Platform launched to train autistic cybersecurity professionals

Friday, 14 May, 2021

Platform launched to train autistic cybersecurity professionals

The Genius Armoury platform has been launched at AusCERT 2021. The platform is an online environment designed to identify and attract a previously untapped cybersecurity talent pool from within the autistic community. The platform was developed by Untapped Holdings, BHP, DXC Australia, Splunk, La Trobe University and Curtin University, and partially funded by AustCyber’s Projects fund.

Andrew Eddy, CEO of Untapped Holdings, believes Genius Armoury provides autistic individuals who have little or no prior knowledge of cybersecurity with a syllabus of fundamental learning. Delivered via a virtual, asynchronous platform, the materials can be undertaken by participants at any time, even in remote locations.

“The Genius Armoury concept came from the realisation, through autism employment assessment workshops, that autists considering educational options and career paths have little understanding of the opportunities of a cybersecurity career. When explained, there was often a high level of interest in the type of work undertaken in these roles. This generated the idea of providing an autism-friendly, deep-dive learning experience into the world of a cybersecurity analyst to spark interest amongst this cohort,” Eddy said.

Michelle Price, CEO of AustCyber, said Genius Armoury is an innovative solution for inclusion and diversity in the cybersecurity workforce that will benefit all sectors of the economy more broadly.

“If we can better support autistic individuals to find jobs that take advantage of their often unique set of skills in cybersecurity, we are taking another step to meet the current skills shortage with a pool of currently untapped talent. Perhaps more importantly, the day-to-day of cybersecurity offers highly productive and challenging work — and employers are increasingly aware of the workplace environment that will attract and retain autists as part of a more sophisticated approach to workforce strategy and development,” Price said.

Genius Armoury is comprised of five modules: Introduction to cyber security, Threats and exploits, Networks, Digital forensics, and Cyber security tools.

A Genius Armoury completion certificate is provided once all the materials have been completed, and this can be included on a participant’s resume. Participants can then utilise the information available on the Genius Armoury platform about education and employment options and pursue their next step. Genius Armoury is seeking to partner with as many educational institutions as possible, to create pathways to their cybersecurity courses, and with employers, to assist in developing their cybersecurity talent acquisition strategies.

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