This morning Swimlane announced the launch of the Level-Up Initiative, an industry-focused philanthropic effort designed to help analysts and entry-mid level cybersecurity professionals advance their skills. The program will raffle off various opportunities throughout the year, including free educational and training focused activities, and sponsorships covering all expenses associated with attending some of the industry’s biggest events. The inaugural Level-Up raffle will send five hard-working security analysts to RSA Conference 2020.
Analyst-first program aims to increase accessibility to educational opportunities
As an industry with nearly three million cyber security positions to fill, we have reached a critical point. Public and private organizations find themselves more vulnerable than ever before as the threat landscape continues to grow and evolve. Yet, security budgets are not growing at the same rate, and companies are struggling to attract enough talent to keep up with all of it. The talented analysts that we do have are facing burnout and alert fatigue, which leads to missed alarms and employee turnover. In an unfortunate symptom of being understaffed, overworked, and underbudgeted, security operations center (SOC) analysts are so inundated with day-to-day security operations that they have little time for ongoing cybersecurity training, which is vital to their personal professional growth and that of the security industry. Swimlane’s mission is to positively contribute to the analyst community through the Level-Up Initiative.
“Swimlane was founded in direct response to the challenges my co-founder Brian Kafenbaum and I experienced working as a part of security operations teams. We know how much analysts do for their organization and the security industry as a whole, and we also know their jobs can be brutal. As a part of our analyst-first outlook at Swimlane, we are proud to announce the Level-Up Initiative which will allow us to tangibly give back to the community,” said Swimlane Co-Founder and CEO, Cody Cornell. “We believe that rising tides raise all ships, and by helping up-and-coming security professionals strengthen their skills, we will all be more secure. Attending events and pursuing educational opportunities is expensive, which limits access. We’re trying to fix that, and Level-Up scholarships are just the beginning.”
Events like RSA Conference and Black Hat offer valuable informational sessions, seminars, panels and networking opportunities, but their hefty price tags can make access difficult, especially for those at the beginning of their cybersecurity career or at small startups. Swimlane’s Level-Up program will provide chances for all-expenses-paid educational opportunities, in the hopes of increasing the accessibility of these events so that more bright minds may benefit from spending time with peers, pursuing certifications, hearing the latest industry findings firsthand from industry leaders, and building their personal toolbox to better do their jobs.
“Whether due to stress, the unforgiving nature of an analyst’s schedule or limited opportunities for advancement, burnout is forcing many analysts to switch industries or take unrelated jobs in the field,” said Josh Rickard, Research Engineer, Swimlane. “Just as it would be if you had structural engineers leaving the field after just a few years, the implications of losing anyone who gains experience, adaptability and confidence as they progress in their knowledge of security analysis are critical. I am proud of Swimlane’s commitment to helping improve the lives of security analysts for the benefit of the industry. I wish these kinds of opportunities had existed eight years ago when I started out as an analyst.”
To learn more about the Level-Up Initiative, please visit swimlane.com/level-up-initiative. All educational content will be vendor-neutral, raffle entrants do not need to be affiliated with Swimlane in any way and have no responsibility to Swimlane at the events. The deadline to nominate yourself or others for the RSA Conference 2020 is Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, and Swimlane will announce winners by Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Swimlane authored by Ellyn Kirtley. Read the original post at: https://swimlane.com/blog/level-up-initiative-launch/