During the National HBCU Week Conference convened by the U.S. Department of Education and the White House, West Virginia State University (WVSU) announced a collaboration with IBM to help establish a virtual WVSU Cybersecurity Leadership Center.
WVSU is one of 20 schools working with IBM to create Cybersecurity Leadership Centers.
With 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., the need for expertise is critical: According to a recent IBM Security study*, insufficiently staffed organizations average $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed.
“The need for highly trained workers in the cybersecurity field has never been more clear, and this partnership with IBM will help ensure that West Virginia State University will be at the forefront of addressing this critical need both in West Virginia and throughout the nation,” said WVSU President Ericke S. Cage. “We are grateful to IBM for their commitment to WVSU and for the opportunities it will create for our students, faculty and staff.”
Through IBM’s collaboration, faculty and students at participating schools will have access to coursework, lectures, immersive training experiences, certifications, IBM cloud–hosted software, and professional development resources, all at no cost to them.
This includes access to:
- Cybersecurity curricula: IBM will develop for each participating HBCU, a customized IBM Security Learning Academy portal – an IBM client offering – including courses designed to help the university enhance its cybersecurity education portfolio. In addition, IBM will continue to give access to IBM SkillsBuild.
- Immersive learning experience: Faculty and students of participating HBCUs will have an opportunity to benefit from IBM Security’s Command Center, through which they can experience a highly realistic, simulated cyberattack, designed to prepare them and train them on response techniques. Moreover, HBCUs’ faculty will have access to consultation sessions with IBM technical personnel on cybersecurity.
- Software: Multiple IBM Security premier enterprise security products hosted in the IBM Cloud.
- Professional development: Forums to exchange best practices, learn from IBM experts, and discover IBM internships and job openings.
“Collaborations between academia and the private sector can help students prepare for success. That’s especially true for HBCUs because their mission is so vital,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG. “The Cybersecurity Leadership Centers we’re co-creating with Historically Black College and Universities epitomize our commitment to the Black community and STEM education; it also builds on our pledge to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity over three years.”