Merlin joins industry campaign that aims to close the cybersecurity talent gap

As cyber threats continue to rise around the world, with an estimated $6 trillion in damages in 2021, we are faced with a significant challenge: the massive cybersecurity talent shortage. With an estimated 2.7 million unfilled cybersecurity positions, security teams globally are struggling to hire enough talent to monitor and remediate cyberattacks or develop new technology to combat today’s latest threats. 

Solving this cybersecurity talent shortage will take a collective industry-wide effort. That’s why Merlin Cyber is proud to stand alongside some of our industry partners and peers to raise $1 million to help fund one year of community college courses for Bay Area students pursuing careers in cybersecurity. Driven to make a difference in the lives of students and the local community, we have already raised more than $240,000 towards this goal and are calling on the industry during this week's RSA Conference to join us in making a meaningful impact together. 

The campaign is led by Merlin partner NightDragon, an investment and advisory firm focused on the cybersecurity, safety, security, and privacy industries, and NexGen Cyber Talent, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in the cybersecurity industry through education and career opportunities for underserved and underrepresented students. Additionally, the campaign includes more than 25 industry-leading cybersecurity and technology leaders.


“I believe there are thousands of talented individuals who are passionate about protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure and are eager to help, but many simply may not have the financial means to do so,” said David Phelps, Chairman and CEO of Merlin Cyber. “This collaborative effort can directly bridge the ability for students to follow their passion while also helping to close the cyber talent gap and defend our nation.” 

NexGen Cyber Talent partners with Bay Area community colleges to offer several cohorts of training programs, continuous career development and mentoring, and grants to hundreds of students pursuing cybersecurity education. The funds raised through this campaign will be distributed by NextGen Cyber Talent to students at participating Bay Area community colleges who have applied and met the qualifying grade criteria of a B- or better. In addition to capital, founding coalition partners have also contributed additional in-kind donations, including lectures, curriculum materials, and internships for students.

Solving the cybersecurity talent shortage will take a collective industry-wide effort. We are honored to stand together with our partners on this important mission and hope the rest of the industry joins us on this important cause. You can make a donation of any size by scanning the QR code or clicking the button to visit the Coalition to Close the Cybersecurity Talent Gap campaign donations page.


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