommended
Implement two-factor authenticationUse strong passwords
Think before clickingBeware of phishing emails, phone calls, and texts
Use secure websitesHTTPS - the S indicates a secure website

Read more: Michigan experts on protecting yourself from cyberthreats

For business owners who want more information on how to stay safe, visit the official Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s website here.

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